Grow Your Speaking Skills with Tall Tales Contest

Tall Tales Competition Morningstars September 20This Fall, Morningstars Toastmasters club will be holding a Tall Tall and Table Topics competition at Harmony Hall at 7 am on September 20, 2017, as part of the fall contests for Toastmasters.

Tall tales? What’s a tall tale contest? Why do we have them?

Glad you asked!

The Tall Tales contest was developed to help Toastmasters with one of the most important aspects of public speaking: storytelling.

Storytelling helps the speaker connect with the audience. By focusing on what makes a great story, how to enhance your story and ways to deliver a compelling story,  the contest helps competitors take their public speaking skills to a new level.

In short, the contest is a way for you to further presentation and speech development skills by creating a speech with exaggerated details.

While the story development is important, it is the delivery that makes up the majority of the judging points (55%). This includes vocal variety, body gestures, pausing and facial expressions.

A couple of rules and regulations you should know before entering the Tall Tales competition this fall:

  • 3 – 5 minutes in length (disqualification occurs at less than 2:30 or over 5:30)
  • Content is selected and written by the participant
  • Subject must contain exaggerated elements, hyperbole
  • Speech must have a theme or plot (no one liners or monologue)

For complete details on the contest, please consult the 2017 – 2018 Rulebook by clicking here. 

Interested in participating in the Tall Tale Contest on Sept. 20? Let our VP of Education (Neil B.) know. Want to chair the contest? Also, let Neil B. know about your interest!

Theme, Tone and Inspiration: Made Alive

Made Alive was the theme.

Laughter and fun was the tone.

Growing and risking was the inspiration. Thanks, Larry.

Our last minute chair, Sandy, didn’t look at all unprepared as she stepped in to replace the designated chair who was  called away at the last minute. She handled last minute changes in the agenda with humour and grace and carried on like a pro.

Sheila did a repeat of her Tall Tale in preparation for the Division contest this Sat. Well done, Sheila.

Frank, who recently became a Distinguished Toastmaster, began the whole cycle over again by doing his Icebreaker speech, the very first speech that all of us give when we join.

Three of our guests from last week returned and are taking the plunge into the world of Toastmasters. Welcome to the fun, Jolanda, Loretta and Judy Lynn.

Our General Evaluator, PJ, stepped back and observed the overall meeting with a ‘soft focus’ and gave us a really unusual and insightful perspective, including thoughts on the significance of the club banners and how people shake hands when coming to the lectern.

So many of the things we do in a meeting are only noticeable when they don’t happen. Otherwise, it’s just a beautiful flow of passing the ‘authority’ to each individual as they stand or come to the front for their speech or role. That is such an essential part of Toastmasters. Great observations PJ.

For anyone wanting some more inspiration for ‘growing and risking’, here are some quick videos from former World Champion, Darren La Croix.

1) Storytelling: What is an “inciting incident” and why do speakers need one? (3:55 min)

2) What is the difference between gestures and body language? (3:36 min)

Dogs With Jobs — Whatever Next?

Today’s post written by PJ Reece

Congratulations to Sheila Cameron and Sandy Wrightman for winning this morning’s contests—Tall Tales and Table Topics respectively.

Here are two Morningstars members at vastly different stages in their development as speakers — Sandy an accomplished DTM and Sheila with just three CC speeches to her credit. From where I sat—first row—both of them took giant steps forward this morning.

Sandy Wrightman owned the stage with her response to the Table Topic question: “How has living on the Sunshine Coast influenced your sense of identity?” Sandy proved just how important a role is played by enthusiasm, presence, and crisp declarative sentences.

dogSheila crafted (for my money) the perfect Tall Tale about her husband’s dog. It started off mundane (what’s more mundane than a dog?), then established that the dog was bright, and before we knew it the dog was earning a living behind the wheel to pay off its debts.

I’m proud of Sheila! Not least because I’m her mentor. Unfortunately I couldn’t assist her with this competition because I, too, competed. Next time, I’m seeking her help. Seriously, her Tall Tale was a model performance. (We would be wise to film it for future reference…Club Secretary, please make note of that.)

Thanks to everyone who showed up. And thanks to those who got involved as judges, timers, and counters, and especially our Contest Chair, Johanna Rzepa.

Sometimes, at the club level, all the contest paperwork and process seems like overkill. But I keep reminding myself that at Toastmasters we’re always training for leadership roles in the wider community. And what a great environment is Morningstars in which to practice, practice, practice.

Speaking of which, next week it’s back to our regular meeting. The theme is “The Root of the Problem.”

Hmm… seems no one has yet signed on as Toastmaster. Trust me, chairing a meeting is easier than coming up with a winning Tall Tale!

Maybe Sheila’s dog would like to step up and give it a try.



The Area Contest on the 4th has been cancelled.

Open House Breakfast Meeting Oct 8, 7 am.
Guests are most welcome and bring a friend.
The Table Topics Contest will also be held at this meeting.