Toastmasters in St. Vincent and the Grenadines experienced their first virtual Area Speech Contest on Saturday, 13th February 2021. This engaging and interesting contest was held via the Zoom platform, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The speech contest was hosted by Area 19, comprising five Toastmasters clubs in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Toastmasters Nakeisha Morris and Kerline McDonald of the recently chartered Diplomatic Toastmasters Club, and Toastmaster Kezron Walters of Achievers Toastmasters Club captured the top positions in each of the three contests.
In the International Speech Contest, Nakeisha Morris emerged champion from a field of 6 contestants and paid brilliant homage to her two “Golden Girls” Sophia and her mom. Trackera Davis of Creative Thinkers Toastmasters Club had to settle for second place with her creative presentation of “I am MAD” – her acronym for Magnificent, Adored, Driven.
Third place winner was Toastmaster Leanna Sutherland of Imperial Champions Toastmasters Club who metaphorically demonstrated “A Substitute for Talent” with the analogy of the tortoise and the hare.
The other contestants were Toastmaster Jenieve Cato of Imperial Champions Toastmasters Club, who shared the “Bad News” of not managing conflict resolution; Toastmaster Shaquille Lewis of Creative Thinkers Toastmasters Club, who presented hot issues from the kitchen on “Food Security”; and Toastmaster Keisha Johnson of Achievers Toastmasters Club, depicting her message of “Survivors” as she outlined to the audience ways to survive and not being buried alive.
The Table Topics segment was chaired by Toastmaster Ophelia Phillips and had participants responding to the question: “How has the pandemic changed your life”? Toastmaster Kezron Walters of the Achievers Toastmasters Club placed first, Toastmaster Aliaka Jones of Diplomatic Toastmasters Club placed second and Toastmaster Shaquille Lewis of the Creative Thinkers Toastmasters Club was third. The other contestant was Toastmaster Dazilon Arthur of the Flow (SVG) Toastmasters Club.
The Humorous Speech Contest was chaired by Toastmaster Karla Gellizeau, who announced Toastmaster Kerline McDonald of the Diplomatic Toastmasters Club, with her narration of “Growing Up in Stubbs”, as the winner against her competitor Toastmaster Leanna Sutherland of the Achievers Toastmasters Club who presented on her topic “Crush”.
This virtual contest was successfully held under the auspices of the Area Director and International Speech Contest Chair Toastmaster Xelony Daize, as well as the Chief Judge, Distinguished Toastmaster Gloria Williams. Significantly, the contestants obtained the support of well-wishers near and far via Zoom.
The winners of the International and Table Topics Speech Contests Nakeisha Morris and Kezron Walters, would be granted the opportunity to compete in the Division Speech Contest in April.
The Toastmasters International Speech Contest derived its name from Toastmasters International where each district winner goes on to the Toastmasters International Convention to compete for the title of World Champion of Public Speaking.