Competition Time

Monday 25 February was the equivalent of FA Cup 3rd Round day for Eldergate members: the chance to set out on the long road to Wembley, or in our case, the final of the International Speech Contest at the Toastmasters International Convention in Cincinnati in August 2013.

The event was chaired by Dave Minzey and the judges led by Rose Marie Calder from Vale Speakers Club. An audience of 25 Toastmasters and guests filled our normal venue at the National Badminton Centre and created a real buzz for the competitors.

The speech contest was a head-to-head between Emmet Cassidy and Ian Haynes. Emmet, with his speech ‘Know Your Risk’, rose to the challenge of competing just months after returning from university; but it was Ian who ran out the winner on points with his speech ‘Absent Friends‘.

Emmet (l) and Ian (r) with contest chair Dave Minzey

The evening also included the first round of the national Speech Evaluation competition. The guest speaker was David Marks from the bilingual Russian-English Speakers Club in London. Fortunately for the contestants, David delivered his speech, ‘The Feelgood Factor‘, in English! Jenny Chalmers, Trisha Page and Martin Pebody took turns to evaluate David’s performance. It was Trisha who emerged as winner, with Jenny as runner-up.

David Marks (l) with Trisha, Martin and Jenny

Ian and Trisha now go forward to the Area Contests on the morning of Saturday 16 March when they will compete against the winners of the contests held by the Bedford, Cornerstone, Cranfield and North Bucks Clubs. They will have the benefit of home advantage as the Area Contests are also being held at the NBC, this time in the much larger All England Room. The winners will go through to the Divisional Contests in April. Why not go along and help generate a great atmosphere for all the contestants? Kick off is 9:15 for 10:00 am and the contest will be all over by lunchtime.

Volunteers are also needed to help run the Area Contest. If you can help, please contact our Area Governor, Sue Savage. Phone Sue on 07932 380 044 or email her at


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