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Auctioneers to compete at Iowa State Fair

By Staff | Aug 9, 2014

DAMIAN BEARD, formerly of Clear Lake, now living in Des Moines, will compete for the top auctioneer’s prize during the Iowa State Fair. He said the $1,000 purse would be nice, but he’s also looking forward to “meeting with like-minded auctioneers.”

CLEAR LAKE – On Tuesday, Damian Beard hopes to have a good cry.

Beard, 21, formerly of Clear Lake, moved to Des Moines in late-July, will be one of 20 auctioneers competing for the state’s annual bragging rights and a $1,000 purse, at the Iowa State Fair.

The lingo of auctioneering is called crying.

The road to the state fair competition began in February during the Iowa Auctioneers Association annual convention. Forty-two people were narrowed down to 20 who will cry a slae at the state fair.

During the fair, Beard and other auctioneers will be interviewed and then will auction three items to the crowd.

They will be evaluated on their chant, style, dress and stage presence.

Beard said the key component in this competition will be how the auctioneer connects with people.

He said winning the top prize is not the main goal.

Beard wants to meet with “like-minded auctioneers.”

However, winning the top prize would be useful in Beard’s next turn in his life’s path.

Beard and his wife, Janice, spent the last days of July moving from Clear Lake to Des Moines after he can enroll in Drake University’s law school.

Not his first choice

A career as an auctioneer and in real estate law was not his first aim in life, he said.

Beard graduated from Ventura High School in 2011.

He enrolled into the nursing program at North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City.

While giving shots in 2012, he realized this was not what he wanted to do the rest of his life.

“There were too many white walls and too much supervision,” said Beard.

His mother told him he had a week to decide what he was going to do next.

During that week, he remembered watching Storage Wars on the A&E Network where bidders compete for contents of abandoned storage units in California.

Beard had no experience with auctions or auctioneering, but said he was attracted to the industry.

With high school speech and drama experience, Beard said he was comfortable with public speaking.

His in-laws told him of the auctioneering college in Mason City. Last November, he enrolled into the 10-day school.

“Auctioneering has changed my life,” said Beard. “It has opened up many doors of opportunity.”

During those 10 days, besides developing his auctioneer’s patter, Beard learned auction procedure and law and the importance of promoting oneself.

Beard said auctioneering has given him a large step forward in his personal growth starting with his self-confidence.

He views choices in one’s life as opportunities. To not take advantage or delaying a decision is a missed chance.

“We tell ourselves we can’t do opportunities. Never turn down an opportunity,” said Beard.

In addition to his personal growth, Beard said he sees his role as an auctioneer extending to where he believes he can contribute to helping others.

“The success of others excites me,” he said.

He said his favorite part of auctioneering is conducting charitable sales for non-profit organizations.

He has cried several charitable sales. A favorite one was for a humane society with 600 people attending.

“And about as many dogs,” said Beard. “Auctioneering is not tied to one thing. Everything is for sale.”

Beard said he enjoys the spontaneity and freedom of an auction.

It is the opposite of much of contemporary work conditions with people looking into computer screens with very little face-to-face interaction.

The Beards moved to Des Moines so he can enroll at Drake University’s law school.

He sees his future as a lawyer who specializes in real estate while continuing his passion for auctioneering.

He acknowledges a wide amount of community support in his striving to be a successful auctioneer.

Beard said his biggest supporters are residents of Apple Valley Assisted Living Center, in Clear Lake, where Beard has worked.

“It’s like they adopted me,” said Beard.

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