Clubs from all over Southern Europe met in Milan for the largest ever D59 SPEAKTOMI District Conference in November 2017. In total, some 450 members including many from Division B, which is one of the largest, spanning Northern France, Belgium & Luxembourg! District Conferences are always fun especially when we get to take home a prize. And herein lies a great story.
Let me first introduce you to our three contestants who proudly took to the stage: Zsuzsanna Corridori (Brussels club) who competed in the Italian humorous speech contest, Carsten Wendt (Brussels club) in the English humorous speech contest and Sydney Schreiber (Berlaymont club) in the Table Topics contest.
Going from Division to District is quite a leap as the stage is bigger, the room is bigger and the audience (and competition) is bigger! And they all leaped and rose to the occasion. Sydney was faced with a difficult question and a large yellow glove! It was a clue in a murder mystery. Never easy to have to switch on creativity on the spot. He did his best. And his voice boomed loud. Carsten got through to the semi-finals which was a great achievement with his humorous tale: he was placed third in the final! Congratulations to you both.
Now, let me tell you Zsuzsanna’s story. And why competing raises your game.
Zsuzsanna was placed third in the Division Contest but since neither of the top two could make it to Milan, she had the opportunity to compete again and raise her game, and raise it she did! Competing against 9 others, many of whom were native speakers, she perfected her speech with several coaches in the run up to Milan, warmed up her voice & body minutes before her performance, and exuded confidence with a winning mindset as she roasted her husband for 7′ with her winning speech, BLA BLA BLA! In the front row sat her husband, who the audience applauded when she pointed him out! Was that the move that got her the vote of the judges? We’ll never know but Zsuzsanna won the hearts of the judges and went on to win the Italian humorous speech against all odds!
Remember: never let where you place in one contest discourage you from winning in another!
Congratulations to all our Division B contestants of the 2017 fall District championship: our Division certainly knows how to make you laugh out loud!
In addition to hearing a world international speech winner in 2001, Darren Le Croix with his keynote SPONGE – and numerous workshops in Italian and French, there were many opportunities to network with old friends, make new ones and mangiare! Our Gala Dinner was in a magnificent location with frescoes and courtyards and Milanese cuisine: risotto a la Milanese and other delicacies all washed down with delicious wines.
On the closing day of the conference, they announced the new Distinguished Toastmasters. And two of them are in our Division: Congratulations to Hilary Peden (Aperitivo club) and Maureen Delaney (Dacia club) who received their DTM award, bringing the number of women DTMs in Belgium to 4.
Now it’s time for REBIRTH IN ATHENS from 25-27 May, when two Districts will join forces for the BIGGEST District Conference EVER!