Posted January 5, 2019
Member Spotlights

Spanish Clubs Excel in District 56

Jose Antonio Betancourt, DTM

January 2019 District 56 Member Highlight — Jose Antonio Betancourt, DTM was inspired to begin his Toastmasters Journey two and a half years ago when his wife invited him to hear her first speech, “The Ice Breaker”.

Jose Antonio was surprised by such a friendly and warm welcome from the club members. He was invited to participate in Table Topics, and even though he was scared, nervous, and shy, he chose to participate and enjoyed the experience. The best part of the meeting for Jose Antonio was not to hear all the functionary roles: such as the Timer, Grammarian, and Ah-counter, but rather it was the evaluation process. Jose Antonio heard the Evaluator giving his wife good recommendations in a very positive and encouraging manner. He was “Engage”, and that’s when Jose Antonio decided to join the Toastmasters Club in March 2016.

After a few months, a committed Jose Antonio was very encouraged and found himself helping others improve their communication abilities. He brought microphones in order for members to practice using their hands with a hand microphone. A few months later his club acquired and used wireless head set microphones with the purpose of teaching members to hear their voice and not lose focus or concentration.

Then Jose Antonio had the idea to bring his GoPro camera and record his speeches and roles in order to self-evaluate. The idea was to find the areas to improve for himself. He thought it was a great idea and brought it to the Club’s Executive Committee. They liked it, and decided it was something good for the entire club. Following that decision, the Video Master Role was included in the agenda. As Jose Antonio suggested the role, he also created the profile for the role: how to record, edit, and share on YouTube the speeches and roles for each meeting. It was a great learning experience for all the members.

Jose Antonio was SAA (Sergeant at Arms) for his club, and also helped the VPE (Vice President of Education) develop a mentoring program for their club for mentors and mentees {proteges}. He created guide documents and short video clips to help his club’s members with these roles.

Jose Antonio’s mentor helped him to create a SUCCESS EDUCATION PROGRAM tailored for his Toastmasters Journey including a “Path” to earn his DTM. This occurred about 6 months after Jose Antonio joined Toastmasters in September 2016. He was working on his 6th project of the Competent Communicator manual. It seemed so far away from his immediate plans, but it was a good reference point to start his DTM journey.

Jose Antonio committed to the Success Education Program plan and reached the step to charter or mentor a Toastmasters Club. He got the idea of creating a new club closer to their living area and created a team of six members who showed interest. 13 years after the first Spanish Toastmasters Club in Houston was founded, these members chartered the 2nd Spanish Toastmasters Club. What a “great achievement”! Jose Antonio proudly refers to his first Toastmasters Club, Pensadores de Houston, as his 1st step on the Toastmasters Journey. Pensadores was recognized as a Top-20 Toastmasters Club in the World in Educational Awards per Club in 2016-2017; ranking 19th Worldwide, 4th in the USA, and 1st in Houston. Jose Antonio is proud to be a member and part of Pensadores de Houston Toastmasters Club which has accomplished so much.

Jose Antonio earned his DTM in May 2018, but it was not the achievement that held as much value to him, rather it was the Toastmasters Journey with all that the journey taught him and with all that the journey has allowed him to accomplish. Once, not long ago, he was giving his 1st speech “The Ice Breaker” in English. For Jose Antonio, it was the first time giving a speech in English. Jose Antonio now as has the vision which he plainly states “I have a dream that one day I will be in front of an audience of 5,000 people giving a speech that can inspire and motive them”.

Today, Toastmasters District 56 and Jose Antonio ask for your help in reaching that dream. We ask that everyone share his Toastmasters Experience all over our Houston Hispanic community. We know that this will work with your help to “Spread the word”. Please share with all your Club Members that we have Spanish Toastmasters Clubs for them to join, and tell others that we have “THE Toastmasters experience” in Spanish.

Below, you will find a short YouTube clip in inviting people to join our Spanish Toastmasters meetings and the information of the three Clubs which serve Houston in Spanish:

Trini Mendenhall Community Center
1414 Wirt Rd.
Houston, Texas 77055
[email protected]
Meeting Time: 7:00p.m. – 8:30p.m. Monday/Lunes

Prince of Peace Catholic Community
Edificio St. Joseph Room 204
19222 Tomball Pkwy.
Houston, TX 77070
Meeting Time: 7:30pm – 9.00pm Wednesday/Miercoles

Mente Abierta
Trini Mendenhall Community Center
1414 Wirt Road
Houston, Texas 77055
PHONE: 832-816-3975
Meeting Time: 7:00pm – 8.30pm Thursday/Jueves

We, District 56 and Jose Antonio Betancourt, DTM, appreciate your efforts and help to make this dream come true.



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



Find out about our members, their experiences, and how they have benefited from Toastmasters.



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


Search District 56