El Paso resident – and Toastmaster Member – Rati Baijal is heading to Chicago and hopes to return to Sun City as a world champion.
Rati is the Toastmasters International District 23 representative and will compete at the World Championship of Public Speaking, with semifinals August 23 and the championship round August 25 at the Toastmasters World Convention in Chicago.
District 23 incorporates West Texas, New Mexico and portions of Oklahoma.
Rati earned the opportunity by winning four separate speech contests. She became District 23’s representative by winning the district speech contest at the district’s spring conference, held this May in Lubbock.
Rati is working on a pair of competition speeches, as the championship round requires a different speech than the semifinal round. Both speeches, she said, focus on, “hope, and that there is a solution to every problem.”
Reaching the international convention is a humbling, exciting and nerve racking experience all in one, Rati said, but she is treating it as any other speech competition.
“It has to be first place,” Rati said. “If I think I’m happy with second, or third, or just going there, I wouldn’t be able to perform well.”
Rati joined Toastmasters in May 2017. She is a freelance educator, and recently had a group of sixth-grade students travel to New York for a model United Nations program. She has been a resident of El Paso for 10 years.