We have all been inspired by TED talks and the flawless presentations that are made on that esteemed platform. We are enthralled by the expertise of the speakers and their speaking prowess makes us spellbound no matter which talk we watch. While TED was conceived as talks on Technology, Education and Design, the principles of great speaking are also an integral part of the event. Why am I telling you this? Read on to know more
While the speakers at TED arrive early and practice for hours for that perfect delivery, how great would it be if there was an event just dedicated to speaking skills! And guess what! There is!! The World Championship of Public Speaking is due to happen later this week where contestants from across the world will contest for the title of the World Champion! This annual event is organised by Toastmasters International headquartered in California, USA.
What is Toastmasters International?
TI is a world leader in helping people develop their communication and leadership skills. It’s global network of 16,400 clubs in 141 countries ensures every member has an opportunity to improve on their people skills. What I love about being a part of Toastmasters is the safe environment it provides for members to practice public speaking. The nerves, the jitters, the awkward pauses – everything gets applause and encouragement. Being confident in front of people is tough and it is only with unconditional support that can one get there.
It is an international speaking contest held in a different country every year. The top 10 finalists typically defeat about 25 to 30,000 opponents over a period of 6-7 months at the club, district and area levels to reach the semi finals. The semi finals are held at the championship venue. The final 10 then fight it out for the top slot. It is not uncommon for people to come back to contest repeatedly even if they’ve already been first runners up. The dedication and zeal that the participants bring into the contest are exemplary and inspiring.
Why should you watch this event?
This is the 86th convention of public speaking. I was mesmerised for months after repeatedly watching the contest winning speech by Dananjaya Hettiarachchi in the finals of 2014. It truly reflects a decade of hard work that he put into the contest. Watch his wonderful speech and what we can learn from it here.
Here are a few reasons why you should watch it:
– It is “the” world’s biggest and only public speaking contest.
– If you choose the semi finals too, you’ll get to watch about a 100 champions of speaking! Yes! Making it to the semi finals is no mean feat either. Imagine the amount of learning!
– It is one of the best events to watch if you love public speaking or want to get better at it. There is so much for us to learn from the top 10 speaking stalwarts and emulate in our own lives.
– It might inspire you to begin your own journey as a speaker to become more confident in your every day life.
How can you watch the finals of this gala event?
The entire event – all the lectures, semi finals and finals are available for purchase to be watched on demand. You can watch the event live or stream it later, at throwaway prices. If you a member of a club, find out where your club will be streaming it live and join the party. The link to purchase events of your choice is: Toastmasters on demand. I have already bought the live streaming link for sessions I’d like to learn from.
And there’s more:
The World Championship of Public Speaking has 85 more winners over the years whose oratory skills know no boundaries like profession or gender. The videos on the TI website are a rich resource of learning. You can also find some of them on YouTube. The best way to work on a skill is to watch and learn. And then apply them in your life.
My first speech at the Toastmasters club I am a part of was exciting. Click the link to read about it.
I also found this detailed article about the who, what, when, where and how of Toastmasters club. Feel free to ignore the stats since this article doesn’t reflect the latest numbers.