A member of a public speaking group will represent the country in the world championships after winning a national competition.

William Dempster, of Stanmore based HOD Speakers Club, was crowned winner of the Toastmasters UK and Ireland International Speech Contest.

Mr Dempster, of Whetstone, impressed judges with his speech entitled ‘Scotch – The Way to a Better Life’ and will now head to Cincinnati in America for the Toastmasters' World Champions of Public Speaking in August.

He said: “To win the district and then the national competition is something I could not have dreamed of when I joined HOD Toastmasters a short six years ago.

“I was terrified of speaking in public and the thought of competing on a global stage had not even entered my mind.”

HOD Speakers meets every two weeks at the Manor House Banqueting Hall, in Old Church Lane, Stanmore.