With an inspiring speech titled, “A Great Read,” Verity Price, a 46-year-old professional speaker and facilitator from Cape Town, South Africa, won the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking on Saturday, Aug. 28. Price, 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 149 countries.
“This feels surreal,” said Price. “I’m so humbled, happy, and grateful to have received this title. I’m going to be pinching myself for weeks to come.” Price’s winning speech was about her journey of overcoming severe depression and anxiety through making the necessary changes to turn her life around. “If your life is not going the way you want, you need to write a different story,” she said. “Reframe the way you’re seeing life’s difficulties and see them in a more positive light, so you get the energy and the impetus to change your life.”
Price is the first African to earn the title of World Champion of Public Speaking. In her acceptance speech, she said, “I’m blown away to be the first winner of this title in Africa. I hope that I’ve broken the proverbial 4-minute mile for all speakers on this incredible continent because I believe that this title can come back to Africa many, many times.”
Price joined Toastmasters 10 years ago and immediately found the sense of community and camaraderie that she was seeking. “Toastmasters gave me a purpose during a very dark time in my life,” she said. “It’s been life-changing and I will be forever grateful and looking for ways to give back to this organization.”
Speakers delivered five-to seven-minute speeches on wide-ranging topics, and were judged on content, organization, and delivery.
Price claimed the title of Toastmasters’ 2021 World Champion of Public Speaking during the organization’s annual convention held virtually, Aug. 23-28.
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 300,000 in more than 15,800 clubs in 149 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.