Oracle Atlanta Toastmasters Fueling Champions: On the Road to Toastmasters International 2024 –

Atlanta, GA, January 30, 2024 –(– On January 11, 2024, Oracle Atlanta Toastmasters’ Club Vice President Membership, Bernard Assaf, served as the Contest Chair for the Club’s Speech Contest for International and Evaluation speeches in Atlanta, GA. Club President, Jeremy Moody, noted, “This is an opportunity for our members to gain visibility and potentially become the World Champion of Speaking at the upcoming Toastmasters International 2024 Convention in Anaheim, California, August 14-17.”

Local Toastmasters Clubs are hosting their speech contests, with the winners in each category moving to their respective Area-level Contests, whose winners compete at the Division level Contest. Division winners move to the District 44 competition. International Speech contestant winners of districts around the world then compete at the World Championship of Public Speaking. This year’s contestants for Oracle Atlanta Toastmasters, having won the club’s contest, are Distinguished Toastmaster Richard Hardon, who will represent the club in the upcoming Area Contest on Saturday, February 10 at 10 am, in the Evaluation Speech category, and Toastmaster Dhaval Patel, an accomplished Pathways Level 2 speaker, who has been a Toastmaster since 2014 and who will represent the Club in the International Speech category.

Area Director, Shavonne Reed shared her enthusiasm about hosting her first Area level speech contest: “I am thrilled to be serving as Area Director for District 44, Area F61. I officially joined Toastmasters in 2020 and I have enjoyed the benefits of growing in my leadership and communications skills. It would be an honor to see my home club participants advance to the district level and beyond. I am rooting for these guys as they elevate in the contest.” Reed also serves as the Club’s Vice President of Public Relations.

Hardon, who has competed in many speech contests over the years, explained what competing means to him, “Competition provides the opportunity and challenge to get better faster…it elevates the level of preparation and engagement and brings out the best in us and in others.”

Patel, who competed for the first time at the Oracle Atlanta Club quoted, “loved the experience on how to make an International Speech contest speech and to see if I can qualify to represent the Club at the District contest and hopefully at the final stage for the International Speech Contest. ”

Marcus Felder, who was the Club’s Speech Contest Master, and who serves as Vice President of Education, remarked on growing the Club membership for future contests. “We have implemented a Kickstart Coach Mentoring Program to help get new members acquainted with the Pathways educational program to increase eligible members to compete in the future. Level 2 completion of the Pathways Education program is a prerequisite for competing in the International Speech category.”

Assaf agreed. “It is always good to introduce Toastmasters as soon as possible, as this helps to increase self-confidence in a fun and safe learning environment. Contests are a great way to make new friends and draw prospective future members into our club.”

The speech contests in District 44, which covers half of the state of Georgia, will culminate in an in-person speech competition at the annual District 44 convention and awards ceremony where the contestants will speak before a live audience.

About Oracle Atlanta: Oracle Atlanta Toastmasters Club #4640768 is an open community Toastmasters Club. The Club’s Mission is to provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth. Currently, Oracle Atlanta has 35 active members, and many have been with the Club for several years. Members join on a six-month basis, pay dues to Toastmasters International, and complete learning pathways to grow their speaking and leadership skills. This Club offers virtual meetings every Thursday at noon and hybrid experiences (virtual and in-person) twice a month (on the second and fourth Thursdays) at the State Farm Parklink Community Center. The Club has maintained consistency throughout the Pandemic and has held 417 meetings since being founded in April 2015 by Oracle employees.

About Shavonne Reed, MBA, CVP: Shavonne Reed is a highly acclaimed internationally traveled speaker and award-winning entrepreneur and marketing executive. She is a trained journalist and has published many thought-leadership articles and hosts the Future Health NOW podcast. She has expertise across eCommerce, health maintenance organizations, mass media, digital media, government agency program implementation, communications, dental and medical device manufacturing, employee engagement, and marketing and sales. Shavonne is the founder & CEO of OPUA, a Gen Z-targeted health and wellness company focused on chronic disease prevention and health promotion. Shavonne is passionate about spreading the importance of healthier lifestyles and generational health. She currently serves as the Vice President of Oracle Atlanta Toastmasters and as Area F61 Director in Toastmasters District 44.

About Richard Hardon, DTM, CVP: Richard is a Founding Member and Sponsor for Oracle Atlanta Toastmasters. Mr. Hardon has been recognized Internationally by Toastmasters International and the National Speakers Association as one of the top 5 Georgia Speakers for more than a decade. Many companies, social and business groups around the country, have been motivated by his message of untapped power in each person. Richard is noted for his energetic style and passionate sincere delivery.

About Dhaval Patel: Dhaval Patel is originally from Surat, India. He is married to an ambitious entrepreneurial wife – Falguni and has twins age 12. He lives in the Atlanta area and works as an Agile Coach for NASCO.