With an inspiring speech titled, “Ndini,” Cyril Junior Dim, a 24-year-old Zimbabwean software engineer living in Wroclaw, Poland, won the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking® on Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville. Dim, 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 144 countries.
“This feels like one of those wild dreams,” said Dim. “I’m thankful that at every step of this journey people were able to see past my short-sighted vision. I especially thank Kamila, who’s been more than just a Coach across several championship attempts.”
Dim’s winning speech was titled, “Ndini,” a word from the Shona language in Zimbabwe that translates to “this is me” in English. The speech centered on Dim’s journey of self-acceptance. “I addressed a time in my life when I wasn’t happy with who I was and the lengths to which I went to try and become somebody else,” he said. “Then I spoke about a friend of mine who made me realize that there is value in accepting who you are. From there came a new way of looking at the world where I viewed being different as an opportunity to be special if you accept yourself.”
In his acceptance speech, Dim said, “I want to thank the family that has believed in me. In a society where you can be a doctor, a lawyer, or a failure, to say you wanted to be a public speaker might have been met with some resistance, but my family prayed for me every step of the way.”
Dim joined Toastmasters four years ago with his sights set on being an accomplished public speaker. “When I joined the organization and got a picture of what Toastmasters is, I realized how much I didn’t know. I thought I was a good public speaker, but there was plenty I didn’t know and things I needed to learn.”
Dim claimed the title of Toastmasters’ 2022 World Champion of Public Speaking during the organization’s annual convention held as a hybrid event, Aug. 17-20.
Speakers delivered five-to seven-minute speeches on wide-ranging topics, and were judged on content, organization, and delivery.
Second- and third-place winners were Alexandre Matte from Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, with his speech titled “Missing Ingredient” and Mas Mahathir Bin Mohamad from Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, with his speech, “Two Gifts.”
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 280,000 in more than 14,700 clubs in 144 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders.