Friday, August 20, 2010

Toastmasters 2010 World Championship of Public Speaking.

CONNECTION,CONNECTION,CONNECTION EMOTION, EMOTION, EMOTION These are the words I would use to describle the winning speech "The Aviators" delivered by David Henderson of San Antonio Texas at Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking on August 14th 2010. But,I can see it now, next year there will be a paliphera of people using props to attempt make a connection with the audience. Please don't mis the point. Davids speech started off with him walking out to center stage wearing a leather flight jacket, leather helmet and goggles. Standing center stage he pulled the goggles down over his eyes and started flying around the stage making airplane sounds and machine gunning the audience. He then talked about how he as his brother Snoopy 2, never lost a battle with the Red Baron. He then talked about wearing his costume to a Holloween party at school thinking he was going to win the costume contest. He lost to a 7 year old girl also dressed as Snoopy. He went on to talk about becoming friends. She became ill with Cycle Cell and passed away when she was 14 years old. The premise of his speech was about why we should love people even if we know they are going to die. He drew his audience into the story. Made them feel the pain and left them with a gift of knowledge. By the time he walked off the stage every person in the audience knew he had won the contest, and it was only half over. The following day several people I talked to had different opinions about the costume, his tears and other aspects of his presentation. But the bottom line was that his costume was germaine to his presentation. His tears came from true emotion, and there was heartfelt sincerity in his voice. The prop (his costume) was an interagal part of his speech and it was only used during those parts where it was appropriate. It was the connection, not the prop that made the speech a winner. As Patricia Fripp says his speech was structurally organized, artifully crafted and masterfully delivered.