The Ladson, SC resident outshined all the divisional-winners to win the district-level competition of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest. Unks advances to the semifinal rounds of the contest, vying for one of 10 spots in the World Championship of Public Speaking® to be held at the Toastmasters International Convention Friday, Aug. 25 in Vancouver, Canada.
Unks, a member of Greenwave Gabbers Toastmasters Club (Summerville, SC) surpassed fierce competition to win over the judges at the District 58 finals on April 23. When it comes to connecting with an audience, he said, “The key is to have a storyline that is relatable and compelling.”
The speech touched on the theme will be on being yourself. He explained that dramatically changed his life by finding his faith, and since then he has felt called to motivational speaking and writing. The theme is also woven through his books.
Unks will compete with 101 other winners from districts around the world who advanced to the 2017 semifinal round after a six-month process of elimination through club, area, division and district speech competitions. Their five- to seven-minute speeches were judged on content, organization, gestures and style.
“Toastmasters speech contests are another way to build your confidence, sharpen your skills and speak to many different audiences,”says Unks. “I am looking forward to competing on a much larger stage in Vancouver!” He joined Toastmasters in 2015 to become a better speaker and leader at work and in the community. His message shares his “struggles with his weight, social anxiety and the feeling of never being good enough. However, he’s made radical changes and wants to share what he learned with others so they can improve their lives, too.”