January 20, 2023
3 min read
Have you competed in speech contests? Can you see yourself winning the World Championship of Public Speaking?
Each year, Toastmasters speech contests culminate in the grand event known as the World Championship of Public Speaking. It’s an exciting journey of growth and achievement.
Read more to learn about this event and the Toastmasters speech contests that lead up to it. We’ll even introduce you to an artificial intelligence powered speech coach that can help you prepare for the world championships! 🙂
Toastmasters has always been about educating community members in leadership and communication, especially public speaking. Toastmasters members practice public speaking in club meetings and receive further education through Pathways. Through these activities, they sharpen marketable skills that set them apart from the crowd.
Competition cultivates growth. While competing isn’t required, many find Toastmasters speech contests to be valuable experiences that boost their confidence and skills. The path to the World Champion of Public Speaking® also leads to opportunities to speak outside of the Toastmasters world and advance in their careers.
Let’s take a closer look at that journey.
On any given day, you can find a Toastmasters club meeting in session somewhere around the world. Toastmasters International has 15,800 clubs in 149 countries. These clubs are the heart of the organization, and Toastmasters speech contests (ultimately leading up to the World Championship of Public Speaking®) start here.
Each year, thousands compete. Winners advance to competitions at the various levels of Toastmasters—Area, Division, District, and Region. The top two from each region are quarterfinalists. These move on to the International Speech Contest Semifinals. In 2022, 28 speakers competed in the semifinals.
A panel of experienced Toastmasters narrows the semifinalists down to eight finalists. These advance to the World Championship of Public Speaking.
Thousands of Toastmasters compete each year. Eight make it all the way to the World Championship of Public Speaking. After each one delivers a speech that lasts about five to seven minutes, the first-, second-, and third-place winners are declared.
The first-place winner in 2022 was Cyril Junior Dim. Watch his winning speech, “Ndini”:
For these competitors and others, this experience can be life-changing. According to Toastmasters, the World Championship of Public Speaking® is “the opportunity of a lifetime. Past winners have used this accolade to become prominent paid speakers, delivering keynotes and speeches around the globe.”
In 2022, Toastmasters conducted both the International Speech Contest Semifinals and the World Championship of Public Speaking® as hybrid (in-person or virtual) competitions during the convention in August. In this annual event, Toastmasters members from all over the world come together to learn and network.
For an idea of what happens at the conventions, let’s look at the 2022 event. Held in August in Nashville (with an option to attend virtually), attendees chose from among four learning tracks:
Just because the convention is now over, that doesn’t mean you can’t still benefit from it. You can stream select sessions for free or buy an all-access pass for $60.
The Toastmasters Annual Business Meeting also takes place at the convention. Voting members of the organization conduct business and elect board members.
Whether you’re competing in Toastmasters speech contests or competitions with other organizations, you can use the free Yoodli AI-powered speech app to practice and improve. Yoodli is a partner of Toastmasters, and Toastmasters members have access to a customized version of Yoodli.
Yoodli makes it easy to practice and get instant judgment-free feedback on various elements of your speech and body language. This practice and feedback will give you confidence and skills—not to mention an advantage over the competition.
Yoodli has been built with guidance from several former World Champions of Public Speaking, all of whom are on Yoodli’s advisory board. They include Craig Valentine, Ed Tate, Mark Brown, Verity Price, and numerous other speech experts.
Even if you never win the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking, you can become a better public speaker than you were last week. That makes you a winner every time. Get started today with Toastmasters and Yoodli.