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Williams, Elliot win Toastmasters speech contest

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Gloria Williams and Jo Elliot are the winners of the Imperial Champion and Achievers Toastmasters Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest.{{more}}

Williams and Elliot were amoung the seven contestants who took part in the competition held at the Paradise Beach Hotel on Sunday, October 4, 2009.

Williams won in the Humorous Speech category with her piece entitled “It pays to listen,” while Elliot won in the Evaluation Speech category with her evaluation of Nigel Scott’s speech “Lame excuses men make.”

Williams, dressed in a black lace ensemble, topped off with a yellow hat and red rimmed glasses, delighted the crowd with her speech “It pays to listen.”

Williams’s related two episodes where persons were embarrassed because they did not listen well, what Williams referred to as marginal listening. Effective listening she mentioned involves listening thoroughly and obeying what is said.

Williams spoke about her relative Eleanor who fell out of a moving vehicle when she ignored her grandfather’s instruction to not touch the inner fixtures of the car door. Eleanor, however, later boasted that she will never fall out of a car again, now that she knows how to open a car door. Her brother’s friend Billy, who was told to approach a vagrant and call him “Togo the Beast” and then run, instead said “Togo the beast and run,” to the feared vagrant.

Offering up the top ten excuses men make to not get married, second place winner Nigel Scott presented his speech. With cane in hand, Scott dished out his ‘lame excuses’, some of which included his number two excuse that an obeah woman cursed him as a young boy so that if he ever gets married, evil spirits will torment his wife.

Others include: “His divorce is not final”; “His mother is in the United States and cannot return home as her papers are not in order” and “They are not financially secure enough to wed.”

Third place contestant Anika Stapleton told of her roundabout journey on the highways of America with Toastmaster Henri, who was an alternative to a US$120 taxi ride to the airport. She eventually had to spend the US$120 as Toastmaster Henri got lost along the way and had to refill his gas tank a few times. Stapleton wanted to use the money to buy duty free perfumes.

Evaluating Scott’s speech, the evaluation speech contestants all agreed that the speech was well executed, but that few improvements could have been made in the way it was delivered. Elliot said that the speech “converted” her and left her “spell bound.”

The evening included an appearance from guest artiste Comedian Maurice Horne, and involvement from audience members who participated in a fun game that had them beginning a sentence of their conversation in alphabetical order.

The other contestants in the Evaluation Speech contest were third place contestant Ryan Hazell and second place contestant Garcia Cato Sutherland.

The winners will represent St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the regional competition in Barbados on October 17, 2009.

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