Prac­tice makes per­fect

Le Messager Lachine & Dorval - - LOCAL NEWS - DA­VID COX da­

COM­MU­NI­CA­TION. La­chine’s Na­dine Cham­pagne Gun­dry-white has put her ca­reer as a mi­nis­ter and tea­cher of En­glish as a Se­cond Lan­guage to good use. In 2015, she joi­ned Toast­mas­ters, the world­wide spea­king and lea­der­ship skill net­work, and re­cent­ly won their Dis­trict 61 En­glish Hu­mo­rous Speech Con­test.

Win­ning the con­test is quite the feat for ma­ny rea­sons. At the top of the list is that Dis­trict 61 is not on­ly an of­fi­cial­ly bi­lin­gual and in­ter­na­tio­nal Dis­trict, it has more than 195 Clubs spread across eas­tern On­ta­rio, Qué­bec and nor­thern New York State, with over 4,000 mem­bers.

The pas­sion for per­for­mance came ear­ly to her when she came in third place in a speech con­test in grade th­ree.

«Al­though I’m sure I wo­wed au­dience with my Ca­na­da’s Won­der­land rol­ler coas­ter anec­dotes, my pu­blic spea­king nee­ded some work. Mind you, I didn’t have my speech men­tor back then, Ita­lo Ma­gni,» Gun­dry-white ex­plains.

Her role mo­del Ma­gni has com­pe­ted in the Toast­mas­ters World Cham­pion­ship of Pu­blic Spea­king and has won the Toast­mas­ter’s Dis­trict 61 Hu­mo­rous Speech Con­test four times. With his sup­port and a lot of prac­tice, Cham­pagne Gun­dry-white won the 2017 Toast­mas­ter’s Dis­trict 61 En­glish Hu­mo­rous Speech Con­test with a speech en­tit­led, «Not lost in Trans­la­tion».


For her win­ning en­try, she dres­sed in a lab coat and re­coun­ted the odd dif­fe­rences bet­ween how men and wo­men say words and what they ac­tual­ly mean by those words.

Win­ning the ca­te­go­ry meant strict gui­de­lines were met. A hu­mo­rous speech has to make the au­dience laugh, but al­so has to be struc­tu­red with a be­gin­ning, middle and end, and not be a just a stand-up act. It had to be bet­ween 4m30s and 7m30s. If it is one se­cond be­low or over, the spea­ker is dis­qua­li­fied.

«Prac­tice is key. I wrote the speech in May and it pro­ba­bly took me about 70 hours to­tal to re­search, write, re­write, de­li­ver, re­write, re­de­li­ver and prac­tice my speech,» Cham­pagne Gun­dry-white ex­plains. «Win­ning this con­test is a fun re­min­der to not give up, but ra­ther, to pur­sue your pas­sion,» she says.

She is cur­rent­ly prac­ti­cing clean co­me­dy to one day host cor­po­rate func­tions and is thin­king of ap­plying to give a TED talk.

Toast­mas­ters is: star­ted on Oc­to­ber 22, 1924 more than 352,000 world­wide mem­bers more than 16,400 clubs found in141 coun­tries

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