Pause not Aah, uhm

Whether it is true or not that we fear silence because of the dread of that final pause when we are six feet under, we should never replace ‘silence points’ with redundant sounds like ah, eh and uhm.

Pause for two or three seconds and audiences assume you’ve lost your place; five seconds they think the pause is intentional; after ten seconds even the people texting can’t help looking up. When you start speaking again the audience naturally assumes the pause was intentional… and that you’re a confident and accomplished speaker. A poor speaker abhors a vacuum; only confident speakers are secure with silence. Take one long pause to gather your thoughts and the audience will automatically give you speaker bonus points

Tall Tales Contest

Tall Tales with vocal variety contest:

Duration allowed 3 to 5 minutes
Eligibility Open to All

Tall tale 2012

Contestants are required to tell a story of highly exaggerated and improbable nature and have a theme and a plot while using vocal variety smoothly and naturally. It is advisable to study the objectives of Project 6: Vocal Variety, in the Competent Communication manual. Props may be employed. For details about rules see General Rules and Procedures.

Click here to signup for Speaker, judge, ballot counter, timer or Sergeant at Arms or click here to contact the contest chair


Once you consent to being a judge in a speech contest you subscribe to certain obligations to certain people including the following:

Contestants: Contestants are entitled to, expect and deserve a professional judging. They should receive fairness and impartiality. They have invested heavily in the speech both in time and resources. A fair judgement makes it worthwhile.

Toastmasters International: Toastmasters has a reputation for excellence including excellent speech contests. Poor or biased judging erodes this reputation and demeans the contest.

The Audience: Whenever judges fail to make the best choice the audience will notice and feel cheated. Most in the audience are accomplished speakers themselves. A fiasco will deter them from participating in other contests.

Themselves: As a Toastmaster, judges have made a personal commitment to self-improvement. By violating that commitment the judge violates him/herself. This is a great disservice to self.
Don’t miss on the 2015 Speech Derby for excellent speeches, Excellent evaluations and excellent judging.