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    Aug 22, 2016

    S'porean wins world public speaking title

    A 27-YEAR-OLD lawyer became the first Singaporean to win the World Championship of Public Speaking in Washington, DC on Saturday.

    Darren Tay, a regular member of Punggol Park Community Centre Toastmasters Club, beat nine other orators to take the top spot at the annual competition.

    According to Toastmasters International District 80, which manages clubs in Singapore, Mr Tay is the second Singaporean representative to have made it to the competition's final round, after Manoj Vasudevan clinched third place last year.

    The World Championship of Public Speaking has been held by Toastmasters International since 1938, with a two-year break during World War II.

    Originally an offshoot of the Young Men's Christian Association, Toastmasters International is a global network of clubs that promotes public speaking.

    It has more than 345,000 members across 142 countries.

    In order to qualify for the world championship, club representatives must first compete and win at the local level.

    Semi-finals were held on Thursday in Washington to determine the 10 finalists.

    The championship was rounded off with finalists delivering speeches of between five and seven minutes in front of a panel of judges.

    Toastmasters International District 80 wrote in a Facebook post: "Thank you Darren and the team of District 80, for flying the red and white flag of Singapore high and with distinction.

    "May your victory inspire the lives of many aspiring District 80 speakers in the future and beyond."

    A graduate of the National University of Singapore law faculty, Mr Tay has been involved in public-speaking contests since he was a teenager.

    He also works as a public-speaking coach.