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World Speech Day Southern Africa

Guest blog by Vino Pillay

World Speech Day Southern Africa 2017 saw the gathering of Southern African Toastmasters, TEDx Speakers, Professional Speakers, Youth, Not-for-Profits and representatives of Government and Business ranging from as young as ten years to 89 years old.

We were privileged to have as our Guest Speakers, Mr Joe Samuels (CEO: South African Qualifications Authority); Ms Sandra Cooper (District Director: Toastmasters International District 74 Southern Africa); Mr Keith Bowen (Programme Quality Director: Toastmasters International District 74 Southern Africa); and Mr Frank Tsuro (Club Growth Director: Toastmasters International District 74 Southern Africa). This representation was especially significant as World Speech Day presented an ideal opportunity for Toastmasters to demonstrate the art of public speaking and the value that the Toastmasters Programme has to offer to young people around the world. Our Keynote Speaker, Mr Douglas Kruger’s presentation ‘Seven Ways To Make Any Presentation World Class’ left the audience entertained and inspired as always.

Subject matter included the importance of mentoring young boys without fathers; biodiversity conservation, natural resource management and environmental education initiatives in the urban space; how Ikebana promotes mindfulness; and learning to live with physical challenges; to name a few. The audience was enthralled with topics such as:


Living In A City Does Not Exclude Us From The Natural World

The Art Of Flowers (The 600 Year Old Tradition of Ikebana)

White Canes and Wheelchairs

Me, We: The Importance of Self Awareness

Why Marriage Is Like A Business

How Five Seconds Can Change Your Life

Raising Boys To Be Good Men

The Golf Ball

Ideas Like Shoes Take You Places

Take A Bow

A Message From The Heart

Making Society Conducive For Our Children To Be Born Into

If I Had Three Wishes


The Little Suitcase


Make A Difference

Three Things Cancer Doesn't Like

The Youth made a noteworthy contribution to the event by way of Speech Making and Debating. Crawford College and Tygervalley College engaged in a thought-provoking debate on the salaries of public servants.

A big thank you to Mr Simon Gibson for creating this platform for individuals from varying backgrounds to share their ardour, expertise, knowledge and experience not just for the benefit of the audience present but for the purpose of making a positive impact on young people globally.

I look forward to co-ordinating this event again next year – maintaining its dynamism whilst adding new elements to ensure that WSD Southern Africa remains fresh in its approach to demonstrating to young people the value of using their ‘#unexpected voices’ as a catalyst for change.


Vino Pillay

World Speech Day Southern Africa

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