Toast of the town

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Young orator Doris David shows off her public speaking skills

Public speaking is the most common of all phobias, but it is certainly not a fear for 22-year-old Doris David. This young Indian Australian woman from Western Sydney was recently named the best evaluator and public speaker in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory at the District 70 Toastmasters Annual Conference.

David proved her public speaking prowess by becoming just one of four women to win the Evaluation Contest at the event since 1972.

Toastmasters is an international organisation that seeks to teach and promote communication and leadership skills. Members meet every second and fourth Monday of the month to practice speech making and discuss strategies for putting those skills to practical use.

For Doris, public speaking started at eleven. In 2004 her family migrated from India to Australia and the shift made Doris shy and uncomfortable at school. One day her dad accompanied her to a school assembly where he saw the captain of her school speak on stage.

“He looked at me and said that he would one day see me up there,” Doris laughs. “Soon after that I was enrolled in public speaking classes.”

Doris is passionate about the value of public speaking.

“More young people should become involved in the public speaking domain as the benefits of doing this will be intrinsically valuable for them in all walks of life,” she says. Doris recognises that public speaking can be challenging, but encourages all forms of participation.

“It’s not just to do with speeches,” she continues. “When going to interviews it gives you that confidence to stand up and put forward ideas. You become confident in who you are and learn to like who you are. It’s incredibly helpful.”

Indeed, participating in the Evaluation Contest gave Doris the opportunity to speak in front of the 1992 World Champion of Public speaking Dana LaMon, a blind African-American motivation speaker and retired judge. Doris was given advice on pursuing motivational speaking in the global sphere and was inspired by his desire to help people find their goals and reach their potential.

“Ultimately, I want to use my talents and gifts to inspire others, especially the younger generation,” Doris says. “My goal is to represent Australia in the World Champion Public Speaking Competition and later become a motivational speaker.”

Doris is thankful for the role public speaking has played in her life and highly recommends young girls and boys visit their local Toastmasters to try it for themselves.

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