by Kelley Kukreja, VC2 Contest Coordinator
The virtual contest season started off in roaring fashion in February. While we had to take a pause for the winter storm in the middle of February, we got back in the swing of things the following week. I know most of us miss the in-person contests, but the ability to attend quality contests in the comfort of our homes has helped make social-distancing a little more bearable; at least for me.
Holding contests virtually is no easy task but D25 is up for the challenge! We have been able to help develop additional skills around Zoom that will be beneficial for most of us, both within Toastmasters and outside. Additionally, our Contest Toastmasters have become adept at interviewing contestants and filling time while awaiting contest results through lively Table Topics questions and participation.
I have had the pleasure of serving as the District Contest Coordinator this year and attending the virtual contests has been the highlight of my year. Being able to witness the end product of the hard work that goes into planning a contest has been quite rewarding. I have observed Toastmasters excel in this new virtual environment. Contestants have done an amazing job adapting their speaking and stage presence to a bunch of faces on a screen, instead of people sitting in chairs in a room with them.
If you haven’t had an opportunity to attend one of the virtual contests, you still have time. Area contests will conclude the weekend of March 25. All 1st place winners from the Area Contests will compete in their respective Division Contests the weekends of April 16 and April 23. We will cap off our contest season with the D25 District contest during the Spring Conference. The contests will be recorded and judged in accordance with Toastmasters International rules virtually on May 8. During the Spring Conference we will hold a viewing party and announce the winners.