Toastmasters the Transformer

In mid-2016, my family decided to move to South Florida from Singapore. At that time, we had a 1 year old so I quit my job as a researcher and became a full-time stay-at-home mom. As we settled down, I wanted to get involved in an activity that gives me a break from baby talk and interact with adults. My husband suggested that we join Toastmasters. I visited a couple clubs and joined Club Outspoken Toastmasters.

Today, a year and half later, I have completed my Competent Communication (CC) manual. The past year with Toastmasters was not only a fun once-a-week getaway from my mom role. It transformed me into a more confident speaker and enthusiastic educator.

I learned that storytelling is the key to the transfer of knowledge. During the first meeting at Outspoken Toastmasters I attended, DTM Jeanine Kinsey gave a speech about how to get people to remember you. I remember three things from her speech – use personal stories, use dialogue and keep it simple. As an educator, I was always trying to deliver the facts of the subject I am teaching. Today, I tell a story that conveys the facts. I noticed that my students always do better when I tell a story, plus, my classes become more enjoyable!

I learned that body language, imagery and vocal variety work as good if not better than a slide presentation. As researchers, we always use slides during our presentations. Sometimes slides are full of words and complicated diagrams. That takes the attention away from us because our audience is trying to decipher that slide instead of what we are trying to say. I have heard amazing speeches in Toastmasters that use no slides at all. For many, a slide presentation may have made the speech less effective. This transformation is still a challenge but I’m working on it!

I learned that evaluations are the best way to improve. I can practice a thousand times on my own but it is only when I hear the opinion of an audience that I really know how well I did. After leaving school, or graduating from college, we don’t get evaluated on what we do anymore. When we start working, we are often told, “you did great” or “that was a terrible job”. But what did I do good at? What did I do badly at? Toastmasters provide a great platform for professional development because the speech evaluation highlights my strengths for me to keep improving and my weaknesses for me to work on. I am thankful for my mentor, DTM Andy Bern, who helped me construct my first three speeches and then provided evaluations after I delivered it. I am also thankful for all the evaluators who evaluated me on my CC manual.

What meant to be a fun activity for me had transformed into a valuable personal development activity. I hope to keep improving myself so I can give back to the club what the club had given me.

Zarraz Quick, CC

How Toastmasters Made A Difference – Marlene Smith

I asked myself, how do I prepare for my very first, professional speech next month? I had created an innovative presentation about communication in the healthcare setting. The proposal to speak at a live medical seminar was accepted. Then I found out that my speech was also being Simulcast nationwide!

The answer was Outspoken Toastmasters! I needed help to prepare for this presentation! I needed to speak with more confidence! I needed to learn the techniques of a successful public speaker! I needed to practice speaking to an audience, to hear other speakers, and to learn how to evaluate speakers. I wanted to speak personally to an experienced Toastmaster. At Outspoken Toastmasters, all of these goals and more were accomplished.  I was also able to talk and email my club officers, all experienced speakers, about my upcoming presentation. I heeded their suggestions. These nuances made this presentation even more poignant!

As a primary care physician, I was very comfortable speaking to small groups of people on many subjects, but presenting at a large seminar was an entirely new experience. When I delivered my speech, I was calm and confident. The presentation went very smoothly and was well accepted. I got excellent feedback from both the clinicians attending the conference and the company employees. I also got great reviews in the post-conference survey. I now have the opportunity to give another presentation!

Thank you, Outspoken Toastmasters, for helping me become a more competent communicator! I look forward to the Outspoken Toastmaster meetings, knowing that I will learn another pearl each week!

Yours in Health,

Marlene Smith
Marlene Wolf, MD, FAAFP
Lifetime Medical Consulting, LLC

Update Your Member Profile and Picture

What do you see when you look at YOUR Outspoken profile? Click on the Members tab at the top of the screen to see if everything you ever wanted to say about yourself is visible.

You don’t want to do this for yourself? What about for the club? Every week we have new members who join our club and want to know more about the members. Who is a DTM, Advanced Toastmaster, Competent Communicator? What professions do we represent, teachers, entrepreneurs, professional speakers… We encourage our members to select a mentor, it helps tremendously if they know a little bit about who you are so they can make an informed decision.

Rather than navigating through the website menus, you can update your profile by going here:

A picture says a thousand words. Does your profile picture show display a blank image? You are TOASTMASTER, not some faceless individual! Upload a recent photo of yourself by clicking “Gravatar” at the bottom of your profile page.

CALL TO ACTION! Take a moment this weekend to update your profile and picture.

In addition to contact info, the profile screen allows you to add a bio blurb about yourself — think of it as a mini-LinkedIn profile for telling people about your personal and professional interests. Near the bottom of the form, there is also a box you can check to display basic profile info publicly, rather than only to other logged in members. It’s your choice whether to check that box, but we like showing off the talent we have in the club to prospective members.

If you have questions about the website, or if it misbehaves for you, send a note to




07-19-16 Club Meeting Minutes

We had two guests today.  Larry was invited by Greg, and Makiba found us through our website.


Greg Fuchs – The Three D’s
Greg treated us to an entertaining speech about interviewing his daughters dates.

Matt Kinsey – International Proposals A & B
Matt shared information about the Proposals that will be voted on at the International Business Meeting in Washington DC.

Peter Palmer – Make America Save Again
Peter gave us a very informative speech on Self Directed IRAs.

Brandon led a lively Table Topics on “This Day in History.”

Jeanine, Brandon and Lois provided Evaluations of the speakers.

Business Meeting:

Brandon reminded everyone about the TLIs coming up in Miami and Miramar. Details can be found on

Club Contests will be held over the next two weeks, and we called for volunteers to compete.

  • Evaluation Contest – 7/26 – Contestants are Cynthia, Aimee, Ben, Andy and Peter if he is there.
  • Humorous Contest – 8/2 Contestants – Greg

Dues Increase – TI is increasing the 6 month dues from $36 to $45 starting October 1.  The board recommended that we change the club dues from $3 per month to $2.50 a month which changes to total cost to members from $54/6 months to $60 /6 months.  Jeanine moved and Andy seconded to accept the Board’s recommendation and it passed unanimously.

Proposal B – This proposal makes the International Audit Committee a standing committee.  The motion was made to instruct our Proxy holder to vote for it.  It was seconded and passed.

Proposal A – This proposal removes the requirement for TI to have their physical location in California from the By-Laws. The motion was made to instruct our Proxy holder to vote for it.  It was seconded and passed.

Fall District Conference

Next week 4 Club Outspoken members will travel to the Bahamas to attend the bi-annual District 47 conference.  This provides us the opportunity to attend educational workshops, hone our skills as evaluators as we compare our notes against the District evaluation winners and listen to our District Humorous contest winners.

This promises to be an entertaining weekend for everyone.