New Club Officers, 2024-2025 – Register for D57 TLI – June 22

Register for D57 TLI on June 22 for all new Club Officers Register HERE   Trainer List – Coming Soon includes agenda, Candidates information, Realignment, September 2023 Business Minutes New and Experienced Officers in your 2024-2025 Club Role: Learn New Perspectives and Strategies during the Training and as a group with fellow officers from across…

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2023-2024 D57 Blackout Dates

These are significant national, cultural, and religious holidays that a good percentage of our District 57 members observe with their families throughout the year. Make sure you guarantee that all members can attend and participate in any events you plan at the District, Division, Area, and Club levels. Since every event is important, every member…

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Interview With Doug Shannon, D57 Speech Contest Winner

Nancy Moscardini interviewed Doug Shannon, our 2021 D57 Speech Contest winner about his experience in the competition.
Doug Shannon
Member of Day Breakers in Santa Rosa
What inspired you to enter?
I competed last year, winning my area contest and, while it was nerve-wracking, it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed pushing myself to refine my script and be more expressive in my delivery. When the contests moved to ZOOM, I was disappointed. How could I squeeze everything into that little frame? I dropped out of the competition. But ZOOM turned out to be the only way to continue with Toastmasters, and over the next year, I became more comfortable with it. Its a whole different stage to play with. Entering this year promised to be more fun. 
 Can you describe your journey since you were announced as a semi finalist?                     End of fun. I had only one contest-ready speech, the one I’d won with. Should I, against all odds, win at the semi-finals, I would have nothing else for the finals. I bounced back and forth from one idea to another with no success. I was afraid I’d bitten off more than I could chew. Finally I got something together that I thought worked, recorded it, and shared it with Dave Blum, my coach. He flat out didn’t like it and told me why. I was so discouraged I had to put it down for a week or so before I revisited it. But he was right so I kept playing with it, and now I’m having fun again! 
What is your method of crafting a speech?
I like to start with a personal experience that felt transformative in some way. It’s tricky because it has to be an accessible experience, something everyone can relate to. Beyond that, I don’t have a method; this is all pretty new to me. 
What advice would you give anyone considering entering the contest? 
Listen to your evaluations. I’ve had so much great input from my fellow club members; each one has a unique insight. Win or lose, when you compete you will be showered with love and support, not just from your club, but the TM community at large.  
What are you doing now to prepare? 

Normal stuff. Rehearsing the speech I’ll give if I get to the finals.  

What have you learned about yourself by participating in the contest? 
That I, like whatever speech I’m working on, am a work-in-progress. Turning that work into play is how I define winning.
What are your plans after the contest?
To lay off speeches for a while!