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June 2024
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Three New Accredited Speakers Emerge

Professional speakers earn prestigious designation from Toastmasters International.

By Mackenzie Eldred

Three women holding certificates onstage at 2023 Toastmasters International Convention
Newly designated Accredited Speakers Dale Rees-Bevan, Stephanie Angelo, and Verity Price onstage at the Toastmasters 2023 International Convention.

The Accredited Speaker Program recognizes some of the most exceptional professional speakers in Toastmasters. It is designed for sought-after presenters who combine expert knowledge in a particular subject with mastery of the spoken word.

This Accredited Speaker (AS) award, which requires applicants to pass two levels of judging, is the highest-earned designation recognized by Toastmasters International. Since the program began in 1981, only 93 candidates have earned this prestigious honor.

Meet the three members who earned the coveted title after giving a live presentation in front of a panel of judges at the 2023 Toastmasters International Convention in Nassau, Bahamas.

In this episode of The Toastmasters Podcast, get to know Toastmasters International’s newest Accredited Speakers.

Woman in black suit speaking onstageStephanie Angelo

Stephanie Angelo

When Stephanie Angelo first heard about the Accredited Speaker Program, she was intrigued. She had been speaking professionally for 20 years and believed the accreditation would be a crowning accomplishment to her career. “I felt it would prove that I was a working professional speaker and would confirm my dedication to the speaking industry,” she says.

As an expert in company culture, Angelo presents to management- and leadership-level individuals who often face challenging situations. Her presentations focus on “Ethiture®,” a word Angelo invented that combines “ethics” and “culture.”

“The advice I would give to other members who are interested in pursuing the AS designation is to be sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons.”

–Stephanie Angelo

With a degree in business management, Angelo began her career in human resources at a hotel and a hospital, where she frequently gave new-hire orientations and leadership trainings. When she began her own consulting business in 2003, she helped organizations train employees and form policies and procedures, but soon moved on to educating leaders on safety and the effects of domestic violence in the workplace. She spoke on this topic for 16 years across North America and Europe before she transitioned back to her human resources roots. “I had clients that were asking me about company culture and asking for help,” Angelo says. “When I saw there was a need, I knew that that was the right path for me. I fell in love with it.”

Angelo’s driving force is the desire to help people learn to coexist with one another. She believes that making the workplace better can create a positive ripple effect in people’s lives. She became a public speaker to communicate that passion and inspire others. When she rejoined Toastmasters in 2017, after previously being a member for a year in 2003, she used the meetings as a rehearsal space to practice her speeches before presenting to clients.

“The advice I would give to other members who are interested in pursuing the AS designation is to be sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons,” Angelo says. “It’s rigorous, demanding, and requires everything from thorough bookkeeping records to outstanding presentation skills.”

Woman in red shirt with arm up speaking onstageVerity Price

Verity Price, DTM

Verity Price is a former professional singer who began doing public speaking in 2007 to raise money to record her debut album. As one of the first online crowd-funders, she became well-known for her ability to think differently when she sold her music before it was produced in a studio. At the time, Price didn’t realize it was the start of her speaking career.

Today, Price is a global speaker and facilitator. She has presented at TEDx twice and speaks on strategy, innovation, and crafting a positive mindset for different organizations and industries. A resident of Cape Town, South Africa, she is passionate about changing the world one idea at a time and building happy teams.

“I love to work with organizations to inspire their staff, align strategic direction, solve old problems, uncover new ideas, and gain the competitive edge in their industries,” Price says. She has worked with multi-national teams across South Africa and Europe.

“It felt like the final step in my Toastmasters journey and something I wanted to get under my belt.”

–Verity Price, DTM

With a degree in psychology and anthropology, Price also works as a faculty member at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. She serves as part of the Executive Education faculty, where she teaches students and leaders across the continent how to present with power.

Price joined Toastmasters in 2011, and is only the second person (after Dana LaMon, DTM, AS) to achieve the three highest designations in Toastmasters: Distinguished Toastmaster, World Champion of Public Speaking (2021), and Accredited Speaker. “It felt like the final step in my Toastmasters journey and something I wanted to get under my belt,” Price says about pursuing the designation.

She hopes being the first resident from Africa to become an Accredited Speaker will inspire other professional speakers to pursue the designation. Her advice to anyone interested in the program is to only go for it when your career is well established. “It’s important to build your speaking business first and feel that you have a solid footing before pursuing the Accredited Speaker designation.”

Woman in black jacket and blue dress speaking onstageDale Rees-Bevan

Dale Rees-Bevan, DTM

As a professional speaker for more than 25 years, Dale Rees-Bevan inspires others to use language and communication as tools to make a positive difference. Passionate about promoting better communication, she enjoys making people think and helping build their confidence to express their ideas.

Originally from Zimbabwe, Rees-Bevan started her career as a French and English teacher before moving into training and speaking programs. She has conducted workshops and seminars for different professions and industries, including medical, accounting, IT, engineering, legal, and others. When she moved to London, in 1999, she worked with teenagers at SpeakersTrust, an organization that provides public speaking and communication programs across the United Kingdom. Today, Rees-Bevan works with not-for-profit organizations and corporations in Australia, where she currently resides.

She says it’s gratifying to help people through public speaking. “I love the creativity involved in thinking about how to present meaningful ideas in a way that lands, and I love hearing people say that certain points changed the way they think and created positive outcomes,” Rees-Bevan says. Her proudest achievement is setting up ChatterCamp, an annual camp for children ages 9-12 where they spend three days learning about public speaking and building confidence.

“To achieve the Accredited Speaker [designation] feels like a validation of my journey as a speaker and is also a tribute to the organization that has played a huge role in who I have become.”

–Dale Rees-Bevan, DTM

Rees-Bevan joined Toastmasters while attending the University of Cape Town when she was living in South Africa. In 2017, she advanced to the semifinals of the International Speech Contest. That same year she learned about the Accredited Speaker Program when other members encouraged her to apply. She joined Keystone Speakers, a hybrid club based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, that offers mentorship to members interested in pursuing the accreditation.

“To achieve the Accredited Speaker [designation] feels like a validation of my journey as a speaker and is also a tribute to the organization that has played a huge role in who I have become,” she says.

Rees-Bevan advises members to focus on educating people or solving a problem before pursing the designation. “Build your business, serve your community, and you’ll know when the time is right to apply,” she says.


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