Past International President Dilip Abayasekara offers another compelling reason for competing in the International Speech Contest—you really learn your strengths , where there’s room to grow, and where you can look for help. He explains
You obtain a realistic appraisal of your skills
If we are to reach any destination, you need to know where you are at present and where we need to go. Our journey along the road towards excellence in communication works the same way. As a novice Toastmaster, it was exhilarating for me to win my first district level International Speech contest. But when, at the subsequent Regional speech contest, I did not even place in the top three, I knew that I had a lot of learning and growing to do as a speaker. I have learned more from failure than from success, as long as I have been willing to ask, “What can I learn from the winner?,” “How can I improve?,” and “Who can help me grow?” Charles Spurgeon said, “The door step to the temple of the wisdom is the knowledge of our ignorance.” Competing in speech contests will bring us to this door step.
Brinker Toastmasters holds its International Speech Contest on February 23. Vice President Education Jim Wilson cal tell you more about preparing.