Author Archives: Luminița Butuc

[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 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

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 and Toastmasters Torino 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,
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 and here about our club or

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!!!


[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 and here about our club or

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

[Toastmasters][Radiant Rhetoric club] Meeting#31> on 23rd September 15 at 19:15

Fellow Radiant Rhetoric Toastmasters,

What a joyfull meeting!!
This is a common Path. Our own way to… become better speakers when we  build – every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the Month – meetings as pleasant as this one: with a plenty of guests and friends that join a free-judgement environment to develop their communication and leadership skills.
Find me a person that will say no to this kind of opportunity!

Thank you Monica for the amazing theme of the evening you chose!

We had tonight 2 great speakers: Keith & Orlando.
Keith’s book sounded to me quite interesting,
so I added it to my wish list of readings and I suggest you to do the same. Inline image 1

A book transcend many times our perception, enlarge our vocabulary and give us insights about people’s opinions and life in general. Do not wait tomorrow to come: read a book per month -> each evening at least 5 pages and it makes aprox.150 pages/month. 😉 Achievable & simple!

A big THANK YOU is going also to our dear guests! I saw you really love to speak in public: you enriched the tonight meeting. So,
Remember, you are always welcome:
Valentina R.,
Daniele Z.,
Monica A.,
Tunji O.,
Andrea O.,
Julian S.,
Alessandra P.,
Federico B.,
Marinella B.,
Franklin DL.,
Last but not least, a round of applause to our new members:
Alessia DM.,
Marija S.,
Mircea B.
Lastly, I hereby invite all to attend our Speechcraft course. We are running a short course on public speaking at our meeting location aka TAG, on
> 14th & 28th October
> 11th & 25th November

Cost 40€ – refundable against the first membership payment.

Ask us further information:
See you in October!!!

What our guests say about us: an interview with Mark

RR Toastmasters club dinner after meeting_20150423                                                Fellow Toastmasters, guests and readers,

Here are some thoughts about Radiant Rhetoric Toastmasters club that Marco – one of our guests, shared with me after the 23rd of April meeting. He agreed to be interviewed and gave me the right to publish it and here the result:

Lumi: Who are you and why you are here?
Marco: My name is Mark Barn, I am a mechanical engineer, I am 22, and I was very curious about this club.
L: How did you find about us?
M: I was in Shanghai last year. There was a friend of mine with whom I was studying Chinese, but she is from Korea and she was working for Samsung. Meanwhile she was doing an MBA in Shanghai, plus she was making this activity with Toastmasters Shanghai, and she told me about this kind of a club activity.
That time I didn’t give that much consideration to this, but some months ago I thought about this “stuff” and I asked her: “What was the name of the public speaking activity you’re doing in Shanghai, maybe I can found it in another places around the world?!?”. And she guided me to look for Toastmasters on the internet and I found a club – Toastmasters Torino. So, I went there, but what I was looking was an English club. My objectives are oriented to international work community at an international level in which I will use the English language also. Their club is great, the meeting was amazing, and I understood how the activity work, but as I said previously I wanted to attend an English club, so I found out that there is something that suits my orientation which is Radiant Rhetoric Toastmasters club.
L: Before coming here you attended a meeting at Toastmasters Torino?
M: Yes. They were very happy, I showed my interest regarding the activity. They are bilingual and they supported me. It was good, but I also wanted to have a look here because you’re the only English club, definitely more suitable for me. So, here I am. I came to visit you!
L: We’re an uncharted club, it means that we are growing and we intend to reach at least 20 members. Would you like to join us?
M: The club is great! The activity is very interesting and the location is amazing, all in a professional kind mood. I love the education you give to people and that you are very friendly. It’s true that you don’t have a big audience, still you’re growing. I really had good feeling!
L: What are your expectations toward the club?
M: I know I can work on the communication skills here, competence that I need now and for my future, at work as with my friends, in all the areas of my life. There are many guests. For me was innovative what you’ve done tonight. This is a great possibility to grow and to become a competent communicator. And yes, your club is fresh.
L: Thank you for your time, Marco and welcome!
M: Thank you all!

I can confirm to you that Marco’s story made me understood better that our thoughts today become our reality tomorrow.
If we are confident in our ability to be successful, we will achieve our goals and success will follow. Let us work together in the pursuit of excellence, for the benefit of our communities. Let’s grow Radiant Rhetoric Toastmasters club. By becoming effective as communicators in society, we will create a better world.

Thank you for your commitment, dedication and courage in serving one another in Toastmasters, where leaders are made.

Do I need a Radiant Rhetoric?

Welcome to the Radiant Rhetoric! We are committed to helping each other overcome one of the top fears shared by every human: public speaking. Toastmasters believes in cultivating a friendly learning environment that helps people to develop their communication and leadership skills.

What is your personal goal?

Do you want to be a great speaker, professional trainer, or a leader? Or, simply have fun speaking?

Whatever your personal desires, in order to achieve them you need to set goals and then define steps to reach them.

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development, with more than 270,000 members in over 13,000 clubs in 116 countries. This network of clubs and their learn-by-doing programme are sure to help you improve.  Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped more than 4 million people just like you, from around the world, become more confident speakers and leaders.

Every Toastmasters club shares the same mission, clearly defined in the following mission statement: We provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater selfconfidence and personal growth.. Through this mission, each Toastmaster gains a clear understanding of the club’s purpose, and the organization as a whole benefits from a shared set of values and goals. In our Radiant Rhetoric Toastmasters club you will learn a lot by PRACTICING. In a normal meeting, we have “prepared speeches” given by members; we have impromptu speaking session called “table topics” (where you can have some fun by answering questions on the spot); and we have the evaluation session. We believe it is very important for you to receive feedback on how you do. And that is probably the most effective way to improve your skills. How often do you receive quality feedback on your presentations and/or talks in your personal/professional life? As you progress in Toastmasters, you’ll get to practice your skills by organising and conducting meetings and motivating others to help you. Become a better negotiator. Gain trust. Inspire your team. Whether you are a professional, student, stay-at-home parent or retired, Toastmasters is the most efficient, enjoyable and affordable way of gaining great communication skills. You’ll learn how to:

  • Formulate and express your ideas effectively
  • Be more persuasive and confident when giving presentations
  • Improve your one-on-one dealings with others

Don’t delay! Visit our next meeting – guests are most welcome. You won’t regret it!

Our coming meetings:

– 24 July 2014: 19:30 – 20:30 hrs

– 31 July 2014: 19:30 – 21:00 hrs

See you after the August Italian holidays:

–  04 September 2014: 19:30 – 21:00 hrs

–  11 September 2014: 19:30 – 21:00 hrs

–  18 September 2014: 19:30 – 21:00 hrs

–  25 September 2014: 19:30 – 21:00 hrs

Want to know more and receive invitations? www.radiant

The Leader Letter – Keeping you connected! – July 2014

Welcome to the Leader Letter, a monthly e-publication offering practical information to help our club leaders stay connected and promote educational growth, increase membership and keep informed on district news. 

 The Voice of Radiant Rhetoric Toastmasters Club 
Producing a newsletter is one of the primary club duties for a vice president public relations, and serving as editor counts as credit for the 10th project of the Competent Leadership manual. As a review, Toastmasters International states that a club newsletter serves three key purposes:

  • Document and publicize current events.
  • Inform with educational material.
  • Provide visitors with take-home information.

When these goals are satisfied, a newsletter provides a lot of information to readers. However, I feel that newsletters serve many other purposes, including:

  • Connecting new members with the club.
  • Encouraging communication among members.
  • Recognizing members’ accomplishments through published stories.
  • Inspiring all members to participate further in the Toastmasters program.

Finally, the overarching purpose of a club newsletter is:

  • To help the club to achieve its mission and vision.

Welcome to the first issue of The Leader Letter for the 2014-2015 program year at Toastmasters International Radiant Rhetoric club.

RRclub_Newsletter 07.2014

Fantastic season opening with the officers team complete!

President Orlando Selenu;
Vice President Education Luminita Butuc;
Vice President Public Relations Katia Burdet;
Treasurer Sara Iuliano;
Vice President Membership & Sergent at Arms Gonzalo Alcaraz;
Secretary Monica Melniciuc;
IT Support Federico Pisanu.


Enjoy discovering Toastmasters International through our club newsletter!