The 2016 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking — and his underwear?!?

The 2016 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking was crowned late last summer, much to the delight of all speech-watchers around the world. Singaporean lawyer Darren Tay rose above 30,000 contestants — and the hardworking, very talented 10 finalists — to receive this prestigious title of the world’s largest public speaking contest.


Darren Tay, winner of the 2016 Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking.

His speech, titled Outsmart, Outlast,” tells the story of meeting a childhood bully as an adult, and how this reformed bully taught him a valuable life lesson. And oh yeah….he delivers much of the speech while wearing his underwear on the outside of his pants.

Watch the video of full speech, and the Business Insider interview with Darren on the process he went through to craft it.

Darren employs a variety of useful speech tools, including:

  1. The use of a somewhat surprising prop (more about that later)
  2. Storytelling as an opener
  3. Pausing
  4. Body language and purposeful movement around the stage
  5. Dialogue with the audience
  6. A well-developed message that is delivered in a way that connects with the audience, helps them see themselves in it.

So let’s talk about the prop — Underwear. It’s risky, it’s surprising. Did you think it was effective? Given that he wore it for the whole speech, was that too long? Should he have taken it off earlier?

Also, how do you think it compares to the speech of the 2015 World Champion winner, Mohammed Quatani?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!



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