From Jill Segal, Division B Governor
The excitement prior to Saturday afternoon’s Division B contests at Freemasons’ Hall ran high. Our expectations were met with excellent contestants for both the International Speech and Evaluation contests. There was an extensive morning warm up with two comedians from The Comedy School. They gave two hour long workshops based on the idea that ‘if they’re laughing they’re listening and if they’re listening, they’re learning’. The Director of the Comedy School, Keith Palmer, focussed on taking charge of an audience and leading with humour. Luke Sorba focussed on improv and welcoming the unexpected. There was a lot of laughter during the morning, setting the warm and convivial mood for the afternoon.
International Speech Contest
First place: Nkem Anagor (Grosvenor Square Speakers, Area 52 Champion). Her speech was powerful and inspiring.
Second place: Floyd Toussaint-Kaye (The Toast Rack, Area 29 Champion). His club is the newly-chartered corporate club at Rackspace. It was a fantastic achievement for a new speaker to advance so far.
Third place: Errol Williamson (Excalibur Speakers, Area 45 Champion) with his warm and thought-provoking speech illustrating and advocating the benefits of patience.
On 9 May Nkem will be hotly contesting for her place. If she wins she goes forward to a world semi-final on a Las Vegas stage at the International Convention in August! Message from Division B: ‘Go for it Nkem’!
The closely guarded secret of the day was Mystery Speaker Sue Fish. Her speech presented a challenge to the contestants.
First place: Simon Simpson (Phoenix Speakers and Area 6 Champion)
Second place: Mindy Jhittay (Early Bird Speakers and Area 45 Champion)
Third place: Pedro Casillas (Grosvenor Square Speakers, Area 52)
We wish Simon every success in the District 91 final on 10 May.
Thank you to Contest Chairs Neil Coleman and Cat Kipling. Both moved us through the afternoon with warmth and slickness. Thank you to Chief Judge Jakub Pawlowski who worked with our dedicated panel of judges, ballot counters, timers and Sergeant-at-Arms. A further big thank you goes to George Chiesa and Kevin Doogan who handled all the technical aspects of PA and AV.
Congratulations to all the contestants and good luck to the winners at the Spring Conference contests. To support them on 9 and 10 May 2015 go to http://www.spring-conference.org/2015Tower and book your place as a delegate.