RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., Aug. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- With a humorous speech titled "Outsmart; Outlast," Darren Tay, a 27-year-old newly minted lawyer from Singapore, won the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking on Saturday, Aug. 20. Tay, along with nine other finalists, reached the championship level after several elimination rounds that began six months ago with 30,000 participants from more than 100 countries. Watch Tay compete here.
"It's a dream come true; it feels surreal," said the winner, who has experience competing in debate in high school and college but said he joined Toastmasters to hone his interpersonal skills. He said he entered the contest "to discover my limitations" and to "share my message with a larger audience."
His speech resonated with the capacity crowd of 1,600 people from around the world who attended the contest at Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. His winning speech was a personal tale about being bullied in school; he memorably put on a pair of Calvin Klein white underwear for five minutes to illustrate how his bully made him put on a pair of underwear and wear it at school. His aunt told him not to run and hide from a bully, but to "outsmart and outlast " him. His speech was about how he later as an adult met that childhood bully, who ironically had become a psychologist and anti-bullying expert, and made peace with him. Tay made the analogy that, "As much as we try to deny it, we all are own strongest enemies; we beat ourselves up and put ourselves down. How long have you allowed your inner bully to take charge?"
Tay joined Toastmasters seven years ago. He thanked his "global Toastmasters family for giving me so much without expecting anything in return." He hopes the title of World Champion of Public Speaking will lead to a career in professional speaking.
Contestants delivered five-to seven-minute speeches on wide-ranging topics and were judged on content, organization and delivery.
Tay claimed the title of Toastmasters 2016 World Champion of Public Speaking during the organization's annual convention held in Washington, D.C., Aug. 17-20.
Second- and third-place winners were Aaron Beverly from Philadelphia, Penn., with a speech facetiously titled, "Leave a lasting memory using as few words as possible and strive with every fiber in your being to avoid being the type of person who rambles on and on with no end in sight more likely than not causing listeners to sit and think to themselves oh my goodness can somebody please make this stop." Third place went to Josephine Lee from Santa Ana, Calif., with her speech, "I Will Be There."
About Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., the organization's membership exceeds 345,000 in more than 15,900 clubs in 142 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators and leaders. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit www.toastmasters.org. Follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.
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SOURCE Toastmasters International