Dymalski will compete in the Toastmasters district competition
May 12, 2015
Stacy Dymalski enjoys her gift of gab.
She was on the debate team in high school and took some law classes at Boalt Hall at Berkeley, and thought about going that route.
"I’ve always done things where you stand up and yak, but I really hit my stride in college when I did stand up at the Punchline in San Francisco," Dymalski told The Park Record. "So, I’ve never been afraid of public speaking."
So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Dymalski is headed to the district level of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest is Boise, Idaho, this weekend.
"There are only five divisions who are competing there," Dymalski said. "If I win, then I go onto Las Vegas for the semi-finals and finals. If I win that, then I’ll become the world champion of public speaking."
Each year, Toastmasters holds a public speech contest where speakers tell true stories, tall tales and public commentary. The stories can be serious, funny and touching, but all need to be inspirational in some way, Dymalski said.
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The competitions start with the club level and work their way up to the international level, sort of like a college basketball bracket, she said.
Dymalski has been a member of Park City Toastmasters since 2011, and in 2012 she decided to give the contest a try.
"I finished at the club level and then went onto the area level, which included a bunch of clubs," she said. "Then I competed at the division level, which is a bunch of areas and then the district level, which is like the state level."
The speeches are judged on vocal variety — voice inflection, using accents — body language, movement, story flow and audience engagement, Dymalski said.
The speeches must be between five and seven minutes long.
"I did this in 2012 and got all the way to the international level," Dymalski said. "My speech was about my son Derrick meeting Wynton Marsalis through Mark Eaton, who is good friends with Wynton."
Dymalski was eliminated at the top, but made it to the Top 75.
"If you win, they book you solid for speaking engagements all over the world," she said. "I mean, there is a whole schedule waiting for you."
Although she didn’t win, Dymalski enjoyed the competition.
"It was really fun and interesting for me and I wanted to do it again," she said. "Well, life got busy in 2013 and 2014, so I decided to do it again this year and I’m right in the middle of the process."
This year’s district contest will be held at the Red Lion Hotel in Boise, Idaho, on May 16. Contestants arrive Friday and the competition is Saturday night.
Dymalski’s speech is a true story that happened on her way back from visiting her son in Miami.
"I had a layover in Dallas and traveling these days is no picnic," she said. "I stopped to get some coffee and I’m already in an irritable mood anyway."
She ordered a latte and the cashier didn’t give Dymalski her change.
"She closed the cash register and looked around me for the next customer, but I wasn’t going to leave until I got my change," Dymalski said. "Well, this became this whole rigmarole and she couldn’t give me my change until she opened the cash register drawer for the next order."
After retrieving her latte, Dymalski returned to the cashier to find another person tapping the keyboard.
"This person had no idea who I was and didn’t know about my change," she said. "I wasn’t about to miss my flight over 16 cents, so I left."
A few steps down the corridor, Dymalski sees a $10 bill on the floor.
"I know I should feel ‘Yay!’ because it was as if the Universe was saying, ‘Enough of your 16 cents already. Here’s $10 bucks so shut up,’ but I still don’t feel any better," she said.
Then the situation changed.
"I pass this young mom and her two little kids at the front of a long line at Sabarro’s," Dymalski said. "Her kids are crying and she’s got this pile of cash in front of her, and rummaging through her purse, because she’s obviously short of the total.
Dymalski backtracked and put the $10 bill on her pile.
"Well, this young mother got mad at me because she thought I was cutting in line and I just let her vent," she said. "When she was done, I said, ‘Keep the change’ and I felt so much better. I was 16 cents poorer, but $10 richer."
Dymalski loves telling these types of stories and she especially enjoys participating in competitions.
"I think I do well when I go, because I have this attitude of just having fun," she said. "I don’t stress about it, and I invite everyone who I think will drive to where the speech is."
She also likes meeting fellow Toastmasters from other clubs.
"Many of these people I haven’t seen for a while, and it’s nice to catch up," she said.
The competition in Boise is going to be tough, Dymalski acknowledged.
"I will be competing with other people in all of Utah, all of Idaho, parts of Wyoming, all of Nevada," she said "I know all the guys who are competing and if I lose to them, it’s OK."