Vredehoek resident, Verity Price, is one of only six women who have won the Toastmasters Southern Africa Championship in 65 years.
Toastmasters, a multinational non-profit organisation, aims to empower people through personal and professional development by teaching them how to build self-confidence and self-awareness and develop unscripted speaking ability.
Ms Price was crowned the 2021 Toastmasters Southern Africa Champion of Public Speaking in a virtual conference that was held on Saturday May 8.
She, along with five other finalists, reached the championship level after several eliminating rounds that began more than three months ago with 600 contestants from nine countries.
Talking about her winning speech, titled Who’s walking behind you, Ms Price the inspiration behind it was her late mother who always taught them to pick up after themselves and pick up after people to make the environment and the world at large a better place.
“Growing up as a child until my teenage years, I thought my mom was awful, teaching me all these things I didn’t care about. It was only after she died that I realised that she actually lived a beautiful meaningful life,” she said.
She said her mother taught her that she doesn’t have to be “a Nelson Mandela” to change the world because it all starts from within and with small changes. “I wanted to acknowledge the lessons that I’ve learnt from those who have come before us,” she said.
She said she also wanted to bring hope to people so that they knew that they mattered, that everyone had a legacy to leave and that it was up to them to choose what legacy they wanted to leave in the world.
She told Atlantic Sun that her sister was one of the six women she shared her achievement with. Her sister won nine years ago, making her the third woman to win in this region. “It’s exciting to know that both of us are among the six women who have made this history and we’re coming from the same family, it’s an achievement for me,” she said.
She said she plans to use her victory to build a platform to encourage others to reach beyond what they thought was possible. “My hope is that this will inspire people to try new things even if they don’t fully believe in themselves. Hopefully, they will have the courage to face their fears,” she said.
She will proceed to represent Southern Africa in the quarter-finals of this year’s World Championships of Public Speaking.