This year's ToastSpot speech competition was even bigger than last year's. We had not one, but TWO competitions and about 30 HubSpotters attended, including special executive guests Brian Halligan, Jim O'Neil, Arjun Moorthy, and Andrew Quinn.
A big thanks to Rachael Plummer for organizing the event and everyone who participated in a role or cheered on the contestants. Now let's get to the good stuff - the contestants' speeches.
International Speech Contest
This contest challenged our speakers to present a remarkable speech. Not necessarily tied to a particular speech project in the Toastmasters CC manual, these speeches are 5-7 minutes (well, 4.5-7.5 minutes) and tend to be inspiring topics that engage the audience.
Contestant #1: Steve Haase - How to Make Boston Awesome: What's in the Way, and What You Can Do
Steve's speech centered on a very relevant topic for HubSpotters: how Boston actually suppresses innovation. He shared stories such as that of a clothing truck innovator who was shut down, and stats such as the percentage of Boston-area college students who leave after graduation (it's 50% - the highest in the country). Steve complemented his speech with great visuals (not bullet points!) and was incredibly eloquent and natural, as always. Check out the video of Steve's speech below.
Contestant #2: Sarah Bedrick - Lessons Learned from My 11-Year-Old Self
Sarah shared a personal story for her speech, detailing the first time she went waterskiing - and the first time she felt the fear of failure. It was a powerful story with a lot of great movement (like showing how to sit back when you're in water skis) and imagery (getting pulled by fish with their mouths wide open) and humor (afraid of the cookie monster? really?). This speech had a little of everything - watch the video to see what I mean.
Contestant #3: Matthew Stein - How Not to Eat Fast Food
In this speech, Matthew not only brought back his expertise (food!) but also his powers of persuasion to get us to say "no" to fast food once and for all. Matthew had a great moment of telling us he wasn't going to preach to us - proclaiming this to us and banging on our swanky new podium - but Maggie, the Evaluator, caught on to Matthew's tricks and commended him on a sneaky way to persuade without seeming like he's persuading us. Beyond that, I'll give Matthew props for taking this speech not just to convince us not to eat fast food, but to give us practical tips to make it a reality. Watch the video and see.
And the winner is....
Sarah Bedrick! Congratulations, Sarah. Sarah will go on to do her speech at the Area-level competition soon and ToastSpotters will be invited to go and cheer her on.
Table Topics Contest
Table Topics, or Toast Points as they're lovingly called at HubSpot, are short (1-2 minute) extemporaneous (that means unprepared!) speeches on a topic given at the moment of the speech. We had 4 contestants who came and delivered some killer speeches on the topics below. Perhaps you'll notice the theme!
Drew Wallace - #Winning
Anum Hussain - #ThingsIDoWhenImHomeAlone
Marc Amigone - #PostGradProblems
Nick Salvatoriello - #IceCreamCone (well, sort of...)
And the winner is...
Anum Hussain! Congrats, Anum. Can't wait to see you kill it again in the Area-level competition.
Thanks again to everyone who attended, participated, or judged. Make sure you're on our email list to hear when we'll go to the Area-level competition to cheer on Sarah and Anum.