94-Year-Old Wins Warren Toastmasters Contest

WARREN, Ohio – A 94-year-old Warren resident, Neil McBride, won first place in the humorous speech contest at the Toastmasters of Warren Sept. 9.

In the contest, a contestant has five to seven minutes to tell a funny story.

“The first year, to get the top award is unbelievable,” McBride said. He ihas been a Toastmaster for about a year and taught in the Warren City School system for 50 years. McBride turns 95 Oct. 13.

Another portion of Toastmaster’s contests gives contestants one- to two- and a half minutes to respond to a question or word that is not known beforehand.

Art Byrd from Boardman took first place in this contest. He has been a Toastmaster since 2009. Last year, he earned the Distinguished Toastmaster award, which is the highest award given by Toastmasters International.

Byrd’s table topic’s word was candy corn. “I took the first thing that popped in my mind about candy corn which was trick-or-treating with my friends and finding a house with good candy. We switched masks and would go back to the same house numerous times,” he said.

McBride and Byrd will compete in the district contest Sept. 28 at Toastmasters 408 meeting place at the Republican Party headquarters in Boardman. The district contest will have Toastmasters clubs from Youngstown, Alliance and Warren competing against each other in the Humorous Speech and Table Topics categories.

Toastmasters International is a nonprofit worldwide organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills. Toastmasters has helped people of all backgrounds become more confident in front of an audience.

Pictured: Neil McBride and Art Byrd.

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