And the winners are...
Congratulations to the winners!
With a red carpet rolled out, a fun "step and repeat" photo banner, camera roll cut-outs and an all-star cast line-up for the evening, the "surprise theme" was easy for any attendee to guess - the movies!
Every detail of the meeting was intricately woven into the theme, - no loose ends left untied here. There was an intricately crafted agenda including popcorn and drinks that sent every attendee straight to the comfy chairs of a movie theater.
(Thanks Loree for creating a well thought-out agenda.)
Then as the festivities started, folks began to grab their seats as our Toastmaster Expert, Tyler Richer, took the stage to kick off the meeting with an appropriately-themed movie quote:
"There is only one rule of ToastSpot - don't talk about ToastSpot."
He set the stage nicely for what to expect for the evening and passed it over to Steve Haase to deliver not only the word of the day (Jovial) but also tell a wonderful joke about his family.
The ToastPoint competition started.
There were 9 brave contestants in all. They were sent outside of the room with the order in which they would speak with no idea of what question they would have to answer.
And when called into the room, they'd have 1-2 minutes to answer the following question off the cuff:
"What movie character do you embody, and why?"
What would your answer be?
As the competition began, the participants took the stage to provide their answers:
- Marc Amigone
- Angela Hicks
- Brad Mampe
- Jessica Webb
- Loree McDonald
- Meghan Pelletier
- Shawn Segundo
- Niti Shah
- Maggie Georgieva
The six judges ballots, including one for the tie-breaker were collected, and the ballot counters exited the room with the Chief Judge (me) to determine who was voted the winner.
And the rest of the meeting continued.
Guru and Nurah gave their second and sixth speech respectively.
We had some of our top evaluator talent provide them with feedback - Anum Hussain and Nick Sal.
Then we took to the specific feedback including our timing with Brian Weiss and crutch words with first time ToastSpotter Daniel Piet.
Lastly, we reconvened to announce the winners.
Anybody who was there would be able to tell you how close of a competition it was - everybody brought their "a game." However there could only be one winner - and it came down to the tie-breaking judge's vote. As the 45 person audience provided a drum roll, Contest Chair, Emily Morgan, and I were able to congratulate the top three contestants of the evening: Marc, Meghan and Brad.
Watch Marc's winning extemporaneous speaking ToastPoint speech here:
Watch Meghan's second place ToastPoint speech here:
Watch Brad's ToastPoint speech:
The next level of competition will be April 15th from 6-9pm at the Verizon Center in Waltham. While Marc is unable to attend (he's speaking on behalf of HubSpot at a User Group), Meghan will be stepping into his place.
If you're interested in cheering on fellow HubSpotter/ToastSpotter, Meghan, let any one of the officers know and we'll find a car for you to carpool in.
One last major shout out to all of the unofficial judges who joined and were able to provide the participants with unbiased advice on how they can improve their extemporaneous speaking skills. Thank you to Andrew Quinn, Michael Redbord, Cait Downey, Hannah Fleishman, Erik Devaney, Moe Connor, Angela DeFranco and Paula Turow.