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Toastmasters International-Emotional Intelligence: The Self-Aware Leader

Speechwriters Panel

Join Toastmasters International’s esteemed panel of World Champions of Public Speaking as they discuss their speechwriting process and the importance of their craft. Led by the founder of the European Speechwriter Network, Brian Jenner, this session will help you understand the important elements of what makes a speech stand out and how to tell your story more effectively.


Brian Jenner

Brian Jenner Speechwriter, writer, founder of the European Speechwriter Network

As a professional speechwriter with over 20 years of experience, Brian Jenner wants to help you translate your ideas into the language of public speaking. He is the founder of the European Speechwriter Network and has written hundreds of speeches, including for a panelist of the British reality television program, Dragons’ Den, a Duke, a Premier League footballer, and a few celebrity wedding speakers.

Jenner organizes two conferences a year, bringing together “the best speechwriting talent from around the world.”

In 2008, he was invited to talk about speechwriting at the annual Ragan Communications Conference. In 2010, he won a Cicero Speechwriting Award.

He began his career as a British journalist, working for The Telegraph, The Guardian, and the Daily Mail. In the United Kingdom, he organized a business book festival, a business speaker of the year award, and the Good Funeral Awards.

Jenner has written seven books: Men & Collections; I’m Just Phoning to Chase My Invoice; Trade Secrets, Jokes, Anecdotes and One-Liners for Speechwriters; Eloquence; A Treasury of Speechwriting Advice; The Bohemian who took up Bookkeeping; and A Christmas Stocking.


Darren LaCroix

Darren LaCroix 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking, motivational speaker, presentation expert, writer, founder of

After a failed business in 1992, Darren LaCroix took to the stage in a Boston comedy club and bombed miserably. The headliner that night told him to “keep his day job.” He didn’t listen.

He may have been born without a funny bone, but he possessed the desire to learn and the willingness to fail. These were the essentials for achieving his dream. Less than nine years later, in 2001, Darren LaCroix outspoke 25,000 contestants from 14 countries to become the World Champion of Public Speaking. And he did it with a very humorous speech.

Since that victory, LaCroix travels the world demystifying the process of creating a powerful presentation. His story has inspired audiences in 45 international countries, including Australia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, China, Oman, Malaysia, and Taiwan with his inspirational presentation journey, “From Chump to Champ.”

He is the co-host of the Unforgettable Presentations podcast and the coauthor for two books, Laugh & Get Rich and The Speaker’s Edge. Through his live workshops and online programs, LaCroix works with presenters eager to learn what it takes to connect deeply with their audiences. As the founder of, he shows presenters how to be unforgettable.

Verity Price

Verity Price 2021 World Champion of Public Speaking, speaker, facilitator, singer

A professional singer-turned-speaker/facilitator, Verity Price has a very inspirational story to tell. After initiating one of the world’s first crowdfunding efforts (she pre-sold 2000 copies of her debut album online in 2005), she says she “unexpectedly became far more famous for thinking differently than I did for singing.”

As a result, she has spent the last 12 years facilitating and speaking on strategy, innovation, and positive mindset for multiple organizations and industries. Price is a De Bono accredited strategic and lateral thinking facilitator and has worked with multi-national teams across South Africa and Europe.

She’s spoken twice at TEDx, is the 2015 Southern African Champion of Evaluations, and the 2021 World Champion of Public Speaking.

Her passion is helping to change the world “one idea and one happy team at a time.” Price loves to work with organizations to inspire their staff, align strategic direction, solve old problems, uncover new ideas, and gain a competitive industry edge.

Ramona J. Smith

Ramona J. Smith 2018 World Champion of Public Speaking, trainer, coach

Ramona J. Smith is an international award-winning public speaker who holds the title of the 2018 World Champion of Public Speaking. She has been called “a powerhouse” and “a gracious woman beyond measure.” Her ubiquitous stage presence and poised intellectual delivery of various topics has made Smith one of the most sought-after public speakers in the world.

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, audiences admire her unrivaled ability to captivate and connect with individuals from across the globe of all races and ethnicities. Her eBook, A World Champion’s Guide to Public Speaking: 10 Optimal Tips to Master the Art of Public Speaking, has sold thousands of copies worldwide. She has given keynote addresses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Malaysia, and India.

Smith spends a great deal of her time traveling the world delivering encouraging messages of hope, triumph, perseverance, leadership, and love. She has been featured on, Business Insider,, and other global news outlets. In addition to being an author, poet, global public speaking trainer, and coach, her greatest joy is being “Ryan’s mom.”

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