Luisa Herran
Luisa Herran

Our Toastmaster of the day, Tu Duong hosted our July 9 meeting for the first time and did an amazing job!  He used the fable of the rabbit and the turtle as the theme but with a few twists.  He first explained the original moral of the story was: “slow and steady wins the race” and obviously, this occurred due to the rabbit’s overconfident attitude.  However, the Toastmaster took the fable to another level by giving different versions.  This time the rabbit asks the turtle to run another race but this time he does not fall asleep and wins the race.  Moral: “fast and reliable always beats slow and steady”.  But, this is not all.  Tu introduced a third version where the rabbit suggests doing the race again but using a different route.  Off they went. After a few miles they come upon a river and the rabbit cannot swim so the turtle wins the race.  Moral: “In order to achieve your objective you must know your core competencies”.  The different outcomes gave us something to think about.

We had two of our veteran speakers give speeches.  Both speeches were thought-provoking.


This was the title of Andy Newman’s speech and that is exactly how he started, with this question, which immediately engaged the audience. He brought up the fact that Toastmasters are afraid to sell and don’t talk much about their jobs, which is quite accurate.  Andy spoke about one of his business ventures and encouraged us to begin a new journey by identifying a segment of our economy that we aren’t using to its full potential.  This can be a spare bedroom, a vacation home that can generate income.  Why not swap homes with someone across the country or the world?  Take advantage of the economic revolution and live a simpler life.  Instead of owning a timeshare or booking a hotel room, why not experience adventure and a sense of belonging by going the route of AirBNB ?  Andy asked that we join him in this adventure.


was the title of Chris Wolfe’s speech.  Chris owns an insurance company and has been in the business for 41 years.  It was funny that Andy Newman should mention that we never speak about our jobs and Chris decided to speak on the subject.  Chris asked how many of us blame Obamacare for the rise in health insurance premiums.  Answers varied but those that said yes were partly right.  The bottom line, however is that we need to be able to control price of going to the Doctor or to the hospital in order to stabilize premiums.  In addition, we need more doctors, more hospitals; we need tort reform; hospitals need to be more transparent so we can shop around and force premiums to come down.

Jennifer Garcia was our TABLE TOPICS Master who had some very interesting and challenging questions.  Here are the responses from our impromptu speakers.

Jim Harnett told us about the fun he had growing up in Coral Gables and playing with his buddies in the DeSoto Fountain, particularly when they decided to  put bubble soap in the fountain.

Nick Zwemer talked about how he has never felt underestimated, which he attributes to his confident nature.  He attributes this trait to his upbringing and is grateful to his parents for having imparted confidence in him.

Chris Nolte, on the other hand, was underestimated once by his first boss who told him he did not have what it takes to be in sales.  Luckily, Chris did not let that bring him down and today he is very successful in his sales career.

Cristian Stenstrom said that the moral of his story is “enthusiasm” and explained how it has been a constant in his life.

Leisha John and Jodi Johnson were the speech evaluators under the direction of our Master Evaluator,  Ghislaine Demombynes.

Suggestions for improvement:

  • Be mindful of the time so you are not rushing at the end trying to wrap things up quickly and missing out on a powerful closing
  • Make sure that if your speech has a call to action that it is clear

We want to thank our guest for visiting and hope to see you again next week.  Our guests were Andrew Saint Lazare, Melissa Blundell Osorio, Roxanne Jorge (previously a member) and Anna-Kaye Lue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.