Every year, thousands of Toastmasters, representing over 100 countries, battle for the title of World Champion of Public Speaking. This month-long competition culminates at the International Convention as the speakers compete for a title that transforms lives.
The World Championship of Public Speaking® starts in Toastmasters clubs across the globe. From there, participants advance to Area, Division, District, and Region level competitions. Two winners from each Regional competition move on to the semifinals.
At the semifinals, an expert panel of experienced Toastmasters will determine the finalists. Each speech lasts between five to seven minutes.
For many amateur speakers, this competition is the opportunity of a lifetime. Past winners have used this accolade to become prominent professional speakers, delivering keynotes and speeches around the globe.
District 105 Program Quality team invited two such champions from 2009 and 2019 to visit us and inspire our members.
DTM Gurbinder Singh Punn
Program Quality Director
District 105, Region 11
Mark Hunter (WCPS 2009) delivered a scintillating keynote address to the members of D105 on the principles of Reflective Leadership. Clubs can achieve success only if they are evolutionary in nature and as such, this is possible only if leaders follow a reflective path
Evolutionary clubs are characterized by Leadership that is not obvious, it serves as a place where egos are controlled and individuals collective can unfold, it is true to the self so that comfort levels are great and each member feels that they are part of the whole.
Clubs become evolutionary when members understand their needs, value the journey to the goals, consciously and authentically celebrate the achievements of all around them, and seek to genuinely understand each other thereby creating a sense of oneness with other members.
The primary goal of leaders should be to nurture, understand, and develop their areas before handing it over to the next in line. Leadership is essentially a loan and when we treat it as such, we foster a commitment to the whole and thereby empower members.
A reflective leader is one who sells the goals but feels and enjoys the journey. They encourage the core values of Toastmasters – Integrity, Respect, Service, and Excellence. These values should be Viable, Veritable, and Visible for all.
Leaders should also be discerning in nature. They should be able to sort and process information and understand the implications of their choices.
Ultimately leadership should be able to create spaces where members can take risks and speak the truth about their deepest hopes and vulnerabilities without losing sight of themselves in the process.
He was able to make progress only when he succeeded in identifying the exact nature of his fear. Aspiring Public Speakers need to identify exactly what is it about public speaking that we fear. Once we specify the fear, we can take steps to avoid intensifying it and this can then be transformed into a hurdle that we can easily overcome.
His keynote address emphasized the importance of finding the right mentor to guide you in this journey towards success.
In his words the right mentor will be one who has already been to the place that you wish to reach, one whose speaking style fits your style, mentor should be someone who practices and preaches the fundamentals of public speaking, they will give you their unbiased feedback and the right mentor will always give you the freedom to find your way and develop your style.
When we hear “The World Champions”, we tend to imagine an Allyson Felix or a Usain Bolt holding on to their awards with their eyes gleaming with eternal pride. On a parallel world, Our World Champions of Public Speaking are no different from our Celebrity winners, for they are simply magnificent in terms of their Skills, Poise & Glamour.
On 5th September 2020, we witnessed history being written at District 105 when two powerful World Champions of Public Speaking joined forces from across continents to put together a virtual feast for the members of the Toastmasters community spread across 4 countries. Lebanon, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, and the Sultanate of Oman.
Aspiring Public Speakers and Leaders got to benefit from the experience of the two World Champions Mark Hunter (WCPS 2009) and Aaron W Beverly (WCPS 2019).
Mark Hunter shared his valuable insights on Leadership Development while Aaron Beverly mapped out the way to attain success as a public speaker.