Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contests Results

TMaster Chicken

Last Thursday, September 21st, Miracle Mile Toastmasters held its Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contests.

Speech contestant Jane Arango shared the story about how Newton and his Law of Attraction played an instrumental role in her meeting and ultimately marrying her non-blonde/blue-eyed Cuban Chinese “Tarzan.”

Elena Cobo lamented about how she’s had to face the ugly truth that she’s getting old, despite her best efforts to strike the same deal with the devil that Cher seems to have been able to score.

The Evaluation contest had founder Jim Hartnett pitted against current President, Tu Duong. Each presented their take on Dan Sanchez-Galarraga’s speech about the benefits of decluttering.

In the end, Elena Cobo and Tu Duong edged out their competitors and will be representing the Club at the Area 53 Contest on October 7 at Carnival Cruise Lines.

We encourage all members to come out and show their support!




Miracle Mile Toastmasters Soiree!

TMaster Social

On August 31, members joined together at a quaint art studio to celebrate love and life.

Special thanks to our gracious host, Angela Ghersi and to members of our Board for making the event a huge success.

Click here to view photos of the event.

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.