Deirdre is talking her way to the Windy City

Deirdre Linehan, of Speakeasy Toastmasters and Failte Toastmasters, outshone more than 900 UK and Ireland contestants to win the district competition of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest recently, and now advances to the semi final of the contest, vying for one of 10 spots in the World Championship of Public Speaking, to be held at the Toastmasters International Convention Saturday, August 25th in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Linehan overcame fierce competition to win over the judges with her speech, ‘Dod’s Army.’ As a new PE teacher in Kildare, Deidre had been only three years older than the oldest girls in the basketball team when she inspired them to victory and community recognition with a civic reception. The speech touched on the themes of teamwork, passion, and leadership.  When it comes to connecting with an audience, she said, “The key is to have a storyline that is relatable and compelling.”
Linehan will compete with 105 other winners from districts around the world who advanced to the 2018 semi-final after a six-month process of elimination through club, area, division and district speech competitions. Their five- to seven-minute speeches were judged on content, organisation, gestures and style.
“Toastmasters speech contests are another way to build your confidence, sharpen your skills and speak to many different audiences,” says Linehan. “It is awesome and a little overwhelming to be competing on a much larger stage in Chicago! I am going over believing in myself and determined to relish the experience and do my clubs proud.”
The Toastmasters International Speech Contest began in 1938 and is the world’s largest speech contest, involving 30,000 participants from 141 countries. It culminates with the popular World Championship of Public Speaking held annually at the organisation’s International Convention. Follow @Toastmasters International on Twitter to track Deirdre’s progress.