Highway resident represents SA in Canada

2017-09-26 06:01
Gary Tintinger represented Toastmasters District 74 (southern Africa) at the World Championship of Public Speaking. Photo: supplied

Gary Tintinger represented Toastmasters District 74 (southern Africa) at the World Championship of Public Speaking. Photo: supplied

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HIGHWAY resident and member of the Forest Hills Toastmasters Club, Gary Tintinger, recently returned from Vancouver, Canada, where he represented Toastmasters District 74 (southern Africa) in the World Championship of Public Speaking. 

Club president Jackie Johnson said: “We’re extremely proud of Gary’s achievement. It’s a fantastic honour for our club to be represented on the world stage.”

Johnson told Fever the annual international speech contest sees some 30 000 competitors take part at various levels of competition, culminating in the semi-finals and finals at the Toastmasters International Convention, which this year, took place in Vancouver. 

“One hundred competitors from around the world compete in the semi-finals with 10 competitors progressing to the finals.
“The winner is crowned World Champion of Public Speaking and this year the honour went to Manoj Vasudevan from Singapore. 

“In the 79-year history of the competition only one South African has placed in the top three of the competition. In 2004 in Reno, Nevada, Douglas Kruger achieved the highest ranking Africa has ever attained at this prestigious contest by placing second in the finals,” Johnson said.

While he did not make it to the final round of the competition, Tintinger was happy with his performance and is humbled at the opportunity to represent his country at international level. 

“It was an amazing experience, I learnt so much. As you can imagine the standard of competition is extremely high, but at the same time I realised it is achievable. 

“When I first joined Toastmasters just over a year-and-a- half ago I never thought in my wildest dreams I’d get the opportunity to compete in the World Championship of Public Speaking, but the opportunity came and I grabbed it with both hands.

“Above all else the lesson I have learnt is to be prepared for your wishes to come true, because it can happen when you least expect it.

“It is also extremely humbling and gratifying to be a part of an organisation that is so focused on the needs of its members.
“The moment local Toastmasters Clubs heard I’d be representing our district (southern Africa) they rallied around to offer their support and encouragement. It was a whirlwind of activity and panic getting ready for the competition, organising the visa, flights and accommodation, but without the support of my fellow Toastmasters this trip would never have been possible.

“I’m also extremely grateful to the District 74 leadership team who took me under their wing when I arrived in Vancouver.
“It made the entire experience just a little more memorable knowing I had a support team around me even though I was many thousands of kilometres from home,” he said.

Toastmasters has been around for more than 84 years and offer a proven and enjoyable way to develop communication and leadership skills.
Many people pay high fees for training programmes to gain the skill and confidence to face an audience, Toastmasters provide an affordable alternative and is held in high regard in business circles around the world. 

To find out more about Toastmasters, visit www.toastmasters.org or contact Forest Hills Toastmasters via their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ForestHills.Toastmasters


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