The alarm goes at 5:30 am. John hits the alarm button and rolls out of bed. He has to get to Harmony Hall and have the coffee on, and the room set up. Today is the club level speech contest for the International Speech and Evaluation Contests.
6 am arrives. Across town, the speech contestants are also rolling out of bed. Do they have time to practise their speeches for the contest one more time? Did they have any questions pop into their heads, such as, “What was I thinking?” If they did, we’ll never know. Come contest time, they were THERE.
In other parts of the community, people were getting up ready to be judges, timers, counters, and evaluation contestants. Sharon, our Chair for the contest, was preparing for the first of two challenges for the day. (More later on her second challenge.)
Having converged on Harmony Hall by 7 am, everyone prepared for their particular role in the contest.
Themes emerged in the speeches such as:
- If we want people to listen to us we have to get to the point.
- Listening is showing others we appreciate them.
- If something goes wrong in life, dealing with it now is better than a kick in the pants later.
Wow, what meaningful and diverse topics. Cue applause.
After the speech portion of the contest, Ben delivered his test speech, intriguing everyone with his question, “If someone told you they saw a bear riding a bicycle in Gibsons, would you believe them?”
Our evaluation contest participants, all wide awake by now, delivered their evaluations of Ben’s speech.
Sharon announced the winners of the two contests. Prizes were awarded, and the meeting came to an end.
Oh wait, I forgot to mention the winners.
Congratulations to PJ and Cathie for the speech contest, and Sandy and Alicia for the evaluation contest. They will have the opportunity to do it all again in the Area Contest on April 4th, 2 pm at Harmony Hall.
Morningstars disperse to their various locations. But they will be reconvening later. We’re not done yet.
It’s now 4:30 in our red letter day.
Several members of Morningstars arrive at the Gibson’s Library to facilitate a Presentations Skills Workshop for the Chamber of Commerce.
The Morningstars team, with careful planning by able team leader Sheila, is ready. The room fills, the buzz quiets, and the workshop begins.
There are three parts to the presentation.
- Getting to the point, a revised version of PJ’s winning speech from the morning
- How to speak with presence so your audience will engage with your message, by Katherine.
- How to use effective visuals, by William.
Sharon stepped up to her second challenge of the day and chaired the event with her usual poise.
Kudos to Donna from the Chamber for making the whole thing happen, and to Larry, Loretta, Judy Lynne, and Ben for their assistance.
Questions are asked. Workshop ends. Crowd chats. Room slowly clears. Chairs restored to order.
Red letter day over. Is there another red letter day in Morningstars future?
Time will tell.
Cue final credits.