What I Won by Competing

Whoever said “winning is everything” was insane.

Today I had the privilege of competing in two Area level Toastmasters contests. If you’ve don’t know what Toastmasters is, let me explain. Toastmasters is made of community clubs whose members want to improve their communication and leadership skills. They do that by making a variety of presentations. 

Several times a year the clubs are encouraged to hold speaking contests. The ones I competed in today were the Humorous Speech contest and the Speech Evaluation contest. 

I placed second in both. 

Yeah, that means the other contestants beat me in both. 

When I was younger, I might have tied more of my worth to whether or not I won. Now that I’m older, I know how things can turn out. You might win. You might lose. You’ll never know if you don’t throw yourself into the fray. I do have the satisfaction that comes from knowing I did the best I could. I had fun. The audience laughed, so that counts as success in my book. 

The sun will still rise tomorrow. By this evening, most everyone will have forgotten about the whole thing anyway. While victories and compliments are nice, they can fade like a puff of smoke in a windstorm.

Besides, if you’re going to lose, it’s better if you lose to someone who also did an excellent job. 

I hope that at least I made it hard for the judges to choose. 

If nothing else, over half the audience and the competitor who heard my speech praised me for my efforts. 

Winning isn’t just measured by awards. I took a chance and came out better for it. There’s always next year! 

I like this quote better than the one I opened with: “Winning isn’t everything, but the effort to win is.”

Now go out and slay ’em.

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I’m a Writing Coach, a Promotion Strategist, and an Entrepreneur. I help writers engage readers, sell their ideas, and build their tribes. I design non-sleazy promotion plans for artists, writers, and other creatives. When I’m not writing, I love coffee and conversation.