Toastmasters Kicks Off World’s Largest Speech Contest

Toastmasters LogoThe world’s largest speech competition has launched with more than 30,000 contestants in 126 countries vying for the title of World Champion of Public Speaking. The Toastmasters International Speech Contest begins with participants practicing and giving their presentations in local clubs as they polish their oratory skills while advancing to area, division and district levels. The competition culminates with the World Championship of Public Speaking on Aug. 15 in Las Vegas.

Speak Now…

A panel of experienced Toastmasters judges evaluates nine contestants from different parts of the world, all of whom have advanced to the finals following a year-long process of elimination through club, area, district and semifinal competitions.

Criteria used in judging includes speech content, organization, voice quality and gestures.

“The speech contest is one of the highlights of the Toastmasters experience,” says Toastmasters International President Mohammed Murad. “Speakers from all over the world compete in the contest. Win or lose, contestants benefit from taking their public speaking skills to the next level.“

What’s said in Las Vegas…

Ninety-one district semifinalists will compete during the Toastmasters 2015 International Convention held Aug. 12 – 15, in Las Vegas, at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino. Finalists will make it to the final round on Aug. 15, where the winner is crowned the Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking.

To be eligible for the competition, participants must be age 18 or older, and present a five-to seven-minute speech in English on any topic. Judging criteria include speech content, originality, organization, gestures, style and timing.

“The speech contest represents the end of a great journey for contestants,” says Dananjaya Hettiarachchi from Columbo, Sri Lanka, who is Toastmasters’ 2014 World Champion of Public Speaking. “To begin at the club-level and proceed through the area, division and district contests takes a lot of confidence, practice and, most importantly, self-determination.”

Take a look at Hettiarachchi’s inning speech from the 2014 World Championship:

Lady and the Champs

Later this month you can catch up with past winners including 1995 World Champion Mark Brown and 2001 World Champion Darren LaCroix who will be conducting a public speaking workshop with National Speakers Association past-president Patricia Fripp Feb 28 – Mar 1 in, where else, but Las Vegas!

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