The TT Tournament: On-The-Spot.

Vashawn Burnett and Andrea Duncan at the OTS Table Topics (aka Impromptu Speaking) Tournament.

Having made it to the final round, Toastmaster(s) Vashawn and Andrea gave their impromptu responses to a surprising question in the Table Topics (TT) Tournament.

But who starts a story (or a blog for that matter 🤔) at the end??? Well, that may have been what tournament finalists Andrea Duncan and Vashawn Burnett must have been wondering when they were told that ALL they would be given to kickstart their final speech of the final round in the Table Topics tournament…were the last 5 words of their speech.

But since most stories don’t actually start at the conclusion, let me rewind this story right back to the beginning👈🏻 . Here we go!

Nudged by our visionary club President, Lis Nerahoo, the OTS group was encouraged to include a tournament or contest-type event as a final hurrah or close out to the project. Of course! A contest most certainly would be the next level up for our practicing impromptu speakers, who by now were no strangers to a racing heart. But as one OTS member recently reminded me…

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but in fact… is the triumph over it”.

And so, one by one several of the On-The-Spot team members volunteered to be part of the tournament. Naturally, I was more than happy to take on the role of MC for the tournament proceedings and allow the more courageous to enjoy their triumphs 😅🙄.

Toastmaster Michelle Brown gives a solid response to her impromptu question about approaching difficult changes in life.

All the participants excellently delivered their impromptu speeches; however, in the end, our online audience anonymously voted Toastmaster Andrea (OTS Member) and Toastmaster Vashawn (who was not an original OTS project participant but an avid supporter of the group) as the top 2 finalists. To ensure the final round was equitable to both finalists, standard contest rules were employed for the final round, where both speakers faced the same question. Well,… except that there really was no question asked!

Instead, the finalists were asked to provide their 1–2 minute speech but end the speech with “…and that’s why people dance!”. Much to my surprise, neither speaker appeared perturbed when their moment arrived; they each took a breath and were on their way. An open-ended question gave an opportunity for a verbal treat, and so it was. The audience was thrilled by the blend of responses and interpretations by the two finalists. In the end, Toastmaster Vashawn Burnett was voted winner of the Table Topic Tournament.

So on January 09, 2021…As the sun set on our On-The-Spot project, I could see that my fellow OTS members were all somehow looking a little different than they did when they first sat virtually before DTM Godfrey McAllister in that first workshop. Now the researcher-engineer in me was hungry to qualify and quantify what that change really was! Because it was Donald Sutherland who said …

“One measurement is worth a thousand opinions”.

But how could I quantify the value of something so abstract? Find out soon in blog #8 where I wrap up the On-The-Spot series- please bring your reading glasses along 🤓it’s going to get a BIT nerdy.

Click HERE to see blog #6 (the previous blog in this series)

Click HERE to see blog #8 (the last blog in this series)

I am a Jamaican Engineer who is on a journey to becoming a better public speaker. This blog is my documented journey that I hope will help and entertain others.