Reflecting on the District 29 International Speech Contest
May 14, 2018
Okay, I've had a full day to process the 2018 District 29 International Speech Contest. I'm not gonna lie, I just KNEW I had it in the bag after my speech; but when my name was called the second place winner, I was bummed out to say the least. Even the tons of kudos, attaboys and other accolades from Toastmasters in the audience only made me feel slightly better.
The ride home was a pretty long one. I replayed the entire scene in my head, wondering if there was ANYTHING I could've done better. Then, I thought back to how I placed 2nd in another District contest last year, and waves of emotion came over me. "Second place two years in a row," I thought. "Do they just not like me?" Finally, I realized that, since I did my absolute best, it was really out of my hands.
My wife and son cheered me up, of course, as they always do. Once I had a chance to sleep it off and decompress, I took a moment and reflected on what I had achieved.
An area director and member of the club I represented, helped me put things in perspective. "Duch," she said, "Given everything you've accomplished in just two years of being a Toastmaster, you should be proud of yourself."
She's right. Most Toastmasters who have been competing in speech contests for much longer than I have, haven't achieved what I have in such a short period of time. For that, I am grateful.
Make no mistake though, I will be back next year, and I will not stop until I make to the World Public Speaking Championship.