Denise Baba, past president of the Ohio State School Board Association, current member of the Aurora School Board of Education and resident of Aurora, was recently honored for achieving the prestigious Competent Communicator Award through Toastmasters International.

Baba completed a rigorous curriculum of 10 speeches prescribed by Toastmasters, a global non-profit dedicated to improving communication skills. Each speech from the competent communicator manual focused on different objectives, including vocal variety, body language, visual aids, organization and inspiration. 

Baba presented her speeches to an audience at Twinspirations Toastmasters, where the local group meets at the Cleveland Clinic in Twinsburg.

"I used to struggle over writing speeches," Baba said. "I used to have a mental block finding the right words. Little by little, by speaking at the club I became more comfortable with pubic speaking. I learned how to connect with the audience. When I spoke from my heart the audience became engaged. "

She continued, "although I still get butterflies before a speech, I know I can rise to any occasion and deliver a meaningful message. Toastmasters has helped me be a better school board member and leader in the Ohio School Board Association. I highly recommend Toastmasters to anyone wishing to become more comfortable and competent with public speaking."

For more information on the group, contact Dennis James Deegan DTM, vice president of education at; or call him at 330-801-6608. The club meets every Monday evening from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Guests are always welcome.