"We all fall down. That's the bad news. No matter how far you fall, love will lift you up." With these words, attorney David Henderson, a Toastmaster from San Antonio, Texas, rose above a field of nine contestants to win the final round of the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking on Saturday, Aug. 14. Henderson presented his winning speech, titled "The Aviators" to a crowd of more than 1,600 fellow Toastmasters from 113 countries.
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Henderson claimed the title of 2010 World Champion of Public Speaking during the Toastmasters International Convention, held in Palm Desert, Aug. 11-14.
In his acceptance speech, Henderson shared with the audience his winning strategy. When it comes to connecting with an audience, he said, "Don't tell people, just show them."
Presenting his speech dressed in an aviator helmet, goggles, bomber jacket and long "Snoopy" scarf, Henderson brought to life his heartfelt story of loving and then losing a cherished childhood friend.
He demonstrated his emotional story about coping with loss by literally falling on the stage.
Speakers delivered five- to seven-minute presentations on wide-ranging topics, and were judged on content, organization and delivery. The nine final contestants reached the Convention after several eliminating rounds that began with 30,000 participants.
Second- and third-place winners in the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking were Robert Mackenzie of Los Angeles, Calif., with his speech, "My Alter Ego," and Linus Chang of Canterbury, Victoria, Australia, with his speech titled "Being Jane."
Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. The organization currently has 260,000 members in 12,500 clubs in 113 countries. Since its founding in October 1924, the organization has helped more than four million men and women give presentations with poise and confidence. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit www.toastmasters.org.
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