By Christopher Tobutt
In an aim to promote enthusiasm towards great public speaking, presentation and leadership skills, the Toastmasters Club held a special Humorous Speech Contest, at the second floor of Woods Furniture store in George Town, on Thursday 24 September.
There were three members who had prepared their speeches namely Marius Sabian, Daniel Bissoondial, and Noel Wallace, each presenting a humourous speech that would be judged according to Toastmaster Club rules. The winners were to go on to compete in the Regional Caribbean Conference for the district contest, which will be held in Barbados during mid October.
“Toastmasters’ main objective is to teach people to overcome their anxiety of public speaking through a step-by-step approach that’s been developed over 85 years,” said Grand Cayman Toastmasters Club president Sharon Marcussen.
“We meet once a week every Thursday from 6-7pm. During this time we exercise our public speaking skills in a supportive environment…people learn how to overcome their fears to successfully communicate to an audience. We have a great support group because our club is a part of Toastmasters International.”
Club member Marius Sabian came in first, with a speech that soon had the audience in fits of laughter. It was called ‘All about my haircuts.’
Mr Sabian told the story of how difficult it had been to find a haircut that really suited him, ever since his grandfather told him to cut off his long curly hair, because he ‘looked like a girl.’”
He also observed that the only difference he could see here in Cayman between a ‘stylist’ and a ‘barber,’ “was the price.”
The next humorous speech of the evening came from Daniel Bissoondial. It was all about the funny things that happened to him when traveling. One of the funniest moments was when he described a stranger who just decided to share Daniel’s packet of cookies- but without asking him.
It turned out that they were really the stranger’s cookies- as Daniel had mistaken his packet for the other man’s.
Last came Noel Wallace with a very confident speech, entitled “strive for excellence and never give up.”
His speech consisted of a series of funny inspirational stories to illustrate his theme. Mr Wallace began by relating the tale of Michael, a childhood friend, who kept getting poor grades in mathematics, so much so that his father decided to take him out of his present school and send him to a convent school instead. Suddenly Michael’s end of term scores increased by leaps and bounds. Eventually, when asked why, Michael said. “ When I went to that new convent school and saw that picture of a man nailed to a cross, well, I knew I had to take math seriously.’
In the end, after the mandatory minute silence observed by toastmasters and guests alike, while the judges decided on the best speech. It was Noel Wallace who was announced the winner and was duly presented with the winner’s trophy.
“I feel honoured to be given the opportunity to compete at the Carribean District level, and also the opportunity to promote the Cayman club there,” Mr. Wallace said.