Winners of District Table Topics Contest

District 53 held its Table Topics contest on the evening of May 5, 2022 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

In the District Table Topics contest, contestants from each Division in the District are given the same question with no advance preparation, and try to respond with a 1-2 minute speech that has a beginning, middle, and end and reaches a definite conclusion. Each contestant has advanced from a specific club in District 53, and arrives at the stage after competing at the Area level against 3-4 other clubs, and the Division level competing against contestants from four other Areas. The District Table Topics Contest is the highest level of competition in this speech contest type; Toastmasters International also has the International Speech Contest, which advances through three more levels beyond the District level (Regional Quarterfinals, International Semifinals, and the World Championship of Public Speaking).

Cathy Kittle of NYS Forum Toastmasters, winner of the District 53 Table Topics Contest, in a red floral blouse against a gray background.
District 53’s District Table Topics Contest winner 2021-22, Cathy Kittle of NYS Forum Toastmasters

The question was:

The theme of World Earth Day 2022 is ‘Invest In our Planet Earth’. What have you done, OR what will you plan to do in the future, to “Invest In Our Planet Earth”?

District 53 Table Topics Contest question, 2022.

The winners of the contest were:

Many thanks to all the contestants, representing the five divisions of District 53:

  • Division A: Michael Esposito
  • Division B: Maria Baral
  • Division C: Ogewu Agbese
  • Division D: Michelle DeDominicis
  • Division E: Cathy Kittle

and to our senior functionaries:

  • Contest Chair Jennifer Cimilluca
  • Contest Master Amy Chiu
  • Chief Judge Elizabeth Keeling

and to all our contest functionaries, judges, and audience members.

D53 2022 C&L Award – Reverend Odell Montgomery Cooper

Reverend Odell Montgomery Cooper, an Influential Leader, Communicator, Speaker, and Courageous Motivator, has been chosen as the District 53 Communication and Leadership award recipient which will be to be presented at the C&L Luncheon being held at our District Conference May 15, 2022.

Reverend Cooper has been active in communities in Connecticut, helped serve the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) communities and has been actively breaking the stigma on mental health.

Reverend Cooper is the founder and Executive Director of Interruptions Disrupting the Silence, LLC, which is dedicated to advocating for Mental Health, Gun Violence and Social Justice issues that impact communities of color. Reverend Cooper is the author of, “Interruptions Disrupting the Silence,” which includes a companion peer-to-peer mental health program for emotional wellness. She is the co-host of the “Interruptions” podcast, a motivational life coach, speaker, and trauma healing facilitator. She serves on the boards of Elm City National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), CT Violence Intervention Prevention (CTVIP) and Congregations Organized for a New CT (CONECT).

Join us at the Toastmasters District 53 2022 Conference on May 14, 2022, at the Sheraton Hartford Hotel at Bradley Airport in Windsor Locks, CT and hear Rev Odell Montgomery Cooper’s lunchtime remarks.

D53 2022 Conference Keynote – Stuart Pink

Speech Maps – The essential tool to plan and deliver any speech
After many years of speaking and membership of Toastmasters, Stuart realized that most
speakers still make a fundamental mistake that significantly hinders their ability to create and
deliver good speeches. Using Speech Maps require rethinking what a speech is, and can provide
the clarity you need to create and deliver a great speech. Stuart used a Speech Map to win the
District 31 International Speech Contest in 2020.

General Session:
How do you get great speech ideas?
Do you ever have empty speaker slots at your club meetings? Do you or your club members
ever struggle to think of speaking topics? Do your speech topics not engage audiences as much
as you wish? This session will give you all the tools you need to identify the perfect material for
your speeches.

About Stuart: Stuart is a member of Foxboro Achievers and has been a Toastmaster in District 31 for 11 years. He has won the District 31 International Speech Contest 6 times. In 2012, he came 3rd in the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. This Spring Stuart will be publishing his book Last Minute Speaking – A Survival Toolkit which helps anyone survive giving a speech and become a better speaker. Stuart is passionate about public speaking and creativity and more information can be found at his website