The Speaker Factor is a Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa (PSASA) competition for emerging speakers and it’s open to all Associate Members. The purpose of the contest is discovering, encouraging and nurturing emerging speakers in the PSASA and speaker community giving newer speakers visibility within the Association. It is also an opportunity for the winner to speak on the main platform as a keynote speaker at the next Annual Convention.
In September, Gary Tintinger, a dual member of Carpe Diem Breakfast Club and Golden Gavel Club, both in Johannesburg, South Africa, took part in the contest and emerged as the Speaker Factor 2020 winner. Gary, who represented District 74 in 2017 in Vancouver, Canada, is no stranger to public speaking contests. He took the time to answer the questions below.
- How were you feeling the day of the competition?
I was excited because I knew that I was well prepared. At the same time it was a bit surreal because the chapter heats had been presented in person, and then the semi-finals and the finals were conducted on the same day using the Zoom platform.
- What were the judges like?
The judges were all professional speakers which added a different dimension to the contest. One of the criteria was “Bookability”. We don’t consider “bookability” in Toastmasters so I wasn’t sure how the judges would judge my speech against this particular criterion.
- How was it for you to perform in such a setting?
I felt that the virtual platform, specifically Zoom, was to my advantage – especially given all of the work that I have done with Toastmasters on this platform.
- The winning moment…..what happened?
The contest winner was announced at the PSASA mid term conference, which was held a week after the actual contest, so there was a long build up. By the time it came to the actual announcement my nerves were finished – and then my name came up on screen and they started playing the recording of the speech. A very happy moment.
- Please share your winning secrets with us.
Practice, practice, practice. As far as I know I was the only finalist that is an active Toastmaster. So the advantage that I had was that I was able to practice the speech on Zoom in front of many different audiences, get feedback and improve a number of times before the contest. I also took notes from the Toastmasters WCPS 2020 and added some “virtual stage craft”. I think that adapting my speech for the online platform made a difference.
- What will be your next step?
I would love to represent District 74 at the World Championship again, so bring on contest season!!
- In closing?
A massive thank you to all of my Toastmasters friends for helping make this possible. Especially the clubs that gave me an opportunity to speak and the members that gave constructive feedback. I find with contest speeches it’s always great being told how good your speech is, but it’s even better when you get feedback that allows you to improve.