2012 TI Convention – The WCPS Timer’s Perspective


This year, I had the honor of serving as an Official Timer for the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking. That’s right, front row center, baby!

In a change this year, TI is using a laptop to serve as the official timing device, which seemed to be a PowerPoint programmed to display a green slide with the word … wait for it … “Green” in white letters at the 5 minute point, and of course yellow and red at 6 and 7 minute points respectively.

No stone is left unturned, of course. There is a separate timing light as a backup (the new official one in the store), and a set of official timing cards as an additional backup. Plus, both timers have separate official stopwatches as well as separate forms to turn in to the Chief Judge, PIP Gary Schmidt (I know him as superdude).

President elect John Lau did an a outstanding job with opening the event, and in a change from previous years, quickly read through the speaking order for the audience. He also did a “two clap” thing for recognizing the previous World Champions that helped keep the flow moving in what can feel like a long contest. (side note, I had to stop typing this mid sentence when George Yen asked, “are the timers ready?”…oops)

Now that the speakers have spoken, it has only felt like a few minutes. Of course, I cannot comment on any times, but they did announce there were no disqualifications for time. I can verify there were no timer malfunctions, mechanical or roberwise.

Interview notes (in speaking order)
Andrew Kneebone said his motivation was that he wanted to speak in front of a big, loud audience

Stuart Pink said his speech title was inspired from his kids
Sunday note: I met Stuart at the edge event on Sunday…super cool guy

Ronald Melvin said his speech topic was inspired by real life, “you had to be in that plane”

Brian Corey said he had great support from his club, as well as many other clubs in his district

Diane Parker said being a TM has helped her to learn to be a role model and inspire others

Palaniappa Subramaniam said the advice he would give when your able to share your message with others, the feeling is intense

Kenny Ray Morgan said speaking in front of a small, I mean big crowd energizes him

Ryan Avery said his dad encouraged him to join ToastMasters and even paid his first club dues

Mario Lewis said he wears a good luck tie and the support and love of his clubs are his good luck ritual

All of the contestants mentioned their clubs and districts, but I can’t type everything.

They also officially announce the two who received the Accredited Speaker designation for 2012:

Tammy A. Miller
Patrick Hardy

Winner announcement:

3rd Place: Stuart Pink
2nd Place: Palaniappa Subramaniam
1st Place: Ryan Avery

Awesome Contest!


  1. Interesting behind the scenes look, Rob. Thanks for sharing.

    I always worry about being timer – because I tend to get wrapped up in the speeches instead of paying attention to the stopwatch. Did you get to absorb any of the speeches, or did you have to purchase the recording so you can watch to them later?

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