Eastern Division Conference Summary – Feb 2016

Author: Anonymous

Posted: 29 Feb 16, 03:06

Hi all,

As the new VP PR, I just thought I would give you a run down on the day’s events from Sunday 28th Feb.

The day started early (for a Sunday) at 9.45am. The venue was the Seventh Day Adventist Church at Mansfield. As far as speaking venues goes, it was quite good. I have spoken in halls that were all wood and you get a huge echo effect. Not in this case.

So, onto the comps. The division is a collection of 6 areas. Hence, we had 6 people in each comp.

The day started with Table Topics with the topic – “My Role Model”. The scope for this was huge. Some people talked about how role models changed as you progressed through life, some people talked about their childhood soccer coaches, some cited Nelson Mandela. Ultimately, the winner was someone who went for the big laughs stating that his role model was someone that espoused mediocrity. A bit of a surprise, but that’s what you get sometimes. Not my pick.

Onto the BIG EVENT. The International comp! This is the one that everyone wants. Speech topics ranged from learn to suffer over to escaping Afghanistan. A real mixture. I felt that sometimes the messages were a little unclear (think structure).

Kayt Duncan gave a brilliant performance as always and I for one thought she deserved to win. The ultimate winner was a gentleman who came onto the stage in a power assisted wheelchair and told us his story about growing up with muscular dystrophy and how he was working to help others overcome their inner demons. Was it good – yes, was it great – in my opinion – no. Were the audience super impressed that a person with a great personal disability could get up and tell his story – absolutely. Should that be an element of the marking criteria – no. But that’s the nature of subjective judging.


After lunch, we had the Evaluation contest. The test speaker was someone who talked about the art of breathing. All contestants provided their feedback after 5 minutes of preparation. Again, another interesting result, although a little closer. The key to an evaluation is providing meaningful and constructive feedback for improvement. I felt that all of the contestants were a little light in this area and tended to concentrate on praising more than suggesting room for improvement.

And for the final contest, we had the Humorous comp. I was privileged to represent Southbank and did my best. There were some interesting speeches on the day. Of course, the foibles of camping from myself over to “Con The Fruit Man” and then the danger of bees. I was pleased to have placed, but more importantly, I had my own personal goals on the day, which I achieved. Did I agree with the results – no (AND YES, I AM AWARE OF THE BIAS), however, this is just my opinion.

What was awesome to see was the huge range of people, messages and styles on show for the day.

Comps –I know Kayt and I love them – if you want to challenge yourself and improve – HAVE A GO!


Tony H

Source: EasySpeak


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