What is an IceBreaker speech?

Katia’s Ice Breaker… from when I was 3 years old!

Happy Birthday to you …

Good evening Dears, the first birthday that I remember, when I was 3 years old: the 20th of February 1984. An extraordinary day because I remember me on a table with a big cake in front of ME and other delicious food such as pizza and chips. I was in my living room with many of my family: my mum Maria, my dad Giancarlo, my uncle Tony my sisters Elena and Mary and others. There was a little mountain of presents for me but in particular all the attention was ON me. SO PERFECT, because I love parties and delicious food, I love presents, honestly, I like receiving but also giving presents, I love especially being AT the centre OF ATTENTION.

BEING AT THE CENTER OF ATTENTION is key in my MOST VIVID memories full of emotion and I’ll tell you two or three on them: Firstly, my skating PERFORMANCE. I trained in skating, my passion, for 8 years and every Contest was a great event for me because I was alone in the rink to dance. I had chosen my “body” I mean the costume, the song, and the elements of my exercise for months. All my family was there for me and at the end, I was so happy to receive my trophy – I was the centre of attention.
The second event was The day of my GRADUATION, I felt SO GOOD. I HAD studied a lot and I HAD created a method to evaluate THE industrial district, and I had shown it to the world, my family and others. Again, I was the centre of attention. I graduated in Management at Polytechnic of Turin, now I’m working as Project Manager in Purchasing sector and I like my job.
Finally, I HAVE TO TALK about MY Toastmasters experience, where I can BE on the stage UNINTERRUPTED, talking about myself, my passion and my project. There are many events that I remember VIVIDLY: my tenth speech, my workshop in Turin,.. my speech in Great Falls Club Montana USA. It was during my birthday with my Toastmasters International Family. I could plan speech about my speech why not? EACH TIME, I WAS AT THE CENTER OF ATTENTION
Probably I’m missing something…. Dear friend I was missing the most important thing: the WISH. When I blew OUT the candle I askED for A FAMILY with two children. And here I am with a beautiful husband Marco and two daughters Chiara and Giorgia. They now are all my life, this is another story WHERE I’M NOT THE ONE IN CENTER, for me the most beautiful story, THAT I’ll tell you in ANOTHER speech.

“Back to Class” – 9TH SEPTEMBER 2015

This is an old post – just recently posted!!

Our first meeting back was titled “Back to Class” to put us on a parallel with schools restarting all over Europe. We started as if we had never left – two great speeches, 8 table topics and evaluations, with six guests, of which 3 were first timers.


Of course unlike school, at Toastmasters the year can start at any time, with our self-paced program we are always ready for you to start.


Stefano kicked us of as the Toastmaster of the evening energizing us for the start of the year.

Gonzalo spoke from the “Special Occasion Speeches” advanced manual paying tribute to his father, talking of his father’s humility, his curiosity and his endless energy – three key attributes of great public speakers. At the end of the speech, we all wanted to meet him – it’s unfortunate he is so far away, and doesn’t speak English.

Keith spoke from the “Storytelling” advanced manual, telling us a story about Sir Winston Churchill, one of the greatest public speakers of all time. It turns out that he wasn’t always like that, he had speech impediments and there was one time in 1909 where he lost his words in parliament and stayed silent for 3 minutes. His skill came from hard work and preparation – something that is a lesson for all of us.


Lumi followed with a great Table topics session giving us some challenges to tell a story, whilst using some specific words. Many of our guests tried their hand and did very well.


Orlando finished up by leading the Evaluation sessions; firstly evaluating the speeches, then the “umms & Ahs” and the timings. A little time for a quick snack afterwards before saying goodbye until next time- at the T.A.G. – The Talent Garden, Via Carlo Allioni, Torino.

[Living, Loving, Learning] Meeting#46>>11th May 16<<19:15

Intro: work in progress

Transition: While preparing for Toastmasters evening: calling my mentee Daniele and serving in helping him with the 5th CC project objectives; writing messages to Alessandra, whom I supposed to evaluate during the meeting, here arrives in my inbox “The most welcomed and most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace” as The New York Times defines A.Word.A.Day http://wordsmith.org/awad/index.html and what I like the most, besides the word of the day, in this beautiful project of Anu Garg,

<The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it’s considered to be your style. -Fred Astaire, dancer, actor, singer, musician, and choreographer (10 May 1899-1987)>

And today, after the meeting, I want to share how unpredictable life unfolds and how many mistakes we are doing while Living, Loving, Learning.
2 years ago, nici-nu-ma-gandeam it did not came in my mind, even for a second, how larger and multicultural and great and radiant can become what we (Fred, Keith, Monica, Gonzalo, myself) ambitioned for our club at that very moment.

a) what we ambitioned…

b) what we have… 24 members + 1 to be voted next club meeting

c) what we achieved… Keith triple crown, Orlando CC, CL is doing second time the CC, Gonzalo CC, CL, myself CC CL,

d) what are the challenges 17 members, 3 of them arrived at the 6th project, the path is long, not enough mentors, asking other club to mentor our member..why not?


All because of the persons with whom we decide to share “Living, Loving, Learning” during a simple Toastmasters meeting, the platform to become a better communicator and leader.

[Education and Youth] Meeting#45>>27th April 16<<19:15

Fellow Toastmasters, dear friends and guests,

We brought back to activity our Radiant Rhetoric Toastmasters club for the fourth Wednesday of the April month; the word of the day was reborn: spring is in the town!!!
What a pleasure to meet all of you and have this lab experience together. Oh yes, Toastmasters is kind of a laboratory [lab] where you are empowered to become more effective communicator and leader.

Let’s give a round of applause to
Vito DC.
Alessandro T.
Chiara DC.
who joined the lab, as members, in March-April period.

A big THANK YOU is going also to our dear guests:

Simona, Imran, Samad, Javad, Stefano, Gianpaolo, Giulia, Roberto. Remember, you are always welcomed! If you have further questions, please do let me know membership@radiant-rhetoric.org

At Toastmasters “Education is our business. It has been so from the beginning.” Ralph Smedley, Toastmasters founder.

In our age of discontinuity, what does education mean to our younger members? 40% of our current club members are between the ages of 18 and 34. On his 80th birthday, on Febr.22, 19558, Dr. Smedley relied on the 19-th century English philosopher Herbert Spencer for the answer. Spencer held that “…education is a process of drawing out and putting into use the talents and abilities which are present in the person to be educated, rather than of pouring into his mind information from the exterior.”

Toastmasters is rolling out its largest and most important update to the education program since 1942, when the first basic training manual was developed (today we have the Competent Communication as a pillar manual). The revitalized education program stems from 2010 Strategic Plan and focuses on developing five core competencies:

  • Public Speaking
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Leading and managing
  • Leading strategically
  • Building confidence

These competencies are learned throught experential education based on Dr. Smedley’s principle of “learning by doing and improving through practice and criticism.” From the confidence we gain through public speaking and interpersonal communication, we develop the habit of lifelong learning as well as the art of leadership.

By consciously performing our club and leadership roles, we have the opportunity to practice and internalize Toastmasters’ four core values: integrity, respect for individual, service to the member and dedication to excellence. These are also the four cornerstones of character and personality.

In this age where practically all knowledge is only a Google search away, our challenge is to train our young new members to reflect on this readily available information and practice the art of face-to-face communication to gain experience. This will empower them to achieve their full potential. More than ever, our youth need the service of Toastmasters as they venture into uncharted futures.

See you next meeting on May 11th, same place, same hour!!!

Asking members (1): “What do you think of Toastmasters?”

What do I think? The truth? I’m still exploring it, so I can’t answer this question yet. But since I know our VPM would appreciate —rightly— a discussion amongst members to have a feed-back, I’ll try to say what my thoughts are. About a different matter. I can say something about us as a group. In particular as a group of “evaluators”. Maybe is still a first impression opinion, so it might to be taken with certain reservations.
I love this group but as a group of individuals who have also the task of making evaluations — with all the pros and cons of this operation— I think we could improve. And the direction I’d like to see blossoming is the one towards a more supportive attitude in all of us (some members are very supportive and I’ve found careful attention and precious advices when I asked for help).
But all of us have to learn not only to comunicate better, but also being more attentive to other people needs, that can be very different. To be good evaluators we have first of all to strive to really listen, not half-listen (thousands of time we have heard this phrase, still this remains the most difficult task). And if possible, listen with benevolence. Our focus must be encouraging and let  blooming,  not drying out (so sometimes  we have to be very tacful and consider other people sensitiveness). Our opinion, also if is always personal, it’s never neutral, and we should be aware of that.Beginners make a lot of mistakes, in many points, we know that, but is there use in stressing them all? Couldn’t that be a bit confusive?  My personal opinion is that is better trying to enhance the better part of an individual than trigger an inner war against  “flows”. It’s more important to know where our strenght is, than focusing on our shortcomings and struggling against them. The most of us has limits which are difficult to overcome, but many of us, in particular if young, don’t know where their strenght is. We can help each other. We all need time to improve and we really cannot work on all our weak points at once. So priority first and one step at a time.The kind of evaluation I liked most in Toastmasters, till now, was the one we used to have during the speechcraft: oral opinions shared in a group. Having also the possibility to replay and explain, where appropriate. So a dynamic situation.

My hope: I’d like to see this group to meet the most difficult, but at the same time most intriguing challange, the one of inspiring others to find their voices. Finding our “own voice” is more important and valuable than avoiding hesitations when speaking. Our voice means authenticity not perfection. Connection and consistency between what we say, why we say it and how we say it. To me, be yourself, flaws included, it’s better than aping some unattainable ideal. But its also important to find the best part of who we are, which is difficult to find alone. That’s also why a group is important.

Maybe my speech sounds a bit provocative (and maybe it is) but I do believe we have to think about the aim and the intention which lies behind our evaluations, not doing them as a cold task, without consequences and side effects. When the words forget to be supportive and are just judgmental, can be very biting.

I do think  being collaborative is much more important than being competitive, and at the end make us stronger not just as a group —which is very important— but also as  single individuals.

Love to all,


P.s.: any kind comments on the subject will be welcome of course


I would like to give a fast and warm answer. Knowing that the “fast and warm” is the worst mind mood to answer and to avoid misunderstanding. Just two perspectives. The first is that probably we could devote 5 or 10 minutes at every meeting to share these kind of opinions in a sort of brainstorming; my personal experience is that emails could drive more misunderstandings than a face to face debate, discussion. Writing, a lot things are taken away as last great Stefano 5th speech taught us: stance, movements, gestures, facial expression, emotions, empathy. The second one is that even the evaluation role is something that, above all for the beginner fellows as me, needs to be learnt. The immediate consequence is that the same correct indulgence and sensitivity that should be applied on evaluating the speakers should be also applied on the evaluation of the evaluators. Personally, I have received for my few speeches some strong remarks among others very encouraging (from same or other people). I didn’t up set, I appreciate at first the attempt and sincerity of it. About me, as I wronged many things in my first speeches, for sure I wronged also a lot of things in my evaluations, obviously without awareness of this. In case I apologize, but at the same time I am happy of this: I believe we are here to make mistakes through which we can learn more things.

The ‘ideas’ of Alessandra drive my mind to a recent post of mine on our club whatsup group in which I asked if it was possible to organize some educational on the evaluator role and on the evaluation process. Speaking with some of our more expert members I understood that there is nothing exhaustive and ready from the central organization of Toastmaster. Despite this, I think that the knowledge sharing between more and less experienced members could be a great opportunity to let the evaluation process be a fruitful and serene experience for everybody. If I correctly remember I received an answer just from two members. I would appreciate a lot if we could discuss a bit about this proposal. I agree with Alessandra that evaluation is at the same time a very important need and a very delicate process and probably should be tailored on every person character and need.



“We learn best in moments of enjoyments” Meeting#41>>24th February 16<<19:15

Diversity, potential, improvement, effective listening, helping each other to develop these priceless skills in a fun, supportive and positive learning environment
where you can discover about Riga, about storytelling, about Raplh, about the most human profession, about King Arthur and the Round Table
all in a Toastmasters meeting.
Yes, Ralph is Raplh C. Smedley, founder of Toastmasters, and one of his famous quote that was mentioned last meeting was: 
“We learn best in moments of enjoyments.
Fellow members and dear guests,
The Toastmasters Program has the potential to raise the personal worth of its participants.How much do you think you are worth? That is a loaded question and has many answers depending on which part of your life is being referenced. With respect to your job, your value is measured in the amount on your paycheck. With respect to your family, the number can jump exponentially. For today, let’s think about the personal worth and value you believe you have as a person interacting with others in a specific area: communication.

To find this value, you would have to assess your ability to communicate effectively on the subjects presented to you, both at work and non-work interactions. How well do you perform when asked to give a presentation at work? Do you choke when asked a question you did not expect?

Some have heard of Toastmasters and some have experienced it first hand in a Toastmaster club meeting. Those who have say it changed their lives.
Debbi Rose Fields from Mrs. Fields Cookies is quoted as saying, “The idea of getting in front of a group, not as Mrs. Fields but as Debbi, made my knees shake. But the Toastmasters group understood. Here’s a place where you can learn, grow, develop — and where other people are doing and feeling the same thing.”

Linda Lingle, former Governor of Hawaii, states, “Toastmasters is the best and least expensive personal improvement class you can go to.”

The host of the Discovery Home Channel’s hit show “Neat,” Hellen Buttigieg. had this to say: “How often in life do people really listen to us? At Toastmasters, people are truly listening; they’re not thinking about what they’ll say back. It’s a safe place to speak, so I could use my speeches to work out what resonated with the audience.”

And you, what do you think about Toastmasters?

Each club in the world is unique. Visiting the clubs is easy and free. For someone just starting out, there are two clubs to choose from in Torino: the only English one Radiant Rhetoric Toastmasters http://radiantrhetoric.tmclub.eu and Toastmasters Torino torino.tmclub.eu bilingual club English & Italian. Radiant Rhetoric meets after work (7:15 p.m.) on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month at the Talent Garden Torino. The Torino club meets in the evenings of every Thursday, 7:00 p.m.

Specific details of the meetings of these clubs is available on Toastmasters International’s website, http://toastmasters.org.
Here attached some screenshoots for you to know better our neigbouring clubs and potential contestants for the upcoming CLUB, AREA & DIVISION contests.

 Neighbouring TM club.PNG

If you are interested in your personal growth and achieving success in your business, work or education, visit one or more of these clubs to experience the safe harbor Toastmasters provides to turn your ship and begin a path of success.
Raise Your Personal Worth.

See you in March, same place, same hour!!!

[20@Carnival] Meeting#40>>10th February 16<<19:15

What an amazing Carnival evening we had last meeting!!
As decided previously each of us wore a “hat” as set in the agenda.

Our senses enjoyed three speeches from the Competent Communication (CC) manual: we felt the Unity of Italy in Antonia’s Ice breaker “Where do you come from?”. Good luck in this CC path!
Afterward, we heard and saw two very well prepared speeches from the same 4th
How to say it project. The specific objectives to attain by  Gabriele & Alessandra were: to be as clear as water, to use a structure for words and sentences, to enhance and to emphasize ideas with the help of rhetorical devices where grammar is the queen in her home.
Gabriele, father of two, husband of one, maker of many things accomplished the objectives in his “Vigorous Vibrations” speech. What an amazing alliteration he used as a title!!!
And Alessandra’s speech, “Rational Illusion”, increased the audience’s understanding related to economic decisions made by human mind. She was inspired from an International Best Seller written by Daniel Kahneman – a
renowned psychologist and winner of Nobel Prize in Economics.

I have added this book to my must read list.
The cognitive mystery is still to be discovered. 😉

Thank you to all prepared speakers, you achieved the objectives! Keep moving forward!!

During the evening we had even the Battle of the Oranges, that Lumi started in order to involve the guests and members into the Table Topic session. The allegory of it was one of improvisation standing in anothers clothes: of a nun in Rio, of the Radiant Rhetoric president etc.

As Toastmasters, we are accustomed to clapping for other members after they give a speech, evaluation or Table Topic. We believe that it’s important to acknowledge our fellow members for the accomplishments, big and small, that they’ve made along their journey of self-improvement in leadership, communication, public speaking, growing the club.

A round of applause to all of you!!! Here we are:

20 Radiants after 40 meetings:
3.Monica M.
16.Federico B.
Please welcome the four musketeers that took us to chartering !!!
19.Monica A.
20.Federico P.
We are the Founders of the Radiant Rhetoric Toastmasters club in  Torino.

IMG-20160212-WA0003Joining Toastmasters is one of your best life decision. Toastmaster is a global organization providing a fantastic environment to develop Public Speaking and Leadership skills. Your friends deserves to know about it!

Here you can learn more about www.toastmasters.org and here about our club www.radiant-rhetoric.org or http://radiantrhetoric.tmclub.eu

Ask us further information:


Because we act with Integrity, Respect for the individual, Service to the member, dedication to Excellence.

See you next meeting on February 24th, same place, same hour!!!


…and we made it!

Even if I cannot still figure it out… we made it! We are a CLUB! An official chartered club! 😀

As a Past President, I would like to thank everyone involved, even if I am almost sure I am going to forget someone.

Our location staff, Talent Garden Torino, who believed in our group and in the social value of our program. I have always believed Italy needs Toastmasters and Toastmasters needs Italy. I am happy we are doing something real towards this goal.

Our founding members and everyone who decided to come aboard, trusting us and believing in our vision. Friendship is a powerful tool to progress towards excellence.

So… do you want to see a REAL Toastmasters club? Join us on 24th of February!

On the verge of a cliff

How do you count your successes? Are they countable? Do you prefer quality versus quantity? As a Past President of our club, I have spent the whole last eighteen months trying to charter it. And I have always preferred quality versus quantity.


Toastmasters International enforces chartering rules: we need twenty members to be a regular club. And it is a reasonable rule! The smallest amount of people to achieve the feeling of a real club! The typical amount of people in a classroom! The right size for your collaborators’ circle!


We began our marathon several weeks ago. 18 months are about 72 weeks. This is a long marathon, not a short track. This club is a challenge and gift, all in one, for everyone involved in it. A challenge because it is not easy to look yourself in the mirror, and decide that you want to make some progress. A gift because nobody could forecast the benefits of this continuous learning process.


We have just one more month to reach the quota of twenty members, or the club will be dismissed. We just need a couple of active members to fulfill this quota. So… this club is actually on the verge of a cliff. We have never been so close to success and to fail at the same time. I think this is a pattern of success.

Will we ASCEND to the firmament of clubs? …or will we DIVE into the ocean of unreached goals? Soon we all will discover it.

To conclude…

Once again, this club gives me excitement and chills and curiosity for tomorrow. And curiosity is my main reason to wake up every morning.

[RISE&SHINE] Meeting#36>>2nd Dicember 15<<19:15

Fellow RR TM and dear guests,

Thank you for attending tonight the #36 meeting of our club!

Radiant Rhetoric is an active club on territory from July 1st, 2014 and today, after 1year and 5 moths we are happy that we become bigger and we hope to charter asap.

+7 members joined officially and let’s welcome them!!! -> Alessandra,  Antonia,  Daniele,  Dora,  Federico,  Tommaso,  Valentina.

Let’s RISE and SHINE!!

Acronyms and metaphors, I love them both.

You can also use metaphors in your speeches to create powerful image that will stay engraved in the memories of your audience. I like to call Toastmasters an eye in the storm, a quiet spot in the midst of a turmoil, a safe yet challenging playground where we can learn and grow.

Acronyms are abbreviations formed from the initial letters or other words and pronounced as a word: ASAP, AKA, VIP, VALE (remembering the Valentina’s Ice Breaker speech). Sometimes it’s hard to recall what the letters stand for: SCUBA, LASER, NASA. Acronyms can also be used to remember a message more easily:  SMART, KISS.

Throughout the 15,400 Toastmasters clubs with more than 332,000 members in 135 countries, we cherish our core values Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence, RISE for short.

Eight of these countries, with seven different languages and 207 clubs, to date, from our District 59. We belong to the most successful and most diverse districts in the world.

And we grow, within the District, but there are also new countries applying to join. This year will be prepared the inclusion of Greece and created a Vision 2020 for Continental Europe.

Keywords for the 2015-2016 District 59 Toastmasters year are streamlined quality (meetings, trainings and leadership), retention and sustainable growth, cooperation and exchange, visibility and continuity.

However, missions and goals will only come alive if the people who are working on them enjoy what they’re doing and learning, support each other and care.

That’s why our moto this year combines RISE and SHINE: Supporting a Happy, Inspiring Network of Engaged Toastmasters!

Let’s make it a fantastic Toastmasters year, let’s RISE and SHINE!

Congratulations to Dora & Valentina for the Success Communication & Success Leadership award for completing their speechcraft projects.

I’d like to thank also our visitors & friends that came: Andrea, Emanuela, Franklin, Giovanni, Giuseppe,  Monica.

Here you can learn more about www.toastmasters.org and here about our club www.radiant-rhetoric.org or http://radiantrhetoric.tmclub.eu

Ask us further information:



See you next meeting on December 16th, before Christmas holidays, same place, same hour 19:15!!!