Syracuse University

SU News

SU-sponsored Orange Orators Toastmasters Club earns Toastmasters International's highest honor

July 16, 2010

Carolynn Rayome

The Orange Orators Toastmasters Club, sponsored by Syracuse University’s Office of Human Resources, has earned the President’s Distinguished Award, Toastmasters International’s highest honor. The award is bestowed upon a club based on a set of 10 criteria established by the organization and is achieved by fewer than 15 percent of Toastmasters Clubs worldwide.

What makes the accomplishment noteworthy is that the Orange Orators Toastmasters is a young club, just three years old. Chartered in 2007, the club overcame formidable odds, gained critical membership and pulled together a team of enthusiastic officers and members. Under the leadership of club president Susan Watts, process manager in SU’s Information Technology and Services’ Enterprise Process Support group, the Orange Orators club completed nine of the 10 goals required by Toastmasters International to earn the award.

“The success of our club has been a collective effort with everyone in the club pulling together—playing different roles at different times—but all pulling for the common goal,” says Watts. She also cites the support of the Office of Human Resources and area Toastmasters leadership for guidance and coaching.

The mission of a Toastmasters Club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every individual member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills, which in turn fosters self-confidence and personal growth. The Orange Orators Toastmasters Club is committed to helping individuals become better speakers and leaders in a fun and supportive environment. Using the time-tested Toastmasters format, members gain poise and confidence in their public speaking abilities, allowing them to succeed in whatever path they choose in life.

The Orange Orators Toastmasters Club meets in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons at E.S. Bird Library, on the SU campus, Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m. Membership is open to SU faculty, staff, students and the general public. For more information, contact Carolynn Rayome at

Toastmasters International is a nonprofit organization serving more than 250,000 members in 106 countries, through a worldwide network of 12,500 clubs. Since its founding in 1924,Toastmasters has helped more than four million men and women develop public speaking skills and become confident communicators at work and at home. For information about this and other local Toastmasters clubs, visit

Recent News