New Club Officers

Fellow Toastmasters,

Welcome to our new club officers! Their term is from January 1st, 2018 until June 31st, 2018.

Kathleen Moon CC

VP of Education
Jo Anna Almonte

VP of Membership
Nicholas Smith ACS, ALB

VP of Public Relations
Yamilette Williams

Alain Abbate

Phil Scott Sarfin

Sgt. at Arms
Cecilia Hogarth

Immediate Past President
Jo Anna Almonte

Please do all you can to support them in the coming months!

Projector Use At Our Club

Did you know Plantation Toastmasters own’s it very own, 8-year-old, but still functional projector?

You can learn more about this Epson brand PowerLite 77c Multimedia Projector at this PTM University Link.

Technology presents all sorts of opportunities for delivering a clearer message, but also involves a number of pitfalls. Today we discuss the logistics of how to pull off a better presentation involving the projector our club has.


It’s inevitable: Something will go wrong if you are in front of  dozens/hundreds of people and are on a tight timeline, especially if you haven’t practiced. Make some time before your speaking engagement to familiarize yourself with the equipment. Make sure if you do have a helper that they really know what is going on. If it’s an important enough event, make them prove it ahead of time! Here at Plantation Toastmasters, Nick typically help with this, but Nick is not not always available and/or are may be doing something else.

How to familiarize yourself with technology, in General

As much as possible, practice connecting everything exactly as is needed in real life. This means using the same laptop you’ll use the day of, the same power cords, connectors, screen. The more realistic the scenario, the more likely you’ll discover missing equipment and or configurations while you have time to address them. It’s isn’t always practical to have the projector during this “home” phase of practice, but maybe connect a second monitor to gauge how your laptop behaves with a display device connected?

Here at Plantation Toastmasters, your best bet is to arrive early. Perhaps arrange to have the projector earlier (Nick is usually there by 6pm, so he could take possession from Jim the week before).

If your presentation will have audio and/or video, embed that content into the Powerpoint file itself. Internet isn’t always reliable in our part of the building there. This is good advice in general as you never know what type of Internet access you will have.

Examples of some more issues you could encounter and should prepare for:

  • Missing power cable
  • Missing video cable
  • the remote control may not work
  • Your laptop may be set to go to sleep after a few minutes
  • Your laptop may want to run updates/restarting while presenting
  • Your late model laptop may not have a VGA connector our club projector requires as it does not have an HDMI connector
  • The projector has a 30-45 second warm up period when it is turned on or woke-up
  • The projector is shining in your face.

Design your Presentation as “Fully” as possible

What we mean by this is, consider the full timeline of the presentation. Take this example:

To be as smooth as possible and not prematurely show your slideshow, why not make slide #1 a black screen? This allows you advance to your first real slide when you are ready, not necessarily while the projector is warming up.

When finished, leave a black slide as the last slide. This allows you to wrap up, and finish the presentation.

The projector shining in your face.

Know the lighting situation

A challenge we have at the Jim Ward Center is with the lighting. The room is either black-out dark or a bit too bright for using a projector. There doesn’t seem to be a nice medium. However, that is reality. You may find yourself dealing with this very situation in real life!

How to deal with this this:

  • Use high-contrast colors if you plan to present with the lights on. This means large black lettering on white backgrounds.
  • If you presentation has high quality photos, you may want to consider presenting with the lights off. Photos look best with the lights off.
    • Be warned that your audience may have trouble seeing you.
    • perhaps you can speak and arrange with the sergeant at arms or another friendly helper in the room to turn off the lights during the segment of your speech that has the photos, and then they can turn the lights back on afterwards. You have arranged for time to practice this in our room ahead of time, right?
    • Something else you can do to offset the darkness of the room is by using bright slides. Bright backgrounds light up the room some, allowing your audience to see you.
Afshin Hatami gives a presentation with the projector at our club.

How to arrange for use of the Projector

Here at Plantation Toastmasters,  you, as the member wishing to present with the projector, are required to:

  • Contact Jim Barber, who is custodian of the projector, to arrange for it to be brought to our meeting. His email address/phone number is available in the membership area of this website. Please give him more than 60 minutes of notice (preferable 7+ days and a reminder the morning of).
  • Arrange for a video source with a VGA port.
  • Familiarize yourself with the lights and projector screen control. The sergeant at arms is your best source for this information.
  • If your presentation has audio, does it require more volume than the laptop’s built in speakers? We have an amplified pa speaker we can connect. Usually background music is okay on laptop speakers, but if there is spoken or your looking to make an impact with music volume, the amplified speaker is where it is at. Contact Nick Smith for the amplified speaker.
  • Nick also has a good Powerpoint remote control you can use if you arrange ahead of time with him.
  • Nick’s laptop has the connection needed for the projector, so if you prearrange with Nick (and he is present that week), he can provide his laptop too.

Contest This Weekend

Fellow Toastmasters,

Just a reminder that our club is now in Area A10 and that our Area’s Humorous and Evaluations contest is this Saturday, October 14th, from 8am to 12pm. This is a combination contest with Area A11, so there will be approximately 12 contestants (6 per contest per Area). It should make for a fun event.

The location:
DeVry University, 2300 SW 145th Ave, Miramar, FL 33027

For most of us in Plantation Toastmasters, I-75 south to Pines Blvd east then 145th Ave south will be the quickest route to get there (it’s basically due south of Pembroke Gardens), to give you an idea of the contest location.

Refreshments provided. No charge, no RSVP.

Let’s have a strong Plantation Toastmasters showing to support Jim Barber, our club’s humorous speech contestant, and Eric Jacobson, our club’s evaluation contestant! I have our club banner to display during this event.

If you are interested, this is an all day event, with Areas A12 and A13’s contest from 1pm to 5pm.

I will be there all day. Any questions call me.


Plantation Toastmasters 2017 Club Humorous and Evaluations Contests

Toastmasters and Non-Toastmasters alike are ALL invited to Plantation Toastmasters’ 2017 Club Humorous and Evaluations Contests!

Tuesday, August 15th, 6:15pm – 8:30pm at the Jim Ward Community Center, 301 NW 46th Ave, Plantation, FL 33317 (Download a ics file here)

Come join the fun and prepare yourself for bellachying laughs and world class peer evaluations!

Heavy hitting humor from the likes of Jim Barber, Eric Jacobson, Nicholas Smith, Meredith Troy, Steven Hyatt, Teddy Hyatt and maybe more!

Sue Hershkowitz ATM-B, CL from the Beacon Point Advanced Toastmasters club provides a target evaluation for our evaluations contest. Evaluation Contestants so far: Michael Schoen, Eric Jacobson, Tanya Tricia

Thinking of being in the contest? The requirements for participating in this contest is that you be a member of Plantation Toastmasters in good standing (dues paid). Registration open until the moment the contest begins, but the sooner we know, the better. If interested in helping or being a contestant please, e-mail Kathy Moon directly.

If you are guest and have questions, please hit up our Contact form.

Contestants, Judges and other functionaries, please arrive as early as 6:00pm but no later than 6:15pm.

Have you seen PTM University?

Let’s admit it, presenting or presiding in front of a group of people is hard enough, but a lack of familiarity with what are you are doing is an anxiety multiplier!

If only there was some way to learn more about the things we do here at Plantation Toastmasters ahead of time… Oh! …There is!

Take a look at PTM University, right here on!

And, over the years, we have worked on developing a relatively comprehensive Member Guide. There are incomplete parts of it, for sure, but on the whole, it’s a great way for you to really familiarize yourself with the Toastmasters experience.

Interested in contributing content to this project? Noticed an error/omission in the content? Please let Nick know (or if you don’t have his email, you can use the Contact Form).

PTM This Week, July 25th, 2017

Fellow Plantation Toastmasters, other Toastmasters and visitors alike: Make sure you add a calendar reminder for Plantation Toastmasters this week!

After we begin at 6:30pm sharp and take care of a short budget vote, Daniel Kofler wow wow wow’s us as Toastmaster of the Evening.

The speaking lineup:

  • Kicking things off is Francis Kambobe with a touching story of a family vacation to the Luangwa River Basin in Zambia.
  • Alyssa Loeffler reminds us to Pay It Forward as she continues her work in the Advanced Manuals.
  • Kathy Moon gives us a Dramatic Talk from the The Entertaining Speaker advanced manual.
  • World traveler extraordinaire Tanya Magney continues her trek towards Competent Communicator as she impresses us with here experience working on motorcycles.

Josh Massias wraps up the evening with an exciting impromptu table topics session titled “Hypothetical Situations”.

We adjourn at 8:30pm and head to Chili’s for the unofficial after meeting!

Fun and good times for all! See you Tuesday! Make sure you RSVP!

Plantation Toastmasters meets Tuesday nights, 6:30 – 8:30pm at the Jim Ward Community Center in Plantation, Florida. Guests and Toastmasters from other clubs are always welcome at no charge!

Visit to find out more!

PTM This Week, July 18th, 2017

Plantation Toastmasters invites you to another fun meeting!

Our meeting will begin at 6:30 pm sharp.

If you’re a guest…we’d love to see you at 6:15pm so we can answer questions and find you a seat before things begin, but don’t feel like you shouldn’t come if you are running late.

Here’s what you will not want to miss:

Following our short introductions and business meeting, Toastmaster of the Day, Shoshannah Zemach takes center stage. She’ll share with us some timely meeting protocol recommendations to help push that PTM experience even higher!

This week’s speaking lineup so far:

  • Nick Smith shares his experience working on an independent movie shoot right here in South Florida!
  • David Adelstein gives us a short test of empathy as he continues his progress in the Competent Communication Manual.
  • Update! Jim Barber has stepped to give a presentation on how un-complicated leadership really is.
  • There’s a good chance we’ll have a surprise fourth speaker (hey, it could be you…a slot’s still open!).

Make sure you bring a dollar (or five) for the 50/50 raffle!

Of course, our speakers can expect awesome evaluations from General Evaluator JoAnna Almonte’s evaluators team!

Finally, Kathy Moon presents “the rest of the story” for the impromptu part of the meeting. Table Topics participants are given the beginning of a short story, and they have the chance (without having prepared ahead of time) to finish the story, any way they possible can. As much fun to listen, as it is to speak, indeed!

We wrap the fun up with the awards ceremony and adjourn at 8:30pm!

There’s always a few of us who meet at Chili’s afterwards. Members and guests alike are welcome to join us at the unofficial after-meeting meeting! We can give you more after the official meeting ends.

We’ll see you Tuesday!

Plantation Toastmasters meets Tuesday nights, 6:30 – 8:30pm at the Jim Ward Community Center in Plantation, Florida. Guests are always welcome at no charge! For more information, visit to find out more!

We’re in Division A, Area 10 Now!

Fellow Toastmasters,

As your IPAD, it is my pleasure to announce some exciting changes for Plantation Toastmasters,

Following a process Toastmasters International calls realignment, Plantation Toastmasters is now part of Division A, Area A10!

A lot of variables go into the realignment process (Geographic proximity to other clubs, the ability of an area director to effectively provide service, club size and strength, prospective clubs and expected growth, and the likelihood of eligibility for Distinguished programs). This happens periodically and is a normal part of Toastmasters club operations.

What are the ramifications of this move?

There are really two items that directly affect the club itself, and the impact is minimal for the first.


Trainings are geographic now, so officers are still encouraged to attend the Broward TLI training on August 5th as a club. This has not changed (though if there are scheduling conflicts, other trainings can be attended for officer credit). TLI schedule is here.


We are now competing against a new set of Toastmasters in Area 10, and then in Division A.

What other clubs are in our Area now?

This graphic below shows the full Division A alignment:

The full lineup of club alignments can be seen here.

Who are our new Area and Division Directors?

The Upshot

This is exciting news! This organization continues to offer us great opportunities to meet and work with new people in new environments.

We also can enjoy new contest dynamics in the fall and spring…here is a fair warning to Area A10 and Division A: Plantation Toasmasters is a force to reckon with! Can’t wait for the fun!

Congratulations Plantation Toastmasters on this exciting move! Please join me in offering all the support we can to our new District Officers in all the things they do for us.

-Nicholas Smith, ACS, ALB, Immediate Past Area 23 Director

Tonight’s Meeting!

Plantation Toastmasters invites you to our kick off meeting for the 2017-2018 Toastmasters season!

Here’s what you can look forward to tonight:

  • Tanya Magney reminds us of vital hurricane preparedness tips as Toastmaster of the Day.
  • Tatiana Eisner shares with us the relationship between art and real life in speech #10 from the Competent Communication manual.
  • Also speaking are more of Plantation Toastmasters’ rock stars, Meredith Troy and Steve Hyatt.
  • Daniel Kofler wraps things as he “wow wow wows” us with an entertaining Table Topics session.

A fun time for guests and membership alike!

Plantation Toastmasters meets Tuesday nights, 6:30 – 8:30pm at the Jim Ward Community Center, 301 NW 46th Avenue, Plantation, FL 33317. Guests are always welcome at no charge! For more information, visit to find out more!

Welcome to the new Plantation Toastmasters website!

Welcome to our long anticipated website update! The new club website was created to better accommodate the needs our of Club with:

  • Better Marketing
  • Better Educational Goal Setting
  • Better Meeting Planning

Better Marketing

This website will answer the basic questions the world may have, such as:

  • What is Plantation Toastmasters?
  • …and, of course, “Why should you join Plantation Toastmasters?”
  • …that would certainly involve showing the public, “Who Plantation Toastmasters members are.”
  • …where finally, they’ll need to know When and Where Plantation Toastmasters holds its meetings.

Our previous site did a lot of these things well, however, it wasn’t the best tool for showing off this wonderful eco-system we have built here at Plantation Toastmasters. Basically, this new site looks better and inter-operates with social media exceedingly better.

Better Educational Goal Setting

Vice Presidents of Education take note, this will make your goal setting much more efficient!

Reporting was basically non-existent on the old site. The new site tracks members progress as they make their way through the educational and leadership programs.

To kick things off, you and/or the Vice President of Education enter your progress to this point, and then as you give speeches and fill roles, progress is tracked by the system in real time. When you fill a leadership role that isn’t an agenda item (ie, you chair contest), you check it off. Stay tuned for a video on this in the coming days and weeks.

Essentially, PlantationToastmasters. com becomes a functional dashboard for education goal setting and planning.

My Competent Communicator and Competent Leadership progress.
My Advanced Communication/Leadership Progress

Better Meeting Planning

Here at Plantation Toastmasters we are proud of setting the bar higher than others. The attractive look of our agenda, kind of a marketing piece every member and guest sees and can take with at every meeting, sets us apart from other clubs.

With the old site, the agenda had to be manually created, or ran through a clunky script I threw together. It was tedious, and signing up for and administering club roles was near impossible on mobile devices.

On this site, nearly everything is a few clicks. An attractive, perfectly up-to-date agenda print out is a one click affair.

Look how glaringly incomplete speech information looks if you don’t submit it. Better make sure you update that before this is printed each week!

Roles can be signed up from your phone.

Deciding if I want to Take some roles on my phone.

Reminders are automatically e-mailed to role fillers 3 days ahead of time and also 4 hours before the meeting—helping us keep our commitments when the rest of life puts Toastmasters to the back of our minds.

I present the new,!

  • Powered by the premiere website blogging software, WordPress.
  • Tens of thousands of plug-ins are available to add functionality to the site as needed.
  • Uses WordPress for Toastmasters, developed by District 47’s very own David Carr (Club Awesome), for agenda/educational goal planning, with some officially integrated tweaks introduced by yours truly.
  • Anyone in the club can contribute content (articles, photos, videos, etc.).

“This is great! What can I do?”

The more consistent we post articles and photos, the more prestige our Club has when researched by potential new members. In addition, you know, communications is a big deal with Toastmasters—it involves other types of communication besides just speaking. This site is a learning opportunity for all of us!

Stay tuned for more updates! If you would like to contribute, simply sign in and click on + New and choose post at the top.

See you soon!
-Nick Smith, VP Public Relations