Idaho Falls man has passion for public speaking

Idaho Falls man has passion for public speaking

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - While most people dread speaking in front of large crowds, one Idaho Falls man thrives on it, competing against speakers from all over the world.

Toastmasters International is a world-wide club devoted to developing leadership and speaking skills. Byant Pergerson has been a member since 1998.

"We don't teach you how to make the butterflies go away," said Pergerson. "We teach you how to make them fly in formation."

Pergerson said Toastmasters helps him improve in his career at the Idaho National Laboratory. However, he's developed a passion in competitive public speaking.

"It's an incredible rush and you have to manage that," said Pergerson.

This year's World Championships were held in Cincinnati. Thursday, Pergerson finished 3rd in one of the nine contests, placing him in the top 30 in the world. Over 30,000 people competed in this year's contest.

Pergerson made it to the top ten in 2007 and the top twenty in 2011. He has high hopes for 2014.

"I'm very pleased with the progress and everything I've learned," said Pergerson. "But the dream is to win world champion of public speaking, so I'll go back."

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