Sooke resident Tania Ehman placed in the Top 20 in the World Championships of Public Speaking in Washington

Sooke’s Tania Ehman places among Top 20 in World Public Speaking finals

Sooke Harbour Toastmasters Club member says she's thrilled with result

Talk about a good talker.

Sooke resident Tania Ehman placed in the Top 20 in the World Championship of Public Speaking in Washington, D.C. recent.

After taking her club and regional titles, the affable Ehman won her semifinal grouping at the World Championships of Public Speaking in August, then moved on to place in the Top 20 at the finals, besting a pool of more than 30,000 Toastmasters taking part.

The event saw competitors give a five- to seven-minute motivational or inspirational speech, where they were marked by a panel of 18 judges on everything from speaking style to stage presence to the use of gestures and how well they engaged with the audience.

“This is a pretty big deal to place in an international contest. I’m really thrilled,” said Ehman, 52.

“I didn’t expect to place at my first go at an international stage. Just getting there was a real achievement.”

Going up against speakers from California, Washington, Indonesia and Malaysia in the semifinal – competitors’ names were put in a hat and heats drawn randomly – Ehman used a motivational speech.

“My speeches are rooted in motivation to be a better person,” she told the Sooke News Mirror before the contest.

Ehman, a member of the Sooke Harbour Toastmasters Club, said her goal was to win the speech contest next year when Toastmasters host their annual international convention in Vancouver.

“If I’m going to win I might as well do it in my own backyard. It’s the goal I’ve been working towards.”

Darren Tay, a 27-year-old lawyer from Singapore, won the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking this year. More information on the Sooke Harbour Toastmasters Club can be found online at 1472411.toastmastersclubs.org.