District One Toastmasters Tristan de Montebello heading to the semifinalist round in the world’s largest speech contest

On May 20, 2017 Tristan de Montebello won the District One International Speech Contest and will be advancing to the Toastmaster International semifinal rounds of the contest, vying for one of 10 spots in the World Championship of Public Speaking® to be held at the Toastmasters International Convention Friday, August 25, 2017 in Vancouver, Canada.

Tristan, a member of Del Rey Toastmasters in Marina Del Rey, California, surpassed fierce competition to win over the judges with his speech, “Pull Up Your Pants.” The speech touched on the importance of courage to live a life true to one’s self. “I knew from the beginning that I wanted to speak about courage,” explains Tristan, “but it took me 3 months and 30 drafts to discover a message that I felt was worth sharing. The journey from a single idea to a final draft was an incredible learning experience.”

In preparation for the competition, Tristan worked with Public Speaking Coach Michael Gendler, who initially agreed to mentor him for his first 3 speeches. But after one week, Tristan had given 5 speeches at 5 clubs, and Gendler quickly realized that Tristan wasn’t a typical mentee. “I had never met anyone with a work ethic like Tristan’s,” says Gendler. “He would brainstorm new ideas in the morning, deliver them to a new club in the afternoon, and then study the video footage in the evening. Then he would wake up and do it all over again.”

Tristan’s work ethic stems from a larger passion for ultra-learning, a form of self-education focused on learning hard things in less time. In 2015, he founded AboutTheStart.com to help people get more from life by learning new skills as fast as possible. “I believe learning a new skill is incredible for our overall long-term happiness. The faster we can learn it, the less likely we are to quit and the more fun and fulfillment we experience.”

Tristan’s ultra-learning journey will continue as he sets out to compete against 101 other semifinalists from districts around the world. To learn more about the Toastmasters International Convention or to register, go to https://www.toastmasters.org/events/2017-international-convention. You can also watch his semifinal speech on August 24th on-demand through the Toastmasters International website and follow @Toastmasters on Twitter to track his progress.