St Albans man is one of the UK's top Toastmasters

Ryan Parke

Ryan Parke is the best speech evaluator amongst 4,500 Toastmasters members from over 200 clubs across the UK and Ireland. - Credit: Ryan Parke

Meet the top of the Toastmasters!

Ryan Parke, 31, from local Toastmasters club West Herts Speakers has received an international accolade from the organisation, which helps people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders.

He was the winner of this year’s evaluation speech contest at the District 71 Spring Conference of Toastmasters International. 

Ryan, who is a business development manager by trade and men’s coach by passion, became the champion after winning a series of competitions on club, area and division level.

Placing first in the finals means that Ryan is the best speech evaluator amongst 4,500 Toastmasters members from over 200 clubs across the UK and Ireland. 

In the evaluation contest, competitors all hear the same speech, and then have five minutes to prepare an evaluation. Your role is to encourage the speaker, while also giving concise recommendations for improvement. 

It is designed to test the competitor's ability as a coach and mentor, and the judges vote for which evaluator they believe should go through to the next round. 

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Ryan, who has lived in Park Street all of his life, said: “Giving accurate and concise feedback, that’s what the evaluation contest is all about. It’s about encouraging people to keep going, whilst also giving them the tools to stretch even further next time!”

West Herts Speakers is one of the many clubs that offer education in public speaking. This year the club is celebrating not only the national victory of Ryan but also the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the club.

Club President Judy Mallinson said: “Everyone at West Herts Speakers is so pleased for Ryan. He is not just a perceptive and engaging speaker, he is a much-loved member who gives a lot of time to encouraging and mentoring others.”   

To see Ryan in action and to learn more about Toastmasters join an evening with West Herts Speakers on June 9 and 16.

The gather in a virtual Zoom room and it is easy to check in from the comfort of your living room. For further details visit the club’s webpage: or get in contact via social media: