Thursday, May 1, 2008

San Diego Northern Division Contest

On 4/11/08 I competed in the District 5 (San Diego) Northern Division Contest. Here are some of my observations. 1. The venue selected was one of convience and not one that was in any manner conducive to the Art of Public Speaking. It was outdoors only 50 yards from a 6 lane highway where trucks, cars and emergency vehicles roared up and down the road constantly. 2. The speakers did not get the opportunity to eat due to the fact that the speakers briefing was held just as the food was brought out. The briefing was held a 1/2 hour late and only 15min before the first contest. 3. The intermission between the Evaluation contest and the International was over a 1/2 hour long due to the lack of planning. 4. Being a seasoned competitor and a long time diabetic I should have known better that to have not eaten since 2pm. The International started at approx 8 pm . 5. During my speech my blood sugar crashed, you can see in the video I made 3 errors I would normally not make. And I began to babble during my closing. In addition when I took a hold of the hand held mike my right hand began to quiver. This is normal for me due to my femural tremors, but the shaking was more pronounced due to my low blood sugar. I grabbed the mike with both hands in order to keep it steady. Many of the judges took points away from me because of this action. All the problems caused by my blood sugar were my own fault. A lesson I learned the hard way. 6. The venue and the judging left a lot to be desired. When picking a venue the person in charge needs to consider the impact on the audience and competitors. Judges need to put their prejudices aside and find a way to compare the speakers against the established judging criteria and understand that the contest is not a popularity contest but a skill contest where all the judges scoring criteria must be considered. And until they do D5 and D12 will never have anyone finish in the top 3 of the WCPS. A good example of this is currently being played out on American Idol. I started watching the show this year for 2 reasons. 1. To see what the competition is all about. 2. To see how the judges rate the performers and compare it to what the possible popular vote shows. There is one performer out of the 4 finalist whom is being kept on the show by popular vote, not talent. His range is limited but he's "cute". While more talented people are being voted off he remains. I predict that the only remaining female will go next (syesha). Just like Dancing with the Stars popularity is more important than talent. Lets hope that in the end real talent will prevail. American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Survivor, Toastmasters World Championship. It leads one to wonder did the "Real Champion" win or was it just the one with the most popular, cutsie or luck? Maybe in some instances a little of all 3. I'm Bob Freel and these are just my observations based on: "What I've Learned".