Area 20/21 Humor & Evaluation Contests October 14, 2017

Come see Club Awesome’s Marilyn Brown (humor) and Brian Mikosz (evaluation) compete with the club contest winners from Areas 20 and 21 on Saturday, October 14, 2017. It will be an opportunity to see excellent humorous presentations and evaluations, as well as support the Toastmasters community.

  • Event: Area 20/21 Humor & Evaluation Contests
  • Date: Saturday, October 14, 2017
  • Time: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Place: Keiser University, Fort Lauderdale Campus, 1500 NW 49th Street, 5th Floor Auditorium, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

Flashback: What Does It Mean To Be Well-Read?

Way back in the November 1999 issue of The Toastmaster magazine, Susan Richmond provided insights on the topic of being well-read [1].

Among the benefits of reading, she cites the ability to converse on a wide variety of subjects as a key benefit. Importantly, informational media, such as newspapers and advertisements, which we are exposed to constantly, do not challenge us to think and therefore do not provide much value. With limited time and motivation to explore additional reading, it can be difficult to set up a professional development plan.

Richmond offers these tips on getting started:

  • List the books you have read in the past year. Use these to identify your interests and knowledge gaps.
  • Make use of the library, since you can get access to numerous books for free, as well as explore potential books of interest before purchasing.
  • Reserve time for reading. You have to make it part of your schedule to get it done. That may mean spending less time on other activities, such as watching TV.

To support our members, Club Awesome offers these benefits that can help you become well-read:

  • Lending Library: members can draw upon a large collection of works to improve their public speaking and leadership skills
  • Book Club: our members meet periodically to discuss a book that has been selected specifically to support our professional development

[1] Richmond, S. (1999, November). What does it mean to be well-read?. The Toastmaster, 65 (11).

The Coolest Toastmasters Back at Club Awesome on Friday, Post-Hurricane

After missing just two meetings as Hurricane Irma passed, Club Awesome Toastmasters will be back in action Friday morning. If you’ve been suffering without air conditioning, you’ll be happy to learn this is the coolest Toastmasters club in town because we meet at the Panthers Ice Den, just off Sample Road in the Coral Springs Sportsplex (directions).

No, we don’t actually meet on the ice, but the conference room upstairs is a very cool place to meet for public speaking practice and professional development. Join us Friday from 7 to 8:30 am.

Past President Marilyn Brown calls a meeting to order on the ice.

Hurricane Irma: Meetings Temporarily Suspended [Resumed 9/22/2017]

September 21 Update: Regular Club Awesome meetings resume on Friday, September 22! Guests are welcome to join us at the IceDen this Friday and each Friday at 7 a.m.

September 13 Update: Our Friday, September 15, 2017 meeting has been cancelled.

Due to Hurricane Irma, our September 8, 2017 meeting has been cancelled. Please watch our website at for updates on when our regular Club Awesome meetings will resume.

New Member Induction September 2017

Club Awesome welcomed several new members in our September 2017 induction ceremony.

Club President Garfield Pitter (left), VP Membership Lois Margolin (second to left) and Area Director Roosevelt Jean-Francois (Right) welcome our new Club Awesome members.

Congratulations on starting your Toastmasters journey with us and welcome to Club Awesome.

Club Awesome Seeks Donations for Hurricane Harvey Relief

September 6, 2017 Update: Due to Hurricane Irma in Florida, our collection efforts are postponed. However, they will continue once our regular meetings resume. In the meantime, you may visit the Salvation Army website to make a direct contribution.

Natural disasters are no stranger to Florida residents, who face annual threats from hurricanes. Most of the time, we are fortunate not to experience the level of danger and destruction recently caused by Hurricane Harvey in Southeast Texas.

Club Awesome members, as well as our guests in the local community, are invited to donate essential goods to support disaster relief through the Salvation Army. We will collect goods donations at our September 8, 2017 (TBD) meeting, which will be contributed to the Salvation Army. See the Salvation Army website for details on supporting the disaster relief.

For details on this effort, please contact immediate past president Lorraine Campbell at (954) 448-0421.

Club Awesome Member Austin Felton in Presenting the Community

Congratulations to Austin Felton for representing Club Awesome in the Presenting the Community project. Austin has been a member and Toastmaster since March 2017 (less than 6 months). He demonstrates the rapid improvement you can achieve as a speaker and makes a convincing argument for why you should come visit us at 7 a.m. on Friday morning.

Presenting the Community invites Toastmasters of all experience levels to share their speaking tips and personal experiences. Visit and connect with John M. Quick to learn more.

9 Tips for Masterful Stories from the Stage

At Club Awesome Toastmasters, we know that storytelling is one of the most powerful and memorable ways to communicate your message. Telling a good story involves acting it out on stage through your use of body language, word choice, and vocal variety. In the August edition of Toastmaster magazine, Karen Banfield shares 9 tips for presenting stories based on the principles of theater.

  1. Block your speech. That is, think about how you will move to specific places at specific times.
  2. Move with purpose. Avoid pacing and just stand still if you have nowhere meaningful to go.
  3. Learn character voices. Gain attention by changing your voice to match the characters in your story.
  4. Physically separate your characters. When you speak for a different character, make sure to use a different stage position.
  5. Don’t just act, do. When using gestures or props, actually use them, rather than just pretending to use them.
  6. Include details. Add memorable context to the scenes you describe by featuring minute details of interest.
  7. Be tender. Although exaggeration can be noticeable, a targeted attempt to touch the heart can be more powerful.
  8. Focus. Eliminate anything in your speech that doesn’t support your message, no matter how attached you feel to it.
  9. Use your body. Make your audience feel your message by feeling it yourself and delivering it your through your body, not only your head.

For additional details on applying theatrics to tell masterful stories, be sure to see the full article [1].

[1] Banfield, K. (2018, August). How to master the stage: 9 theatrical tips for delivering award-winning stories. Toastmaster, 14.

Outbreak! Take Shelter in the IceDen

Toastmasters Warning: An outbreak has taken over Coral Springs, FL. We have confirmed that our old meeting location in the Keller Williams building has been affected. It is no longer safe for any Club Awesome members to visit this location. Fortunately, the outbreak started sometime after our final meeting on July 28, 2017. To date, no members have been afflicted.

Avoid our old meeting location!

What We Know: Little is known about the outbreak at this time. Spectators have described the afflicted as lurching around in apparent confusion, banging on doors and windows, and gently weeping along the curbside.

Action Plan: We have relocated our meeting location indefinitely. From August 4, 2017 until further notice, make sure that you attend Club Awesome meetings at our new location: Florida Panthers IceDen, 3299 Sportsplex Dr, Coral Springs, FL 33065 (Directions). Rumor has it that this is the only place cool enough to prevent the outbreak from spreading. Indeed, it may be one of the last viable meeting locations that remains once all is said and done.

Join us at our new meeting location!

Professional Speaker Johnny Campbell and District 47 Leaders Visit Club Awesome

The members of Club Awesome extend our gratitude to professional speaker Johnny “The Transition Man” Campbell and leaders of District 47 Toastmasters for visiting on Friday, July 28.

Johnny Campbell presents at Club Awesome on July 28, 2017

Johnny, a longtime Toastmaster and professional speaker, inspired us with insights on how we can become more self aware, set better goals, and importantly, put in the effort necessary to achieve our dreams. He reminded us that, although the “elevator to success” may be broken, we can always “take the stairs.” Take the first step by being our Awesome guest at next week’s meeting. Meanwhile, current Toastmasters can see more of Johnny as the keynote speaker at the August Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) events in Broward and Miami.

District 47 Toastmasters Leadership Visits Club Awesome on July 28, 2017

Johnny’s full presentation at Club Awesome is available on YouTube.