Club's Blog

Rick Newton Receives Speech Award

posted Dec 3, 2013, 7:46 AM by Tip Top

Congratulations to Rick!

Congratulations - Carla Has Achieved ACB & CL

posted Apr 30, 2011, 7:00 PM by Tip Top   [ updated May 3, 2011, 7:49 PM ]

Carla Sanzone, our Tip Top's Secretary, has achieved ACB (Advanced Communicator Bronze) and CL (Competent Leader)!

After she got her CC (Competent Communicator) done in August 2010, she didn't slow down but speed up.  Within just 8 months, Carla finished 10 speeches from "Speaking to Inform" and "The Entertaining Speaker" advanced manuals.  This made her an ACB!

Besides diligently working as club's Secretary, she also often give speech evaluations, facilitate club educational meetings either as a General Evaluator, a Table Topic Master or a Toastmaster.  In February, Carla served as 2011 Area 14 Spring Contest Chair.  She also has been a mentor for club new members.  Now she has been recognized as CL for her great leadership. 

When Carla was asked about her feelings about this moment, she said, "I am proud to achieve my awards, and that I have enjoyed giving different speeches and researching them. I shall continue to strive to achieve."

Tip Top Open House - Sunday April 10th, 2011

posted Apr 2, 2011, 8:13 PM by Tip Top   [ updated Apr 3, 2011, 8:43 PM ]

Tip Top club will be hosting an “Open House”.  The door will be wide open to general public and everyone is welcome to the party!

At the open house, we will have a fun meeting which includes the following three sessions:

         – The Prepared Speeches:  We will have two speakers.  Each speaker will give a 6 to 10 minutes speech.

         – Table Topics:  Our meeting theme will be “Spring”.  The Table Topic Master will present three or four questions related to the theme.  For each question, we will do a “For or Against” format debate, so two speakers will be involved and each speaker has 1 to 2 minutes to defend.  We will invite guest to participate unless the guest doesn’t feel comfortable with it. A sample question is “Should professionals, such as, Bankers, Doctors, etc. wear athletic shoes to work?”  One speaker will argue for and the other speaker will argue against.

        – Evaluations:  In this session, each evaluator will give a 2 to 3 minutes presentation on the previous prepared speech. 

Our meeting location will be temporarily moved to Central Market.  For more information, please see below Open House flyer.

Why Participate? - Experiencing Area 14 Contest

posted Apr 2, 2011, 7:52 PM by Tip Top   [ updated Apr 3, 2011, 1:34 PM ]

             by Helen Alvarado, CC, VPPR

Simple things need to be reminded.  “Participation is important” is one of them.  When Area 14 Governor Lori Nigh asked who would like to compete in the International Speech Contest, I raised my hand immediately – not because I was very interested in the contest, but to finish my last project in the CC manual!  One stone, two birds, why not?

If a contestant ever told you he didn’t care about winning or losing, most likely he lied!  After winning the club’s contest, somehow I started getting serious about the contest and I really wished I could win!  I tried very hard to prepare for the Area 14 Contest - every word was examined, every sentence was tuned and every move was considered.    On March 10th the contest day, there were three contestants for International Speech Contest and I was the third one to speak. After watching two competitors beautifully deliver their speeches, I sighed to myself “okay, the game is over!  They are much better speakers!” But in the end, surprisingly, I took 2nd place. 

I didn’t win as I wished, but I gained so much more than I expected!  From speech writing to English pronunciation, from facial expression to vocal variety and to body language!  Now I can understand deeper when I hear people say “win or lose is not so important” again, and there a voice whispers to me “Participate!”

The Making of a CC

posted Feb 22, 2011, 2:35 PM by Tip Top

        by Helen Alvarado, CC, VPPR

Last Sunday, February 20th, 2011, was a good day for me.  Not only did I finish my last project from the CC manual, but also I won first place in the Club International Speech Contest.

Nine months have passed since I joined Tip Top.  My CC awards application has been submitted.  It is a good time to wrap up and to share, isn't it?

Speaking Without Notes

In 10 CC manual projects, I did 9 speeches without using any notes!  Political Correctness was the only one I couldn't memorize because that day I was trying to fix my home internet.

To use or not to use notes, does it matter?  I see great speeches having been done either way. Steve Jobs used notes for his famous Stanford Commencement Speech 2005.  However,  I always saw Joel Osteen baring his hands during his preaching.  I think they both are great speakers.

For me, I should memorize my speeches!  My spoken English is poor, but relatively, I consider my writing better.  If I read from notes, then I forget, and I get little or nothing; If I memorize my speech, then what I wrote would become part of me and I can use from now on!

Memorizing the speeches wasn't a piece of cake for me.  For each speech, very often I even couldn't read fluently at first!  Normally it took me 15 to 20 times to memorize a 5 to 7 minutes speech.

How Many Words Should I Write Down?

I struggled for a while to figure out how long a CC manual speech should be.  I still remember how I prepared my Ice Breaker speech "My Journey Never Ends". 

At first, I searched the internet on how many words an average people can say in one minute.  Based on that, I drafted my speech to about 900 words.  I timed it and realized it was too long for my speaking speed.  Writing is not easy, but deleting is harder, sometimes!  In the end at the meeting, my speech was still a few seconds too long!

After the first few projects,  I would say 3, I felt it became much easier for me to control the length of a speech draft.  700 to 720 words should be good for me and normally I could finish it around in 7 minutes.

My Husband Is My All Time Grammarian

My husband, Oliver, proof read all my papers and assignments for my Master's degree at SMU.   After I joined Toastmasters, he checked all my 10 CC speeches.  Very often either I missed a definite article or indefinite article, or I put one too many.  Till today,  I am still not very clear when I should use 'a/an' and 'the'. 

I was really grateful for one error Oliver found in my speech "What Makes the Difference?".  He has been nice when pointing out my grammar issues, but that day he all of a sudden shouted out "Oh, my God, what are you talking about?"  I didn't know what I did wrong and immediately got nervous.  "What?"  I asked carefully to hide my panic.  He recited from my draft, "They don't kick me out when I screw?"  Then he turned his face looking at me seriously, "Are you trying to say 'screw up'?"  I asked with doubt "is there a big difference between 'screw' and 'screw up'?" 

When he explained what 'screw' could mean, I felt I was so lucky that he found it before I went to the meeting!  I still feel fear whenever I think about it.

Time Is Fair

Maybe doing a speech is like cooking - elaborately prepared meals tastes better than microwaved fast food? 

When I just joined the club, I had lots of time working on my speeches.  I took time on the research, on the writing and on the rehearsing.  I did pretty good on my first 4 speeches. 

After that,  I got a new job.  Some many small troubles, like my car breaking down, also came to join the 'fun'.  For a while, I felt my whole world was upset down.   Instead of delivering good quality speeches, making them quick became the goal. 

I was thinking to do the 10th speech in Jan.  Since Club International Speech Contest was coming, I postpone it to Feb 20th.  Just like my first a few speeches, I got serious and spent lots time on it.  Time is fair - I won.

Also, I have a feeling that a good speech comes from good writing; good writing comes from extensive reading.  All in all, it is about how much time you put into it!

Club Contest - International Speech and Table Topics

posted Jan 30, 2011, 7:28 PM by Tip Top   [ updated Apr 3, 2011, 8:45 PM ]

Eligibility:  Any Tip Top member for Table Topics Contest; any member who has given 6 or more speeches from their Competent Communication manuals is eligible for International Speech Contest.

A winner in each category from our club contest will advance to the Area 14 contest, and the runner up will be called upon to compete in the Area 14 contest if the winner is unable to compete on our behalf.

Contest Chair: Lori Nigh
Toastmaster: Germaine Fields

       International Speech: Helen Alvarado(First Place), Rick Newton (Second Place), Charles Sanzone
       Table Topics: Lori T(First Place), Rick Newton (Second Place), Carla Sanzone, Helen Alvarado.

Timer: Amira Ford
Sergeant at Arms: Adrienne Washington
Ballot Counter: Jean Olive

Division A Newsletter Digest - Tip Top Toastmasters

posted Jan 20, 2011, 8:05 AM by Tip Top   [ updated Jan 20, 2011, 8:29 AM ]

By Rick Newton, CC, Club President

Published on Division A Newsletter, Volume I, Issue 6 January 2011

“Kids Say the Darndest Things” was a popular segment of Art Linkletter’s television shows in the 1960s. If you were fortunate to see an original broadcast or a re-run, you will have witnessed impromptu speaking at its best. These were children five to 10 years of age. And yes, you would have heard some of the darndest things. One thing for sure; the children on Linkletter’s show, without any formal speaking training, knew how to communicate their ideas and opinions, and expressed how they saw their world with confidence. The show was a hit for years. In many ways, Toastmasters clubs are similar to Art Linkletter’s shows, especially with our Table Topics, and we do sometimes “say the darndest things.”

Tip Top Toastmasters club meets every Sunday at Courtyard by Marriott, 6400 Overton Ridge Blvd. in Fort Worth, 2-3 pm. And we do a darn good job of meeting in a very competitive time slot: SUNDAYS. Our club has fifteen members with varied and accomplished backgrounds. We have a great group that is dedicated to being consistent and to bringing value to club meetings; a lot can be accomplished in one hour. Tip Top members are dedicated to improving their leadership and communicating skills. This is accomplished by each member participating in speaking and assignment roles; that participation is where each meeting takes on its own character, with positive feedback on members’ speaking performances. With fifteen members, that means there are fourteen advisors providing valuable feedback on how to become a better speaker. How many people can say, “I have fourteen advisors?” One final observation about Tip Top Toastmasters; it’s where members harness the magic of public speaking and leadership and sometimes say the darndest things with confidence.

Launching the New Website

posted Dec 19, 2010, 9:15 PM by Tip Top   [ updated Jan 20, 2011, 8:25 AM ]

On today's club meeting, Helen Alvarado introduced to club members.  This website is built upon the following items:

    1. Something Old:  We carry over contents from original Tip Top's website
    2. Something New:  We have new domain name, new logo, new slogan, and many new pages.
    3. Something Borrowed:  We borrowed ideas from other clubs websites.
    4. Something Blue:  We are a member club of Toastmasters International.  You can find Toastmasters International's Logo, blue, on our homepage and each of the FAQ pages.
    Today is also the day this new website is listed on District 25's website

This website is a result of team work.  Special thanks to:

     Pat Quick - Guided on the basic tones and the overall appearance.
     Rick Newton -
Helped on 'About Us' page; provided references and reviewed contents.
     Lori Nigh - Provided references and reviewed contents.
     Charles Sanzone - Provided some of the photos.
     Any other members - who helped on the website construction.

Update on
Dec 21, 2010

Our website info is listed on Toastmasters International page

Mr. Santa Claus Is Today's Toastmaster

posted Dec 12, 2010, 7:32 PM by Tip Top   [ updated Dec 14, 2010, 6:31 AM ]

For those who missed today's meeting, you missed Santa Claus!

We had a fun time with Chuck and Terry Mencke as Mr. and Mrs. Santa.  Santa was Toastmaster.  After Carla's prepared speech (ending with Handel's Messiah), Mr. and Mrs. Claus read "The Night Before Christmas".  By the way, Carla won best speaker with a standing ovation!

Ryoji did Table Topics on the Christmas theme and Amira Won best Table Topics.

Germaine won best evaluator of Carla's speech.

Jean Olive was voted in as a new member.
Helen was voted as new VP Public Relations to replace
Charles voted as new Treasurer.

Charles Sanzone, CC, Treasurer                                                                                   

I Became A CC Today!

posted Dec 12, 2010, 6:12 PM by Tip Top   [ updated Feb 1, 2011, 5:56 AM ]

On Aug. 8th club meeting, I reached CC with my 10th speech!

I am a competent communicator now.  I researched and delivered the necessary speeches. I will continue to give speeches, do evaluations, and any other challenges that Tip Top Toastmasters may present in the future for me. I hope to continue to be able to present myself as competent and confident in front of my fellow Toastmasters as my journey continues.

Carla Sanzone, CC, Secretary

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