Alka Bromiley, of Annapolis, Maryland, outshined her fellow speech contestants to win at the District level Toastmasters International Speech Contest. With this win, Bromiley advances to the Region Quarterfinals, vying to reach the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking stage.
This year’s World Championship of Public Speaking contest was scheduled to be held in Paris, France in August; however, it has been cancelled due to COVID-19. Toastmasters International is working on the logistics for a virtual event.
Bromiley’s winning speech is titled “Be Silent No More,” which shares the story of her personal experience of domestic violence and empowers others in similar situations to reach for help and share their own stories.
For the contest, Bromiley represented Phase II Advance Toastmasters Club, but she is also a member of three other Toastmasters Clubs in District 18: Annapolis Toastmasters, Chesapeake Toastmasters and Hydrosonics Toastmasters; all of which are in Division C situated in the Annapolis, Maryland area.
Bromiley has won at the Club, Area, Division and now District levels of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest. She must make it through the region quarterfinals, semifinal rounds before making it to the finals – World Championship of Public Speaking contest.
During the speech contests, all contestants give a five- to seven-minute speech, which is judged on content, delivery and language.
Due to COVID-19, in-person toastmasters meeting have come to a halt, which has resulted in Toastmasters Clubs around the world moving to an online virtual format, which brings it’s own challenges to contestants.
“Then came the Division speech contest, which was the first online contest, and that’s when everything changed,” said Bromiley. “You are no longer standing in front of an audience where you can see their reactions and experience those reactions. You can’t get the audience to participate.”
The Toastmasters International Speech Contest began in 1938 and is the world’s largest speech contest, involving over 30,000 participants from 143 countries. It culminates with the popular
World Championship of Public Speaking held annually at the organization’s International Convention.