Club Articles and Updates!


  •  President Distinguished Award Progress!
  • 2018 International Speech and Table Topics Contests Date Set for March 1st! 
  • A Message from Club #28 President Renee Ellis CC, CL 
  • 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
  • Speaker Tips


By Vice President of Education Susan Storma 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! We were able to achieve our 7th, 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th, 13th, 14th & 15th  President’s Distinguished Award in 2009 through 2017!  Now we have set a NEW RECORD for consecutive President’s Distinguished Awards at Club #28 with 9 straight years in a row!

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 14 out of 17 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 “Sweet 16!” our 16th in 2017 / 2018, the 16th in the last 19 years…which would be truly remarkable. We will keep track here updating every week.  

We will need at least 20 members in our club on June 30, 2018…I challenge this club to have at least 40 by then! We have: 39 paid Members on February 6, 2018.  GOALS ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE: 10! (Starting on July 1, 2017)

GOAL #1: TWO CC’S: (Competent Toastmaster / Completing Basic Manual): 1.) Detra Flood CC   2.) Renee Ellis CC 

GOAL #2: TWO MORE CCs! 1.)  Walk Jones CC  2.) Linda Klein CC 

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

GOAL #4: ONE MORE ACB, ACS or ACG:  1.) Daphne Hart ACS

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

GOAL #6: ONE MORE CL, ALB, ALS OR DTM: 1.) Chi Simons DTM 2.) Detra Flood CL 3.) Detra Flood ALB

GOAL #7: FOUR NEW MEMBERS! 1.) Bob Steg  2.) Maureen Premo   3.) Emma Hutto   4.) Jordon Hutto 

GOAL #8: FOUR MORE NEW MEMBERS! 5.) Michael Adams 6.) Eric Howard 7.) Tina Wieczorek  8.) Randy Cadely 9.) Vincent Duong 10.) Rene Jacob Soto 11.) Joe Mangacle 12.) Bethany Johnson 13.) Kate Murray 14.) Kevin Conway 14.) Jose Vela

GOAL #9: AT LEAST FOUR OFFICERS TRAINED  (Attending TI Officer Training for both TM term sessions) July-August 2017:  Pres.; VPE; VPPR, VPM; Secretary; Treasurer; SAA  (7 of 7!).

January 2017: Pres.; VPE; VPPR; VPM; Secretary; Treasurer; SAA (7 of 7!) .

GOAL #10: SUBMITTED ON TIME ONE SEMI-ANNUAL PER CAPS AND ONE CLUB OFFICER LIST:Semi Annual (Per Caps) due by 9/30/2016 and 3/31/2018: Per Cap #1:) YES!   Per Cap #2:) Officer Lists due by 12/31/17  and 06/30/18: List #1:  List #2:) YES! 

 Club #28 is also in easy reach of a 16th  President’s Distinguish award. We are going to keep going & ACHIEVE a “Sweet 16th!”  WE ROCK! 


(By Ken Walley DTM)

Vice President of Education Susan Storma announced that the Orlando Toastmasters Club #28 International Speech and Evaluation Contests date has been set for March 1, 2018. In the past, Club #28 has set the bar very high for all of the other Toastmasters Clubs in Central Florida. “I see no reason why these cannot be our best contests ever!” Susan enthusiastically said. Club President Renee Ellis was also very positive, “the blend of excellent speakers, hard workers and talented members in this club is sure to make for some fantastic contests. But it takes the efforts of everyone in the club working together to put on theses contests!”

A sign up sheet will be going around at each meeting leading up to the contests. Please make sure to sign up either as a functionary or contestant to help assure Club #28’s International Speech and Table Topics Contests will continue to be the legendary presentations of the past.

Here is the sign up sheet so far. I will update this here weekly.


AREA DIRECTOR: Mona Cherkaoui



TIMER: Ramon Reyes


VOTE COUNTER: Lily Phuong-Tang



















Hello Fellow Toastmasters,

Happy New Year!  It is an honor and a privilege to be president for Orlando Toastmasters Club 28 for the first half of 2018.  We are a strong and exciting club because we have a great group of people.  I am so fortunate to follow in the footsteps of Detra Flood, our previous club president.  She, and her executive committee, has led the way to a successful 2018.  It’s only January and we have already completed our 10 out of 10 requirements for the President’s Distinguished Award for the 16th time!

Goals for this term are to continue having fun and engaging meetings along with building our membership.  We will also be having more speech marathons so everyone gets a chance to speak.  We have grown so much that this has become a challenge.  We will also be keeping our meetings on schedule so we may honor everybody’s time. 

In my inaugural address, I presented the slogan for this term to be “Be deliberate, be prepared, be invested.  “Be” is a call-to-action word.  Pablo Picasso said, “Action is the foundational key to all success”.

I would like to see our Toastmasters be deliberate in choosing the roles they need to complete their educational goals.  I would also like to see our Toastmasters be prepared to do their speeches, fill functionary roles or greet guests during our meetings.  Finally, I would like to see our Toastmasters invest in our club by having good attendance and serving in leadership roles when asked.

We have a new executive committee with whom I am pleased to serve.  Susan Storma, ALB, is Vice President of Education, David Hundeby is our Vice President of Membership (again!), Lily Tang is our Vice President of Public Relations, Ken Walley, DTM, is our Secretary, Chi Simons, DTM, is our Treasurer and Daniel Guiterrez is our Sergeant at Arms.  A special thanks for investing themselves in our club. 

We are a strong club.  My vision is that we will become excellent speakers, leaders and life-long learners.  Let us make that our goal.  Zig Ziqlar said, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you BECOME by achieving your goals.”  Therefore, “Be deliberate, be prepared and be invested.”

I’m looking forward to serving with an excellent executive committee for the best club in Central Florida and oldest club, east of the Rockies!

Renee Ellis, CC, CL


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,


 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..”