Competition is the father of invention

April 20th, 2008
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

With necessity being the mother of invention, his father indeed was competition.
Speaking of competitions, I happen to be in one for this Friday, April 25th, 2008!

Within toastmasters, I’ve recently been through a number of competitions. Starting at the club level where competition was fierce and then moving on to the area level with a similar stiff rivalry, only to be brought to triumph at the Division level against 5 other excellent and eloquent speakers of their kind. I battled at the Division level with the best of the SW Divisions clubs, only to see success shine through my eyes as I wowed not only the judges but the audience alike. And later this week it will come to its final battle for me at the District 30 (Northwest Chicagoland) to go up against the best of all of the Districts alike.

The subject I’ll be speaking upon? Is unknown to me. Only to be revealed to me in the seconds before I am to speak upon it.
This matter of extemporaneous speaking is called “Table Topics”, and it is an area in which I enjoy as I’m given the whole of a few seconds to prepare; worst case if I do not do well, the excuse commonly referenced is “I only had a few seconds to think about it”, however if I do indeed do well as I have in the past the reinforcement of my own training and educational I’ve invested in myself can be said “I only had a few seconds to think about it!” Yes, my downfall is also my uprising! All those years of having little time to prepare for something and having to act upon it certainly are doing their justice to pay off.

However, it is not all easy-street, as “Table Topics”, revered as one of the hardest things to do in Toastmasters (and often in life as others have told me) does take a fair bit of preparation; and is something I’m constantly tuning and honing to try to improve it to be even better.

I’ll further get to see how well my preparation has taken me when it comes down to the wire and I’m up against the best of the best in the Chicagoland this Friday at 7PM in Tinley Park, but I will do my best and bring out my best.

Reportedly, the challenges in this (for me in particular) should the subject be something I have no interest in, or very little knowledge I am doomed to mediocrity and will not be at my best; furthering the reasons why educating yourself in handling these types of situation is wholly beneficial and will help you infinitely down the road.

I encourage anyone to come on down and investigate this phenomenon of people talking on a subject they’re not aware of, seconds before hand with whatever level of mastery that can surmise; to discuss and relate no less than 60 seconds, and no more than 2 minutes and thirty.

The future is here, and my journey to the next (and last available in this competition) trophy is only days away!

Anyone interested in seeing me compete, or in this general Toastmasters event (Open to the public)
I encourage you to come on down to the Spring Conference!

It will be held at the Holiday Inn Select & Convention Center, Tinley Park, IL
The Table Topics contest will be Friday Night, (Apr 25th) at 7:00PM

You can find out more information at the District 30 Toastmasters site

SW Division 30 Statue

Posted in Baltimization, Informational, Toastmasters | Comments (2)

  • Jason says:

    Christopher, Very Cool News! I will be out of town that night (Scouts), but I know you will knock them dead!

    Speak on!


  • Good luck, Christopher!

    I agree that Table Topics is “one of the hardest things to do in Toastmasters.” Framing a coherent response is a challenge in itself, and then you realize that you need vocal variety, body language, structure, and possibly humor to win at the District level.

    I competed last year in the District 21 Table Topics contest, but my good fortune ran out at that level. The winner (out of 10 contestants) won the contest in the first 5 seconds of his response (in my opinion). He came out “blazing” with a very memorable and very topical gesture/sound-effect combination. (I spoke first, so I got to see the other 9 contestants.) He had separated himself so much from the other contestants in those first five seconds, I thought we would win the contest as long as the remainder of his response was “okay”. That was a good lesson. Be memorable.

    Reaching the district level in any contest is a great accomplishment, Christopher. Good luck on the 25th.

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