Inga Pazinich: “Make it red, make it blue, make it a pony”
Do you like marathons? As toastmasters we enjoy marathons, especially listening to them. How does listening applies to a marathon? The answer is few sentences below, just after the answer of how to write a winning speech.
Two weeks ago two toastmasters club – Chamber and Changemakers organized a Professional Speech Marathon. A marathon where every speaker had to impress the audience using all skills they have learned. A winner of the contest was selected by gathering votes from each one who came to the marathon as your voice makes a difference.
Today is time to have an interview with the winner of the marathon – Inga Pazinich, a competent communicator, a valuable member of Changemakers club and a great story teller.
Inga, when did you join the toastmasters and what was the main reason of joining community?
— I joined toastmasters in December and my aim was to improve my public speaking, no intrigue here. I knew about Toastmasters for a long time from my friends that were members throughout different years. But decided to join only when I had a need to improve my speaking for my professional plans. And what can I say? I never looked back, because I received much more then I expected.
Professional speech sounds easy, you just had to talk about your job. Was it easy to come up with a content of the speech?
— From the start I had 3 different ideas for my speech. The first one that came to my mind described a pretty serious topic, but I’ve decided to save it for later. I wanted to describe my job in simple and funny manner, so even people who know nothing about design could understand and enjoy it. So I had another idea describing my process, but in the end it was not good enough. Then I started to think through the object that I could use as an example and that’s how the last idea was born, the one that you heard at the speech marathon.
What were your expectations from the marathon?
— I took the preparation pretty seriously. I knew that I was representing my club, so I wanted to give the best performance possible. And I was very interested to listen to other contestants. Frankly I was shocked, what cool and complex jobs they have!
How many drafts did you burn before the winning speech was written?
— Ahah! You’d better not know! But talking seriously, I had only one draft and then made some changes, put away one part, added a few jokes and the speech was ready. The more challenging part was to perform it, especially the part with a scarf. I will not tell you how many times I rehearsed it!
There were a lot of people in the audience, especially guests. It should have been hard to speak in front of new people. Was it hard to give a speech on a marathon? Have been you worrying performing the speech? Have you been worrying after the speech? After winning the marathon?
— To tell you the truth I was very nervous. I think I was the only one running around the audience asking the contestants “Why are you so calm?”. I’m pretty sure my hands were shaking before and after the speech. But the moment I came on a stage I was cool as a cucumber. Performing in Toastmasters gives its results.
Do you think your speech would be much different if you have not had practice in toastmasters?
— It definitely would be different, and I’m afraid not in a better way. Practice in Toastmasters gave me a lot in terms of confidence on a stage, but much more valuable is the experience of other members, their help and support. So using the opportunity I would like to tell a huge thanks to my beloved Changemakers club and the whole Toastmasters community.
In your opinion, what is a secret of a good speech?
— The secret of a good speech is a lot of speeches before it. I believe everything comes with a practice, there is always a room to grow. Analyze your performance, the response of the audience and work on your mistakes – that’s the only secret I know.
Is it the first public speaking contest you have won? Congratulation with the best speech! What are next plans regarding upcoming toastmasters contest?
— Yes! It is! I haven’t even won a single TT session, so it was a pretty amazing experience for me. It gives a lot of inspiration to work even harder and of course to take part in other contests. I’m already researching the ideas for Humorous Speech Contest. That will be a real challenge for me.
As a winner, what advice would you give to anyone who would like to participate in the contests?
— Just do it. That’s a great practice and the best opportunity to jump over your head.
Thank you, Inga! I am sure you have more awards ahead, keep pushing, keep speaking and make it a pony!