Category Archives: Competition | World Champion | Preparation Partners

Three Ways to Lose and Still Win

I have returned from Las Vegas. I competed in the semifinal competition of The World Championship of Public Speaking on Thursday, August 13th at Caesars Palace. I lost, but still won.

One hundred thirty countries were represented by 96 competitors in 10 semifinals. Speeches are five to seven minutes in length, and are essentially a seven minute secular sermon. The speaker’s message should be persuasive, inspiring, and infused with an element of humor.

I was in semifinal #10 with nine other competitors – all men. Speaking order is drawn at random, and I selected a three of diamonds from a standard card deck. This put me in the third of ten speaking positions.

In the weeks leading up to the competition, I have crafted, practiced and presented speeches to audiences of all sizes. I had the ominous task of having two speeches ready in case I moved on to the final contest. Rules require a completely different speech from the one presented in the semifinal.

The speech that helped me win a place at the semifinal was titled “Happily, Even After” and was about my experience with childhood abuse and how love and forgiveness helped me heal from it. I was encouraged to not continue competing with this speech because it lacked enough humor. (A tough subject to make fun of), therefore I have spent several weeks reworking THAT speech, and writing others as possible replacements.

The emotional and mental aspect of my journey has been all-consuming. Thus, the reason for few blog posts during this period of time since mid-May. All my writing and creativity has been spent on speeches. I have worked on speeches titled:

  • BUMPS
  • Create Your Happiness
  • It Could Be Worse
  • To Save a Life
  • Attitude Changes mood
  • Be an Action Hero

On August 3rd – ten days before the semifinal, I gave two speeches to an audience at The Microsoft Store at Bellevue Square Mall. The feedback I received was not very positive, and I came away from that event feeling confused and sad. I started over. In an attempt to concentrate on authenticity and elements that my two speeches didn’t seem to have, I wrote new speeches and reworked other speeches.

Lee Amatangelo and Rich Hopkins have coached me at different points during the process, and they were probably thinking I’d lost my mind heading into the final stretch. Maybe I had. Changes were happening daily, and I was feeling less and less prepared. Ryan Avery’s book was used as reference to add needed winning elements to my speeches.

I mentally walked through both of my speeches during my flight to Las Vegas. Because of last minute changes, I did not have any opportunity to present either speech to an audience before the contest. That was scary. I decided to focus on a speech titled, THAT HURT! for the semifinal.

The smoke and dry air in Las Vegas wreaked havoc on my voice and throat, so I tried to keep conversation minimal. I spent the first evening in Vegas practicing and preparing for the next day. In fact, I used the iron in my hotel room to press the suit I would wear for the contest. Yet, the first time I placed the iron on my black slacks, a white substance came off the iron onto my slacks. UGH! They were not going to be wearable the next day despite the hotels promise to have them dry cleaned for me. My wardrobe malfunction could have thrown me off – and in fact, forced me to wear an alternate outfit instead of the power suit I wanted to.

At 8:00am on Thursday, August 13th, I met for a briefing with all 96 contestants in the semifinal. I met the contest chair, and the other contestants in my contest. They were all men. We drew for speaking order, and had fun getting a group picture.

Pictured from left are: Emmanuel Fadahunsi (front), Martin Moreau (back), Michael Carr (front), Joe Grondin (back), Me, Michael Williams II (back), DeAndre Carter (front), Brian Olds (back), Naoki Tamura (Front) and Nelson Ortega (back).

All of us 10 semifinalists gathered again at 11:00 for a short practice on the stage. We were mic’ed, and were given three minutes to practice our blocking and gestures to ensure the mic was placed in the appropriate place. We were shown the timing device that would alert us at certain times during our speeches. We practiced entering and exiting the stage during our interviews.

I came away from the practice with my rivals feeling a desire for every one of them to win. They were my brothers at that point, and I only wanted them to do their best and win a spot in the final. One of them did.

The semifinal contest began at 7:30pm, and being the third speaker, I was on stage almost immediately it seemed. I gave a good speech. I lived by the rule that Lance Miller preaches – it’s not about perfection, it’s about connection. I believe I connected with my audience, and came away feeling confident in my performance even though there were minor mistakes. I actually had fun on stage – the nerves worked to my advantage and gave me an edge I hoped it would.

But alas, my name was not announced in the final three. I was disappointed for myself, but happy for the three that placed.

  • 3rd Place: Nelson Ortega
  • 2nd Place: Noaki Tamura
  • 1st Place: Joe Grondin

My disappointment was not because I didn’t win, but more about feeling I’d let my husband down. You see, I have served Toastmasters International since 2007 in leadership positions that have kept me from focusing on my business as much as I should have. I convinced myself that the leadership training I was getting would make me a better speaker, and that when I was finally eligible to compete, I would win big and my business would be catapulted forward, and it would finally prove worth all the sacrifice. THAT’s why I was disappointed. ALL the plans I had worked for felt like a waste of time, and I’d let my husband down.

I felt like a BIG flamingo was crushing my plans.

Yes, I’ve had an experience that few people have. Out of the 30,000 + Toastmasters that started competing in February, I had won a position in the top 100 Toastmaster competitors. I was proud of that accomplishment, and I know many people would have gladly taken my place. I was also confident that THIS WAS MY YEAR. When it didn’t materialize, my thoughts turned negative. I was starting over in my business, and I was overwhelmed.

In the days that have followed, I realize the blessing that I’ve had. I see the growth I’ve gained as a speaker. I have taken feedback and used it to improve my abilities. I have spoken in front of hundreds of people, and they have heard a message that only I have to give. I am grateful for my journey. And I am grateful my journey can continue.

Here are three ways you can lose and still win:

  1. Identify the ways the losing experience has caused personal growth. In what ways can you now help others?
  2. Identify the people who helped you along the way and feel gratitude.
  3. Identify what you’ll do differently when the opportunity arises again, then make it happen.

I have so many of you to thank for your support. The funds raised through my GoFundMe account were used to the penny to pay the fees and costs associated with this competition. My hair goddess, Lesley Gregory at 5th Avenue Salon in Issaquah cut and colored my hair AT NO CHARGE to support my contest. I am so touched by her generosity and support.

KATY OLSON didn’t let me pay her to house sit while Arny and I were away. That was a wonderful gift.

Every one of you who offered positive and helpful feedback have also been helpful. Lee and Rich, my coaches, were essential pieces of the puzzle. Arny, my husband, gave his undying support, and allowed me time to think and create as I needed to.

THANK YOU ALL for being part of my fabulous journey. Every kind word will be remembered. I jumped into the deep end, and stayed afloat. Contest season will come up again in the Spring. I will try again, beginning at a higher level than before. I already have some speeches written!

Now…back to work.

Five Ways to Win!

Preparing to give a message to the world is more time consuming and more expensive than I thought. It also takes mental, physical and emotional energy to reach the crossroads where content, delivery and inspiration meet. I find myself thinking about my speeches as I fall asleep each night; and my speeches are the first thought I have when I awake in the morning.

Toastmasters International has paid for my airfare. I leave Seattle and arrive in Las Vegas on August 12, 2015. That is the only cost that Toastmasters International is covering. That leaves so much more for me – a starving author/speaking – to come up with.

It’s not easy to ask for help, but it is a necessity for me in this case. Below I have listed four ways that you can help my message reach a world audience.

1. Practice makes perfect. I am speaking my message to audiences large and small as often as possible. I encourage you to host an event where I can give my speech(es) and get feedback from the audience. It would be very helpful if I could sell my book at the same event. Please contact me with opportunities: jackie@emeraldcityconsulting.com

2. Buy my book. SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional was published in December, 2014. My speech content has been taken from the stories in my book. SELF is an acronym for the four traits I believe we all must posses to become EXCEPTIONAL LEADERS. My book is available on my website in paperback, and on AMAZON in paperback and Kindle.

3. Hire me to coach you and/or your team. If you are preparing a presentation and you’d like some feedback – I am the 2015 Toastmasters International District 2 Evaluation Champion – I can help. If you are looking for a new job or career and you’d like some direction; perhaps you’d like to discover your strengths and weaknesses in communication and leadership – I wrote the book on it – I can help. If you’re a business owner and you’d like to decrease your staff turnover rates, or you’re hiring a new team member – I’m certified to use the Drake P3 system from Predictive Performance International – I can help.

4. Go fund me. If you are in a position to donate financially, I’d appreciate it. You can help me pay for my hotel in Vegas, and pay for some coaching I need help with in order to deliver a winning world-class speech. Your donation will not be in vain – I’m offering products and services as a thank you. Go here to donate: http://www.gofundme.com/WorldSpeech

5. Share this blog with your friends. It’s always nice to share, so please let your friends and social media followers know how they can help me prepare to share my message to the world.

I thank you very much. I appreciate your support in any way you can provide it.

By the way, I was recently featured on LifelongEnerjoy blog. The post is titled How to Forgive the Beasts in Our Life. It’s a short post about my winning speech – it even features a version of my winning speech. Take the opportunity to watch it, and please comment on the blog. We bloggers look out for each other.

This week I’m speaking at several locations. Perhaps you’d like to hear my latest speech, BUMPS.

Monday, June 22 2015: Seriously Funny  Toastmasters 6:30 pm

Wednesday, June 24 2015: Sammamish Star Performers Toastmasters 6:30 pm

Thursday, June 25 2015: Beacon Speakin’ Toastmasters 4:35pm (not a competition speech event)

Friday, June 26 2015: TM2: T-Mobile Toastmasters 12:00pm

Three Key Components to Selecting Winning Speech Topics

As I prepare for my semi -final competition in the Toastmasters International Speech contest, I am developing three separate speeches at the suggestion of my mentor, Lee. He feels I should be ready to share three messages, and know them well forward and backward.

Ryan Avery, Toastmasters International 2012 World Champion of Public Speaking, encourages internalizing, not memorizing your speech. Here’s a link to Ryan Avery’s 2012 winning speech: Trust is a Must In his book, Speaker Leader Champion Ryan gives several tips on selecting a topic. Here are the first three:

1. Speak to serve. The starting point: what is valued by others?

2. Choose a single core message. The speaker must be clear about what they want the audience to know, feel, or do.

3. Choose a core theme rooted in an eternal truth. The International Speech Contest calls for a seven-minute secular sermon centered on reminding the audience about an eternal truth or virtue.

I have been sharing my winning speech to several clubs. Last week, I was a guest at SPEAKOUT Advanced Club

   

Last Saturday, I presented “Happily, Even After…” to Conservatively Speaking Toastmasters, my weekly club. Here is a link to watch the speech that I won five contests with: Happily, Even After….

Do you feel Happily, Even After... provides the first three key components to topic selection? What are other topics you feel fit Ryan Avery’s three suggestions above? I’d really appreciate your feedback. Please comment here on my blog when providing your advice.

Following are my speech ideas with title and core message:

1. Happily, Even After… : Love is the key to finding happiness no matter how difficult our journey has been.

2. Bumps and Blessings: Bumps in life that we avoid may be the very experiences we need to have what we want.

3. Forget Yourself and Find Yourself: We find ourselves when we lose ourselves in the service of others

Please tell me what your feelings and thoughts are about these topic choices.

Thanks for being one of my preparation partners!

I will be giving Happily, Even After… or another one of my speeches on Wednesday, June 10th at Communicating for the Cure Toastmasters club at Fred Hutch Cancer Center. The meeting begins at 12:00 noon.

I am also speaking at the Issaquah Highlands YMCA on Thursday, June 11th. That meeting will begin at 7:00pm, however, I will not be giving a competition speech.

Come see me speak, and help me prepare to give my message to the WORLD!

___________ Is My Middle Name.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the line commonly used when someone is trying to convince someone else that they know the subject in question: “Well, _________ is my middle name.”

Hello. My name is Jackie Setback Bailey.

I know that President Obama likes to use the word “setback” to soften the more appropriate, “failure” at times, but failure in this case isn’t as fitting as SETBACK.

I hoped to have a video of me giving my winning speech. I delivered my speech to a group of Toastmasters this last Tuesday evening, and I asked a member of the club to use my ipad to film me. The film is great, except I believe the cameraman had his hand over the microphone, so there is no sound. Setback.

No worries. I’m presenting my contest winning speech tomorrow morning. (Full disclosure: this is a club I belong to). Details below:

If you can make it, fabulous. If not, I’ll try once again to have it filmed. I really, really want to get your feedback. And I really, really want to start presenting my second speech for audiences as well. I’m working on that.

Stay tuned for a video of my speech.

But wait, there’s more!

Yesterday I interviewed a remarkable young woman who has written a book. Keep in mind, Jennifer Schwartz is still in high school – completing her junior year in a few weeks, and will be a senior next fall. She has written a book based on her own CANCER RESEARCH. Yes, you read that right. She has been doing CANCER RESEARCH.

This is her book. It’s out now on Amazon.com. On Tuesday next week, I’m going to blog about my interview with Jennifer and about her newly published book. Jennifer is a well-spoken, gifted and intelligent young lady who deserves to be recognized for her skills in leadership. She is leading people toward a specific mission, and I’ll tell you all about that on Tuesday. Please tune in.

And while you’re checking out Jennifer’s book, please check out mine too. SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional.

See you all on the other side of the weekend!

Three Ways to Become One of the Cool Kids, Part III

The three P’s of Empowerment are:

  • Preparedness
  • Principles
  • Promises

My most recent posts have been about becoming one of the cool kids after my District 2 win in the International Speech Contest. In case you’ve missed them: Part 1  Part 2

This post focuses on the third P – Promises.

PROMISES:

Promises and commitments are harbingers of happiness. Empowerment happens when we live true to the promises and commitments we make.

In the midst of my childhood and experience with abuse; and even into the healing phase of my abuse years later, I always knew if I just made good decisions that I would have a chance to be happy. I counted on blessings from God if I obeyed His will. I also felt that if I didn’t keep my promises to Him, that I would be forfeiting possible blessings.

That being said, I have had many trials. In fact, it seems that I’ve had more challenges than most. But maybe we all feel that way. In the midst of these challenges, I’ve wondered when the blessings were going to come. I was preparing as best I could; I was living by my values and principles; l was doing good for/to others – when would I be blessed?

There is a song written by Ryan Miller, Adam Gardner and Brian Rosenworcel that fits my life, and even the current situation I’m in as I prepare for the next level of speech competition in Las Vegas to an international audience. These three men just happen to be members of my favorite alternative pop band, GUSTER.

I share with you the words of this song, with an opportunity to listen to them as well. Can you tell why this song might have some appeal to me?


 “ALL THE WAY UP TO HEAVEN

He said to only look up; He said to never look down

Down is where we came from

He said to hope for the best; and take a load off my chest

Soon I could be happy

And go all the way up to heaven; and go all the way back home

He thought I might need his help; no one gets high on themselves

I just seemed so lonely

He’s just trying to be nice; and spread around his advice

I could be that happy

And go all the way up to heaven; and go all the way back home

Stay the way I am today, it’s certain more disaster

He can tell a fairy tale, it’s happily ever after

Just relax, and greener grass will grow here for a change

Maybe then we’ll last a million years or more, or more, or more, or more

And go all the way up to heaven; and go all the way back home

Yes, I do believe what He says

I want to be happy

I could sure use His help; no one gets by on themselves

He can make me happy

And I will always look up (It’s a warm summer breeze)

And I will never look down (it’s weakness in your knees)

Down is where we came from (It’s a perfect place above – full of everlasting love)

And I will take that advice (Nothing to fear; nothing to hide)

And take a load off my chest (You just say what’s on your mind)

We could make that happy (Needn’t think before you speak. This is how it’s meant to be)

You know we needed his help (Ever high, never fall)

Now we’re not high on ourselves (you can do no wrong at all)

I will know that happy (In this heaven up above filled with everlasting love)

Into the light

To the light


So many parts of this song are sung right to me. The day before the competition I came down with laryngitis. I’ve never had it so bad. Based on advice from others I drank teas with lemon and honey, and I sucked on zinc lozenges. I drank hot water with vinegar, lemon and honey, and I took anti-inflammatory medications. All this to no avail. The morning of the contest I was no better.

I tried to speak as little as possible. I could not practice my speech out loud, but only meditate and visualize myself on stage saying what I’d practiced. At competition time, my throat and chest had loosened and opened. My voice was not as strong as I’d hoped, but the microphone made up for the rest.

I’m so glad I was able to deliver my message, albeit in a different way than I’d imagined. Perhaps it was the sexy, low voice I had that influenced the judges.

Guster’s song reminds me that I had to depend on a greater strength than my own. I believe that was Father in Heaven. He kept a promise to bless me despite the trials and challenges that came that day. He helped me deliver a message about fairy tales that perhaps He’d prepared me to give my entire life. I needed His help, because I could not get by on myself.

As I move forward in the competition, I will only look up. I will never look down. Whatever happens, I will take His advice and try to be happy.

Promises. We’ve all made them. We all must keep them. When your promises are kept to others, you will be given assurance of promises kept to you from a power greater than yourself.

Empowerment comes through the the three P’s:

  • Preparedness
  • Principles
  • Promises

Please comment below about how these areas have empowered you.

Empowerment is the E in the acronym SELF in SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional. If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to do so. Perhaps my message will provide some ways for you to empower your life as you try to be one of the COOL KIDS!

Three Ways to Become One of the Cool Kids, Part II

On May 16, 2015 I competed at the District level International Speech contest, and I won! I will be moving on to the semi-finals in Las Vegas! That’s where the cool kids are!

In a previous post I illustrated how I made it this far by applying the Three P’s of Empowerment:

  • Preparedness
  • Principles
  • Promises

In that same post, I told you how I’ve prepared so far, and encouraged you to become a Preparation Partner for this next phase of competition. So many of you have said, “I’m IN!” and I’m overwhelmed by your support.

I’m taking on P number 2 today – PRINCIPLES

PRINCIPLES:

Toastmasters International lists their core values as

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Service
  • Excellence

These are principles I also identify in my book SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional and Exceptional. Your life, relationships and purpose are empowered when you live by core values and principles, and never compromise them.

As I considered the message I wanted my audience to hear when giving my competition speech, I was guided by principles I’ve adhered to my whole life. I decided to tell a very personal story about my tragic childhood. The message in short is that, “Love overcomes hate, fear and anger. No matter how your story begins, with love you can live happily, even after.”

The message is universal, and has been well received. I believe it’s because the message is true. It makes sense, and even if life has been tragic, we can see that the happy times have been sprinkled or frosted with love.

Whether you’re giving a competitive speech, giving a report to your HR Manager, or teaching your child a skill, your message must be true. Everything you say must be straightforward, clear, and honest. If you can accomplish this, you will be credible, and your life will be empowered.

Humility is not my strong suit, but as Lee Amatangelo and others helped me prepare my speech for different levels of competition, I had to be humble. I had to consider their suggestions, and try them. If they weren’t right, it was obvious quickly. Most suggestions were right, and my speech was enhanced when I implemented them. Mind you, I never compromised my principles. Instead, I let my principles guide me as I humbly considered the feedback of others.

I found during this process that the most important aspect to my message was genuineness. If I didn’t believe what I was saying, the audience knew it. And boy, I had to get really vulnerable! I had to avoid narrating my story, and instead bring the audience into the story with me. That meant that I must not “perform”, but that I needed to truly be in the moment of a past experience while on stage in the present. Not easy, and a part of my speech I continue to perfect.

Isn’t this how we should live life? Shouldn’t we be genuine, vulnerable and humble, while at the same time adhering to our core values and principles through every experience? Shouldn’t we take lessons from past experiences and allow them to guide us in the present moment? I believe so.

Consider your core values and principles. How have they guided you, and what was the outcome when you compromised them?

Now, I must write, and prepare to deliver a second speech. Please comment below with principles I should focus on as the subject matter of my next speech. For those of you who’ve read my book, is there another moving story contained therein that would make a good speech, or parts of a speech?

What topics inspire YOU the most?

What topics do you feel would appeal to an international audience?

If you haven’t yet read my book, you can order from my website, from Amazon, or you can get one from me when you see me next. Your purchase will help me eat when I’m in Vegas.

Please comment here on my blog with questions to the above questions. Part three – PROMISES will be posted soon.