1. Ms. Smith, when did you join Toastmasters and why? Did you ever dream that one day you will become The World Champion of Public Speaking when you first completed your membership application?
I joined Toastmasters in 2008, in order to become a better communicator and a more effective leader. In 2015, I first dreamt of being the World Champion after losing my district level speech contest. I saw Mohammed Qahtani win the title in 2015 in Las Vegas. He was one of my many inspirations.
2. Ms. Smith, what was your key to winning all the way to the top?
My key to winning all the way to the top was practice, feedback, and originality. After every speech contest, I met with other highly qualified Toastmasters in my district for feedback. I tweaked the “little things” and was open to constructive criticism. I practiced my speeches endlessly in order to have a smooth and natural delivery. And most importantly, I wrote my own speeches. They are from my personal life experiences. When I get on stage I’m not afraid of “looking stupid.” I went in front of 2,000 people and made a complete fool of myself with my horrible boxing moves. Yet, the audience connected with me because of my authenticity and transparency.
3. Ms. Smith what do you do to balance your life? Why it is important to sleep 8 hours a day?
I’m a high school teacher so my students give me balance. I’m also a mom, so my 6 year old son Ryan keeps me balanced. Getting 8 hours of sleep each day is important in order for the body and mind to rest. However, I very rarely get all 8 hours in. Especially ever sine I’ve been preparing for and winning the speech contests.
- Ramona J. Smith is the 2018 World Champion of Public Speaking. To book her for speaking engagements, email: theladybugspeaker@gmail.