Club Articles and Updates!


  • President’s Distinguished Award Progress!
  • 2019 Club #28 International Speech and Table Topics Contests Produce Incredible, High Quality Performances! 
  • The Orlando Toastmasters Club #28 2018 Humorous Speeech and Evaluation Contests Simply the Best Contests Ever! (& Contest Updates)
  • A Message from Club #28 President Daphne Hart ACG, ALB [Coming soon!] 
  • The most Important Minute of Your Club #28 Speech by David Slaten CC
  • Why I joined & How much does it cost & How it works by Steve Wood CC
  • The Non-Verbal Art of Speech Making by Kenneth H. Walley DTM
  • Speaker Tips


By Vice President of Education Marie Leoffler DTM and  Website editor Kenneth Walley DTM

Club #28 has done something truly extraordinarily difficult for a Toastmaster Club to accomplish. We won six straight President’s Distinguished Awards from 1999 to 2006! Starting again in 2008, Club #28 has put together a string of TEN straight President’s Distinguished Awards! A decade of Toastmaster’s excellence! Are we finished? Not by a long shot!

The award is rare even among large Toastmaster Clubs because it requires that all of the club’s members take a part in earning it.  It is the highest award that Toastmasters International can bestow upon an individual club, For a club our size to have accomplished this feat for 16 out of 18 years has been nothing less than remarkable. But we believe that we should not rest on our laurels! We have a wonderful opportunity to go for a “Super 17!” our 17th in 2018 & 19, …which would be truly remarkable. We will keep track here updating every week.  

Here is the New  PATHWAYS Transition DCP

Complete 6 of the 12 Goals

We will need at least 20 members in our club on June 30, 2019…I challenge this club to have at least 40 by then! We have: 26 paid Members on November 1, 2018.  GOALS ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE: 9! (Starting on July 1, 2018)

New Members: 1. Lauren Crane 2. Orion Craig  3.  Chris Alvarez 4. Franklin Santos 5. Omar Kahn 6. Maria Son 7. Dickson Mo 8. Jennifer Scott 9. Richard Harvey 10. Jessica Bright 11. Randy Cadely 12 Valerie Mnayarji 13. Jonathan Yovaish 14. Kristin Steiner, 15. Tim Inglis.

GOAL #1: TWO CC’S: (Competent Toastmaster / Completing Basic Manual): 1.) Joey Jacobshagen  2.) Jose Vela 

GOAL #2: TWO MORE CCs! 1.) David Hundeby    2.)  

GOAL #3: ONE AC (Advanced Toastmaster) Bronze, Silver or Gold) 1.) Susan Storma ACS 

 GOAL #4: ONE MORE ACB, ACS or ACG:  1.) Marie Loeffler ACG

GOAL #5: ONE CL, ALB, ALS (Competent Leader Awards) or DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster Award): 1.) Marie Loeffler ALS 


GOAL #7:  FOUR PATHWAY LEVEL 1’s: 1.) Chi Simons (DL1) 2.) Kate Murray VC1 3.) Marie Leoffler (Ml1) 4.) Lily Tang IP1

GOAL #8: TWO PATHWAY LEVEL 2’s 1.) Kate Murray VC2 2.) Marie Leoffler  DTM  

GOAL #9: TWO MORE LEVELS 2’s  1.) Marie Leoffler ML2 2.)

GOAL #10: TWO LEVEL  3’s 1.) Kate Murray VC3 2.) Marie Loeffler ML3

GOAL #11: ONE LEVEL 4: 1.)

GOAL #12: ONE LEVEL 5 1.)

Minimum of four club officers trained a TLI x2:  (1 achieved)

Memembership renewal: Done!

 Club #28 is also in easy reach of a 17th President’s Distinguish award. We are going to keep going & ACHIEVE a “Super 17th!”  WE ROCK! 















Photos: Top: Chi Simons DTM and Kate Murray VC3 winners in International Speech Contest. Bottom: Joy Slater, Ken Blake DTM and Ken Walley DTM winners in the Table Topics Contest. 

With its trademark packed house and atmosphere reminiscent of a Beatles concert; the 2019 Orlando Toastmasters Club #28 International Speech and Table contests rose to the occasion. The contests took place at the Herndon Branch Library on February 7, 2019, a date that will be embraced for years to come in Club #28 lore.

The two brilliant contests featured individual masterpieces from every contestant. While virtuoso feats of excellence are the norm for this club, these contests truly highlighted the seer depth of talent that Club #28 possesses.

It was not just the speakers who shined, both the Contest Master David Hundeby CC and the Chief Judge Linda Kline CC turned in top-notice efforts in keeping an extremely full agenda on time and running smoothly.

It was no small task to bring the impatient throng to order but contest Sgt. at Arms Joey Jacobshagen CC got the festivities under way. Throughout night Joey held the jubilant multitude of public speaking lovers at bay with the help of fellow Sgt. at Arms Vincent Son.


There were four contestants in the Table Topics contest that included two senior members of the club and DTMs as well as two Club #28 members who have never been in any Toastmasters contest before. The question selected by the Contest Master was: “What does masculinity mean to you?”

The first to speak was Ken Walley DTM who mentioned a recent TV advertisement that had drawn a lot of controversy depicting men in non-traditional roles. “The thing I think that are the most important things to me, as a man, are not the stereotypical things. They are the things that will make a lasting impression om who I am. What’s important to me and what brings joy into my life.”

Joy Slater spoke about the masculinity / femininity characteristics and how each person shares traits of both sexes. “It is a masculine thing when someone is just empowered to be both… I love to see people who are in that balance.”

Tim Inglis another newcomer to speech contest surprised with a very strong answer. “I really like this question because especially in today’s environment we do talk about the roles of a man in our society. Some of my personal opinions do fall under the same stereotypes of leadership, toughness, that sort of thing but I also do believe that compassion, caring, those sort of things also should apply to what masculinity should be… for instance me, being a husband and a father to my daughter for example.”

Ken Blake DTM spoke about a rivalry between his three sons and how macho feelings often get in the way of establishing meaningful relationships. Ken remembered saying to his sons, “You don’t have to be six feet tall and 200 pounds to be ‘a man’ you have to learn to respect others. Especially to a woman.”

The votes were collected by our Vote counters Maria Son, Daphne Hart ACS, ALB and Mike Durovic. One can only imagine the quandary the judges must have been in having to pick a winner.


After a brief intermission, the spectators were once more shoe-horned into the meeting room for the International Speech contest. Mr. Jacobshagen called the meeting to order and Contest Master Hundeby soon summoned up the first contestant: “Kate Murray VC3 …”The Dirty ‘S’ Word”, “The Dirty ‘S’ Word”… Kate Murray!” This had a surprise as the “’S’ word” was not the ‘S’ word you might think. Instead the word was [Spoiler Alert!] “should”.  The speech was an inspiring message about living without guilt.

The Second speech by Ken Blake DTM was titled “Magic Boy”. Ken told about how as a very young “magic assistant” pulled at random from the audience during a school assembly; he learned how a magician’s trick was done. The other kids wanted to know but Ken was sworn to secrecy. This earned Ken a black eye and two loose teeth from bullies.  But Ken also learned that his “word was his bond.”

Ken Walley DTM spoke about the dangers of racism in a speech titled “The Big Lie” . In an emotional speech, Ken remembered as a child watching a documentary of the holocaust. He went on to study WWII in college and now sees the signs of the same horrific racist beliefs taking hold again… here in the United States.  Ken’s warning made for an important and powerful speech.

Chi Simons DTM’s speech titled “Second Chance” was a performance about how Chi had been in an automobile accident and woke up in a hospital. It was the start of learning how to “slow down” in her work, with her family and in the rest of her life. Through learning to enjoy life, she was able to find a “second chance” for both her and those who she loves.

The International speech contest was motivational, uplifting, inspirational and entertaining!

The winners were announced at the end of the evening.

For the Table Topics Contest Ken Blake DTM came in second place and Ken Walley DTM was declared the winner.

In the International Speech Contest Chi Simons DTM came in second as Kate Murray took the 1st Place prize. Congratulations to all!




(December 2018)

On Saturday, December 8th at the Hart Memorial Central Library in Kissimmee Club #28’s own Kate Murray VC3 added to her contest winning resume by coming in first at the Division C Humorous Speech Contest! She had started her streak winning the Club #28 contest and the Area 30 Contest in September and November.

She will be presenting her award winning speech “Paris… It Depends” next at the District 84 Contest in March. Congratulations Kate!





Photo: What a Club #28 turnout! Lily-Phuong Tang CC, IP1; Diana Walley ATMG, CL; Maria Son, Ken Walley DTM, Ken Blake DTM, Kate Murray, Dickson Mo and Vincent Son.

Club #28 was everywhere at the Area 30 Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contests. Our host was none other than Area 30 Director Phuong-Lily Tang CC, IP1. Lily had a lot of help from other #28 members filling in as functionaries to guarantee the contest’s success.  The contest held at the Siemens Corporation headquarters near UCF, drew a large crowd which included many Orlando Toastmasters Club #28 members.

Club #28 also sweep the awards as Kate Murray won first place with her Humorous Speech “Paris… It Depends“. Kate had to win over three other very funny speeches. She is going to the Division C Contest to be held on December 8, 2019 at a location to be determined.



Photo: Area 30 Director  Phuong-Lily Tang CC, IP1 awards Kate Murray with the 1st Place Humorous Speech medal.

Ken Walley DTM also finished first in the Evaluation Contest. Ken had to evaluate a very well delivered speech by Lee Rushin titled “Fear Major” about being faced with situations of Fear. In Lee’s case, being attacked by an angry dog. Ken praised Lee’s ability to tell a story and serve as an example to other Toastmasters.






Photo: Second Place Evaluation Contest winner Cindy Paulsen and winner Ken Walley DTM with Phuong-Lily Tang CC, IP1.

Congratulations to all of the Club #28 members who helped make the Area 30 Humorous Speech and Evaluations Contests such a success. See you at Division!


The highly anticipated Orlando Toastmasters Club #28 Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contests were held on September 13, 2018 at the Herndon Branch Library amid a flurry of oratory brilliance and masterful organization. “The meeting room filled up with guests, members and dignitaries faster that anyone thought possible.” Noted one Club #28 member, “We kept scrambling to bring in more and more chairs!” The library had brought in police reinforcements in case the large crowd became frenzied while clambering for viewing space. Fortunately, no incidences of unruly behavior were reported.














As the throng settled into a hush, Club #28 Sergeant at Arms Tina Wieczorek called this extraordinary event to order. Proud Club #28 President Renee Ellis CC opened the contests with a quote from Emily Dickenson: “Forever is composed of nows.” She also welcomed the mass of friends, guests and Toastmasters luminaries that packed the room. Our Contest Master on this evening was rising Club #28 superstar Jose Vela. Jose put his usual flare for showmanship and leadership of display. Having a full program, Jose kept the contests on time and enraptured us with humor and insight throughout the evening. Even though this was his first time as a Contest Master, one was given the impression that he was born to MC contests!

The first contest was the Evaluation Contest. The test speaker for our Evaluators was Jeremy Bennett DTM who was presenting a speech titled “Health Care Without Insurance”. Jeremy explained that through the control of diet, sleep, exercise, poor posture and avoiding “negative intakes such as alcohol, drugs, caffeine and sugar” that we could add years to our life and reach a higher quality of living. “Health care cannot stop you from dying but caring for your health can richly extend your life.” Said Jeremy. After the speech, our four Evaluation contestants were escorted out of the room to prepare their speech reviews. They were given only five minutes and then brought in one-by-one to deliver their individual evaluation of Jeremy’s speech. Ken Blake DTM, Kara Newcomb ACG, ALB, Ken Walley DTM and Dickson Mo all managed to come up with inventive, insightful and proficient speech assessments. The main topic of conversation during the short break that followed the first contest was: “How in the world are the judges going to choose a winner?”

After the break, Tina called our second contest, The Humorous Speech contest to  order.

It started with Dickson Mo’s “Just do It!”. Dickson admitted that he had a problem with procrastination and told us of his challenges with getting prepared to write this very speech. Each time something came up (“Clean the car!”) it would lead to something else (“adorable cat videos! “…” Vitamins and minerals on Amazon!”) in the end, he never got the speech started… or did he?

Our second speaker was Ken Walley DTM with a speech titled “A Day in the Life of Ken Walley” In this speech Ken told about a “typical day” in his life… and in the world of his alter-ego. We drove along in a James Bond car, fed mountain lions, “Milked” poisonous snakes, roped cattle and saved Orlando from a crime spree as a super-hero… It was quite a ride!

Kara Newcomb ACG, ALB in her speech “Embarrassing moments” told us of some of the most, well embarrassing moments of her life. As well as some of the funniest. A building was evacuated due to burnt toast, an incident involving yellow smiley-face underwear underneath silk pants and softball injuries that made people think Kara was homeless were just some of her most embarrassing moments.

Lastly it was Kate Murray VC1 who presented a speech titled “Paris… It Depends!” Kate told how at times re-visiting Paris might seem like a fairy-tale type thing to do. But after living there for six years she began to remember the things that were not so wonderful… the smells… the attitudes of those who live there… the inconvenience… the bureaucracy…All of it sidesplittingly uproarious.

These were four extremely hilarious speeches! At times the laughter seemed to shake the walls and many laughed so hard they almost passed out from forgetting to breathe. Before the results could be announced, recognition was given to those who made this night so very special: The Vote Counters Lily Phuong-Tang CC, Vincent Son and Daphne Hart ACS, ALB; Timers Tina Wieczorek and Orion Craig; Chief Judge Marie Leoffler DTM, Contest Sgt. at Arms Chi Simons DTM and Chris Alvarez; Contest Chair David Hundeby and of course Contest Master Jose Vela!

At last our Area Director Lily Phuong-Tang CC handed out the beautiful trophies to our winners: In the Evaluation Contest Kara Newcomb ACG, ALB came in Second Place and Ken Walley DTM took the 1st Place prize. The Humorous Speech 2nd Place winner was Dickson Mo and the winner of the Orlando Toastmasters Club #28 Humorous Speech Contest was Kate Murray! This was a fun meeting that Club #28 will bring a smile to our faces the entire year ahead!



The rumors had been in the air for over a month that Club #28 was about to produce two contests that would be special, maybe even eclipse the legendary contests of Club #28’s past.

March 1, 2018 arrived with a wave of anticipation. Well before contest time, the local Toastmasters elite started lining up at the Herndon Branch Library. Extra seating was hastily produced to shoehorn in the overflow crowds streaming in from all over the Central Florida area.


The excited murmuring and squeals of expectation were called to order by the Contest Sgt. at Arms Kara Newcomb ACG, ALB. Kara introduced Diana Walley ATMG, CL who first joined Club #28 in 1993 to deliver our Invocation and Pledge. Diana choose to pay honor to those who teach by quoting Henry Adams “A teacher effects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

Contest organizer and Club #28 Vice President of Education Susan Storms ACB, ALB welcomed Toastmasters and guests and introduced our Contest Master.

Club #28 also discovered a sparkling new talent in first time Contest Master David Hundeby. David created an excitement that enhanced the excellence of this brilliant evening. Although a new Contest Master, David handled his duties as if they were second nature, blending professionalism and entertainment while still letting the speakers have the spotlight. It was worth coming to the contest just to watch David.

David called upon Chief Judge Ken Walley DTM to certify the qualifications of the contestants and then we were ready for the first contest; the International Speech Contest.


The first speaker was Linda Klein CC with a speech titled “Make a Habit / Break a Habit”. This exceptionally well-crafted speech, told how as a child Linda picked up a bad habit of swearing that she found that she had carried into adulthood. One day, she prayed to God to help her lose this horrendous habit. Soon after Linda decided to take a vacation. Because it was a short trip, Linda left her cat named Benjamin, food and a clean litter box. She also left her realtor business to an associate named David. When she returned home she called David to find out if any of her clients had needed help and walked into the house to find that Benjamin had destroyed the house and ruined her prized living room rug by “pooping everywhere!” Linda burst into a tirade of anger and swear words. Then she discovered that she had accidentally closed the door to room with the litter box in it when she had left! She pleaded with the cat “Oh I am so sorry for yelling at you Benjamin!” It was then that Linda realized that David was still on the phone and had heard every word! Worst of all, David did not know that “Benjamin” was a cat! God had answered Linda’s prayer about swearing… her reputation now may be in tatters but she never swore again!

The Second speaker was Chi Simons DTM titled “Gold Digger”. Chi told the story of how in Vietnam she and her father possessed a fortune in gold hidden within the walls of her house to keep thieves from stealing it and harming the family. When it was time to retrieve the treasure, Chi convinced her father to help him. Although a young girl, Chi had challenged herself to face the danger. Had they been found they most certainly would have been killed for the gold. Clandestinely, they chose to do this during the day, timing the hammering at the walls to a butcher slaughtering chickens near-by to mask the noise. Covered in dust, striking through concrete, they soon saw the bright yellow of the gold bars. It was their ticket to freedom. Chi encouraged us all to “become gold diggers! Believe in yourself, define yourself and open the possibilities of your life.”

The last speech by Bob Steg ACB was a moving powerful speech titled “The Color Doesn’t Matter” about overcoming racism and winning acceptance. Bob started out the speech remembering the recent Olympic games and the first Black Woman US speed skater named Maame Biney. She was born in Ghana and moved to Virginia where she was raised by her father.  Completely beloved by her father, a man who encouraged her every step of the way, he found that she had a real speed-skating talent.  it became apparent that to reach her Olympic dream, Maamie would have to leave him and live with a white family in Kerns, Utah where the US team was training. Maamie was treated like a part of their family. Her father said, “The color doesn’t matter.” Bob told another story of a black man named Wilmot Collins, the only black man in Helena, Montana. When he moved there he was greeted by someone spray- painting on his house a racial slur. The entire community came together to support him, eventually electing him mayor of the town! Bob remembered hearing fellow classmates making fun of Jews in his elementary school. He was Jewish, and he wondered if he should ever tell anyone of his beliefs. This influenced his life until he decided that he was not going to hide who he was anymore. “Hate begets hate” said Bob, “Color does not matter but it is how you treat others that matter.”

Thus, ended the International Speech Contest.

Soon the Table Topics Contest was set to start. This contest featured four speakers Joe Mangasale, Lily Phuong-Tang, Bethany Johnson and Daniel Gutierrez. All of them answered the same question: “What advice would you appreciate hearing from a happy and successful 80-year-old?”  We got four very different answers. Joe asked a question of his own “if you did not know how old you were and could not find out; how would that change your life?’ He said he had meet people in their 80’s that act much more youthful than they were. “How do you do that?” was what he wanted to ask them. Lily also knows “older people” and said that she often asks advice of them. One bit of advice she got was “If you lose money, you just lose money. If you lose time, you lose a part of your life.” Bethany Said that she would ask the 80- year-old about taking risks. She spoke about a recent trip she took that that ended up being one “of the best things I have ever done.” Said Bethany “Take risks, the more you move out of your comfort zone; the better off you are.” The last speaker Daniel, said he had a friend that was 76-year-old. “Does 76 count? He thought I was going to steal his car! When he realized I was just admiring it, we became friends. One day he told me to ‘just be yourself’ and ‘be creative.’”

As the judges attempted to come up with winners for our contests as not everyone can come in 1st place; David and Susan paid tribute to the functionaries who made the contest possible: Timers Scott Maloney ACB, ALB and Kate Murray; Vote Counter Renee Ellis CC, CL and Tina Weiczorek, Sgt. at Arms Kara Newcomb ACG, CL; Chief Judge Ken Walley DTM and… of course Contest Chair Susan Storma ACB, ALB and Contest Master David Hundeby themselves.

Our Area 33 Director Mona Cherkaoui ACG, ALB was on hand to help hand out the trophies. In the Table Topics Contest coming in second place was Bethany Johnson and keeping it a family affair, her father… Joe Mangasale took the first place prize!

In the International Speech Content Chi Simons DTM took 2nd place and… Drumroll please… Bob Steg ACB won 1st Place!



Photo: (l. to r.) Joe Mangasale, Bethany Johnson, Chi Simons and Bob  Steg.

In this 85th year of Club #28 these contests will go down in history as two of the best ever held. They will be remembered fondly for at least another 85 years.



[This article coming soon!]


Orlando Toastmasters Club 28


 The Most Important Minute of Your Club 28 Speech

By Davis Slaten CC

Whether you are new to Toastmasters or just new to Club 28 (as I am), we are all exposed to the same fundamental structure of a speech: Introduction, Body and Conclusion. Countless blog posts, lectures and books exist to convey wisdom on every nuance of these structural elements. I can’t contribute anything new to that deluge of quality instruction. Instead, I’d like to highlight something about Club 28 that is different from my experience at two previous Toastmasters Clubs. I don’t think its unique to Club 28 but is, in my opinion, the most valuable aspect of our weekly meetings. The most important minute of each speech is the minute of silence for writing individual feedback.
When I first joined a TM club, it was challenging to stand up and give my Icebreaker speech. I was relieved to have gotten through it. I was self-critical of my performance, but genuinely pleased to have not gone mute in front of a crowd. My evaluator gave praise and made a suggestion for future improvement. Unfortunately, I was still coming down from my adrenaline kick and really couldn’t take it all in. Getting comfortable with my fellow Toastmasters, it became easier and easier to stand up and talk to the group. Managing those nerves was a good result, but I confused it for wider progress in my “speech making” ability. My rate of improvement was diminished as a consequence. So my next three or four speeches went the same way: I would start at a good pace and then speed up more and more as I tried to fit everything in the allotted time.
The official evaluation speeches are certainly helpful. They can provide spot-on praise, suggestions for improvement and encouragement. But sometimes they don’t. A limit of three minutes is a tight timeframe, especially for an inexperienced evaluator who is struggling with their own nerves or challenges. A single opinion can sometimes be filled with bad advice wrapped in good intentions, even from experienced evaluators. And even great suggestions will be lost if we’re not ready to hear them.
I sensed the value of the individual feedback slips after our August 4th meeting this year. As Topicmaster for the evening I experienced some nervousness since it was my first “up front” role at Club 28. I made it through well enough and had some thoughts on what I could do better next time. Ken Blake ( Distinguished TM and a member of four different Toastmasters clubs) gave me a slip of paper with his feedback after the meeting. I read it once, then twice. The input was excellent, supporting my own self-critique and explaining reasons for trying other changes. At home that night I sat down and made a checklist, using Ken’s input as a starting point, of everything I could do to better prepare as Topicsmaster. Now I can choose one element from that list each time I have that meeting role in the future. Thank you Ken for taking the time to share your thoughts.
The individual feedback sheets, compared to a single evaluation, will give a broad spectrum of input. Seeing the same suggestion from several people helps pinpoint our weakest skills. Experienced Toastmasters can provide more subtle suggestions or useful tools to tackle problem areas. Novice Toastmasters will share praise that reminds us how far we’ve come since our first speech. The best part? You can take it all home and digest it when you are ready.
Enjoy the personal accomplishment of preparing and delivering each speech in your Toastmaster journey, but the concluding handshake is not the end of your project. The project is done when you’ve identified a skill to purposefully improve in your next speech. Club 28 makes that possible with one minute of feedback for everyone, from everyone.


By Steve Wood CC, CL

We’ve all heard that the pen is mightier than the sword. The idea is that words have more power than weapons and this is true whether the words are written or spoken. Having good public speaking skills can enable a pauper to become a king. It can change you from being a mere spectator to being the one everyone is listening to.

In life we are all public speakers and our success is influenced by our ability to speak publicly. You may not be interested in ruling the planet but there are many other reasons to improve your speaking ability. Many people come to Toastmasters to help them with work related tasks. Maybe you just want to be more fun at the party. I am always interested in what motivates people.

If you have ever been to a Toastmasters meeting you may have some questions. I remember two questions I had and I could not seem to find the answers anywhere. They were “how much does it cost?” and “How does it work?” Toastmasters is a non-profit organization and the cost is minimal. My last membership renewal was $47 for six months. Your first six month membership might be as high as $70 because you get some books at that time. To find our “how it works” you can watch the short video we have on this website or you can just come by and visit, or both.

The way it works is that we all meet at the designated time and then we learn by doing. There are several opportunities for each member to speak at a Toastmasters meeting but the main opportunity is given to those who sign up to give a speech. A speech typically lasts from 5 to 10 minutes.

Nothing comes without effort and effort is easier when it is fun and you can see progress. This is one reason why Toastmasters works.

Become a Toastmaster and let it work for you!

Steve Wood, CC, CL

Past Orlando Toastmasters Club #28 President,

The Non-Verbal Art of Speech Making

By Kenneth H.  Walley DTM

“Setting the stage” for your speech can be almost as important as the words that you choose. How your audience perceives you can be as powerful, or in some instances as relaxing, as the vocal part of your speech. Here are a few ideas as to how to make a statement before you open your mouth. 

  1. A relaxed and informal body posture tends to put your audience at ease.  Sitting on a desk, leaning, using a “pondering” expression, loose or flippant arm and hand motions, etc. creates an “attitude” of the speaker that the speech is more of a “chat” and  is in essence creating a conversational tone. Using this kind of body language, while often drawing the audience into the speech at first, will often lose them later and may tend to lose the credibility of important points that you wish to make. It is important to vary the tension of your body movement throughout the speech. A super-rigid body posture, one with little movement and strong forceful arm and hand motions, for example from behind a lectern,  gives the audience the message that the speech is important, serious and demanding of their attention. This also only works for a short time. Putting a strong emphasis on parts of the speech is more effective than running the risk of “scolding” your audience. Try to get out at times from behind the lectern, vary the tone of the body language and you will be more effective.
  2. You are what you wear. Every speaker should attempt to dress for the occasion and to have the best effect possible on the audience. A clown suit is perfect for a 3rd grade birthday party but not for the boardroom. Common sense is usually the best guide. A three-piece suit might be a tad overdressed for a lecture to a high school class but being to informal,  jeans and a sweat shirt… might tend to lose your credibility. A nice suit, in good taste  is perfect for any important speech. Look at yourself in a mirror before you arrive and ask “Is this the image I want my audience to have of me?”  
  3. “Working the room” splitting up the room into parts or “zones” and then changing positions during the speech to address each zone, creates the perception of inclusiveness. Be aware of how much you are moving, speak from one position for a time then move to the next zone.  This can add an air of enthusiasm!  Avoid “pacing” because that can distract from your speech.
  4. Create the environment you want your audience to experience beforehand. This is not always possible but moving and manipulating the physical surrounding of the speech area can have a powerful effect on your speech.  Lighting for example can often add an “extra effect”. Also have props handy, have projector or any other visual aids at the ready so that when you need these items their operation does not distract from your speech.  

The use of the face and the eyes are also a very important element of non-verbal communication as well how the seating arrangements are organized and ability to create a “aura” of confidence as you approach the lectern. Weaving these with the spoken word creates the total speaker. The most effective speech has a balanced use of the verbal and non verbal. 


 5 Super Duper Basic Speaking Tips: Rehearse. Practice until you have confidence.

Practice in front of a mirror. Tape yourself while practicing until it sounds just the way you want it to sound. 2. Visualize. “See” the audience in your mind and how you would like them to react to different parts of your speech. 3. Give a performance, your audience will react to your emotions, actions and feelings as much as they will to the words. Speak from the heart. 4. No notes. Use sincerity and Conviction instead. 5 Use a conversational tone. Speak to your audience as if you were speaking to a single, close friend.

FIVE Non-Verbal ways to hold your Audience:

1. Vary the “tone” of your body language: A relaxed speech relaxes your audience and might put them to sleep. A rigid speech might have them thinking you are scolding them! You are not their mom! 2.You are what you wear! Dress for the part. A well dressed speaker demands respect. 3. Work the room! Speak to different “zones” and get out from behind the lectern. 4. Create the environment you want. Get to the location before your audience and have props, projectors and effects set up and ready to go. Create some “magic”! 5. Eye contact, eye contact, eye contact!  

Speech Writing Tips (From Paul Meunier, DTM):

1. Pick a Topic that interests you. 2. Pick a Topic that does NOT interest you! Almost any topic becomes interesting with a little research. 3.  Let your Ideas Flow. 4. Focus on Your Theme. Use outlining or mind-mapping to begin to get your ideas down. 5. Less is More. The shorter the speech, the better! 6. The Power of a Personal Story. 7. Practice your Speech. Rehearse OUT LOUD in front of a mirror, to a tape recorder, and with your mentor. 8. Memorize Your Beginning and Ending!

The Power of Speech, A Six Point Checklist:

  1. Strong Start. 2. Pause for Effect and Drama. 3. Eye Contact. 5. Enthusiasm and Energy. 5. Conversational Style. 6. Humor. 

Trite Phrases Guaranteed to Lose Your Audience (From Michael Joseph (DTM) :

  1. “Without Further ado…” 2. “Last but not least…” 3. None other than…” 4.At this point in time…” 5. “Let me turn over the lectern …” 6. As you probably already know…” 7. I don’t want to bore you, but…” 8. “Now as I was saying…” 9. “Thank you so much for having me…” 10. “This speaker needs no introduction…” 11. “Let’s give a BIG HAND to…” 12. “I’m Sorry ’bout that..”