Public speaking world champion visits Grand Junction
WHAT: Toastmaster Leadership Institute 2014
WHEN: Sunday, Jan. 26, 12:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
WHERE: Hospice Care Center, 3090 N. 12th St., Grand Junction
INFO: 303-272-5455; www.lancemillerspeaks.com
Imagine being the World Champion of Public Speaking.
For most people, it’s hard enough to visualize talking in front of a group of people, let alone in front of thousands during an international speech competition.
Lance Miller, 55, who has a sister in Grand Junction and relatives in Aspen and Vail, is the Toastmasters International 2005 World Champion of Public Speaking. He’ll be in Grand Junction Sunday, Jan. 26, to deliver a leadership presentation at the HopeWest Hospice Care Center, located at 3090 12th St. The public is invited.
Toastmasters International is a public speaking and leadership organization where members meet weekly to practice and hone their communication skills. There are three local clubs in Grand Junction that meet on different days and locations.
Winning the international speech contest is a dream for many Toastmasters, but that wasn’t necessarily Miller’s goal.
“I wanted to be a competent speaker and I used the contest to discover areas where I needed to improve,” Miller said.
The contest and all the competitions leading up to the finals gave Miller challenges beyond those presented in his own local club in Hollywood, Calif.
“Whenever you’re under pressure, that’s usually when you make mistakes, your weaknesses are exposed,” Miller said.
He competed in local, area, district, semi-finals and finals contests, eventually competing with up to 40,000 people from 123 countries.
The title of Miller’s winning speech was “The Ultimate Question” — its message was about validating what is good and right in people.
“This concept is close to my heart,” Miller said. “Problems in the world stem from finding what’s wrong with another, instead of finding what’s right.”
In Grand Junction, Miller’s Toastmasters-sponsored presentation will be geared toward training club officers in how they can work together as a team to create and maintain a thriving club. The leadership training is applicable to anyone interested in Toastmasters or wanting insight into organizational issues, Miller said.
“We teach people how to speak and run their club successfully,” Miller said. “When they learn that, they learn how to run an organization successfully.”
Grand Junction resident Bill Frazier is a member of the Wild Mustangs Toastmasters, a club that meets Mondays at 4:45 p.m. at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, 2121 North Ave.
Frazier joined Toastmasters because he believed it would benefit him in his career.
“Being an engineer and a lead project manager, I have to be a spokesperson on all the projects,” Frazier said. “I have to speak in public.
“Being able to communicate can break or make a project.”
There are personal benefits as well, he added.
“It’s more healthful to be able to express yourself; to say your piece, have your say,” Frazier said.
Miller has delivered more than 2,500 speeches on the fundamentals of public speaking in more than 28 countries including Saudi Arabia, China and Ireland.
He was instrumental in building his local club from six to 95 members. That club is now rated Toastmasters’ number-four club in the world (determined by membership numbers and educational achievements).
To watch Miller’s 2005 world champion speech, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQSAYobiSuk.
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