“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
— Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!
Yesterday, the Future Stars Toastmasters didn’t give a speech. They spoke. For that matter, they spoke well.
There were no prepared speeches, it was an impromptu speaking contest called Table Topics. The contest itself isn’t impromptu, but the speeches are. The idea of Table Topics is to give every contestant one question, then 1-2 minutes to answer it. They are judged on their ability to put together a coherent response, the effectiveness of their message, and their stage presence.
All twenty of yesterday’s contestants spoke and all twenty spoke well. Both middle and high school students competed against each other, and in the end there was a winner, a young lady in middle school with an eloquent voice.
Every speaker had a voice and every speaker used it.They used it to speak to fifty people. At the same time they spoke to themselves.
When you get up in front of a group, you not only speak the audience, you speak to yourself. You tell yourself that you have a message, your message matters, and that you matter.
It was only one contest on one Saturday afternoon in April, but it mattered. It mattered because every child that spoke mattered.
Yesterdays’ gift of time … Volunteered as Toastmaster for one portion of the Future Stars Table Topics contest. Thank you to Tahseen and all the other volunteers for helping twenty kids realize that they matter. (Also cheers to my daughters, Hayle and Tessa, for speaking up. You both matter a lot to your daddy.)