I have a bit of good news to share. Recently I won the Toastmasters International Speech Contest at the Park City, UT, Club level, which means I go on to complete at the Area level on March 24. Then if I win there I’ll compete in (and have to win) four more increasingly BIGGER levels to get to the final International competition. It’s a lot of steps to climb to get to the top, but it’s fun because it allows me to get in front of sober audiences without first having to arm wrestle other comedians for valuable stage time.
Ironically, public speaking (especially comedy) isn’t something you can perfect alone. You need an audience to let you know if you’re good or not (and believe me, they let you know). But in the case of Toastmaster speech contests, the audience members who attend actually WANT to listen to the speakers. Plus, there’s never a blender running in the background while a bartender mixes Margaritas, nor does anyone onstage ever have to shout over a bouncer trying to evict a drunk heckler on open mic night. What a concept. I love it.
Even though I’m thrilled to be on the first rung of this long ladder I have to admit it’s not my first Toastmaster win. Last year I competed in the Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest with a speech entitled Mom Jeans, and made it to the very top level. Now don’t get too excited because for the Humorous Speech Contest the head honchos at Toastmasters only allow the competition to go as high as the District level (eliminating the top two Regional and International competitions). But that does mean I won at the Club, Area, and Division levels, so that I guess that counts for something.
I was actually starting to get a little full of myself, what with winning all those fancy trophies, until I lost in the final round (there were only five of us left at that point). A young man who talked about the travails of being the only guy in a houseful of females (his young daughter sounded like quite a character) won. Good golly, how am I supposed to compete against a cute father in a designer suit who caters to his wife and adorable daughter? All I had to share was my humbling experience of trying to fit my expanding, middle-aged rear end into a pair of designer jeans. And lamenting over the fact that no matter what size I buy, the jeans of today are so tight I end up with butt cleavage all the way to my shoulder blades. Yeah, that’s a good look.
So in honor of my most recent public speaking victory, I thought I’d share my 2011 Toastmaster Humorous Speech Competition awarding-winning speech Mom Jeans speech with you. And since a picture is worth a 1,000 words (in this case literally) here is the video of me giving my speech at the Division Level in Salt Lake City (which I won).
Did you like this post? If so, please click on the banner below to vote for me as a Top Mommy Blogger on TopMommyBlogger.com. I don’t win anything except a higher search engine ranking, plus bragging rights to my kids that I’m not as dorky as they think. (Okay, well maybe I am that dorky, but at least I’ll be easier to find on the Web.)
Stacy Dymalski is a stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamourous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage.
For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her hilarious book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available in paperback and on Kindle on Amazon.com.