ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Aug. 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- With an inspiring speech titled, "The Librarian & Mrs. Montgomery," Mike Carr, a 53-year-old Financial Analyst from Austin, Texas, won the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking on Saturday, Aug. 29. Carr, along with seven other final contestants, reached the championship level after several eliminating rounds that began more than six months ago with 30,000 participants from 145 countries. Watch Carr's winning speech here.
"This experience has been surreal," said Carr. "If you're more concerned with the impact you make than the trophy, sometimes the results work out." His speech entertained the more than 23,000 people from around the world who attended the contest virtually due to COVID-19. His winning speech was an inspiring story about overcoming fear as a child.
"There are so many people letting their fear of the results keep them from releasing their magic into the world, and I wanted to tell that population that you can decide that the victory has nothing to do with the results," he said. "You can decide that the victory can be just letting your magic out. My hope is that as more people do that the world becomes a better place."
Carr joined Toastmasters 25 years ago to reduce his use of filler words and to help him to better organize his thoughts before speaking. He had made it to the semifinals of the International Speech Contest twice before reaching his goal of earning the title of World Champion of Public Speaking. In his acceptance speech, he said, "This has been fun, surreal, and exciting. There is some relief that it's over. It's been at least a half marathon, if not a full marathon."
Carr plans to leverage his World Championship to build a platform for encouraging others to reach beyond what they thought was possible. "My hope is that this will inspire people to try new things even if they don't fully believe in themselves," he said. "Hopefully, they will reach a little bit further and it enriches their lives."
Speakers delivered five-to seven-minute speeches on wide-ranging topics, and were judged on content, organization, and delivery.
Carr claimed the title of Toastmasters' 2020 World Champion of Public Speaking during the organization's annual convention held virtually, Aug. 24-29. This marked the first time Toastmasters has held a virtual convention in the 95-year history of the organization.
Second- and third-place winners were Linda-Marie Miller from Durham, N.C., with her speech titled "Pretending Not to Know," and Lindy MacLaine from Sequim, Wash., with her speech, "Your Buried Story."
About Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., the organization's membership exceeds 364,000 in more than 16,200 clubs in 145 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.
SOURCE Toastmasters International