Posted July 2, 2021
Member Spotlights

District 56 member Samantha Smith is one of two winners in the Region 5 Quarterfinals and will advance to the International Speech Contest Semifinals! The speech contest semifinals will take place during the Toastmasters International 2021 Virtual Convention, August 23-28. Semifinals winners automatically receive a complementary registration to the Toastmasters International Convention!

Learn more about Samantha and her journey to the Semifinals in the interview below, conducted by Sweet Talkers’ President Courtni Hatton:


Posted May 4, 2021
Member Spotlights

When sharing her tips for getting a DTM, Elly shared, “Attend at least one meeting a week for 25 years and you’ll have 3-4 DTM’s.”  She definitely knows what she is talking about! Elly Hard has been in Toastmaster’s for over 25 years, a member of numerous clubs in the district, and has several DTM’S.

Now she can add 1st place winner for the District 56 Humorous Speech Contest Winner! During the Humorous Speech Contest, Elly Hard represented Dining Out Toastmaster’s with her speech “Jack the Rooster”.  When Elly gives a speech, she captives the audience and during the speech she makes sure the audience is laughing out loud- even on ZOOM!

Elly, we celebrate you for your dedication to Toastmaster’s in District and for winning first place in the Humorous Speech Contest!

Posted March 2, 2021
Member Spotlights

Toastmasters teaches Communication and Leadership skills, it takes both to write a book.

Toastmaster Syed Zafar leads towards Strength Through Diversity

Syed recently published a book titled Crossing Cultures with Grace and Humor that focuses on increasing intercultural understanding.

The book is available in electronic and paper format via Amazon.

—- Syed’s Toastmaster Journey —-

Syed’s Toastmaster journey began in 1986 when he joined Exxon Toastmaster club in downtown Houston. Syed found comfort in telling his culture shock stories in his speeches because he only arrived in the U.S just 4 years earlier as an international student.

Toastmaster not only helped Syed develop his speaking skills but also help him climbing the corporate ladder while working for Exxon. He recently retired after 35 years of service.

Syed has been pursuing his passion of promoting intercultural understanding for over 30 years through keynote addresses, seminars & workshops. He has presented over 600 programs on Intercultural Communication at corporations, universities and not-for-profit organizations in USA, Canada, UK, Norway, Brazil, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan and UAE. Syed Zafar was born and raised in Pakistan.  Before coming to the U.S. in 1982, he worked in Saudi Arabia for four years. Experience of living in three different countries provides him a unique perspective on the subject of intercultural communication. Syed has an MBA from University of St. Thomas in Houston and B.S. in Computer Science from University of North Texas.

Syed’s Toastmaster awards include: 1987, Area, 2nd Place Humorous; 1991, Area, 2nd Place Evaluation; 1993, Division, 2nd Place International; 2004, Division, 1st Place Humorous; 2020, Division, 2nd Place International.




Find out about our latest District 56 club news and events.



Find out about our latest District 56 news and events.



In District 56, special annual awards are presented to Toastmasters in various roles for their contributions throughout the year.