District 10 Member Spotlight: Kitty Brandal
Kitty first joined the Pentagon 5-Star Toastmasters Club in Arlington, VA
Kitty earned her Competent Communicator award at the Pentagon Club
She took a break from Toastmasters then rejoined in 2007
Kitty is currently a member of Word Warriors in Westlake
Kitty has won several Humorous Speech Contests in District 10 and District 28.
In 2015 Kitty won the District 10 International Speech Contest and competed at the Semifinals in Las Vegas.
In 2020 Kitty won the District 10 International Speech Contest and placed in the Region Quarterfinals. She will be completing in the Semifinals at the Toastmasters International Virtual Convention in late August, 2020.
Why Kitty Likes Competing in Contests
Competing in contests adds a very different dimension to the Toastmasters experience. She is an evidenced-based speaker which is a very different genre of speaking than motivational speaking/storytelling. Just as music has different genres, so does speaking. The contest allows her to step into another genre of speaking and play around with animation, vocal variety, and create a message based on her own experiences. Plus, it’s educational and fun!
The Key to Kitty’s Success
The key to Kitty’s success is that she loves her audience first and then writes her message for them. She uses the vulnerability of real life experiences to develop her speech and share her message. She believes that vulnerability is a main human connector.
Kitty’s Virtual Contest Experience
This is quite a challenge! Since her career as a corporate trainer and leadership coach has her in front of audiences almost daily, she has grown accustomed to connecting with her audience through eye contact, using their energy to guide her, and getting feedback from their non-verbal cues.
Since we are now connecting virtually, she has had to pivot her paradigm about how to connect with her audience. Even though she may not be able to see everyone, she has to remember that there are people on the other side of the camera who are tuning in to listen to her message. Kitty’s motto is: “Love your audience.” That means that she needs to move past the camera to reach them even if it’s uncomfortable.
All the Best to Kitty as she competes in the International Speech Semifinals at the Toastmasters International Convention later this month!