I won DTAC 2017 ! Toastmasters District contest 2017 

You must had that feeling one day where you were so excited, afraid and energetic  all at once. you couldn’t grasp the flow of energy inside, so you just stop thinking and live the moment .I had that while delivering my international and humors speech on DTAC 2017 .

it was the 18th of May 2017 7:00 am , I arrived early to rehearse on the stage and check the sound system .  I got on the stage looking at the empty chairs imagining my speech and audience reactions, later I realized that the lovely audience reaction of my performance was beyond my imagination !

People started coming around at 8am , carrying their countries flags , taking selfies and networking . a flow of messages I received from fellow toastmasters and friends wishing me best of luck .I was already overwhelmed with all the nice motivation from attendees around whom just knew I was competing .

Minutes before the semi final of international contest the place was packed , you hardly can move around , we finished our briefing and  I was the forth contestant , funny thing that I thought this was a sign of wining as I’m the forth child of my family and number 4 was always my lucky number . as an analyzer of everything , I sensed that every single moment was a sign of winning or so I thought !

The contest started , I went upstairs where nobody was there to have a final look at my practice . I had this weird conversation with myself that goes“ you will win , you came here to have fun and win , you waited for this moment for a year and now it’s time…..”

Contestant number four Kamal Al Shehabi ‘ give up” , “ give up “ kamal Al Shehabi . I knew I was the underdog , first timer and audience barely knew who I was, but I have to say, by far, that was one of the most fantastic Audience reaction I ever got , the laughers , clapping almost 4 times and they where having a good time . as soon as I was done , people start to approach me to shake my hand , and a lot of them said that I was for sure number one !

Attendees kept inspiring me and congratulated me all through the event , I was walking around saying “thank you “ hundred of times, I thought “waw , I got them on the palm of my hands, on the humors contest I will make them laugh so hard I will show them how comedy should be !!!”

Contestant number eleven  Kamal Al Shehabi “Abdul” , “Abdul” Kamal Al Shehabi .from the moment I stepped on stage, people started to giggle because now they know who I am . the reaction was of the roof ,but the competition was really nice , some were really funny and others were getting laughs from there friend only !!

DTAC opening ceremony started at night , great atmosphere everyone having a great time and I was setting there preparing for my international and humors finale!! . on international no doubt I was going to be the first and on humors at least the second or third .

Awarding of semi final international started , third place not me , second place not me , ok I will defiantly go take the first ….and the first place …..not me !

Conspiracy ? failure ? not fair ? favor by majority nationality ? sound was not clear ? message was too unorthodox? Wearing traditional Arabic dress ? mybe because I was one of the few Arabs ? is it me ? was it too funny ? was I not clear about my message ? what happened ?

And a thousands of thoughts running through my head . awarding for the semi final humors contest , third place not me second place not me first place not….me . !!!

Confused , broken ,ashamed , disappointed and tired . I stormed outside the hall , some toastmasters catched me , offered warmth condolences for my loss!! Some were too nice and heartfelt , I had to leave before tears burst from my eyes .

Congrats to all participants and functionaries and to Bahrain , went the next two days helping my fellow toastmasters as sergeant at arms and had great fun while people still remembering my speeches . I felt audience were more shocked than I was from the results.

I couldn’t attend the next days without the encouragement of my brothers and sisters of toastmasters , without there inspiration, god knows if I could ever come again . they lifted me , talked to me by phone , offer there continues help and support , that’s what toastmasters is all about . I learn a valuable lesson that without people you cannot thrive , I could not give back what they have given me even if I lived a hundred year .

Ironically my speech take away was that it’s ok to change your passion . I changed my passion many times in my life until I found public speaking from toastmasters .now I look forward to give back and inspire people like I learned from my fellow toastmasters . I look forward not to give excuses and blame others for my loss . we learn , we communicate and we serve

on DTAC 2017 I didn’t won trophies but I won hearts .