Well, I got on stage, gave the best version of my speech,… and won 2nd place at the District 27 Toastmasters International Speech Contest. Despite fighting this pesky allergy-related bronchial spasm, I powered through it.
It’s particularly gratifying when I think about the fact that I got to this point with no formal coaching or training; i.e. I did tons of my own due diligence (reading, studying YouTube videos of champion speeches, and practicing relentlessly) to propel myself to the District competition. It’s also gratifying (while at the same time a little disappointing) when a few high level district officers come up to you afterwards to tell you that “You should’ve won.” (One lady who coaches and mentors speakers told me that I gave the equivalent of a “World Championship level speech.”)
It’s all good, though. I’ve come this far, and I’m only going to get better. The journey continues. As Les Brown has said, “It’s not over until I win.”