Don’t Wish Contestants “Good Luck”

Sep 20

Around contest season, I often find people wishing me “good luck” or hear them saying it to other contestants. That always seemed strange to me, especially when a contest Toastmaster announced it to every contestant in the room at once.

That’s as silly as telling every contestant that you hope they can win. Obviously, they can’t all win.

I’ve lost contests I thought I should have won. I’ve won contests I thought I should have lost. And I’ve worked my butt off in contests. Winning is great, but winning because you did a good job is much better than winning because you were lucky—because the judges were biased towards your topic, or you were last in the speaking order, or your main competition went over time, or whatever.

I think it’s better to say “May you give your best performance ever today!” Express the wish that people will live up to their potential, that they are learning and improving, that their great performance will help make for a great contest.

And that you CAN say to every single contestant in the contest.

Suggestions on better phrasing? Please comment!

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