By Khalid Amin, DTM
THE OUTLIER FACTOR!
I have been taking part in contests since I joined Toastmasters in 2005.
The reason was that my first and best mentor ever TM Rehna Pinto told me that contests are the fastest path to one’s growth not only as a speaker but also as a leader. I believed her and do you know what?
She was absolutely right!
If I were to share one thing that I learned from participating in contests it must be this: Contest are not about winning! It is about personal growth and improvement.
If you win, good for you, and if you do not win, that is fine too!
Most important is to enjoy and observe the growth in you!
Another thing and the biggest lesson I learned however is this: Something I call the outlier factor. The higher level of competition, the better the speakers you will be competing with, and at higher levels everyone comes well-prepared! Hopefully, that includes you too! And although, there are criteria, judging is far from being scientific and highly objective!
So, at the end of the day, it remains subjective. The outlier factor is one or perhaps more advantages some contestants may have on the day of competition in the sense that, even though everyone came prepared, perhaps you gave your best performance during those 7 minutes that day, or maybe your topic was more relatable to that particular panel of judges or perhaps some of them may already like you.
The moral, never be disheartened if the contest did not go your way that day! Continue taking part and observe your growth and improvement!