COVER STORY – Verity pays the Price and wins the prize

Verity Price, from ToastED Toastmasters Club in Division D is the new District 74 International Public Speaking Champion for 2021/2022. Together with six other finalists, they were the last ones standing among hundreds of speakers who competed in this year’s International Speech Contest from club to district level.

In an exclusive interview with her, soon after the contest, Verity had this to say;

I am overwhelmed and deeply grateful! This contest journey has exposed me to so many talented speakers in our District so I’m pinching myself that I won.

About a year ago I remember thinking this was the one contest I might never go far with. I’ve been lucky enough to win Evaluations and placed 2nd for Humorous and Table Topics at District level, but the prepared contest was one where I couldn’t ever seem to find the right speech.

In July last year I told the story of my mum as part of my Pathways icebreaker and a little voice whispered that it could work as a contest speech. I’m very glad I listened.

I have been humbled by the outpouring of support I’ve received since the start of the contest! People have been so kind and I’ve shed a few tears after receiving heartfelt messages of support out of the blue from all across the District. It’s made me feel like I’m part of a truly incredible community and without that the contest experience would be so bland.

This contest is about a message you would want the world to listen to. In the end it’s about tapping into your life and your stories to share a universal message with people. My advice is to trust that your life is full of simple yet profound moments that carry powerful messages in them. Pay attention to the stories you often share with people and see if there’s one that you can really enjoy taking on this journey.  And… don’t try and do it alone! Work with mentors who’ve walked the contest path. Watch past winners and notice the common things they do that make the difference.

2005 World Champ Lance Miller says an easy formula to follow is…

1. Tell the STORY

2. Make the POINT

3. Share how you’ve APPLIED the message/point in your life

This win is definitely dedicated to my mother and the incredible example she set for me in life. It’s also an apology for being such a tricky teenager and my way of letting her know that her lesson is living on.