Friday, May 09, 2008

Battle of the Border 2 ... Fun for all !

Last night at the Ridgefield (CT) Library's Dayton Room, we saw 5 contestants from Div. A and Div. D in District 53 compete against District 46's representative (from their Div. G)... and everyone in attendence was a "winner" !

The second Battle of the Border featured both Tall Tales and International speech competitors going "head-to-head" or "toe-to-toe" (depending on how they were standing at the time) to capture the coveted (?) Battle-of-the-Border Trophy !

Contestants included (in picture to the right)...
(l-r) Marv Cross, Lisa Edwards, Walter Beveridge, Cassandra DeLaMothe, Carmine Coco De Young, and Bill Miranda.
This year's event was a chance for Division winners (and some runner-ups) to practice their contest speeches in a "simulated district contest environment".
The room featured a lighted and raised stage along with a wireless microphone similar to what the contestants might see at the District contest. (D53's conference is Sat. May 17th at the Delaney House in Holyoke, MA... sign up now!).
The experience was made even more challenging by introductions that were close to "contest format"... but different enough to perhaps throw the contestants off a little (?). (Actually, they handled it pretty well.)

We also had just one wireless microphone which made for some quick changes between speakers... but it also gave the contestants a feel for speaking in a larger room wearing a microphone.

One final challenge included a squeeky stage. It did not seem to distract the contestants ... but it did bother the emcee a little bit. (Good thing he is not competing in the District contests this year.)

The audience was not left out either since everyone was give a pad of post-its to take notes and after all the speeches, everyone in attendence voted for the "Best Speech" of the night !

When the votes were tallied, the winners were (pictured here, l-r)... 3rd place Walter Beveridge, 2nd place Cassandra DeLaMothe and 1st place Carmine Coco De Young (holding the Battle-of-the-Border trophy/glove).
While the votes were being counted... the audience also participated in the "evaluation" or "feedback/interview" portion of the event ... along with our panel of "American Idol-esque Judges", Anne Swartout and Croix Sather of the host club, DiversityUSA Advanced Toastmasters Club. All contestants got ideas that they can use to improve their speech at the next level or in future speeches.
It was a FUN night for all that attended ... we wish you could have been there !
Maybe next year !

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