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Toastmasters face off in Cranbrook

The Toastmasters Division C Evaluation and International Speech contest is being held Saturday, April 12, at the College of the Rockies. - Submitted
The Toastmasters Division C Evaluation and International Speech contest is being held Saturday, April 12, at the College of the Rockies.
— image credit: Submitted

The best public speakers in southeastern B.C. and the Okanagan will be on hand this weekend in Cranbrook.

The Toastmasters Division C Evaluation and International Speech contest is being held Saturday, April 12, at the College of the Rockies. The Cranbrook Phoenix Toastmasters and Cranbrook First Toastmasters are hosting the event.

Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills.

Roberta Rodgers, Chair of the co-host committee, explains that clubs make up an area, areas make up a division, divisions a district, and districts a region.

Division C covers the area from Kamloops down through the East Kootenay. Representatives of four areas in Division C will be attending. Each area can send two contestants, but some areas are sending speakers who are competeting in both the Evaluation and International Speech categories.

"The speakers select their own topics," Rodgers said. "They'll do a five to seven minute speech on that topic. Generally for the international speech contest the speech is inspirational — there may be some humour involved too. If the speaker goes on to a larger stage, an international stage, that speech is one that has a universal message that touches everyone."

The evaluation contest is a separate category. A Toastmasters Speech Evaluation Contest is where there is a test speaker who gives a speech, and those entered in the contest all do an evaluation based on that speech.

"Everything in Toastmasters is evaluated," Rodgers said. "That's the way the people progress in Toastmasters. Evaluations are done constructively, and evaluation contest is the opportunity for an individual to prove their evaluation skills.

Seven judges will be on hand for the event. One of the district's officers — Darryl Frolek — will serve as chief judge.

There will be one winner in the evaluation contest and one in the International Speech contest. Those winners will move forward, in May, to the District 21 conference and contest, which will be in Kelowna. The winner of the District contest goes to the regional contest and from there, if they win, they go on to represent the Region at the International competition in Kuala Lumpur.

The public is invited to attend the event, which will take place Saturday, April 12, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the College of the Rockies Lecture Theatre (Room 250).

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