RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., Aug. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In a speech underscoring the value of close connections with family and friends, Jock Elliott, a Toastmaster from Bongaree, Queensland, Australia, won the final round of the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking on Saturday, Aug. 20. Elliott, along with eight other final contestants, reached the championship round after several eliminating rounds that began six months ago with 30,000 participants from 116 countries. [Watch winning speech: here]
"We often don't look after the people who really matter in our lives the way we need to," Elliott said. His speech resonated with a capacity crowd of nearly 2,000 listeners from around the world who attended the contest held at the Bally's Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The core message of his winning speech was about maintaining relationships with, "the friends of my blood which is about family, friends of my time which is about the people I've grown up with and shared experiences with, and friends of my heart, who have shared my life emotionally."
A veteran competitor, Elliott joined Toastmasters 36 years ago and competed in nearly 380 Toastmasters speech contests before reaching his lifelong goal of earning the title of World Champion of Public Speaking. In his acceptance speech, he said, "Thank you for more than a lifetime of challenge, opportunity and friendship." A six-time World Champion finalist, Elliott said if he had won this award five or 20 years ago, "I might have been a richer speaker but not a better speaker."
A speech coach by trade, Elliott offers the following advice: "A good speech is like a good book or a good song. It's memorable and creates an emotional connection."
Speakers delivered five- to seven-minute speeches on wide-ranging topics, and were judged on content, organization and delivery.
Elliott claimed the title of 2011 World Champion of Public Speaking during the Toastmasters International Convention, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., Aug. 17-20.
Second- and third-place winners in the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking were Kwong Yue Yang of Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, with his speech, "Fortune Cookie," and Scott Pritchard of Las Vegas, Nevada, with his speech titled "Roscoe's Words."
About Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Founded in October 1924, the organization currently has more than 270,000 members in 13,000 clubs in 116 countries. Each week, Toastmasters helps more than a quarter million people of every ethnicity, education level and profession build their competence in communication so they can gain the confidence to lead others. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit www.toastmasters.org.
SOURCE Toastmasters International