By Sonja Anderson, Past Lachlan Division Director

A contest is a competition to find the best, a winner in what we are competing for, perhaps a reign for supremacy, there are many things we can and could compete for, and all that is needed is the desire to want to.

With Toastmasters it is within the public speaking arena 4 different categories, humorous speech, impromptu speech, evaluation and the much prized international speech... WOW something for everyone?

Why should we enter is the question...when it is often a struggle to determine who is the best, it is also a struggle within yourself to put yourself out there for judgement.

The question, will I, won’t I, what will I talk about, will they like me, will they like what I have to say?

How do I go about it, who is my role model and many more questions you will ask yourself?

The answer may be I can’t do this, it is all too scary.

Let us stop there...and start again.

The question is what do I want, what do I need and how am I going to achieve to satisfy those needs.

Yes... I should enter the contest.

Why? Why not?

-I do have something to offer, I do have something to say, this decision in itself is a positive gain, your message and purpose will be received by many listeners.

-My personal growth has soared by the ability to share with members I have not or have never spoken in front of before.

-The need to be my best and try a little harder, putting me out of my comfort zone can only ultimately boost my ego and confidence.

-The need to put myself out from within my inner circle and discover...what is in it for me outside what am used to and comfortable surroundings of the inner nest...OH THE EXCITEMENT...the adrenalin is soaring to unexplainable heights already... and that is only with the thought and not the action.

-Although I want to win the contest as it is a competition I HAVE ALREADY WON, the moment I decide to enter, my competition will be against myself firstly, to do better than I have ever done before...I am now already a winner. AND I am going to win.

The test run I am ready.

-here I go the speech has been written and rehearsed in front of the mirror... I like what I see.

-The intro...GOOD- salutation in order- the body....OH WHAT A BODY...the conclusion GREAT FINISHES WITH A BANG........Oh what a feeling.


-Flight or fight...what do I do.

-Here I am in front of my club with my No. 1 practice... and I am stuck to the one spot staring profusely at my peers in MY club...sweat running down my face, the urge to run to the bathroom is strong...BUT I can’t move. Flight or fight.

-Why, flight or fight...I am brave, I am invincible, I can do this...pretend I am looking in the mirror.

-Visualize the positive outcome...even winning...YES, YES, Yes I can do this.

-Breathe, 1, 2,3,4,5,6,7,8.9 and 10 slowly, slowly.

-OOPS, out pops the 1st word Ladies and gentle people I am here today...that is not what I wanted to say, HOWEVER I AM A TOASTMASTER, WE SOLDIER ON, WE IMPROVISE (nobody will notice the difference)...I AM BRAVE, I AM CONFIDENT, I AM WHAT I AM...AND I LIKE IT.


-The body of my speech WOW What a BODY, with a purpose at that.

-The CONCLUSION, fireworks with a double banger...YES, YES, YES......I have done it, I have achieved.


My partner is not happy she is scoring a black eye and a torn nightshirt, the flight or fight turned into cavorting around the bedroom in a dazed state with my practice being one hell of a nightmare. Thank goodness I awoke before there was further damage, my head is now clear (BUT SORE).

Today is the day of the Lachlan Division Contest and yes I am competing and yes I have already won, I AM THE BEST I HAVE EVER BEEN.


In TOASTMASTERS we just do it and I would advise all...TO GIVE it a GO and experience all the above.

YOU can do it; you are in a safe environment LOL.......

Good luck to all fellow competitors just gives it your best you are all appreciated.