Profile of a Toastmasters District Contest Winner

by Nick Nichols, District 50 PR Manager

The stage was set. The audience of some 250 was eagerly waiting to see and hear the seven division International Speech Contest winners vie for the title of District 50 Champion. Who would it be?

Angela Hagen - District 50 International Speeech ChampionIt had been a while since Angela Hagen last competed in competitions in her high school speech class. After listening to an episode of Rory Vaden’s Action Catalyst podcast where he focused on how to become a good public speaker and recommended Toastmasters, Angela joined Exceed Toastmasters Club in October 2016. After just a few months, she decided to compete in her club’s International Speech Contest.

Preparation Meets Opportunity

“My club was very encouraging and helped me believe it was possible,” she recalls. “Many individuals within Toastmasters provided feedback along the way that allowed me to develop my speech to where it is now,” she continues. “My club, another local club, friends and family members all supported me by observing the many practice runs, providing feedback, and encouraging me along the way,” she adds.

Toastmasters provided Angela’s first opportunity to give a speech with an inspirational message instead of training a skill set. “I believe fear truly stops us from what we are capable of and I wanted to describe experiences that lent to fun expressions using body language,” she says.

The Toastmasters Experience helped Angela in her professional life during a recent job interview. “I was able to write a better résumé and I had a higher confidence level during the interview,” she says. “Oh, and I got the job,” she adds.

Winning the contest has prompted Angela to consider speaking professionally. “Speaking professional sounds like it would be an amazing opportunity. I look up to many speakers. Glennon Doyle Melton and Angela Davis (fitness evangelist) are two of my favorites,” she says.

As for advice to Toastmasters who are thinking of competing in future contests, Angela says to make sure to set aside a lot of time to rehearse, record yourself at every opportunity, and allow others to help you.