In beautiful Vancouver, Canada, it was the morning of August 24th, 2017–the day I would give the biggest speech presentation of my life. I had prepared for months and the day had finally arrived.
I felt overwhelmed and incredibly excited!
Advancing to the Semifinals my first year of competing in the International contest was surreal to me. I just wanted to walk off that stage knowing that I did my absolute best and inspired the audience with my story.
Everything that I had heard about the Semifinals’ contestants was true. Everyone was incredibly supportive and friendly. Looking out into the crowd, I felt so thankful to have my whole family and some of the district leaders there supporting me.
Standing on that stage and presenting a speech that was so close to my heart made all those months of preparation and stress worth it! I had a platform to do what I love.
I pulled number two for my speaking order, so I was able to enjoy a front row seat to watch many incredible performances in the round.
Before I knew it, it was time to announce the winners and I was pleasantly surprised to hear my name called for Third Place! I had several people mention to me after the contest that they were incredibly moved by my speech and could personally relate to some of the some struggles I talked about. I felt so proud to represent District 25.
The following night I had the privilege to attend the World Championships and watch ten fantastic presentations with my brother and the D25 leaders.
I left the convention thankful for the experience and ready to challenge myself to one day make it to the Finals stage.
If you have ever wondered if you should join a Toastmasters competition during your first year, my recommendation is “just go for it!” The hard work pays off, the contestants become great friends, and the memories will last a lifetime!
by Hannah Seals