"The World Championship of Public Speaking showcases the powerful talent of Toastmasters' best speakers and gives all members the opportunity to exhibit what they've learned on a grand stage," says Michael Notaro, Toastmasters' 2011-2012 International President.
To be eligible for the competition, all participants must be active Toastmasters members and present a five-to seven-minute speech in English. Judging criteria include content, organization, gestures, style and timing. To reach the finals, the contenders advanced through club, area, division, district-level and the International semifinal speech competitions.
“With a commitment to excellence and a desire to make a difference, anything is possible,” says Parker. Diane, a member of the Old Bridge Toastmasters Club, surpassed fierce competition to win the hearts of the audience and judges alike with her speech, “Excess Baggage.” Parker, who takes great joy in writing and delivering motivational and inspirational speeches, touched on the themes of overcoming fear, guilt, doubt and insecurity. Delivering her words with power and emotion, Parker challenged her audience to be vigilant about not permitting negative thoughts and emotions to hinder them as they set out to achieve their dreams, goals and aspirations.
Parker is director of staffing and diversity for The Associated Press (AP) in New York City, where she has been employed for 11 years. In addition to being a member of Old Bridge Toastmasters Club, she is a founding member of The Associated Press Toastmasters Club, organized specifically for AP employees.
The World Championship of Public Speaking began as an inter-club speech contest held in 1938 in Tucson, Arizona. Winners of this competition often use it as a springboard to launch their professional speaking career. Last year's winner was Jock Elliott, a trainer and speech coach from Bongaree, Queensland, Australia, who won after having competed in the finals a record six times.
To contact Diane Parker, or learn more about the contest or Toastmasters club membership, contact Old Bridge Toastmasters Club (http://1401391.toastmastersclubs.org/
About District 83
District 83 is one of 86 districts, which comprises more than 150 clubs in Metropolitan New Jersey, Staten Island, NY, and Rockland County, New York. For more information about District 86, please visit the District 83 website at http://www.toastmasters83.org.
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 and profession build their competence in communication so they can gain the confidence to lead others. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit http://www.toastmasters.org.