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.

Delays on Toastmasters Website

World Headquarters advises us that the www.toastmasters.org website will be down for the following periods of time, due to extended testing:

  • May 5 – May 17: You will not be able to submit education awards through Club Central. You can submit awards by submitting to the email address educationprogram@toastmasters.org up to May 17. No awards can be submitted for any reason between May 18 and May 22. World Headquarters believes that processing should resume on May 23.
  • May 5 – May 22: The Toastmasters Online Store is unavailable and product orders cannot be accepted; this includes DTM awards and print paths. Path purchases will not be available either, nor can membership applications be processed. Membership application processing resumes on May 23.
  • May 18-May 22: All services that require login to the website will be unavailable: this includes District Central, Club Central, your Profile, your Base Camp, and the Speechcraft Gateway. Please download any resources you need before May 18.
  • May 21-May 22: The enter Toastmasters.org website will be down, with a maintenance page indicating a temporary closure for anyone who visits the website.

Club Advisory

During the period from May 18 to May 23, each club’s Addendum of Standard Club Options — the part of your club’s constitution that includes your dues structure, inactive member fees, meeting times and places, and additional officers beyond the traditional seven — will undergo an update. On May 23, this form will then be blank, with new options. Accordingly:

  • Please gather the data for your club before May 18. Any club officer can do this.
  • After May 23, re-input the data, or
  • hold a business meeting of your club to renew this information.