(Italiano) A Monza una palestra per migliorare la comunicazione, dal 12 settembre per quattro giovedì

On 21st February we had our first TAPED SPEECH CONTEST! Congratulations to all the contestants for their beautiful speeches: Susanna, Andy and Ivan. We loved all your speeches for the effort and passion you’ve put in it.

and the winner is…

Andy Barbiero!

What was it like returning after being absent for almost a year? Did you miss TM?

Honestly, I never felt like I left. I always follow the email corresponence, I read the Toastmasters magazine and I know the dates of all the meetings. I always plan on being at a meeting but, then I find myself in Turin or Rome for work. I do miss the meetings and dinners afterwards.

Why did you choose to return on the evening of a contest?

I was available to attend a meeting that day and I was intrigued with the idea that we could connect with outside clubs

Did the idea of a Taped contest intrigue you more that a regular contest?

The truth is, I thought “taped” ment video as well. It’s very difficult to express the emotions of a speech with only ones voice.

When you thought of this speech, did you think you could win?

Everything I say in my speech, I’ve already said in various workshops and presentations I’ve done for work. The trick was to organize it all into a 5-7 monute speech in a coherent and organized way. A “win” for me was when I was able to present it well and it was appreciated by the audience.

You’ve always been a speaker that looks at TM as a training ground and so you usually experiment. You were very relaxed in this speech. Did you try anything new in this speech or did you depend on past feedback to guide you.

Thanks to what I’ve learned from Toastmasters, I’m very conscious of how I use my body, vocal variety, how I organize my speech etc. I really think about all of these aspects when I prepare and deliver a speech. Then, it’s like Darren LaCroix, Toastmasters 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking said, “Stage time is what matters” The more times I deliver a speech, the more I can improve.  Another very important aspect neccessary for improvement is constructive feedback after the speech.  This is, in my opinion, something missing in TM speech contests. I think, at least, a short written evaluation should be provided to contestants by judges and/or audience members.

This was a speech with vivid descriptions describing how you remember your teachers. Did it help you to not  just talk about your work but also share your passion?

I think it’s the secret to a great speech: talking about something you know and are passionate about. It’s what makes a speaker able to relax when delivering the speech and helps the speaker really connect with the audience. Enthusiasm is infectious and sincerity is appreciated.

What do you think about the phrase: ”Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire”?

I absolutley agree. You can throw all of the information you want at a student but, he won’t learn anything until you’ve sparked an interest. Once he’s engaged, there’s no limit to what he can do.

What kind of teacher are you? “Certainly not someone dressed in a 1920s costume!”

I like to think that I’m a teacher that concentrates much more on how a student learns and less on how I teach. Making lessons personalized and memorable is the key to unlocking the true potential of a student. Helping that student find his “element” (defined as the point at which natural talent meets personal passion) should be the goal of all educators. As noted author and world-renowned eductor Sir Ken Robinson  says, “when people arrive at their element, they feel the most themselves, the most inspired and achieve at their highest levels.

A triumphant return..once again, congratulations for this victory. What’s next for you and TM?

I’ve scheduled myself as the evaluator for a speech at the March 20th meeting. I plan to be at as many meetings, do as many roles, and participate in as many contests as my work schedule will allow. I also want to visit the Torino club and our sister club, Milan easy as much as I can. I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage my fellow Toastmasters to do the same. Stage time is the key. The more you participate the more you grow. I’ve always had a passion for public speaking but, I was never able to perform to my potential. Toastmasters gives me the tools I need to improve and the venue to try out those tools to an audience of like-minded people that can give me important feedback to help me do better.

Thanks Andy for this great interview!

Andy Barbiero

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