By Jordan S
Excitement buzzed around the room as Ascot Speakers hosted their first Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest.
Before the meeting began Jacqui H, the club’s President, briefed the Speakers and declared the speech order. Guest and friend of the club, Christina M, briefed all the Judges explaining how to fill out the forms.
The meeting began like every other meeting with Sergeant-At-Arms Ann M’s very friendly face welcoming everyone to the meeting and introducing our President: Jacqui. Jacqui was also our Contest Chair; she explained how the contest would work and that the speakers had ‘drawn straws’ for their places.
Humorous Speech Contest
The contest began with humorous speeches. First up was James H with his speech entitled ‘The Reluctant Wedding Planner’. His humorous speech told the story how he and his newlywed wife arranged their wedding. His wife asked him to arrange some things but she kept throwing curve balls at him which made his job more difficult. One of these curve balls was to have a friend of their child’s play the guitar at their wedding; James wasn’t sure how comfortable he was with that. However, none of that mattered because the important thing was that they tied the knot and are now happily married.
The second to speak was Nikita P. Her speech was about ‘Bravado’. This humorous speech touched on something we could all relate to: being competitive when it comes to eating spicy foods. She told a story of a group of friends that went out and ordered hot curries. The person who ate the hottest curry sat quietly and ate it without a fuss. However, the person that believed they had ordered the spiciest one needed to drink all the water and was gasping for air. Apparently there’s an art to eating a hot curry; the crux of story was that the next day the person who had chosen the not-as-spicy curry couldn’t come into work because of the pain they were in.
The next person to perform their humorous speech was Nour S. Nour’s speech was “Around the world in 6 mins-ish!!”. Nour’s speech was brilliantly clever because it entwined humour and culture. She spoke of the different countries around the world and how they talk. Nour associated the British people with the letter ‘t’ and not only do they typically like ‘tea’ but they don’t always pronounce words properly and sometimes drop the letter. She associated Russians with the letter ‘y’ saying how they add ‘y’s’ in every word. However, it is the Italians that have the best accent; Nour she would just love to marry anyone with that accent!
Our fourth speaker to humour us was Ann M with her speech: “The Joy of Spa”. Ann recounted a time when she and two school friends visited a spa as part of some rest and relaxation. The story escalated when they entered the sauna and there were a couple of naked people in there. Trying to avert her eyes and make pleasant small talk, Ann’s uninhibited friend made the situation more comical with the nature of what she started to talk about.
The final speaker was Hira S with her speech: “Study done, job done. What’s next?” She recounted her story of growing up in an Indian family where studying the right thing to get the right job was very important to her parents. Hira made her speech humorous when talking about studying at school and having to keep focussed in order to get a good job. When she met a gentleman, who is now her husband, her parents shared some concerns with her that he was ‘too dark’ and that if they had any children they might be too dark as well.
Table Topics Contest
In order to make a Table Topics contest fair, each contestant is given the same question. Nour S acted as Sergeant-at-Arms; she took all the speakers out so they couldn’t hear the question beforehand or anyone else’s topic speech.
After each contestant was brought back it, Jacqui H read the topic twice. The contestant was then invited to the stage to deliver their Table Topic.
The question was: ‘If you could have breakfast with anyone; who would it be and what would you cook them?’
Nikita P, James H, Emilio S and Ann M all took part and answered the question very differently.
Judging and Entertainment
The judging slips were handed to Chief Judge and Counter, Christina M and Kasia C. They vacated the room whilst the rest of us were left in the hands of Jacqui who had a group activity to pass the time during the counting and writing of certificates.
The aim of the game was that everyone had to speak for 20 seconds and add to the storyline. Jacqui started with a Halloween theme and the story progressed from Harry Potter, to dark graveyards and crawling hands. Just as the last person spoke, the Counters and Chief Judge entered the room.
Awards and Closing
Everyone who participated was awarded an official Toastmasters contest certificate.
Results of the Humorous Speech Contest:
- Ann M [winner]
- Hira S
- Nour S
Results of the Table Topic Contest:
- Ann M [winner]
- James H
The next meeting will take place on 12 October 2016 .
We look forward to seeing you then.