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by: COURTESY OF TOASTMASTER INTERNATIONAL - Portland's Ryan Avery is the youngest person to win the Toastmaster International World Champion Public Speaker trophy. He took top honors Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Toastmaster convention in Orlando.Portland’s Ryan Avery was crowned Saturday the 2012 World Champion of Public Speaking at the Toastmasters International Convention in Orlando.

Avery, 25, is part of the Portland Toastmasters Club. His seven-minute speech on the importance of keeping a promise was judged the best of three top speeches.

Avery is the youngest World Champion of Public Speaking in the history of the contest. He is the director of communications and marketing for the Special Olympics in Oregon.

Avery was one of eight finalists who reached the championship after several eliminating rounds that began six months ago with 30,000 participants from 116 countries. Palaniappa Subramaniam of Kulim Kadah, Malaysia, was second for his speech “Finding the Right Shoes,” and Stuart Pink of Attleboro, Mass., was third for his speech “Brain Lifting: A Crash Course in Creativity.”

“It took lots of practice to get to this point,” Avery said. “In my bedroom I have a sign that says, ‘What would Michael Phelps do?’ If he could get up early to practice every day, so could I. I also have lots of mentors, and my wife was incredibly supportive. The process has helped me grow as a person and realize that Toastmasters is an amazingly supportive organization.”

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