James Jeffley in Quest of World Championship of Public Speaking, Aug. 20th

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Bay area resident James Jeffley is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and will compete to become the “World Champion of Public Speaking” on August 20th.

The annual contest is the premier showcase of the world’s best public speakers in Toastmasters, an international communications and leadership organization, with over 300,000 members.

class=”Standard”>Jeffley has been a member of Toastmaster slightly less than a year. To reach the top level so quickly was an unprecedented feat. He will be competing against about 90 other speakers from around the world.

All contest speeches must be original and conducted under strict rules.

Jeffley, who is a member of East Bay Toastmasters, has been preparing for this upcoming contest since February.

If Jeffley wins, he would be the 15th “World Champion” to come from California since Toastmasters began the contest in 1938 but the first from District 57, which includes most of Northern California.

“Winning is good, but the journey as a Toastmaster is the real prize,” says immediate past club president and current Area D12 Governor Lola Pratt.

This Friday, Aug. 8 at 6 p.m., Visionmasters Toastmasters club is presenting a free screening of the movie “Speak” at East Bay Church of Religious Science in Oakland, 41st and Telegraph.

This movie follows the journey of six contestants in the Toastmasters International Speech Contest. Jeffley will deliver one of his two contest speeches after the movie. Donations are appreciated. For more information call: (510) 709-9433 or (510) 363-8123.

In addition, an online donation site has been set up to help with the cost of Jeffley’s trip and accommodations. All contestants have to make their own arrangements. The estimated cost is as high as $12,000. The donation webpage is www.gofundme.com/95aaaw

For information about East Bay Toastmasters #9389 or local Toastmasters clubs, please visit www.toastmasters.org. Follow @ToastmastersInternational on Twitter.

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