ONE of the highest honours in the world of public speaking has been bestowed upon a Portsmouth toastmaster.
Gavin Meikle’s job takes him around the world and sees him making presentations to up to 4,000 people at a time.
The thought of that sort of pressure may give some people nightmares, but Gavin is full of confidence thanks to his membership of the Solent Speakers Toastmasters club, in Fareham.
He has now been awarded the Distinguished Toastmaster Award (DMT).
It is the highest level of awards in the Toastmasters organisation – a global organisation set up to enable people to master the art of public speaking,
Less than one per cent of Toastmasters’ members achieve the prestigious DMT.
Gavin said: ‘To win this Toastmasters award is the highlight of my speaking career to date. Nowadays, most businesses require their staff to be able to present as part of their job specification, and most people find it quite daunting.
‘Colleges and universities expect students to be able to present as part of their training and course work, which for some can be even worse than sitting exams!
‘My career has taken me around the globe and earned me a reputation as an entertaining and enthusiastic speaker, delivering presentations to audiences as large as 4,000 people.’
Gavin has written a book, The Presenter’s Edge, which provides a step-by-step guide to overcoming nerves, building an engaging presentation and delivering it with confidence.
He added: ‘I hope it inspires others to face their fear of public speaking and perhaps to come along to a Toastmasters meeting to meet others and develop your own style of presenting.’
Solent Speakers meet at the Lysses Hotel, Fareham, on the first and third Tuesday of every month.
To find out more about Toastmasters go to toastmasters.org.