Cheer on our district’s contestant at the 2017 International Speech Contest!

The semifinalists in the upcoming 2017 International Speech Contest have been announced. See when your district’s contestant is speaking and be there to cheer them on.

Each semifinal contest winner advances to the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking® where 10 finalists will compete to become the World Champion. The contests at the convention will be conducted according to the Speech Contest Rulebook for July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017.

Districts have been randomly assigned to a semifinal contest and are listed below:

Round 1


Semifinal 1

10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 8/24

35 David Letkiewicz
37 Calvin Leonard Duncan
42 Kelly Kaur
39 Keerthi Karnati
52 To be announced
61 To be announced
64 Jason Gobeil
87 Yogesh Kapoor
88 To be announced
91 To be announced

Semifinal 2

10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 8/24

12 To be announced
17 Cristina Millingalle
31 Nancy E Oliveira
41 Reety Wadhwa
56 Yolanda K. Bynum
63 Flash Black
77 Cherea Crayton
83 Stacey N. Greene
97 Arnulfo S. Aniel
F Daniel Midson-Short

Semifinal 3

10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 8/24

2 Christopher Lee Rahla
5 Kathryn Mellos Mahoney
14 Carlos L. Greene
18 Vincent Schettini
25 Hannah Seals
34 To be announced
47 To be announced
49 Sarah Hambek
55 Melvin Banks
85 Hongbo Lu

Round 2

Semifinal 4

2:30-4:45 p.m. 8/24

1 To be announced
11 Fred L. Johnson III
27 To be announced
29 Drew Rougier-Chapman
33 Melody Fathi Barooni
45 Scott Green
65 Jonathan Brooks
70 Matt Tonkiss
74 To be announced
84 W. C. Blackmon

Semifinal 5

2:30-4:45 p.m. 8/24

7 Quint Crispin
13 Katina Hunter
28 Robert Alan McKenzie
40 To be announced
46 Mario Lewis
68 Gene Reyes III
69 Marilyn Freeman
76 Ruskyle Howser
95 Denise L. Banks-Grasedyck
99 Collin Greene
101 To be announced

Semifinal 6

2:30-4:45 p.m. 8/24

3 Paul L Brunoforte
10 To be announced
15 J. Bryant Pergerson
22 Ashton Botts
53 Jeff Davis
57 Michael Commer
80 Manoj Vasudevan
82 Kaishika Rodrigo
86 Jose Alejandro Vivar
89 Kwong Yue Yang
102 Sim Bock San

Semifinal 7

2:30-4:45 p.m. 8/24

9 Nancy Shatto
20 Sameera Khan
23 To be announced
30 Siddharth Choure
32 Heath Dickinson
36 Christopher Quinn
38 Aaron Beverly
54 Kim Kaufman
79 Adel Saleh Aljuhaiman
98 Aditya Maheswaran

Round 3

Semifinal 8

5:30-7:30 p.m. 8/24

8 To be announced
16 Doug Winter
19 To be announced
50 To be announced
59 Ricardo Cabete
60 John Andrews
62 Noreen D. Savage
66 Rita Flores Moore
67 To be announced
72 Joseph Fa’afiu

Semifinal 9

5:30-7:30 p.m. 8/24

4 Gopi Kallayil
21 Kerice V Richards
26 Diana B. Thompson
48 Kevin Stamper
71 Vinette Hoffman-Jackson
75 Josef Victor Chiongbian
78 To be announced
81 To be announced
90 Dale Rees-Bevan
93 Danton Ford

Semifinal 10

5:30-7:30 p.m. 8/24

6 To be announced
24 To be announced
43 Mario Nolan-Dillard
44 Carlton N. Young
51 Gurmeet Singh Gurcharan Singh
58 Michael Unks
73 Bharat Sangekar
92 To be announced
94 Inyang Ate Inyang
96 Devon Downie

From the “New Miami,” to learning American Politics, to Living a Dog’s Life….

You missed a great hour if you didn’t make it to our Miracle Mile Toastmasters meeting.  There were 2 marvelous prepared speeches, and innovative Table Topics questions. We learned one of our members won an award at her company’s “boot camp” training, another Award Winning Toastmaster will be off to London to continue her career there, and OMG, if Alex could be anything else it would be a dog???

Our first speaker, Angela Martinez is a Miami Realtor who spoke about “The New Miami.”  Angela compared the real estate market to the stock market with it’s ups and downs.  “After all, it can’t always be driving upward.”  We’ve certainly seen bumps in the road, but understanding what drives and sustains the market is important.  Some of the statistics she gave were encouraging.  Buying a home can be an excellent investment as a place to live or to rent.  Currently 50% of the homes/condos in Miami are rented.  Miami is the #2 city in the country when looking at population growth.  We have more than 26,000 additional jobs in January 2017, than in January 2016.  Future development looks excellent.  It seems now is an exciting time for the real estate industry.

Our second speaker was Felix Lorenzo.  Coming from Cuba he brings an interesting perspective to his speeches.  He said on his arrival to the United States, folks said he came from a banana country (or republic).  He wasn’t quite sure what that was.  Felix noted that as a young person Communist newspapers were shut down.  Later after regime changes, he noted that many people who worked actively in the former government, found jobs in the new — there was a requirement however — becoming a communist.  Today, Felix is neither a Republican nor a Democrat.  Instead he is proudly an Independent.  What he does do is listen to both sides of political discussions and recommends we practice using our listening skills as well.

Table Topics was most enjoyable.  Our speakers were Tu Duong, Alex Moreira, Jerry Bailey, Ghislaine Demombynes, Arlene Amitirigala, Hang Tran and Mike Molina.  It was hard to choose the top three from this group.  In third place was our award-winning Table Topics speaker, Arlene Amitirigala, speaking on WHAT?  She’s moving to London!  Our loss is the UK’s gain.  In second place was Mike Molina who admitted he doesn’t think about others as often as he should.  Our Mike?  Say it isn’t so.  And the winner was Alex Moreira who believes a dogs life isn’t so bad.  His mentor:


Our evaluation team (Chris Mesa, Elena Cobo and Sharon Patish) gave us all something to think about before we deliver another speech.

  • In order to make a point — use examples that are relevant to the audience.
  • If your giving statistics round up your numbers (i.e, more than 20,000 instead of 20,435).
  • Make your ending strong.  Preface it with a comment like, “This I know for sure.”
  • Organize the speech.
  • Where possible use a conversational tone.

Thanks to everyone who made this meeting so much fun.

Division E Contest Recap by Tu Duong

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On Saturday, March 11, I delegated to my wife for the kid’s classes and attended the Contests for Division E Toastmasters. For those of you who are new to the Toastmasters International structure, Miracle Mile Club is part of Area 55 (5 clubs) which itself is part of Division E (26 clubs). This is the first time ever I have attended a contest outside our club setting. I went there to support our beloved Miracle Mile member and club’s president Mike Molina (see more below) and to see how a district contest looked like.
As not many of us were not there, I want to share with you what I saw at the contest.
The first contest was Table Topics. The question was “If you were an animal, what would it be?” There were many different answers, like a gator, a eagle, a turtle, a bear. The winner was a contestant who wanted to be a man.  All of them had lots of vocal variety and lots of gestures and movement during their speeches.
The second part of the contest was the International Speech Contest. I was very impressed with the caliber of the speakers and the quality of their speeches.They went beyond the basics such as speech organization (opening, body, closing) and delivery mechanics (uses of words, visual aids, vocal variety, gestures): they actually tried to stir up the emotion and feeling of the audience.

My takeaways are:

  1.  the speech needs to have a takeaway so that people can take away. When a speech has a takeaway, I will first remember the take away, then the examples, then the context so that I can reconstruct the speech.
  2. the takeaway needs to be repeated several times. It’s like when I learn something new, repetition helps to lock that down somewhere in my brain.
Our friend Mike was the 4th contestant to speak out of 6 contestants . He delivered the speech “Extraordinarily Ordinary”, the one that helped him to win the contests at Club and Area level. However, at the District contest, he delivered it with more punch: lots more power, more movements, more gestures, and more laughs.
Mike won the 3rd place!!! Congratulations to Mike for winning the contest! And thank you for getting the Club’s name out there!
The picture above showed how happy Mike was.
The structure of the contest was similar to the one at our club. It’s clear that the organizers and functionaries were experienced running the contest. The venue was good: a square room where speakers moved around freely on the stage, saw the timer clearly, and used normal voice to reach the last row of the audience. The audience were considerate – I heard only one phone rang during the 2 hours meeting.
So please extend your congratulations to our award-winner Mike Molina, and don’t forget the takeaway in your coming speeches.

2017 Spring Conference

Toastmasters Spring Conference Knock Your Socks Off

Toastmasters District 47 is getting ready to KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF at this year’s Spring Conference.

Join fellow members and enjoy three fun-filled and informative days guaranteed to help you increase your Leadership and Communication skills.

Keynote speaker, Ed Tate, CSP and World Champion of Public Speaking, will kick off the conference that includes presentations by talented and experienced Toastmasters and the much anticipated Table Topic and International Speech Contests.

FRIDAY -THE HAPPIEST HOUR! Wear your snazziest socks for the Friday night happy hour  at the hotel bar.

SATURDAY – BIG DAY! We’ll start early with the Breakfast Buffet, Workshop Sessions, Luncheon with Leadership Award Presentation, District Council Business Meeting, more Workshop Sessions and dinner with the International Speech Contest and our Keynote Speaker.

SUNDAY – HALF DAY! Breakfast Cafe, Table Topics Contest and our Keynote Speaker.

Click Here to Register.


Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel & Executive Meeting Center
3900 NW 21st St, Miami, FL 33142

Apr 22, 2017 –  Apr 23, 2017
7:00 am –  12:00 pm