Last year marked a thrilling time in Toastmasters’ history—it was the first time the Toastmasters International Convention was held online. At a time when fellowship was most needed, the 2020 Virtual Convention brought together more than 59,000 registrants from 203 countries; nearly 90% of last year’s online convention-goers were first-time attendees. The online experience returns August 23-28, 2021. With the slogan “Make a World of Difference,” attendees are invited to make a difference in themselves individually and collectively through the featured education tracks, diverse education sessions, global networking opportunities, and the World Championship of Public Speaking®.
Get a sneak peek at the four education tracks and a highlighted session from each track below.
Public Speaking/Stage Presence
Polish your speaking and stage presence skills using time-honored techniques, such as humor, powerful body language, and memorable storytelling. Make your presentation stand out, whether to a small or large group, online or in person. You’ll also learn what not to do when presenting. This track will help you elevate the energy in the room so you can more effectively deliver your message—and have fun while doing it!
Powerful communication capabilities can make an exceptional difference in life. Learn proven strategies to become a more persuasive speaker; find out how to bridge the communication gap between generations; and hear from an industry thought leader with in-depth experience in the area of unconscious bias. This track will leave you with new and necessary knowledge to make your interactions with others more enlightened and energetic.
Uncertain times bring the opportunity for greater self-improvement. Get valuable advice to prepare for your next job interview and learn more about the power of emotional intelligence. Hear from an expert panel on finding the balance to better practice self-care, and discover how to build your personal brand. This track focuses on what is often neglected and matters most in times of chaos: YOU. And your well-being.
You’re a professional who wants to power up your career and/or leadership skills. Learn the secret to giving great feedback; hear a panel of corporate professionals discuss how Toastmasters can advance careers; and discover how to lead. This track will re-energize you with the motivation and ambition to move forward on your professional path.
Highlighted Sessions from Each Track
1 Public Speaking/Stage Presence Track Highlighted Session
Session: Laugh & Learn: The Magic Power of Humor
Moderator: Stephan Dyer, comedian, corporate trainer, and keynote speaker
- Mark Brown, professional speaker, 1995 World Champion of Public Speaking
- Veronica Dangerfield, comedienne, financial educator, international speaker, and published poet
- Andrew “Drew” Tarvin, engineer, author, and comedian
This panel mines the fundamental value of humor as an effective communication tool. Learn real-life, practical, and engaging methods to use humor often. because it’s important to all of us!
2 Dynamic Communication Track Highlighted Session
Session: The Leader’s Guide to Unconscious Bias
Speaker: Pamela Fuller, MBA, thought leader, inclusion and bias professional, speaker, and author
Hear how your teams can achieve its highest performance rate once you start to overcome biases and allow people to fully engage with others, knowing that unconscious bias affects everyone.
3 Self-Improvement Track Highlighted Session
Session: Find the Balance: Work, Life, and Self-Care
Moderator: Dilip Abayasekara, Ph.D., Past International President of Toastmasters, AS, professional speaker, trainer, consultant and pastor
- Lisa M. Brown, Ph.D., professor, adjunct clinical professor, and researcher
- Mana K. Ali Carter, Ph.D., psychologist, adjunct professor, assistant professor, and researcher
- Charles S. Gates, entrepreneur, coach, trainer, emcee, and transformational speaker
Take a front-row seat as a panel of psychologists and Toastmasters leaders discuss how to navigate a balance between work and life, using evidence-based strategies and anecdotal advice. The panelists will also talk through how best to practice self-care and gratitude.
4 Leadership/Professional Development Track Highlighted Session
Session: Following a Leader Is Voluntary
Speaker: Jennifer Jones, Rotary International’s president for 2022–23
Individuals make conscious, voluntary decisions to follow those they perceive as leaders. Hear Jennifer Jones share her extensive experience in leading and completing global initiatives with the support of volunteers. Learn how she effectively motivates a diverse team to accomplish a common goal.
The 2021 convention will feature all the event favorites, and a few surprises too. No need to pack a bag, just find your perfect spot and soak in the learning and camaraderie.
Renée Covino is senior copywriter, Toastmasters Marketing and Communications Department.