Archive for the ‘Contest’ Category
Last Friday Dec. 4, 2015 I attended District 20, Division J – Debate contest. Around 21 Clubs participated competed and enjoyed. Like every event, this event reflected semblance of tranquility as if event organization was a cake walk. But like any other event it had its ups and down but dexterity of organizer did not show the dark shadows of hardships.
Every event has five Pillars i.e
- Execution and
PLANNING: This Pillar is the foundation of an event that constitutes conceptualizing the event framework. Such as
- What is the event
- who will participate
- where will it be held
- when will it be held
- Defining Roles and responsibilities
- Defining time lines
- Who is the executive team members and back up team members
- Expenses and where to get funds
- Check the legal implication of conducting the event including emergency drill.
- Risk mitigation and backup plan. ( What if Judges drop out, a team drops out, out of the box protest, internal friction and disagreements and so on – Nominate someone who can address risks)
Rather Planning is thinking and putting the plan on paper for litmus test. If planning is right the subsequent steps becomes easier to perform. And if planning has gaps it could result in sinking boat or last minute runs that eventually shoots up your stress level. Hence spend 2 – 4 days on planning and run it through the key stake holder.
TEAMWORK: This is the second Pillar, when you bring together the team heads.
- Give your executive team the overview and share your vision
- Define roles and responsibilities
- Define time lines
- Give them a free hand to organize their team members and achieve results
- Request for their feedback on planning and how it can be executed better in a more efficient manner.
- Invite fresh and young blood into the team to add variety and spice.
- Having said that meet with them periodically to review the progress
- Teamwork is an opportunity for a leader to test out his leadership skills through effective delegation. Rather once planning is done, subsequent activity of a leader should be to give free rein to the team members and to track periodic progress on periodicity.
ORGANIZATION: This involves getting the ball rolling.
- Set up a communication systems among your team members
- Set up a communication system for audience and performers
- Get the team heads and team members under one roof and address them
- Organize and invite participation from audience, performers and executive team.
- Sharing events details
- Creating event awareness
- Organize permissions where required.
- This block ensure that you are equipped to deliver the plan on the event day
EXECUTION: This is WHERE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD. Execution is about ensuring things happen on time and as per your planned expectations. And if you deliver within time and exceed expectations; you create a wow factor. Be positive
FEEDBACK: Request feedback during the event and after the event from audience, participants and executive team members. The objective is to see what could have been done better, efficient and at less cost/resource.
Good luck for your next event.
Contest season is in full swing. And every contest requires three types of Tribes – Contestants, Judges and Audience wherein every tribe has a specific role play. Now I have been judging and Chief Judging contests and would like to share bits and pieces on Chief Judging as follows
- Request the organizer if they expect any special deliverable from the Chief Judge. And if not define your deliverable – winners list of 3 or more. Agree and clarify on Target speaker, Table Topics, Judges, Tally counters and Timers – who, when, what and how?
- Advise Division Governor to ensure that none of the Division Contestants contest from more than one area in the same contest.
- For Table Topics or Evaluation ensure clip mike does not move out of the contest hall.
- Ensure that Table Topic and Evaluation contestants are moved out in an isolated room minus their cell phones.
- If Table topic or Evaluation contestant wants to visit wash room ensure they do it before the Table Topic is announced or first evaluator begins speaking.
- Ensure that SAA (for clip mike) does not engage in conversation with Table Topic speaker other than clip mike fixing/testing.
- Ensure that Target speaker for evaluation contest is from outside the contestants club, Area or Division.
- For Evaluation Contest sign the blank sheet and give it to contestant to craft their evaluation.
The above are simple steps and common wisdom that sometime miss our attention. Hence take care to avoid protests. Good luck and happy contesting.
Medical science says that human body produces 4 types of happy hormones/neurotransmitters. And when our body is under producing or not producing those hormones; medical practitioners prescribe external drugs to supplements those happy hormones. They are
- ENDORPHINS: These are strain, pain and fear masking hormones or neuro-transmitters. When a marathon runner is competing Endorphins masks the pain creating a high to complete the run. That’s why runners feel the pain next day or after some hours of completing the run.
- DOPAMINE: Dopamine controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move towards them. Such as when we complete the marathon.
- SEROTONIN: You feel the surge of Serotonin when you receive applause for your achievements. The good thing is that the receiver and provider both feel the surge of Serotonin when applause takes place. Serotonin is a mood enhancing neurotransmitter/hormone.
- OXYTOCIN: This hormone/neurotransmitter is responsible for creating bond between friends, family and loved ones. You feel surge of Oxytocin when you are among the loved one.
Toastmasters Club Contests are an absorbing activity for every Club Excom. They are a necessary evil that must be organized to encourage competition, take the speakers to the next level and perhaps give them a jump start. In other words contest is paramount in Toastmasters program; they are a shortcut to faster and bigger improvements.
If contests are paramount why there are no identified structured training programs for Excom, to conduct contests? Rather the contests are organized with little experience gathered from past experiences. Organizing club contest attracts challenges of different colors such as
- Finding Contestants.
- Contestants training and awareness.
- Judges: Finding judges; qualified and numbers.
- Role players: Trained role players.
- Resources: Venue, Documentation; Trophies; Certificates and Awards
Having said that I believe that any contest phobia can be overcome by “five “activities and they are
- Planning: No sooner Excom is installed; the team should meet to decide on the most important date i.e contest dates and make an announcement to the club members and Area Governor. Then identify various activities for the contest.
- Timeline: Set timeline to complete identified activities.
- Delegation: Delegate identified activities such as TM1 for getting role plays ; TM2 for getting Judges; TM3 getting the resources; TM for getting contestants; TM4 for organizing the venue and others.
- Collaboration: Get Excom of “3” clubs involved and enter into an exchange program for Judges and role plays.
- Feedback: Set a feedback mechanism; monthly to start with and thereafter weekly, 60 days closer to the contest.
Once you complete Planning, Timeline; Delegation and Collaboration within first 15 days of the new term; half the battle is won. Now you can focus your attention on ensuring that you have a District Champion speaker.
Sharjah Toastmasters Humorous speech club contest was held on Dec. 21, 2011. The contest reflected energy ,passion and the desire to stretch and strut.
- The participation in the humours contest was 100% more than the standard club meetings. Why ? I cannot comprehend the reason, still looking for the motivation.
- There were 9 humorous contestants and many to applaud their endeavors.
- The contest participation was overwhelming and contestants flexed their humour muscle stepping out of their comfort zone.
- The deliveries had creative topics and am sharing the “9” titles.
ii) Tom and Jerry
iii) Seek leave, Sick leave
iv) How and why TM came into my life
v) Mr Perplex
vi) Happily Married
vii) Living with Time Bomb
viii) End of the beginning
ix) Health & Time
My salute & hearty congratulations to the first time participants.
Enjoy watching contestants sail through.
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Enjoy watching the part two of the laughter contest at division – B – may 7, 2011
Division – B contest was held at Emirates Aviation college auditorium on May 7, 2011.
Watch the PhD in Laughter in action.
An inspiring theme and a successful Division – J 2010 – 2011 contest finale was held on April 7, 2011 at the Knowledge Village. The contest was hotly contested in the presence of eager and supporting audience.
The event was sprinkled with motivational speech, music and lofty boundaries by the contestants and witty observations by the conductors extending a fitting finale to the event.
Watch the winners being felicitated
Every Toastmasters contest is a book in itself and so was Area 8 contest held on March 18, 2011 at Preston University. Few lessons I learned
- Murphy’s law – “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” But don’t let setbacks, set you back.
- Extra Mile: It always pays to go an extra mile. Especially when your guest is at the other end. Preston University students your hospitality is commendable, Tea and snacks on seats!
- Failure: Failure is the best teacher and the earlier you fail the faster you succeed.
- Stick to the rules: All is fair in Toastmasters so long you adhere to the rules.
- Kudos: A brilliant Area 8 contest and kudos to the TEAM and the leader Jayesh Ved.