Kildare man wins international Toastmasters contest with dramatic ending to speech on Irish winters!

Newbridge man David Clinton has won the Toastmasters International District 71 “Table Topics” Speech Contest on Sunday (5November) with his impromptu speech about his feelings on winter!

David, who is the owner of Tricky Tricksters Magic Castle Play Centre, became the 2017 Table Topics Speech Champion of District 71 at Toastmasters International’s Steel City Conference in Sheffield last weekend. The Table Topics contest featured 10 competitors from across the UK and Ireland. Toastmasters International District 71 incorporates all of Ireland, and all of the UK apart from London and the south of England - writes

Toastmasters International’s District 71 Director Robert “Red” Skelton praised David’s performance:

“The annual Table Topics Contest is an adrenaline thrill-ride of public speaking. Because the speakers are not given their topic until a few moments before they take the stage, for me it is the most exciting of all the speech contests. David wowed the audience with his dramatic ending, as he lept off the stage brandishing the Irish flag – which he had selected from the stage decorations! It was a truly memorable performance. On behalf of the District Leadership team I extend our sincere congratulations."

David is a member of two local Toastmasters clubs: Athy Toastmasters, and Kildare Toastmasters Club. Beginning with the Athy club contest in September, David progressed through three qualifying rounds within Toastmasters prior to the District 71 final on Saturday. This included his triumph at theDivision D final held at The Clonmel Park Hotel 22October.

Kildare man, David with (left) third place winner,

Shalini Sinha from Dublin and runner-up,

Sabine-Munro from Glasgow.

Commenting on his achievement, David noted, ““I joined Toastmasters for fun and friendship – I never considered the possibility of success in competition. I have been humbled by the support and encouragement of friends I never knew I had. I had lost a certain belief in myself but I believe that I have found it once again.”

He had some advice for others who might be anxious at the prospect of entering a contest: ““We should all take the opportunity to step towards the freedom beyond our comfort zones andbe amazed by what you can achieve”.

The Table Topics contestants are sequestered, and each one is given the same topic. They must construct an impromptu speech that is at least one minute long, but not longer than two-and-a-half minutes. A dozen judges evaluate the speaker on the speech’s structure, and elements such as originality and achievement of purpose. Fifty-five percent of the judging ballot is for speech development and effectiveness, with 30 per cent allocated to delivery including voice and body language, while the remaining 15 per cent is for the appropriateness and correctness of the speaker’s language.

In addition to organizing an international speech competition where the World Champion of Public Speaking® is chosen, Toastmasters International organizes three other district-wide competitions: the Humourous Speech contest, the Speech Evaluation Contest, and the Table Topics Contest.

Featured image showsDavid Clinton onstage moments after being announced the winner with Avril Stringer Contest Chair from Edinburgh and Red Skelton Toastmasters International District 71 Director,Cambridge.

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