Public Speaking 'World Champion' Teaches his Talent

By Forrest Saunders, Reporter


By Forrest Saunders

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Wednesday night, inside the Cedar Rapids Public Library auditorium sat Leah Hause, a Rockwell Collins engineer who knows firsthand how hard public speaking can be.

“When you present to any four-star general you get anxiety. That gentleman has moved up through those ranks and knows his stuff,” said Hause.

Without a strong voice, Hause thinks her career climb could plateau. So, she showed up to learn some tips from Ryan Avery.

Avery holds the title of Toastmaster’s 2012 World Champion of Public Speaking. Something he hadn’t heard of until watching a video on Youtube.

“I said, ‘I can do that’. I ran outside of my bedroom. My wife was sitting on the couch. I said, ‘Babe, I’m going to be the World Champion of Public Speaking this year’. She goes, ‘That’s a real thing?’”

It was, and a big thing at that. Avery competed in Orlando against more than 30,000 people from 116 countries. He won with a seven minute speech about trust.

Avery now travels the globe teaching his talent in workshops, like Wednesday’s. He said speech craft all comes down to three simple things.

“You need to keep it simple. You need to keep it impactful. And you need to make it relatable,” said Avery. “I believe your voice is the most powerful tool on the planet. I think you can move mountains. I think you can create change in people. So being able to develop your voice is critical.”

Avery was 25 when he won his title. That makes him the youngest champion in the competition's history.

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