Contest Chair and Chief Judge Briefing Scripts for Winter 2020 Contests

Thanks to District Contest Chairs Lois Margolin and Patricia Hamilton, contest organizers have 2 new scripts they can use as the basis for their contest briefings — designed to help ease contest-day jitters.

See also the Contest resources page.

Call for Nominations, 2020-21 District Officers

It’s that time again….time for nominations for District Office.  Under the guidance of Past District Director, Antionette Fox, DTM the District Leadership Committee is tasked with nominating individuals for the positions of:

–       District Director

–       Program Quality Director

–       Club Growth Director

–       Division Directors

For consideration as a Candidate for Elected District Leadership Roles in FY 2020 – 2021, please submit the following by 11:59 p.m. ET on January 15, 2020, to in one (1) PDF attachment. All Members must declare their intent to run and submit the required documents by January 15, 2020. Per Toastmasters Guidelines, anyone who wishes to run from the Floor must have gone through the DLC Interview process. Those persons not nominated by the DLC but wish to run from the floor must notify the DLC Chair of their intent no later than 1 week prior to the Business meeting, deadline April 25th, 2020.

District Leader Nominating Form
Officer Agreement & Release Statements
District Leader Biographical Information
Elected District Leadership Roles in District 47:

  • District Director
  • Program Quality Director
  • Club Growth Director
  • Division Director

A Panel Interview by the District Leadership Committee will be conducted on February 15, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale at Keiser University. Candidates will be notified via E-mail regarding available Interview Time Slots on February 3, 2020. Please review the following prior to your scheduled Interview Session:
District Executive Committee Roles
District Leader Competencies
Protocol 9.0 – District Campaigns & Elections
Elections Toolkit
Note: Call for Nominations for Appointed District Leadership Roles is scheduled for April 2020. Appointed District Leadership Roles: Administration Manager, Finance Manager & Public Relations Manager. The District Leadership Committee will provide feedback and recommendations to the incoming District Director, upon election, for all appointed District positions. Appointment is at the sole discretion of the incoming District Director. The Area Council for each area is responsible to recommend Area Director’s for the upcoming.

Please do NOT submit Nominations for these Roles until then.

For questions or additional information, please contact:
               Antionette Fox, DTM
               District Leadership Committee Chair, District 47

District 47 Toastmasters Cruise, Jan. 24-27

Join the District 47 Toastmasters cruise to the Bahamas and inter-club events. As of Dec. 10, there were 2 interior rooms remaining @ $912.10 and plenty of oceanview rooms @ $1,278.10.

Call 1-800-465-3595, Royal Caribbean press option#4 and tell them Group number 2083214 and any agent can assist.

For full details, download the flyer.

Hall of Fame Awards 2018-2019

Congratulations 2018-2019 Hall of Fame Awardees…

Your contribution played a significant role in District 47 celebrating Distinguished status for the year 2018-2019.

Thank You!!!

Download the program to see the list of names and club winners. Please share it with all your club members. The Bahamas’ prestigious Hall of Fame event took place in October on the island. Many pictures are available in our District Facebook page.

Thank you all for your committed work. We look forward to more success this year.

District Conference 2020: Early Bird Registration, Advertising and Call for Workshop Presenters

The early bird registration and links for sponsor advertising and workshop presenter applications are now open.

Outstanding Member Campaign 2019

Click to Download Flyer

There are Toastmasters in District 47 who have served relentlessly in their clubs and have made a huge difference. Dedication, Hard work, Commitment and selfless sacrifice should be rewarded in our District. To this end the District seeks to launch the Outstanding Member Campaign to seek out and identify one of these such members in ever club in the District.

Every Club in District 47 is eligible!!! Presentations of awards will begin in October to coincide with Toastmasters Month and will be presented to recipients during their respective area contests by the Area/ Division Director.

What is the Criteria

  1. The Toastmaster must be a member in Good Standing with Toastmasters international
  2. The member must have served the club as a club officer (current or in the past)
  3. Contributed to the growth and development of their respective club
  4. Mentored other toastmasters in their club
  5. Provided service outside their club to their community and other clubs
  6. Demonstrate commitment to the Core Values of Toastmasters – Integrity, Respect, Service, and Excellence.

How will Candidates Be Selected

  • The Club President and executive team will present the information to the club and allow the members to choose (vote if necessary) in democratic fashion to select a winner.
  • Once a winner is chosen the club will provide a two paragraph write up on the member and why they were selected.
  • The submission will be forwarded to the clubs Area Director, who will ensure the Division Director receives the information.

How will the candidates be awarded?

  • Each recipient of the Outstanding Member award will receive the coveted outstanding member award pin from Toastmasters International, provided by the district.
  • Awards will be presented at the respective Area Humorous Speech & Evaluations Contest.
  • The Area Director will inform the clubs under their remit of the due date for the submissions which should be before the respective Area Contest and not exceeding the October 31st deadline.
  • The winners photograph and biography should also be highlighted on the Clubs, Area, and Division social media platforms.
  • As the outstanding member for their club they will serve as District Ambassadors for the remainder of the toastmaster’s year.
  • The awardees will be recognized at the Spring Conference 2020
  • The awardees photo will also be showcased in the District Conference booklet May 2020

Give the Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program a shot – the kids and your members will love it

When the kids arrive for the first session of Davie Toastmasters’ Youth Leadership Program, many are extremely shy — getting them to speak loud enough to be heard and for more than 30 seconds is a struggle.

Seven weeks later, these same children get up in front of their parents and give five-minute speeches or breeze through a Table Topic. For the Davie Toastmasters who have spent two months working with them, there is no prouder moment.

For the last eight summers, Davie has been running a YLP for the children of Kerala Samajam, an Indian-American social club. And while it takes a bit of work and the members who take part have to give up some summer Saturday afternoons, the club looks forward to it each year and it is a chance to do community service. It also exposes some highly motivated and intelligent young people to Toastmasters, which can only help our club and the overall organization in the future as they move into adulthood.

“The opportunity to watch the kids grow in skills and confidence, as well as the opportunity (for members) to practice both prepared and impromptu speaking skills” is what the club gets out of it, Davie President Marijke Adams said. Vice President of Education Jo Sesodia added, “Sometimes we overlook assessing the audience’s needs before giving a presentation. The Youth Leadership Program offers Toastmasters an opportunity to communicate with a much younger audience. As most of us do not work with children, the program helps us develop skills in targeting messages to diverse groups.” 

And for the kids, they learn a skill that will benefit them as they move through school and into adulthood — putting aside the fear of public speaking at a young age is immeasurably advantageous.

 “Expressing myself in front of people was not very comfortable and made me very nervous,” said Alisha Jithesh, who started at 11 and participated for three years. “Attending Toastmasters really helped me break that shell and seeing my mentors and peers confidently speaking inspired me to do the same. Because public speaking is something we have to often, I am glad I was able to get that exposure at a young age and even today, as a sophomore in high school, that experience is helping me a lot.”

Davie started its program in 2012. Like many clubs, Davie talked for years about running a YLP but it never went anywhere until a new member who was president of Kerala Samajam suggested we work with his club’s children, ages 8 to 14. We weren’t sure how it would go, but the program from the start has been extremely popular, reaching the 25-child limit most years with no problem. Usually, there is a waiting list.

To start a YLP, the club needs to purchase coordinator and student manuals from Toastmasters International — for 25 kids, the cost is about $100. We then appoint a volunteer coordinator and a couple assistants for the year, but they aren’t expected to do all the work. Each week, the manual lays out one or two skills the children are exposed to — vocal variety, body language and parliamentary procedure, for example. We often get other members to cover those topics. We try to get a good mix of male and female presenters so the kids will see people they relate to.

If your club is interested in starting a club, some tips we have learned over the years:

  • Our first year we tried to run the program in the evening after work with two sessions per week. Big mistake. First, getting all of the presenters there after work was difficult and many times the kids were antsy and hungry. Second, two sessions per week overwhelmed the children — they didn’t get as much out of it. After that, we went to one, two-hour session per week on Saturday afternoons. It has worked much smoother and the kids have fun without being stressed.
  • Work with a school, religious group, club or other organization. First, the other group can provide the children, saving you from recruitment. Kerala Samajam also arranges and pays for the community room where we hold the classes, provides snacks and water for the children and, most importantly, sends at least one adult to each class to handle any discipline problems. It also provides a level of trust for the parents. Remember, we are strangers to them and we don’t want any misunderstandings or problems, real or imagined.
  • Emphasize again and again that the best speeches are stories. Like with Toastmasters, the kids start out giving an Icebreaker — theirs are 3 to 4 minutes. Many of them will want to recite facts, not give a speech — “My name is Mary. I was born on Sept. 27, 2010. I live in Davie. I go to Davie Elementary School……” You will never kill this entirely, but if you make it a point every session and gently call out violators during evaluations, it eventually gets through to most of them.
  • Make sure every kid gets a Table Topic each week — it helps them get over their fear of speaking before an audience. Make them simple and open ended: “Who is your favorite teacher and why?” “What animal would you want to be and why?” “Why do you like your favorite TV show?”
  • Make a big deal of the graduation ceremony. Give them diplomas. Take photos. Make sure their parents know this is for them and they should attend. As mentioned, we break the kids into two groups — half give prepared speeches and the other half get a Table Topic. We cheat a bit on the latter, giving the children a list of 20 the week before so they can think about each. That way we don’t get any kids who freeze in front of their folks. We tell the children to dress nicely — the girls will, but there will always be a few boys showing up in shorts. Don’t sweat it — some of the sloppiest hit a homer with their speech.
  • After you have been doing it a few years, invite back some of the kids who have aged out to act as tutors and examples for the younger children. Ours arrive a half-hour early to work with the kids who are speaking that day and want help.

It sounds like a lot of work — and it is, though not as much as it appears. But trust us — it will be worth every minute and then some.

Video: District 47 Evaluation Contest Winners, 2019

Here are the evaluation contest winners, along with the test speech they were reacting to from Domenic Caliola.

Maritza Coscarelli
1st Place

Luiz Bravim
2nd Place

John Schneyer
3rd place

Each of the contestants had already won contests at increasing levels of competition — club, area, and division — before getting the district level. The district’s 2019 annual conference also featured contests for Humorous SpeechTable Topics (impromptu speaking) and the International Speech Contest.

Speech evaluations are one of the most important parts of the Toastmasters program, giving speakers immediate feedback on what they did well and what they could have done better. The evaluation contest recognizes skill of giving productive feedback that even experienced speakers can benefit from.

Execution of a Speech Contest ~ How to Handle the “Day of” Challenges (Webinar Replay)

This webinar was conducted on August 19, 2019 by Lois Margolin, District Contest Chair, Florida, and Patricia Hamilton, District Contest Chair, Bahamas.

You can find more resources, including the replay of an earlier webinar on planning a contest at