Sunday, November 08, 2009

I won the Division Contest

I f*******g won the Toastmasters Division Contest!!!! I had a good day, and the audience laughed at all the jokes which was a bit shocking. My body language was very good. Take note: if your speech is not that stable, at least you need to have good body control and content! ;-) So all those disco nights and Karate katas had some use!

The Division Contest is organized twice a year and was the humorous speech contest. It chooses the best speaker of all Toastmaster clubs in France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. There were eight competitors, the first two from each Area Contest. And each area has between 3 and 6 clubs, I believe, which each organize a club contest. In two weeks time, I will compete in Hamburg in the District Contest against 9 other division winners for the best speaker of continental Europe (18 countries with 152 active clubs). Wish me fluency! ;-)


Ulf J said...

Well done!
Thanks for your speech yesterday.

Pam said...

Congratulations! I have been in Toastmasters for 3 years now, and still have not competed yet.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Tom, look this news. In Brazil, stutterers are legally entitled to discount on cell phone duties:

Hiten Vyas said...

Congratulations Tom. This is great news :-).

Anonymous said...

so toastmasters is good therapy for the stutterer???

bet the SLPs don't like Toastmasters (won't tell their clients) because the SLPs are scared of Toastmasters???


Speech therapy not the only path to improvement...

Tom Weidig said...

Well, I believe that Toastmasters provides an excellent opportunity to work on your speech and associated learned behaviours and emotions in a demanding and friendly environment.

I would say it is especially useful in the maintenance and transfer period of therapy.

You can try it without therapy, but I still say that an intensive therapy by an SLT / psychotherapist specialized in stuttering, and attendance of self-help groups should be done, too.

Best wishes,

Tom Weidig said...

You do not need to join to see what Toastmasters is doing.

Just go to the website and locate a club nearest to you and fits into your schedule, and then contact them and ask to be a guest.

We always have guests, and it is free of course. So just turn up and have a look what is going. You can come as a guests a few times before deciding whether you want to join or not.

You can also try different clubs to see which one you like most.

Good Luck!

Einar said...

Wow, congratulations! Well done! :-)

Anonymous said...

"bet the SLPs don't like Toastmasters (won't tell their clients) because the SLPs are scared of Toastmasters???


Speech therapy not the only path to improvement..."

Sorry, but I feel that is a ridiculous attitude - and based on what??! I work as a speech therapist in the area of stuttering, and it is always on my mind to recommend Toastmasters, as an opportunity for practising fluency in a wonderful environment, to adult clients. Probably not in the beginning stages of therapy, but certainly as an opportunity for transfer tasks (or real-world practice) down the line.

Why on earth would a SLP be scared of Toastmasters? It doesn't make sense to me.

Anonymous said...

I must be ridiculous then as well...

Speech therapy - with all its therapy antics called "techniques" - made my stuttering, self consciousness and fear about talking and stuttering so much worse. Belonging to the NSA leads me to believe I am not the only one who has had this experience in speech therapy working with speech therapists in the area of stuttering.

Speech therapy is not the only shoe that fits stuttering... Hell, I don't think it sould even be in the closet of solutions.

If speech therapy was so good, there wouldn't be self help organizations. Just the existence of Self Help groups should give the speech professionals a clue about the state of speech therapy for stuttering.

If speech therapy was so good, this blog wouldn't exist...

I've found Toastmasters is a good idea for those of us wanting to work at decreasing fear about talking and increasing confidence in public speaking. The desensitizing aspects of the organization and its workings are pretty good for that.

Anonymous said...

What about SLPs who knows about the NSA/BSA but DO NOT tell their clients about the availability of self help groups....(fear ???)

What is there to be afraid of....

Pam said...

So, Anonymous, you are a speech therapist.I wondered about that. And you have attended NSA and Friends conferences. Me too. And I am also in Toastmasters. I joined TM at about the same as I discovered self help. I have found it extremely helpful as a desensitization tool, as you and Tom suggest.
I participate in therapy right now, but since it is primarily fluency shaping, I have a hard time with it.
I would be curious about SLPs who do not refer their clients to self help. Do you know some who do that?

Anonymous said...

Hi Pam,
I'm not sure what 'Friends' is - is that an American organisation?
I can honestly say that I cannot think of a single therapist I know who would specifically NOT refer clients to a self-help group. I think a likely reason for lack of referrals could be that as stuttering is somewhat of a specialist area in the context of things that speech therapists work on in a community (e.g. language impairments, speech delay etc), your average community clinician might not be aware of self-help groups and therefore not know to refer to them. I know myself that until I attended a TM demonstration evening, I thought it was a similar thing as a self-help group.

To the other anonymouses (hmm, not sure of the plural for 'anonymous' - a bad look for a speech therapist, perhaps?) -
I did not say that you are ridiculous, I thought that your attitude was. You're right, speech therapy is not for everyone. It is hard work, and sometimes it does not give people the outcomes they are looking for. I spoke to a man once who said the only thing that ever helped him with his stuttering was to do some cognitive behavioural therapy so that his stuttering became a non-issue for him. But I believe it is unfair to say speech therapy isn't even a close solution - there are a lot of people out there who find it works for them.
I disagree with you that self-help groups somehow proves that speech therapy is a failure. Do parent carer groups for parents of children with a disabilty prove that they can't help their child? Do support groups for adults with mental illness prove that there is nothing that manages their condition? No, they don't. They represent a facet of holistic management - getting support from others who understand what you're going through.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Tom.

Congratulations for having won at the Division Contest.

I think it was a big challenge because as far as I'm concerned, I represented the Toastmaster Toulouse club in Paris and it was my first contest.
I regognize that I was under stress but it was such a great experience !!!

Good luck for Hamburg.