Fail to Win

I failed to win at a recent Toastmasters Table Topics contest.  Table Topics is an activity where you are called on to respond to a question that you have no preparation for – to speak spontaneously for 1 to 2 minutes.  I can prepare a speech and speak in front of a large audience and love it, but when called on to speak off the top of my head I often fail at composing an intelligent and engaging response.  Such was the case again at the contest.  A fellow member annihilated me; she had composure, humor, gestures, and an intelligent response that answered the question directly.  Bravo!

I need to remind myself to not sit and stew in the remnants of my poor performance.  This exact experience is what will help me learn swiftly and remind me what to work on and do right next time.  Don’t we learn through failure?  I failed to focus on a couple key points.  I failed to utilize the dynamics that I’m normally proficient at (gestures, vocal variety, body movement, facial expressions, etc.).  I failed to end with a memorable or concise statement.  I failed to utilize levity.

I have been thinking about my first evaluation contest – I failed to win.  I failed miserably.  But years later I became the District 15 Evaluation Champion.

Fail to win.


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