Miracle Mile Club Officers Attend TLI

On August 4, several club officers attended the Toastmasters Leadership Institute at Keiser University in Miami.

This training session helps officers become more effective leaders and helps our club earn DCP requirements.

I had the pleasure of serving as facilitator for the District’s new Public Relations Manager, Linda Chapman, who provided the group with valuable tools to more effectively perform our roles as VPPR.

A Meeting filled with information and laughter!

As you know our incredibly cerebral toastmasters cerebrate often.  Today, they demonstrated just how marvelous their cerebrating skills are when answering Table Topics questions, presenting beautiful speeches and particularly when evaluating the meeting

Our first speaker, Daniel Frasson, gave an engaging speech comparing the use of porcelain tiles and hardwood flooring.  Dan explained there are three factors to consider:

  • Design and flexibility
  • The Cost of Ownership
  • Durability

Wood plank tiles have the look and feel of hardwood.  They can be made in a variety of colors, moving more to the grey that is fashionable now.  The cost of hardwood runs about $125 per square foot.  Wood plank tiles, on the other hand, cost about $7.00 per square foot.  Wood looks great, but pets and children can stain and scratch the material.

Be armed with this information if you are planning to redecorate your home.

If you’ve been in the club for any length of time, you know Paula Hesch.  Today we had a re-introduction to Paula, with an Icebreaker.  She asked us if we had ever been advice from our parents that impacted our lives.  Her mother’s counsel was, “to always be independent and be able to support yourself.”

Her parents separated while she was in college.  Her mother went back to school and prepared to pursue better employment.  After college, Paula traveled throughout the world.  She married and moved with her husband to Albany New York.  The big city girl wondered what she was going to do in Albany, a small city, during a recession.  A job and career opportunity,  in her field of interior design, presented itself.  She preferred working in commercial design — not retail, so she entered a 2-year masters program in New York City.  Once a week she’d travel to school in the “Big Apple,” the remainder of the week, she continued to work in Albany.

Paula’s husband’s job took him to the University of Miami School Of Law.   Having a family was also important to Paula, and the couple had two children, Jason and Dana.  She taught at Bauder Fashion, Miami-Dade College and FIU as well as working at some notable interior design firms.  But Paula was looking to move forward.  With her 20-year marriage coming to an end, her children young teenagers, the thought of starting a business seemed a new and exciting challenge with more flexibility in her life.

Today, Paula counts herself as lucky getting her mother’s advice.  She is undoubtedly independent and able to support herself.  She claims her daughter is also an even more independent woman.

Dan Sanchez-Galarraga presented some questions that certainly pushed our contestants to cerebrate during Table Topics.  Our Blue Ribbon Winner was Dwayne Robinson, who when asked, “Who was the biggest influence in your life?” responded that it was his mother.

Our evaluation team led by Cris Stenstrom, along with Felix Lorenzo and Jim Hartnett, gave us all some thoughtful ideas for our future presentations.  Here are a few you may find helpful:

  • To add emphasis, repeat main points.
  • Using pauses will break up multiple facts.
  • When giving an informative speech, try not to pause and look upward.  It appears that you may not have all of the answers.
  • Begin the speech with what you want everyone to hear.  Do not start with something extraneous or immaterial to your talk.

Wonderful meeting.  Hope to see you next week…..

Here’s what you missed July 5, 2018

Seldom have I attended a Toastmasters meeting that was as thoughtful and profound as this meeting.  Our first speaker, Jason Hesch, gave a speech titled, “Is love a right?”  He brought the audience into his speech by requesting we imagine a romantic situation in which we are rebuffed.  Then he asked, “What if this rejection happens over and over again?”  This is an on-going reality for many disabled persons.  Jason’s 9th speech from the manual was provocative, challenging and insightful.

Our second speaker, Felix Lorenzo, began his talk with an admonition,  “Perhaps what I’m about to say is for a different audience.”  Is there Ageism in Miami?  Miami appeals to the young, with its sports facilities, places of entertainment, tourist attractions and beaches.  So much of what is Miami’s allure is paid for in part by taxes.

As his speech progressed, we found ourselves once again, considering life from a different point of view.  Few in the audience are of retirement age.  Yet Felix was speaking of the desperation some older residences contemplate.  Thoughts such as, “shall I pay for medication or food,” or “do I have enough income to sustain me?”  Real estate taxes continue to rise and are more than what some elderly can afford.  The economy and retirement are things we must all consider…regardless of where we are in life.

Our Table Topics master, Sharon Patish brought a lighter side to the meeting.  Our contestants had time to weigh in on their best, and worst vacations, as well as letting us know their preferences on the length of time away, and even where to go on a destination wedding vacation.  Of course, there can only be one Table Topics Winner, and this week, Tara Christou told us about her best vacation, where she and her family were able to view the aurora borealis and even play with reindeer (Santa Claus was not included).

Tu Duong, our Master Evaluator, along with his able team, Dan Sanchez-Galarraga and, Paula Hesch added to our knowledge with some evaluation tips.  Two suggestions are:

  1. Don’t use lengthy notes — outlines are easier to handle.
  2. Particularly, when stating a problem, leave the audience with a call to action.


Congratulations, Miracle Mile Toastmasters!

Select Distinguished Club.png

We are proud to announce that Miracle Mile Toastmasters has attained Select Distinguished Club status by achieving 7 of 10 goals. We are two goals away from the highest distinction, President’s Distinguished Club.

The Distinguished Club Program is an annual program that consists of 10 goals for our club to obtain, using the Club Success Plan within this manual as a guide.

World Headquarters will send us an award ribbon to display on our club banner and a congratulatory letter.