On Thursday, April 11th, 2019, the members of two Toastmasters Clubs in Saint Lucia – the NIC Toastmasters Club and The Public Service Toastmasters Club – battled it out during the Saint Lucia Territory International Speech Contest and Table Topics Contest, held at the Fisheries Department Conference Room in Pointe Seraphine, Castries.
In order to qualify for the Saint Lucia Territory Speech Contests, these contestants had to place first or second at their home club’s speech contests. Confident and triumphant over all other contestants for the International Speech Contest was Toastmaster Tris-Ann Richards representing her club – The NIC Toastmasters Club. Winning over the hearts and minds of the audience and clinching victory in the Table Topics Contest was Toastmaster LaToya Charles of the Public Service Toastmasters Club.
Toastmaster Tris-Ann Richards captivated the audience with her social commentary on modern education in her speech entitled “Educated Fools”.
Asked about her most valuable experience as a Toastmaster, Tris-Ann commented: “The most valuable thing that I’ve experienced being a Toastmaster is having a reliable support system, having a mentor, and really a Toastmaster family that is always there to support me, to give constructive criticism, and to also encourage and help me to become a better speaker and thinker.”
Toastmaster LaToya Charles was unstoppable in the Table Topics contest with her poignant response to the question: “How does morality contribute to one’s success?”
Asked about how she mentally prepared for the contest LaToya said, “By understanding who my competitors are. I’ve seen them speak before, so I kind of had an idea as to want angles they would have taken [and then] trying to develop a different angle within myself on the spot. Leading up to the competition, watching other Toastmasters around the world who won previous contests within their clubs [and] trying to pick up a few tips and a few ideas from them on how to deliver and not just deliver, but deliver on the spot (impromptu) and being able to think on your feet. Also, just thinking of various topics that could have come up and doing research on current topics in case they [Contest Chairs] chose to use a current topic. Overall, it helped to just go in with an open mind.”
The conquering women have qualified for the next level of competition where they will represent Saint Lucia at the District 81 International Speech Contest and Table Topics Contest held in Bonaire from May 17-18, 2019. The winner of the District 81 International Speech Contest will qualify as a contestant of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest held in Denver, Colorado in August 2019.
Area Director Jason Cassius was beaming with pride over the victories of both young ladies. Cassius considers the Toastmasters Speech Contest an empowering moment for the young aspiring leaders.
“Many of us have a deep fear of public speaking and this fear sometimes hinders us from success in our professional careers and personal lives,” he said. “Toastmasters provides a safe environment for self-paced and peer evaluated learning. Our time-tested educational programme is designed to encourage the growth and development of your communication and leadership skills. The annual speech contests allow our talented speakers to hone their skills of crafting a well written and orated speech. It also gives a huge boost of confidence to our contestants as well as setting a positive example for aspiring public speakers and leaders.”
Toastmasters Rodney Maxius of the NIC Toastmasters Club and Toastmaster MarvaFrancois of the Public Service Toastmasters Club served distinctly as Contest Co-Chairs. Toastmaster Debora Pamphile-McLean, of the NIC Toastmasters Club, managed the team of judges for both contests. Area Director Cassius would like to thank everyone including contest co-chairs, judges, ballot counters, timers, supporters, the audience and especially the contestants for making this competition a huge success. The two clubs on island also hosted an Open House at the Castries City Hall on Wednesday, April 24th, 2019.
Overall Results for St Lucia Inter-Club Speech Contests
International Speech Contest
1st Place – Toastmaster Tris-Ann Richards – NIC Toastmasters Club
2nd Place – Toastmaster Lynbert Remy – Public Service Toastmasters Club
Table Topics Contest
1st Place – Toastmaster LaToya Charles – Public Service Toastmasters Club
2nd Place – Toastmaster Natalie Jervis – NIC Toastmasters Club