Circle of Gold Story

It’s Contest Time!!! 

There are no sweeter words to the ear of a contest junkie, nor the ear of the core team of Circle of Gold!  During contest season, the Circle of Gold comes alive and offers support and feedback to our contest speakers.  Circle of Gold was the brainchild of Darlene Davies, a well-known and much-loved Toastmaster in District 42 more than 20 years ago.  It began as a way of helping the competitive speakers at her home club, spread out through the Area, then the Division and finally throughout District 42.  Over the years it has truly been a gift to competitive speakers such as me. 

Circle of Gold Guide

A core team was formed to ensure all competitors had access to this wonderful tool:

  • Darlene Davies, COG Team Chair 
  • Val Erikson, COG Promoter and
  • Nandini Venkatesan, Feedback Team Leader. 

Three years ago Darlene decided to take a step back, and I was invited to take her place as Team Chair.  

Circle of Gold (COG) has become an integral part of District 42!!!!  In fact, before this current year, COG is mentioned in Division Director training and  Division Directors are asked to find a Circle of Gold Coordinator, and that Coordinator, after training, is asked to put together two Circle of Gold sessions throughout the Toastmaster year.

A Circle of Gold is always coordinated for the winning speakers of the Area contests.  All winners going on to the Division have the opportunity to come together to receive very in-depth feedback from some of the best evaluators District 42 has to offer.  An evaluation of a speech at the club level is a gift!  Evaluation is how we grow and develop as speakers.  However, each evaluation is only 2 to 3 minutes long.  Imagine receiving feedback from 3 to 5 evaluators, each given 2 or 3 minutes to deliver their thoughts.  When asked to describe a Circle of Gold, I always say it’s like an evaluation on steroids.

Then, after the Division contests are completed, the winners are again offered the chance at another Circle of Gold before going on to the District stage… a competitor on the District stage, I am convinced it was the feedback I received at the Circle of Gold sessions I attended that gave me the edge I needed to win!  

Our Circle of Gold Coordinators are busy now, organizing their sessions for the winners of the Area Contests who will go on to compete at Division!  We appreciate them very much!  And so will the speakers who attend their sessions!  If you are interested in becoming a Circle of Gold Coordinator next year, please contact me.

Laura Chambers, DTM
D42 Circle of Gold Chair

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