Chief Judge appointed; Rules Clarification

District 53 has appointed a Chief Judge for the 2022-2023 contest season.

Andrew B. Watt, DTM will serve in this role until and unless a member of his club disqualifies him from contest participation. Questions may be directed to him.

With regard to Rule 3.B.3 and 3.B.4 in the Toastmasters Contest Rulebook 2022-2023, the District has decided that only one (1) contestant from each contest at club, Area, or Division will advance to the next level of competition, regardless of whether that contestant is the winner or the runner-up.

All contests at Area level and above must be held, even if there is only one (1) contestant competing, in order to ensure that minimum and maximum time rules are respected.

District 53 announces Contests for 2022-23

District Director John J. Hogan and Program Quality Director Patti Walter have announced the following contest program for the 2022-2023 year:

  • The International Contest, leading to the World Championship of Public Speaking
  • The Tall Tales Contest, ending at the District 53 Conference in May

The contests for each level of competition must occur by the following dates:

  • Club Contests must take place by January 15, 2023
  • Area Contests will take place between January 16, 2023 and March 15, 2023
  • Division Contests will take place between March 16, 2023 and April 16, 2023
  • The District Contests will occur as part of the District Conference in May 2023

All contests at all levels must conform to the Toastmasters Contest Rulebook for the 2022-2023 program year. Questions should be directed to Patti Walter as the Program Quality Director.

Winners of the District International Speech Contest

District 53 held its International Speech contest on the morning of May 7, 2022 from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. 

Contest Winner Amrita Bannerjee with the District Executive Leadership Team — 
Club Growth Director Patti Walter, Program Quality Director John J. Hogan, and District Director Akihiro Ishii
Contest Winner Amrita Banerjee with the District Executive Leadership Team —
Club Growth Director Patti Walter, Program Quality Director John J. Hogan, and District Director Akihiro Ishii
, photographed on Zoom.

In the District International Speech contest, one contestant from each of our five Divisions in the District have a speaking period of five to seven minutes to deliver a speech on a topic of their choosing. 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 winner of the District International Speech contest then advances to the Region Quarterfinals, and possibly to the International Semifinals and the World Championship of Public Speaking (WCPS).

District 53 2021-22 International Speech Contest Winners: Third Place Kevin M. Finn, Second Place Brian David Crawford, and First Place Winner Amrita Bannerjee
District 53 2021-22 International Speech Contest Winners: Third Place Kevin M. Finn, Second Place Brian David Crawford, and First Place Winner Amrita Bannerjee, photographed on Zoom

The winners of the contest were:

  • First Place: Amrita Banerjee
  • Second Place: Brian David Crawford
  • Third Place: Kevin M. Finn

In the interviews following the contest, both the winners and other contestants thanked the judges, audience members and others for the opportunities to grow and learn as speakers and presenters. They reminded the audience that new Toastmasters should take every opportunity that they can get to speak, and that, under the pressure of preparing to speak for an audience, practice brings improvement and gracefulness.

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

  • Division A: Sandra Weiner, representing Greater Stamford Toastmasters, with a speech titled, “What Next?”
  • Division B: Donna Peterson, representing New Dawn Toastmasters, with a speech titled “Lead With Your Heart.”
  • Division C: Kevin M. Finn, representing Cedar Hill Toastmasters, with a speech titled, “M-O-M.”
  • Division D: Brian David Crawford, representing Speechweavers, with a speech titled, “42.”
  • Division E: Amrita Banerjee, representing Bethlehem Club, with a speech titled, “The Choice.”
District 53 2021-22 International Speech Contest, Division Contest Winners: Division A Sandra Weiner, Division B Donna Peterson, Division C Kevin M. Finn, Division D Brian David Crawford, Division E Amrita Bannerjee
District 53 2021-22 International Speech Contest, Division Contest Winners: Division A Sandra Weiner, Division B Donna Peterson, Division C Kevin M. Finn, Division D Brian David Crawford, Division E Amrita Bannerjee, photographed on Zoom.

Our Thanks also go out to our senior functionaries, the Program Quality Director John J. Hogan, and the Contest Chair, Contest Master and Chief Judge, who together assembled the team of more than fourteen functionaries, judges, and back-up leaders who managed the contest behind the scenes.

Contest functionary team John J. Hogan, Jennifer Cimilluca, Dave Pelland, and Elizabeth Keeling
Contest functionary team John J. Hogan, Jennifer Cimilluca, Dave Pelland, and Elizabeth Keeling, photographed on Zoom.
  • Program Quality Director John J. Hogan
  • Contest Chair Jennifer Cimilluca
  • Contest Master Dave Pelland
  • Chief Judge Elizabeth Keeling

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

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.