Aldine ISD teacher becomes 2018 Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking

HOUSTON — Houston, we have a champ in our midst! Aldine ISD teacher Ramona Smith is the 2018 Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking.

In her award-winning speech, "Still Standing," Smith poses as a fighter on stage and talks about surviving round after round with life...from divorce to dropping out of college four times before finally graduating at the top of her class.

"The motivation was just yes, I did fail a lot, but now I have a lot of success," Smith said.

After beating more than 30,000 competitors, she's now teaching us a thing or two about winning with words. After all, public speaking causes major anxiety for most of us! As a teacher at MacArthur High School, Smith gets plenty of practice!

"It's all about repetition," Smith said. "I'm practicing over and over and over, and I do poetry as well. So when you're performing on any type of stage, you have to know exactly what you want to say, when you want to say it."

[Bonus! Watch Smith's full Toastmasters World Championship speech]

"There are some amazing speakers all around the world, and I don't know what happened for them to not make it to this level because I'm sure they were worthy. Maybe I just got lucky," Smith said laughing.