Education Sessions


The Benefits of Service Leadership |  Michael Notaro DTM, Past International President | 2:45–3:45 p.m.

Led by moderator Michael Notaro, an interactive panel will discuss how international leadership has changed their lives. Michael will be joined by Toastmasters Past International Presidents and International Directors who will talk about what they learned during their years of service, how they continue to give back and how international leadership has influenced their career development.

In this session, you will learn how life skills acquired through Toastmasters leadership have diverse and practical applications. You’ll also discover how to leverage your experience to maximize future opportunities.

Manage Things, Lead People: Leadership Lessons Learned the Hard Way Ed Tate, CSP, CPAE | 5–7:30 p.m.

Strong leadership is critical during times of change and chaos. Ed Tate has witnessed this firsthand. In 2001, he led a transition team to merge two 100-year-old rival newspapers—The Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post. In this highly interactive and entertaining keynote, rather than discuss his successes, Ed reflects on his leadership failures at work and at home, and the lessons he learned from them. These mistakes don’t have to be repeated in your life! There will be Facebook moments you won’t want to miss and you can have fun at Ed’s expense. In this presentation, you will:

  • Learn a four-step process on how to deal with change, uncertainty and chaos.
  • Discover the difference between average and excellent leaders.
  • Understand the benefits of using influence over authority.


Are you ready to lead? Leadership Lessons from the Mousetrap | Manoj Vasudevan, ACS, CL |10:15–11:15 a.m.

Very few leaders can be called "Leaders by Birth.” A vast majority of leaders are "Leaders by Design.” When leadership opportunities come your way, will you be ready? Through an entertaining tale, anecdotes based on research and activities that encourage you to reflect, this session shares how you, too, can be a leader others will choose to follow. This engaging, entertaining and educating session will help you to:

  • Develop your leadership skills and those on your team.
  • Enhance team work, ensure ownership and empower your team.
  • Encourage your team to communicate, collaborate and connect with the big picture.

You. Your Story. Make an Impact. Master the Art of Connection and Engagement through the Power of Story. | Kelly Swanson | 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Enjoy a funny, motivating program by award-winning storyteller Kelly Swanson. She will share her journey through the power of story and how it can help you connect and engage with your audience on a deeper level. Laugh with Kelly in this session and:

  • Experience the power of story firsthand in this moving, funny keynote.
  • Learn why story trumps data.
  • Discover the three most important stories you should be telling to connect and engage with your audience, your market and your world.

Improv(e) your life! | John Zimmer, ACB, ALB4:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m.

Improvisational comedy or “improv” is fast, funny and unpredictable. It’s a lot like life: There’s no script, the path isn’t always clear; and no one is sure how it’s going to end. Improv is about handling unexpected situations with others.

Solutions come when people support each other and work together. Comic legend Bill Murray has described improv as “the most important group work since they built the pyramids.”

The principles of improv are highly relevant for personal and professional development and can help people become better parents, partners, colleagues and speakers.

In this session, John will teach you some of these principles and how to apply them in your daily life. And you’re going to have a lot fun in the process. So check your comfort zone at the door–this experience will be highly interactive–and spend an enjoyable hour to improv(e) your life.


How to Become an Accredited Speaker | Rochelle Rice, CSP, AS, MA and Sheryl Roush DTM, AS, PDG |8–10 a.m.

The Toastmasters International Accredited Speaker Program is designed for professional speakers and trainers who combine expert knowledge in a particular subject with presentation mastery. This combination makes them sought-after experts in their fields. Discover how to maximize your Toastmasters membership to prepare you for the path to professional speaking.

Co-presenters Rochelle Rice and Sheryl Roush, both Accredited Speakers, will share how they gained insights from their journeys, the lessons they learned and the benefits of having earned the distinction. Being an Accredited Speaker is a professional credential, not a competition. Every member who applies can earn it!

Learn how you can become an Accredited Speaker the first time you apply. You may even be qualified now! You’ll also receive valuable handouts and checklists. This educational session is immediately followed by the 2nd level judging of this year’s Accredited Speaker applicants.

I Had a Life Plan but the Magnet Fell off the Fridge | Anne Barab, DTM, AS | 4:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m.

Living a life of excellence requires more than just a cute slogan on a magnet stuck to your refrigerator. Behavioral research proves that an optimistic mindset is the single most important factor to creating health, wealth and happiness.

In this session you will learn three easy steps to apply techniques to retrain your brain to think positively. Want to change your life? This is the session you've been waiting for.