Saturday, October 12, 2013

Area 32 Fall Contest October 9th, 2013...

Hello Toastmasters and friends,

I wanted to tell you a bit about our Fall Area 32 contest which took place on Wednesday October 9, 2013 in Berlin, CT.
It was hosted by the CCAT Toastmasters in their home meeting zone at Northeast Utilities.

There were veggie platters and pizza and drinks as the small crowd gathered.

When I first arrived I was completely THRILLED to see Charlie Hubert seated at a table with Don Ostertag. It was SO good to see Charlie’s smiling face again. It’s been too long. He looked good and well on the road to recovery. Let’s hope he’ll be able to join us at regular meetings again soon!

Cromwell members represented were Charlie, Don, Tom Alvord, Elizabeth Landeen and Hollie Rose (me) as part of the audience. And Rob Dalo and Andrew Watt as participants in the Evaluation and Humor contests respectively.

The contest got underway precisely at 7 with Ray Johnson of CCAT as the Area Contest Master.
The evening’s Test Speaker was Gaia Dong from the Aetna Club. Her speech was about culture shock and the different ways she experienced it growing up in China, moving to Japan for two years and then coming to the US eleven years ago.

By random drawing the first Evaluation Contestant was Murali Pemmaraju from the Middlesex County Club. He made some excellent points about Gaia’s speech and was able to compare some of her experiences of culture shock with his own experiences when he came to the US. It was an insightful and worthy evaluation but Murali had some tough competition.

Our own Rob Dalo was up next. He took a more technical approach to evaluating the speech; speaking of some of the many things we learn in Toastmasters and how Gaia used those techniques to great effect. He mentioned things like her use of the rule of 3s, her vocal variety, her eye contact and how she worked the room and the stage. For possible improvement he suggested some more extreme physical movements she might use in particular parts of her speech.

There were only two contestants for this contest.

Major Congratulations to Rob Dalo, who represented us well and took first place!
Congrats also to Murali Pemmaraju in second place!

After a break for more pizza and veggies the Humorous Contest began.

First up was our own new member Andrew Watt who has been a great addition to our club. He did a version of the same speech he gave for us at our club level contest but modified it somewhat to fit the stage area. His speech about what’s actually funny is fun to watch. From acting in Hamlet as a kid, to the follies of history, we get to contemplate humor. (Are feet funny?) His speech title was “What’s Funny, Anyway?”

Next up was Maria Johnson from the Middlesex County Club. She gave a speech that was very well organized – taking us from an awareness of how the story would contain death and an hour long crying jag, through some history, the death, the crying jag, something lost and something found. Her speech was titled “Diamond in the Fluff.”

The third and final contestant was Dolly Reed from CCAT. She dressed the part and looked like a mountain farm girl as she told the story of her own brand of culture shock when, as a pre-teen, her family moved from the suburbs of Ohio to the wilds of West Virginia. Many comparisons were made between the different worlds and I think we all loved the story of their pet pig named Pork Chop. She left us with the wisdom to “never fall in love with your bacon.” Dolly's speech title was "Country Ways."

For the Humorous Contest the  results were…..

(Drumroll please)

First place goes to  - Maria Johnson!
Second place to Andrew Watt!
Third place to Dolly Reed!

The evening's winners -
Maria Johnson (Middlesex County Club - Humor) and Rob Dalo (Cromwell Community Club - Evaluation)

Pictured from left to right, Tom Lore, Area Contest Chief Judge; Dolly Reed, CCAT Club; Maria Johnson, Middlesex County Club; Area Contest Master Ray Johnson; Rob Dalo, Cromwell Community Club; Murali Pemmaraju, Middlesex County Club; Andrew Watt, Cromwell Community Club (on the floor)

Pictured from left to right, Dolly Reed, CCAT Club; Tom Lore, Area Contest Chief Judge; Gaia Dong, Test Speaker;  Maria Johnson, Middlesex County Club; Nathan Jaycox, Area 32 Governor; Rob Dalo, Cromwell Community Club; Andrew Watt, Cromwell Community Club; Murali Pemmaraju, Middlesex County Club.

Big congratulations to all those who put themselves out there for these contests. And heartfelt thanks to those who facilitated – Ray Johnson as Emcee, Tom Lore as Chief Judge for the evening, Gaia Dong as Test Speaker and Nathan Jaycox, Area 32 Governor.

 Out of 19 total persons present, I’m thrilled to report that 7 of those were from our wonderful Club #5908 – Cromwell Community. I thank you all for making us so well represented and hope you will do so again next week to support our member Rob Dalo as he (hopefully) wins the next level of the contest with as much aplomb as he won this one.

Let’s see if we can show our spirit and our support next Wednesday the 16th for the Division level Contest – Division C.

Hope to see you there!
(107 Seldon St. Berlin, CT. 6:30p)

 ~~~~~~~ Hollie Rose

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