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Tall Tales

According to Carolyn S. Brown in The Tall Tale in American Folklore and Literature, a tall tale is "a fictional story told in the form of personal narrative or anecdotes, which challenges the listener’s credulity with comic outlandishness, and which performs different social functions depending on whether it is heard as true or as fictional.” In other words, because the tall tale is presented as a spontaneous reminiscence that happened either to the narrator or to an acquaintance – with true-life, ordinary details that build up almost imperceptibly to something outrageous – even listeners who hear it as fiction often play along and act as though they believe it to be true.

In the rules for the Toastmasters Tall Tale Contest, one of the primary goals is “to provide participants with the opportunity to create an original, highly improbable, humorous tale.”

The key ingredient and the secret to a good tall tale is exaggeration. The most common types of exaggeration include size, abilities such as intelligence or strength, or the aggressiveness of animals or weather. But exaggeration isn’t all that’s required.

The timing for this contest is 5 to 7 minutes. The winner of this contest will represent National Toastmasters at Area 12 inter-club Tall Tales Contest

Past Winners

2016    Claudia Galvis
2015   Roger Forbath
2014   Gina Grimaldi
2013    Simon Ray
2012  Gustavo German
2011    Stefan van Vliet; Roger Forbath r/u Club & won Area
2010    Ruth Rinot - won Area
2009    Ruth Rinot - r/u Area
2008    Brad Ireland
2007    Ruth Rinot
2006    Michael Caloudis
2005    Richard Hu - r/u Area
2004    Roger Forbath
2003    Keith Quist
2002    Rob McFarland - won Area
2001    Andrew Garven
2000    Roger Forbath (Tracey Ward, representing City Talk Club, won Area)
1999    Roger Forbath (Steve Howard, representing City Talk Club, won Area)
1998    Chris Robb
1997    Ross Clennett - r/u Area
1996    Frank Scarrabelotti
1995    Frank Scarrabelotti - won Area
1994    Ross Clennett
1993    Frank Scarrabelotti
1993    Ross Clennett
 

 

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