I am member of the new formed Dumaguete Toastmasters and we were invited to visit a speech contest in Bacolod. For those who are not familiar what Toastmasters are, a few words to explain.
What are Toastmasters
Toastmaster International is organization to develop speaking and leadership skills organized in 13,000 clubs with more than 260,000 members worldwide. One of that club was recently founded in Dumaguete.
Why I joined Dumaguete Toastmasters
English is not my first language and I never learned it proper in school, so it is a perfect opportunity to improve both, English and speaking skills. I never was really nervous to speak in front of a crowd, but talked many times a lot of bullsh$%. Well, I still do and enjoy that a lot.
However, the outlines of the different speeches one has to hold are pretty cool and teach me a lot about how to organize different kinds of speeches and how to deliver them in the best way. After each speech an evaluator will “score” your speech and if you hit the goals, also criticize the speaker, gives suggestions.
There are regional, national and international competitions, and the Dumaguete Toastmasters were invited to the Division D contest in Bacolod. Our club-charter is still in progress, so we could not join the competition, but I decided to join the trip as it will be surely a great experience, even the trip is pretty long.
We left Dumaguete at 5am in the morning and arrived at the Middletown Hotel in Bacolod (where the competition was held around 11am. Melinda Sisles who invited us for that competition welcomed us and we were invited for a bite to eat. The hosts also took over our registration fee.
The competition started 30 minutes late (which can be pretty much considered spot on in Philippine time). I do admit that the opening of each toastmaster session bores me a bit as it is a kind of longish intro of each and everything and after a few times it is just repeating the same phrases one had heard many times before. No difference at this event… well, there was a difference, I believe each Toastmaster who attended the meeting was introduced personally and with name about 18,3 times. I simply prefer always not to waste valuable lifetime and get straight to the point, but whoever was attending any time a Philippino celebration, event or contest knows that it wets the ladies pants and gives guys a hard-on to see or hear their name somewhere mentioned. Simply a thing which need to be accepted.
I am long enough here that I am used to that and usually use that time to check my emails on my mobile or just go through my notes for whatever task I have.
Finally the rules where announced and the competition started. First competition was the Table-topics, where the speaker need to hold a 2-3 minute unprepared speech to a given topic. Next was the humorous speech followed by the international speech.
While I was impressed with some speaker, a few were also in the” what-the-fu$% are they doing”- category. However, a great experience and I am convinced that Dumaguete Toastmasters will kick some asses on that competition when we are finally chartered and can participate in those competitions. For the results please visit the Dumaguete Toastmasters website.
After the competition we refreshed and went out for dinner to a kind of open air pizza place and of course a cold beer. The pizza was huge and really good.
While our president and I had some good Chikka with several TM’s from Bacolod and Davao, our younger TM’s took off for an hour or two to take care of important things. You need to know, dear valuable readers, that for an Philippino in his/her early twenties the word “Shopping Mall” let them forget everything around and 1000 reasons will be found why one need to go to the mall “now na”, even forgetting to thank the “donors” of our nice dinner.
However, I enjoyed the time in the restaurant. Sadly I could not join my Dumaguete Toastmasters for their trip to the silk farm the next day. I needed to head home for some work and jumped at around 4:30am in a Ceres bus to go on a 7.5 hours trip back to Dumaguete in an uncomfortable bus with a crying baby in front and behind me.
The trip to Bacolod was definitely a great experience for me and the joining Dumaguete Toastmasters and I hope we have more experiences like that in the near future.
Meetings Of Dumaguete Toastmasters
If you have any further question, just drop them a line via the contact form of their website: DumagueteToastmasters . The Dumaguete Toastmasters Club meets twice a month, each 2nd and 4th Saturday you can meet them at the second floor of Casablanca Restaurant at the Boulevard in Dumaguete.