Communication with Confidence


Interview with David Clarkson (Impromptu Speaking) Champion 2005

By on Aug 8, 2012 in Interview

An interview after David won the NZ table Topics (Impromptu Speaking) Title for the second time in 2005 Dandelion Theory blows opposition away By Jeff Elton I met a remarkable man on 19 November 2005 at the Toastmasters Convention in Invercargill. He not only proved a fascinating subject to interview but he also passed on three interesting snippets of information I feel I must share with you. First he told me about the Dandelion Theory (more on that later), second he extolled the virtue of training in any organisation and third he explained how to conclude a presentation. David Clarkson is the fellow’s name and on first impressions there appears nothing special about him: there is a sparkle in his eyes, a great haircut and seemingly boundless energy – but no traits that would suggest a New Zealand champion. David tells me he is an accountant and that suggests a degree of conservatism in a man – we have all heard those hilarious accountant jokes, haven’t we? Certainly there is a staid quality there, but just below the surface there is much, much more. Invercargill is in many ways a return home for David and his earlier memories of the province leave him a little cold. “Yes, Southland has many memories for me. In fact I was a freezer hand at Ocean Beach in the 1962, 1963 and 1964 seasons. Boy, did that place complete the education of a young catholic boy!” Many years passed before David had what he said was a life-changing experience – he became a member of Toastmasters. “I joined as a person who had lost his self confidence, lost his ability to relate to people.” That was twelve years ago and talk about ‘zero to hero’ – I have just seen David blow away the best impromptu speakers in New Zealand. He leapt around on stage, pulled stories from thin air and ultimately grabbed the audience by the throat and marched them off in the direction he wanted them to go. The performance was full of energy, passion and enthusiasm. He believed in what he was saying, he knew the topic and boy, did he deliver – and all with only 15 seconds preparation...

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