Saturday, November 9th marks the culmination of three months of work for the Humorous Speech and Table Topics contestants. Starting last August, they worked their way through three levels of competition to earn their place on the District stage on November 9th at the District 7 Fall Conference: Passion to Purpose. It takes focus, multiple revisions, and hours upon hours of practice to prepare for 7 minutes under the big lights for the speech contestants. Table Topics might not require as much obvious preparation time, but preparing to be witty and spontaneous takes as much practice and time as a prepared speech. Samuel Clemens is credited with saying that it takes three weeks to prepare for an impromptu speech. Whether he actually spoke those words is unclear, but it is clear that the ability to pull thoughts together in a structured opening, body, and conclusion and actually say something relevant to the question posed requires skill, an agile mind, and the ability to stand and deliver.
Congratulations to every contestant who walks the stage this Saturday. As you stand before us, pausing to center yourself as you look out over the audience, take pride in your accomplishments and know that we applaud your success.