GIVEAWAY TODAY: Top Ten Moments of 2013

GIVEAWAY TODAY: Top Ten Moments of 2013

Today I woke up in my own bed and my own home for the first time in a long time! I have slept in more than 100 hotels this year. I spoke more than seventy times in twenty-seven states and three countries.

I have made new friends and accidently burnt bridges between colleagues. I have driven more than 10,000 miles across America and flown on more airplanes than I chose to count. I have made money, lost money and made simple mistakes that made a big difference where I look back and think, “Why did I do that?”

This year was all about memories for me. I did more this year than I have my entire life. More travel. More mistakes. More laughter. More friendship. All across the board… more! There were more ups and downs, twists and turns than I can count, but I like to remember what one of my friends always tells me “no one rides a roller coaster to get to the end, enjoy the ride.”

My Top Ten Moments of 2013:

Ryan Avery and Special Olympics OregonLeaving Special Olympics Oregon: Making the decision to be a full time speaker and leave the organization and co-workers/friends that have supported me through the past couple of years was one of the hardest decisions I had to make this year. Event though it was the right one to make, it still was difficult to leave the people that made work so fun for so long! I think of them all of the time! “The hardest thing about the road not taken is that you never know where it might have led.” – Lisa Wingate

Ryan Avery in the BahamasSpeaking in the Bahamas: This was my first international speech and memory I will always cherish because of the people, the event and the experiences I shared with Chelsea. I got to learn about a new culture, visit friends who I still talk with today and even got some time to sit on the beach!

PrintThe North American Tour: From getting to work with John Hastie and all of my new Toastmaster friends, seeing family and friends I have not seen in years, from the local food, being on a billboard in Phoenix, sitting on the Lincoln Steps with Chelsea, the private tour of the Pentagon, the long hours in the car, the hotel nights, the photos, the tourists stops like Niagara Falls and the Golden Gate Bridge, without a doubt this tour has been life changing!

Ryan Avery in NYC with Jeremey DonovanEating Dinner with Jeremey in NYC: After almost two years of working with Jeremey Donovan, my co-author of our new book, we finally met in person. Not only did he treat me to one of the best meals I have ever had in my life after we met with our Publisher but we got to connect on a personal level. He is a phenomenal writer and an even better person! He is a great mentor to have and I am lucky to call him my colleague and friend.

Ryan Avery scuba divingScuba Diving in Hawaii: Ever since I was a little kid I dreamed about being able to breath underwater. At the age of 26 I got to live my dream and swim with sharks, sea turtles and eels. The ocean world is just opening up for me and now my sister is getting certified so we can go together! I recommend everyone who is able to get certified to spend the money and make this happen in your lifetime. It is worth every hour spent studying and every dollar spent.

Ryn Avery NSAJoined National Speakers Association: I finally was able to join NSA! I have been able to meet some fantastic and quality people who love what they do and people I am going to learn a lot from about speaking and the business of speaking.

Speaker, Leader, Champion - Ryan Avery and Jeremey Donovan BookWrote My First Book: This has been a goal of mine for several years but it was only a dream until I met Jeremey Donovan. With Jackie Meyer as our fantastic agent and McGraw-Hill as our amazing publisher we have produced a book that will help you advance in your career through the power of public speaking. I can’t wait to share this with you when it comes out in April!

Ryan Avery and his familyHubbing” With My Parents: While on tour and before we left for our six month journey, we moved all of our possessions to Texas to live with my parents so we didn’t have major expenses while we were on the road. In this time I got to spend quality time with my family plus they really got to know Chelsea. This was one of the best memories of the year for me because family time is a great time anytime you can get it nowadays.

Ryan Avery on a magazineFirst Magazine Cover: I made a goal when I was in college that one day I wanted to be on the front cover of a magazine. This year was extra special because it was my college that put me on my first front page! Colorado State University and their faculty are fantastic and I think how lucky I am that I was able to attended CSU and receive an education, gain life-long friends and of course meeting my future wife! Plus, we also had the first magazine cover that Chelsea and I were on together thanks to Life’s Journey Magazine!

How to Be a Speaker - 2Launched HTBAS with Dr. Harvey: Ever since I started learning from Dr. Harvey I wanted his teachings to be spread and for people to have access to his brilliant mind. Together we created How to Be a Speaker, LLC and now we help speakers develop and deliver their message to use their voice to make a difference. We have coached some wonderful people, had fantastic guest bloggers join us to create content and because of you we have more than 10,000 people a month enjoying our articles! We can’t wait to see what 2014 brings and remember what Dr. Harvey always says “Speak from your heart and the world will listen.”

I want to thank you for an amazing year! You have read and commented on articles, or attended my workshops and because of you I get to do what I love to do. I wish I could tell you thank you more than one thousand times!

Let’s continue to work together to help people use their voice to make a difference. Let’s continue to work together to motivate each other to reach our goals and let’s continue to work together to #MakeThingsHappen in 2014! Happy New Year and as always…

Dream BIG,

GIVEAWAY QUESTION: What was one of you top memories of 2013? Post your comment below two lucky people will receive a signed copy of my new book!

This post was written by
At age 25, Ryan Avery became the youngest World Champion of Public Speaking in history; competing against more than 30,000 people from 116 countries to claim the 2012 Championship title. As an Emmy Award winning journalist and a proud member of the National Speakers Association, Ryan uses his background in multimedia and speaking to help reach the younger generation on the importance of improving their communication skills in order to advance in their professional and personal life.

21 Comments on "GIVEAWAY TODAY: Top Ten Moments of 2013"

  • What a brilliant year Ryan. One of my top moments was giving my first speech to the next generation of leaders. Thanks to you Ryan, I was able to exceed my expectations. I wanted to appreciate your support and generosity.

  • Chuck Mencke says


    My top moment for 2013 had to be chairing the District 25 Fall Conference and seeing all the hard work of my committee come to fruition! The members had an incredible experience at the conference.

    Happy 2014. Let’s all ROCK the year!

  • To have co-authored the book “Business Success with Ease”. It’s a book filled with practical advice for entrepreneurs and small business owners. My chapter/contribution is “Build Your Public Speaking Business with Ease. Generate Influence, Awareness, and Clients”.

    This is definitely a highlight this year. Not only because it will help me in growing my business, but also because (I hope at least) it will inspire others to make the decision to use public speaking to grow their business, no matter what business they are in! :-)

    I’ve loved reading your posts throughout your tour and was inspired by your top experiences this past year. 2013 was the worst year of my life for so many reasons, primarily due to medical issues with my children and financial setbacks, but now – with book in hand and care from great doctors I can put this year behind me and jump into 2014! It’s going to be my best year EVER!

    Wishing you a blessed New Year!!!


  • Mary Swanson says

    My top moment was being able to attend the Toastmasters International Convention in Cincinnati after having being diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2013.It felt great to be among friends after such a long haul. I am now cancer free!!

  • Nancy Priddy says

    One of my top memories of 2013 was attending your How to be a Speaker seminar in Richmond, Virginia. I was mesmerized for two hours. My husband couldn’t believe you could hold us in rapt attention for that long. Ryan, you know how to give a speech. Right now I am working on a speech and trying to incorporate your pointers especially the “be yourself” one. I will remember that evening and learn from it well into 2014. Many thanks.

  • Ryan, congrats on the great year! My moment was when I became a DTM after working hard toward that goal for two and a half years. Very exciting moment and great feeling!

  • Vijay Chinnasamy says

    Cool. Thank you for posting this today. I am proud of you.

    My two top moments are – in this order:

    1. Second daughter (born this year)
    2. My ten speeches are my memories that I did for my ACB

    I missed to attend your workshop in Eugene earlier. but I will try to attend your keynotes in Chicago… Looking forward to it.

  • Paul says

    Top moment of the year: fighting in my first boxing match on national TV. Or more specifically, this moment:

  • 2013 was memorable to me because I not only became District Governor, but had the opportunity to spend time with and learn from three world champions during the first 6 months in office. We had Jim Key come in and lead a session during our TLI, our district was the kick-off for the Ryan Avery tour and we were able to bring Jock Elliott in from Australia to speak and teach at tour fall conference. Meeting new friends and renewing old friendships at the International Convention in Cincinnati was icing on the cake. 2014 will be the year to put much of what I learned from these great champions into action.

  • Sondra Nunez says

    So many to choose from….one memory really stands out as special..seeing my article published on the How to Be a Speaker Blog. This was a first for me and has inspired me to think about writing and publishing a book of my own. Thank you!

  • Edmond Joe says

    One of my highlights in 2013 was attending (and photographing) my very first TEDx event.

  • This has been quite a year so it’s hard for me to choose! working with Rich Hopkins as my speaking coach for 3 months was a HUGE deal and propelled me to another level.

    MCing my first big Toastmasters event with you and Chelsea as our stars was also a big deal. As was becoming part of the HTBAS team.

    Completing my blog was important to me.

    Deepening my relationship with my dad was an unexpected joy.

    Working with life coach Micaela Pennell.

    Choosing my faith over my ambition. (TOUGH ONE)

    I’d have to say that starting my business Head Start Public Speaking For Kids was my biggest challenge and I am very proud of it.

    The thing I’m most proud of though is how hard I have worked and how honest I have been with myself on becoming a better person. It has been the hardest work and the most rewarding and really, all of the things I’ve mentioned above contributed to that!

  • Suzy Jeppesen says

    One of my best memories this year was participating in the Toastmasters Humorous Speech contest. I still have speaking anxiety so at each level, I kept praying that I wouldn’t win! Each time I advanced I had to psych myself up for the next level. I really learned what I was capable of and became more in touch with my inner dialogue. I accepted my anxiety, gave myself positive messages and encouraged myself to be in the moment at the contest. It was a success: I came third in the division contest and my speaking rose to another level. It’s one of my best memories because I’m proud of myself for changing my mindset from terrified and negative to supportive and accepting. This allowed me to enjoy the contests be successful.

  • This story gives me “heart happies!” I’m SO excited for you two and will be watching to see where you “grow from here.”

  • Marc Gabris says

    Wow what a year Ryan! You have a lot to be proud of!

    My highlight was receiving a health report that I had become significantly more healthy after making a number of sacrifices to do so. In my opinion, to invest in your health is the best investment you can make.

  • TK says

    Great idea, Ryan. There were SO many great thoughts including many that involved my hubby as well as helping the Toastmasters District THINK BIG (and getting you, Craig Duswalt, Larry Broughton, Marcus Slaton, and so many others come to our District) and seeing so many achieve more than they thought possible. The biggest would have to be helping make my mother’s year a special one through her year of incredible surgery and rehab, challenging decisions, and celebrating her 80th birthday. She is an inspiration, a cheerleader, a nudger, and someone who helps you believe YOU CAN!

  • Lisa says

    Thanks for sharing your amazing journey. Wishing you much success and look forward to seeing more from you in the upcoming year.

  • Donald Drennon says

    One of the highlights for me was meeting and learning from Ryan Avery. I am going to use what I learned from you in my next speech.

  • Monty Ray Davidson says


    It would have to be presenting with the other top 8 Finalists At the WCPS in Ohio! That was awesome!

  • Thank y’all for sharing and letting me see what the best part of 2013 was for you! We all have so much to be thankful for and I appreciate you letting me see all the amazing things you have accomplished this year!

    The winners of the book giveaway are Chuck Mencke and Ken Miller! Congrats and if you can send your address to we will get you a copy sent in April when the book is released! Thank you all and so excited for 2014!!!

  • One of the highlights of my year was meeting you and Chelsea! Besides the fact that you are a great speaker, and really inspired me to “speak from the heart”, I really loved seeing how you work together (apparently a portent of things to come as you seem to be doing a lot more of that these days) and the other highlight was meeting my niece Quinn. She is wonderful, beautiful and sweet and she has inspired me to become more aware of current events so I am not the “pretty but dumb” aunt as she grows older. Thanks for letting me share, Ryan. I am excited to read your book and keep following your career! You and Chelsea are a real inspiration to me ! Keep up your good work!

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