The Bangerter Law Office Employee Wins First Place in Toastmasters Competition

Recent Posts



(Willoughby, Ohio) – The Bangerter Law Office is pleased to announce that Sales and Marketing Coordinator, Mia Severino, achieved first place for her humorous speech in her first Toastmasters competition. Thanks to her fellow BNI members, who encouraged her to join, Severino discovered the Parker SpeakEasies Toastmasters Club.

“The reason they suggested it was because I was stuttering a bit with my elevator pitch, my 30-second commercial,” she explains. “I just didn’t come across as confident as I would have liked, so some BNI members approached me about joining the Parker SpeakEasies Toastmasters Club.”

Severino took the suggestion to heart and embraced the opportunity. At her first Toastmasters meeting, she participated in “Table Topics,” an activity that requires an impromptu response to a surprise question. At her second meeting, some Toastmasters members asked her to fill in for a role as a speech evaluator, requiring her to provide two to three minutes of constructive criticism for another member’s speech. “I didn’t even know what these speeches were supposed to sound like,” Severino says. “But I agreed to it because they needed someone. I guess I did a decent job because everyone gave me positive feedback, especially since it was only my second meeting. After that, they asked me to participate in the speech contest for the club. I was a little taken aback at first because I was thinking in my head, ‘I haven’t done my icebreaker yet. Why would I do a competition to start?’”

Realizing it was time to get out of her comfort zone and grow, Severino agreed to a humorous speech, although initially apprehensive about it. “It blocked me even more because I wondered what I could write about that was funny. At the time, I felt stressed out, and nothing in my life seemed funny. But when I sat down to think about it, the idea came to me to write about my alter ego, ‘Esmeralda.’”

She drew her inspiration from a memory of a real-life event in 2019 when she and her friends attended a music festival. Along the way, they stopped at a gas station that was selling wigs, where Severino bought one just for fun. “I thought, ‘I’m gonna wear this throughout the weekend and change my name,’” she recalls. “It started as a joke, and then once we got to the festival, I put on my wig. I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, ‘I don’t have to be Mia Severino. I could be anybody I want to be because nobody knows me, and I’m not going to see anybody I know. I can change my name and my identity.’ So, I went by Esmeralda for the weekend. I never realized how funny it was until I sat down to write about it.”

Severino debuted her speech at the club meeting, competing against her fellow members. After winning first place at the club level, she moved onto an area-level competition on February 12, competing against two other people from two different Toastmasters clubs. The young woman who once stuttered through her BNI elevator pitch had developed the confidence to speak in front of even larger audiences, thanks to coaching, practice, and a positive attitude.

“I practiced my delivery a lot,” she says. “And this time around, I felt like I had it in the bag again because my speech was solid. I believed I would take this one home, and I did. It was cool to see that happen.”

As for Toastmasters, Severino plans to keep growing with the organization. “It’s taught me that when speaking to an audience, you can be a little bit silly; you don’t have to take things so seriously,” she remarks. “I’m lucky to have an awesome club with supportive members who have been rooting me on the whole way. Just speaking in front of them at our weekly meetings builds me up so much. It has definitely skyrocketed my growth as a professional when it comes to speaking in front of people in general.”

“I’m so proud of Mia,” says Criminal Defense Attorney Matthew C. Bangerter. “As our sales and marketing coordinator, she has helped accelerate our growth over the past several months. For her to take on this challenge and achieve first place in two speech competitions this early on illustrates her determination, discipline, and dedication. I’m looking forward to seeing her future achievements.”

About The Bangerter Law Office

As a former Assistant Prosecutor in Lake County, Ohio, Northeast Ohio, criminal defense attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, Founder of The Bangerter Law Office, has experience with the strategies used by prosecutors to pursue their cases. As a member of the Ohio Bar Association, Lake County Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Board of Directors of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Bangerter takes his profession as a Northeast Ohio criminal defense attorney seriously. He ensures that he is up to date with the latest case law and trial strategies. When you’re looking for the best Northeast Ohio criminal defense attorney, Matthew C. Bangerter is your man.

Visit for more information.

About the Parker SpeakEasies Toastmaster Club

Toastmasters is the best way to learn skills that will help you be more successful. You’ll be a better listener. You’ll easily lead teams and conduct meetings. You’ll comfortably give and receive constructive feedback. If you already have some or all of these skills, you can enhance them in Toastmasters in an interactive, friendly, and supportive environment.

So take the challenge and learn something new!

Time: We meet every Thursday at 12:00 pm EST for an hour.

Virtual Meeting: Contact us for more info!

Learn at your own pace in a proven curriculum that was built on four guiding principles that have been in place since Toastmasters was founded in 1924.

We welcome all guests! Feel free to sit in on one of our meetings to see if our club is a good fit for you. Contact us with any questions or for more information.

Distribution Links: