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Hutt man finalist in World's Biggest Speaking Competition

Top speaker from the Hutt makes it to New Zealand final of the Biggest Speaking Competition in the World

Sean’s Surprising Success

On the 29 March 2014, Sean Au won the Division J Toastmaster International Speaking Competition with a speech titled ‘Keep it Simple’. Sean was judged the best speaker in the region stretching from Newlands in Wellington to Palmerston North, with hundreds of club members between them. On the 11 May 2014, Sean and other finalist from around the country will compete in Christchurch for New Zealand’s best speaker. The national champion will then proceed to the World Final held in Kuala Lumper, Malaysia.

Each speech in the International Speech Competition must contain a meaningful message that has relevance around the globe. Sean’s speech combined humour, personal storytelling and a powerful message in a way that was enchanting, entertaining and inspiring. And all in less than 7 and a half minutes! Sean’s speech touched the heart of listeners with his message of the need to stop and appreciate the simple things of life.

Each year, Toastmasters New Zealand holds four speech contests to find the best Humorist and International Speakers, Impromptu (Tabletopics) Speaker and Speech Evaluator. Over the past year, Sean Au has won all four competitions at club level, at his home club of Petone Toastmasters.

Regardless of the outcome of the national competition, Sean Au is already considered a champion speaker in the Hutt Valley. His dedication to becoming an outstanding speaker has been incredible. Despite his success, Sean speaks humbly of his speaking skills and is quick to encourage other members.

So can a New Zealander do well at the World Champs Speaking Competition? Sure they can. New Zealand’s national champion Kingi Biddle, came 2nd against competitors from 122 countries.

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organisation that started in 1924. It has approximately 280,000 members across New Zealand. Its aim is to help people find their voice and develop the confidence to speak up in public.

Additional details of Petone Toastmasters can be found on the club website with a full list of all clubs on


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