Is it a “TWO-PEAT!” or just simply a “REPEAT!?”

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Jessica Pallet, DTM

I decided to compete in the Toastmasters Evaluation Contest again in 2016 after winning the District Contest in 2015.  As the defending champion, I never took another win for granted or viewed it as a guarantee.  The Toastmasters program is exponentially growing the skills of my peers around me, so I could not take this opportunity for granted.  My preparation was as rigorous as the first time around.  Since I did not have my “crew” with me from 2015, I watched a TED Talk nearly each day and gave a two to three-minute evaluation of the talk.  I just had to win it again for a few important reasons. 

First, I wanted to add some more trophies to the mantle at my home club, Panther City Toastmasters. Those club members support and inspire me daily and I thought I could return the favor in this way.  We have a short, but still rich, tradition of strong performances at contests.  I wanted to do everything to help continue that standard.
Also, I spent my High Performance Leadership Project teaching my techniques for effective and inspirational evaluations to several groups of people outside of the Toastmaster’s club. I needed to show them that my tutelage was tried, true, and legit!  I wanted to prove that I solidified the formula and skills to win, along with the alternate, intended consequence of inspiring others to put themselves out there.
Finally, each time I speak, I am still very nervous.  As I develop my career as a political activist, more and more opportunities to speak come about. I am trying to take the advice of Distinguished Toastmaster, Rose Timmons and “say yes”.  The pressure of excellence as I competed beside some of the best speakers from D25 was the exact pressure I needed to shake these silly nerves.
In the end, I won the contest on Friday night at the conference. The next night, I was inducted into the elite group of Distinguished Toastmasters in District 25.  I am glad I prepared and never took the process for granted.  I keep some trophies at my desk in order to recruit new Toastmasters.  Maybe, just maybe, that is the real reason that I wanted to win again.  For me, it wasn’t just a repeat.

From Left To Right, Jodie Sanders, Jessica Pallett, Greg Pick, and Robi Ley

Article submitted by Jessica Pallett, DTM, and winner of the Fall 2015 District Evaluation Contest and the Fall 2016 District Evaluation Contest, representing her home club, Panther City Toastmasters in Fort Worth.