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Hoos Speaking Toastmasters Club contests

February 7, 2024

Marcus Klaton will move on to district contest

Marcus Klaton speaks in a Toastmasters session
First place winner Marcus Klaton gives his speech for the International Speech contest verbally as well as in ASL.

Hoos Speaking, Facilities Management's sponsored public speaking club, recently hosted two speech contests for its club members, with one member moving on to the district level in March.

The club hosted the International Speech contest during its Jan. 24 meeting, which required contestants to compose a 5-to-7-minute original speech. Anonymous judges scored the contestants based on criteria such as language, delivery and content.

Utilities Supervisor Marcus Klaton and Mike Etchemendy, a Hoos Speaking member from the Charlottesville community, competed in the International Speech contest with Klaton winning first place. His speech, about meeting his wife who is a child of a deaf adult (also known as “CODA”), was given both verbally and in American Sign Language.

The club also hosted a speech evaluation contest on Jan. 17, which required contestants to listen to the same test speech, given by FM's Kristine Vey (chief judge and president of Hoos Speaking), before evaluating the test speech individually. Klaton, Budget Manager Shawn Gu and John Morales, a member from the Charlottesville community, all competed in the evaluation contest, with Klaton receiving first place for his evaluation of Vey's speech.

Klaton will go on to the Toastmasters Area #18 district contest on March 2 to compete in both the evaluation contest and the International Speech contest.

For more information about Hoos Speaking, contact the club at or visit the club website.

About the author

Afia Paracha
Communications assistant student worker
UVA Facilities Management