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PUBLIC SPEAKING CHAMPIONSHIPS (article first published : 2004-10-10)

Douglas Kruger (23) from Strubensvalley in Roodepoort won second place in the World Championships of Public Speaking in August. This is the highest placing Africa has ever attained. Oregon-based Randy Harvey won the Championships.

Douglas represented the eight nations of Southern Africa at the 2004 World Championships of Public Speaking, hosted by Toastmasters International, in Reno, Nevada, USA. Competing against people twice his age, Douglas dazzled an audience nearly 3,000 strong with a world-class speech titled Hold my Hand. The speech used humour and deep-seated sentiment, reminding the audience not to wait until life-threatening crises before learning to appreciate their friends and family. In the true African spirit of Ubuntu, he urged the audience to take to heart the notion that people matter most.

After all (as Douglas said in his speech), “The world saw proof of that, one day on the 11th of September, when hundreds of people faced their final moments over what seemed a serene skyline; New York City. What did they choose to do?” he asks,”They sent out messages of love! With phones and pagers, text and voice, they held the hands of the ones they cherished, held them till the end!”

Further information on the World Championships from David L Sutcliffe DTM CL, District 74 Governor 2004-05 - Do It NOW!, Toastmasters District 74 (Southern Africa) on 031 765 6033 (work/fax/home) or 083 356 2566 or e-mail: sutty@xsinet.co.za




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