Toastmasters Antwerpen invited World Champion of Public Speaking Mohammed Qahtani to visit Antwerp, on his way from the District 95 Spring Conference in Timisoara to the District 59 Spring Conference in Luxembourg. On Thursday 19 May, he was received by Mr Bart De Wever, Mayor of the City of Antwerp, at “het Schoon Verdiep”, the sumptuously decorated “beautiful floor” of Antwerp’s 16th century City Hall.
Since Mr De Wever is arguably the best political orator in Flanders, his meeting with the World Champion of Public Speaking truly was an encounter of two giants of oratory!
The Mayor expressed his admiration for Mohammed Qahtani’s achievement and encouraged Toastmasters Antwerpen in its endeavours to promote the noble art of oratory in the Antwerp community.
Mohammed Qahtani was accompanied by a delegation of the executive committee of Toastmasters Antwerpen: President Egwin Gonthier, Vice President Public Relations Sandra D’Amario and incoming Sergeant at Arms Wouter Dupré. Vice Mayors Rob Van de Velde, Fons Duchateau, Ludo Van Campenhout and Nabila Ait Daoud joined Mayor Bart De Wever for the group picture.
On 23 april, the Lille Toastmasters Club organised a terrific event, everything went well! We were so proud of the core team! Now, Luxembourg, here we come!
Our contestants were well-prepared and impressive on stage. There was real emotion with the depiction of traumatising life experiences! The response amongst the public was immediate with real tears. The speeches were very touching when inspiring. And more humoristic when depicting the male-female realities.
Division B hereby proudly presents its contestants that will compete at the District 59 Spring Conference in Luxembourg:
International Speech Contest
1. Daniel Mouqué
2. Carsten Wendt
3. Erik Luijts
Contest Master: David Lewis
English Evaluation Contest
1. Jeffer London
2. Jack Gilbey
3. Covey McAllister
Contest Master: Alexis Brouard
1. Valentina Caimi
Contest Master: Bonifacio Di Pietrantonio
Division B takes feedback and mentoring very seriously amidst all the fun. On their way to Luxembourg, the four contestants received on Wednesday 11 May the infamous shower of coaching at the Artful Orators, Brussels’ Advanced Toastmasters Club. The contestants received feedback in English, French and Italian: that’s the stuff champions are made off!
Our multilingual recommendations to the contestants:
Daniel and Jeffer: Break a leg each!
Bruno: Bonne merde!
Valentina: In bocca al lupo!
Between his Spring conference keynotes in Timisoara (District 95) and Luxembourg (District 59), Mohammed Qahtani chose to spend some time in Belgium. Toastmasters Antwerpen invited the 2015 World Champion of Public Speaking to give a Masterclass on Thursday, 19 May.
In this highly interactive meeting, you will learn from Mohammed’s experience as a Toastmasters World Champion, keynote speaker and corporate trainer. His feedback, tips and tricks will enable you to create better speeches, boost your stage presence and conquer the hearts of your audience.
At some point in your professional life, you will inevitably be confronted with cultural differences that may challenge your behaviour. A faux pas is easily made and can be a serious roadblock to the success of your endeavours. If you understand the culture in which you are conducting business, it will help you to be more successful. Knowing how to handle cultural sensibilities is an essential part of being an effective communicator.
In her workshop at our Division’s Spring Conference in Lille, intercultural relations expert Elizabeth Vennekens-Kelly will outline the major challenges of business and interpersonal communication in a multicultural environment. She will provide recommendations to make your communication more effective and culture savvy.
Elizabeth Vennekens-Kelly is an intercultural trainer, consultant, and the author of Subtle Differences, Big Faux Pas. In this cultural guide she helps and encourages individuals to realize the extent of cultural differences and the value in gaining an understanding of the cultures in which they interact.
Elizabeth’s goal is to help individuals develop the cultural competencies they need to be successful and to encourage people to make the most of the unique opportunity of living outside their passport country. She combines her business experience, familiarity of expat living and intercultural knowledge to help individuals to deal with the complexities of living and working abroad. She trains individuals working in multicultural settings, people who are relocating overseas and those returning home, to effectively interact and communicate in the varied situations they encounter.
At the Lille Division Conference, Elizabeth will share a plethora of striking examples in verbal as well as non-verbal communication, from the simplest gestures in everyday life to the noble art of toasting — indeed, even if you are an experienced Toastmaster, you should think of the cultural context in which you are required to propose a toast! Elizabeth will show you how to leverage your cultural competence and be successful in today’s multicultural environment.
Every year, 30.000 Toastmasters in 135 countries compete for the title of World Champion of Public Speaking. After winning their club and area contests, the Division contest on Saturday 23 April in Lille will determine who will represent our Division at the District 59 Spring Contest in Luxembourg, on 20-22 May in Luxembourg.
The International Speech Contest culminates in the semi-finals and finals of the World Championship of Public Speaking at the Toastmasters International 2016 Convention, to be held on 17-20 August in Washington, D.C.
Judging criteria include speech content, originality, organisation, gestures, style and timing.
“Becoming the World Champion of Public Speaking was the culmination of a dream I didn’t think was possible,” says Mohammed Qahtani from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who is Toastmasters’ 2015 World Champion of Public Speaking. “When the competition began at the club level, it was hard to imagine that, at the end of the journey, I would be crowned the winner. The reality was much more satisfying than a dream.”
Being asked to give a talk about your professional experience can be daunting, even though you know perfectly well what you will be talking about. Will you get your message across? How will the audience react? Speaking in front of a new audience inevitably drags you out of your comfort zone.
That is why even the most experienced speakers turn to coaches, have a dry-run of their presentation and seek unbiased feedback to improve their performance and raise their impact.
In recent years, Toastmasters have supported speakers at TEDx events in Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp. Starting this month, Toastmasters will also coach and support speakers of CreativeMornings events in Brussels.
CreativeMornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community. Every month, an inspiring speaker gives a 20 minute talk. Events start at 08:30 with a free breakfast and networking. The event ends around 09:30, so everybody can go to work and have a creative day. Creative Mornings events are held in more than 130 cities worldwide. In Belgium, CreativeMornings has chapters in Brussels, Antwerp and Liège.
The Brussels chapter of Creative Mornings and Division B Toastmasters have agreed to work together. Experienced members from Toastmasters clubs in Brussels will coach speakers and support them in preparing their talks. The aim is to maintain the high quality that CreativeMornings talks are renowned for and make speakers feel more confident on stage. So nobody should be afraid of giving a CreativeMornings talk!