Last month I had the privilege of competing at the Toastmaster semifinals of the International Speech Contest in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. To share the platform with such inspiring speakers was an experience I’ll never forget. The winner of my semifinal was Dananjaya Hettiarachchi, from Sri Lanka, who went on to win the entire contest.
“You always think this moment will never come,” said Hettiarachchi, who had entered the contest every year for 10 years, reaching the semifinals four times until finally bringing home the World Championship trophy. His speech was an immediate favorite with the capacity crowd of nearly 3,000 people from around the world. His winning speech was a personal tale about being a rebellious teenager whose life was changed because mentors took an interest in him, saying “I see something in you…but I don’t know what it is.”
Congratulations, Dananjaya! Well deserved!
Enjoy this humorous and inspiring talk.