Stephanie Angelo achieves Special Designation

Accredited Speaker - Stephanie Angelo Headshot

Stephanie Angelo accomplished something very few Toastmasters will ever attain. After giving a live presentation in front of an in-person and virtual audience and a panel of judges during the 2023 Toastmasters International Annual Convention, she was awarded the prestigious Accredited Speaker designation. Since its inception in 1981, only 93 people from around the world have received the Accredited Speaker (AS) designation. Stephanie accepted her award alongside Dale Rees-Bevan, DTM from Australia and Verity Price, DTM from South Africa.

I had the privilege of interviewing Stephanie to learn more about her journey.

Stephanie shared some of her experiences leading up to and at the Annual Toastmasters International Convention in the Bahamas earlier this year. Although she was given the option to give her speech virtually, she does not regret her decision to attend this phenomenal experience in-person. She strongly suggests that every Toastmaster should go to an International Convention at least once in their lifetime and have the opportunity to meet with Toastmasters from all walks of life. The many accents, languages, and traditional clothing from around the world made it an unforgettable experience according to Stephanie.

Despite all of the excitement, it was clear she wasn’t just a normal attendee as she felt the weight of a healthy dose of pressure, anxiety and nerves! While others were networking and enjoying the beautiful surroundings, she was busy practicing and last-minute preparations for her 18-minute speech that could potentially allow her to be numbered with the very elite group of Accredited Speakers. With very little instruction on what the judges wanted and the final evaluation form as a guide, her speech was carefully crafted and practiced over and over leading up to the event. On the day of the event although the nerves were there, Stephanie was thankful for the rush of confidence knowing she had done all she needed to and was totally prepared.

Road to AS

So, what does it take to become an Accredited Speaker? For Stephanie, it started with a love for speaking when she was a young girl, beginning with the high school speech team and carrying into her work life as employers frequently asked her to deliver speeches. Later she made the decision to turn speaking into a thriving

Accredited Speaker - Stephanie Angelo on Stageprofessional career as a company culture speaker, trainer, and consultant. Before she could begin an application, she had to have a minimum of 25 paid professional speeches, each with a minimum of 20 attendees over the previous 3 years. But that is just the beginning of her long 2-year journey to get to the podium and deliver the final speech.

The process is rigorous and not for the faint of heart as Stephanie learned firsthand. From applications being rejected, to several months of waiting to hear back on whether she made it to level 2, and knowing the failure rate for applications is very high, Stephanie was very grateful for the mentors that helped her through her journey. She says that anyone that aspires to get this designation should absolutely without question, get a mentor who is already an Accredited Speaker and fully understands the process. The committee is looking at every detail with a fine-tooth comb and everything must be exact.

Her mentors Sheryl Roush and Rochelle Rice guided her through the process, offered advice down to the last detail, helped her sharpen her professional prowess and gave her the confidence to keep going. She hopes she will have the opportunity to mentor others that are working toward their Accredited Speaker designation. Stephanie also felt fortunate to have her good friend and fellow District 3 Toastmaster, Silvia Davis, cheering her on as she took the stage in Nassau and gave the speech that set her apart from her peers.

District 3 is proud of Stephanie’s accomplishment, and we wish her all the best in her ongoing speaking career!

To learn more about the Accredited Speaker program visit

About Toastmasters Accredited Speaker (AS) Designation

Accredited Speaker - Stephanie Angelo on Stage

According to the Toastmasters website, the Accredited Speaker program is designed to give professional speakers a competitive edge by having their talents recognized by Toastmasters International. In order to apply to become an Accredited Speaker, you must be a current Toastmasters member in good standing, have earned a qualifying education award and have given a minimum of 25 non-Toastmasters speaking engagements within the past three years.

The Accredited Speaker program evaluation processes consists of two levels. The first Level requires filling out an application form, providing recommendations, submitting a video presentation, and paying an application fee to World Headquarters by February 1st of the program year. Those who advance to the second Level are invited to give a live presentation before a panel of judges and a live audience during the Toastmasters International Annual Convention. Candidates who meet all the requirements are then awarded the prestigious Accredited Speaker designation.

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