RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., Jan. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Toastmasters International (toastmasters.org), a global leader in public speaking and leadership skill-building, kicks off its annual International Speech Contest this month. It is the world's largest speech contest, with more than 30,000 presenters in 113 countries vying to become the next World Champion of Public Speaking.
"Speech contests are a unique and exciting part of the Toastmasters program," says Pat Johnson, Toastmasters 2010-2011 International President. "These competitions challenge members to push beyond the club and fine-tune their skills. In a club, members are evaluated; in a contest, members are judged."
The International Speech Contest begins at the local club level and proceeds through the area, division, district and final levels. Eighty-two district semifinalists compete during the four-day Toastmasters 2011 International Convention held Aug. 17-20, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at Bally's Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. Nine contenders make it to the final round on Aug. 20, where the winner is crowned the Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking.
"Each level of the competition tested my ability to articulate my thoughts and emotions and connect with the audience," says David Henderson, Toastmasters 2010 World Champion of Public Speaking.
To enter the contest, a person must be an active member of Toastmasters International and have completed at least six speeches from Toastmasters' Competent Communication manual, the first manual in the Toastmasters communication program. All participant speeches must be original, presented in English and last five to seven minutes. Judging criteria include originality, speech content, organization, voice quality, gestures and timing.
See interviews with David along with highlights of the past winning speeches on Toastmasters' YouTube channel at youtube.com/user/Toastmasters.
Additional details about the Toastmasters International Speech Contest and 2011 Convention will be announced in early April. District winners will be announced early in August and posted on the Toastmasters Web site. For more information about Toastmasters International contests, please visit toastmasters.org/contest.
To visit a contest, contact a club near you: toastmasters.org/findaclub/.
Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. The organization currently has more than 260,000 members in over 12,500 clubs in 113 countries. Since its founding in October 1924, the organization has helped more than 4 million men and women give presentations with poise and confidence. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit toastmasters.org.
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