Tall Tales

In 2008 I won the Toastmasters Division D Tall Tales contest and would have gone on to the District 15 contest if it were not for a conflict with the date.

Yesterday, February 9, 2010, I won our club Tall Tales contest.

Here is how to win or at least compete well in the contest:

  1. Always be sure to look over the judging ballot to make sure you are crafting something that the judges will be looking for – organization, exaggeration/humor, appearance, voice, and language.
  2. Your story has got to be TALL.  I was surprised when a couple of my fellow members failed to use any exaggeration, surprise, or twists.  Go big – tell a whopper.
  3. Since organization and flow make up most of the points, make sure your story makes sense and is easy to follow.
  4. Get into character.  In 2008 I became Norwegian (Sven) and used an accent.  Yesterday I used a hillbilly accent to add depth to my character and story.  You don’t have to use an accent, but are you dressed to reflect your story?  Do you have any props to add interest?  Can you do anything with your voice to reflect your character besides an accent?
  5. Don’t be cocky.  My very first Tall Tales contest, back in 2002, I lost.  I figured I could be more dynamic and interesting than anyone else in my club.  I wasn’t.  I want to win, but I need to prepare knowing that everybody has some creativity and they often surprise you with what they can do.
  6. Listen to feedback.  Rehearse your speech in front of family or friends and take their advice.  Get feedback from the club after you compete to discover what you did right and how you can make it better.  I know from my contest yesterday that I need to include more humor and a stronger ending.

I don’t know if I’ll go on to win Area, Division, or District this time.  But I want to win.  I’ll need to keep tweaking my tale to make it better in order to do so.

Keep tweaking your own tall tale.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: