By Nick Wilson

Telecommunicators Club’s Tammy Hay brought Saskatchewan’s larger-than-life historical villains back from the dead and into the convention attendees’ imaginations, in her vivid and lively talk about how her home province is definitely not boring. Not only are its Badlands beautiful they also have their tales to tell.

And Saskatechwan’s not flat either – Tammy killed off the second myth about Saskatchewan in one speech. Castle Butte outcrop with its sandstone sunset glow soars skywards and has helped many a watchman from First Nations, cops or robbers see trouble coming. And trouble came. Today’s tourists visit the bad boys’ caves that were on Butch Cassidy’s outlaw trail from Canada to Mexico. Horse and cattle thieves such as the Dutch Henry and Nelson Jones (Sam Kelly) gangs operated miles from the place where Tammy grew up, which she describes as being ” Beautiful, bewitching, bizarre.”

Tammy’s evaluators loved her fluent passion and praise for a part of Canada that’s all too often dismissed as being of little interest to anyone who doesn’t live there. They also gave her expert tips on using a power point and the relatively vast expanse of stage on offer at a convention compared to most clubs’ available speaking space. Getting feedback from six of the best evaluators in the district is an opportunity that any toastmaster should relish. It’s the pay-off for being a target speaker in a contest, which lets you step outside your comfort zone and speak to a much greater audience of people you don’t know.

Tammy, a business analyst for Broadband Networks, said, “I was nervous about putting myself out there to be evaluated by six people in front of the whole room, but of course I had nothing to be worried about. Every evaluation was delivered effectively, in a friendly and sometimes even entertaining manner. I walked away feeling great about my presentation and with a list of suggestions that I can put to use in my next speech. I am grateful for this experience and wish to congratulate each and every contestant for a job well done.”

So who was the winner?

Tony Klassen of Edmonton’s CU At Noon Club took the title of this year’s best evaluator in District 99. He says, “I was thrilled to win the District Evaluation contest! I also had the pleasure of having several members of my home club as well as my son in attendance with me, which made the moment almost magical.”

Tony says he’s not sure yet on how the win will help him, but he knows that the process of competing in the contests is such a valuable experience, which helps everyone improve. “The Toastmasters journey has so much value and I’m excited to dive into the Pathways journey to continue learning and growing,” he says.

“I really enjoyed Tammy’s speech, which made it fun to evaluate. She presented so many nuggets of interesting information about Saskatchewan that made it hard not to want to go and experience it. I just may have to take my son there this summer to check it out,” Tony says.

So a big hand for Tony who gave a big help to Tammy, who does such a great job in promoting travel to Saskatchewan, as they both continue their Toastmaster voyages.