The Singapore-based Toastmaster launches a social support programme to empower 20 million people worldwide by 2020 to face their fear of public speaking.
Dubai, UAE, September 23, 2017: Manoj Vasudevan, a Singapore-based techie-turned-management consultant and leadership coach, who became the World Champion of Public Speaking (WCPS) 2017, selected the UAE as his first overseas destination after winning this prestigious global title. He announced the launch of a social support programme to empower 20 million people worldwide by the year 2020 to face their fear of public speaking.
Hosted by Toastmasters International District 105, which represents the UAE, Oman, Jordan and Lebanon in the region, Mr. Manoj will address the UAE Toastmasters community of nearly 3,000 members at a ceremony in Dubai. The interactive session, titled “ASK MANOJ ANYTHING”, will be held at Emirates Headquarters Auditorium in Dubai on Friday, September 22 between 10 am and 12 noon.
Toastmasters International is a California-based non-for-profit educational organization with over 370,000 members worldwide. Members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 17,000 clubs in 144 countries that make up a global network of meeting locations. The community of Toastmasters in the UAE has more than 3,000 members across a network of 115 clubs.
Mr. Manoj emerged as the World Champion of Public Speaking at the Toastmasters International Convention 2017. The world’s largest public speaking contest, which is also known as the ‘Olympics of Oratory’, was held at Vancouver, Canada in August this year. Mr. Manoj, originally from Kerala in South India, represented Singapore, where he has been residing since 1998.
Commenting on his visit to the UAE, Mr. Manoj Vasudevan, CEO of Thought Expressions, said, “I am glad to be visit the UAE and interact with members of one of the world’s largest and active Toastmasters community under the Toastmasters District 105. I will be sharing with them my journey towards winning the global championship of public speaking. I am also happy to be in Dubai, where the past international president of Toastmasters International and retired Dubai Police officer DTM Lt. Col Mohammed Murad is living.”
DTM Sunil Kottarathil, Director of District 105 Toastmasters, said, “We are proud to welcome the global Toastmasters champion speaker to the District 105. We have set the arrangements perfectly for his interactive session. We have already received confirmation from nearly thousand Toastmasters and non-Toastmasters from across the UAE to join the free entry event. In addition, the District 105’s proud achievers of this year -- the DTM and Triple Crown winners -- will be honored by receiving their pins from the world champion at the ceremony. We encourage our members to bring in guests, friends and family members to inspire them with the benefits of Toastmasters.”
The transformation story of Manoj and his students from 27 countries proves that even more people can achieve the same or better results. “I used to be terrified to speak in front of an audience till the age of 36. I achieved my global championship despite the fact that English is not my first language. I have been a shy, reserved and introverted person by nature. I believe that such individuals have the potential to become fabulous speakers. The world’s best speakers are introverts; and they are not just speakers, but messengers who care more about their audience than themselves.”
“Public speaking is the perfect skill that can positively uplift an individual’s confidence. It is a skill anyone who can speak, can learn. Don’t worry about your accent. Focus on clarity of expression. If you know more than one language, you are bound to have an accent,” he added.
Mr. Manoj has coached individuals aged between 7 years and 77 years to overcome their morbid fear of public speaking with the help of the latest technology. He is currently on a mission to give back to the society. He recently launched an online technology platform www.NervousToFabulous.com, aimed at empowering 20,000,000 individuals worldwide by the year 2020. “My dream is to inspire and equip 20 million people by 2020 to take at least one step out of their fear zone and get ahead with public speaking. This is a CSR programme of my organisation Thought Expressions, which based in Singapore.”
“The Nervous to Fabulous (NTF) programme provides an avenue for individuals to share their biggest challenge in public speaking and seek solutions. The online platform will provide a free foundational programme on public speaking with the essential building blocks and roadmap to master the art of public speaking, no matter where they start. This program would be beneficial for both beginners and experienced speakers,” he added.
“At Thought Expressions, we will also rollout more advanced programs this year. We plan to select top students from the advanced program and coach them as certified ambassadors to help even more people to get ahead with public speaking. Everyone, who takes part in this program, will get to the next level in their public speaking journey,” Mr. Manoj believes.
Mr. Manoj Vasudevan won the 1st place competing with over 30,000 Toastmasters commencing from his home Club in Singapore and then with Toastmasters from all over the world at different stages and finally with the 10 finalists in Canada. His winning speech titled 'Pull Less, Bend More” resonated with a capacity crowd of nearly 2,500 from around the world.
The key message of Manoj’s seven-minute speech was unity and compromise in relationships. He claimed his title with an entertaining tale of his own marriage, which originally struggled like many others, but succeeded thanks to sage advice from his mother. He, along with nine other contestants, reached the championship level after several eliminating rounds. The contestants delivered short speeches on wide-ranging topics.
Manoj has spoken to audiences as big as 20,000 and to diverse groups comprising of individuals from 140 countries. In 2012, he was among the top 25 stand-up comedians at the International Comedy Festival in Hong Kong. In 2015, he was ranked the World No. 3 speaker at the WCPS held in Las Vegas.
The next-level leadership readiness expert is known for his expertise in simplifying complex topics into practical strategies and helping individuals to breakthrough to the next level in their career. As a leadership coach and management consultant, he works with major multinational companies in Asia, Australia, North America and Europe personally coaching professionals, bureaucrats, celebrities, UN diplomats, and entrepreneurs of 27 nationalities.
The management graduate from the Imperial College, London is also author of the international bestseller “Mastering Leadership the Mousetrap Way.” Mr. Manoj Vasudevan is a native of Kanjirampara in Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala. In the 80-year history of the Toastmasters global contest, he is the first Indian to win this title.