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July 2024
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Get Excited! 2023 Toastmasters Convention Preview

Boost your skills and savor the speakers and camaraderie at the four-day event in The Bahamas.

By Staff

The Toastmasters International Convention is an annual bonanza of opportunities. It’s a place to hear top-notch speakers, talk to members from around the world, and attend programs that engage and entertain.

This year’s International Convention will be special in many ways. For one, it will be held in The Bahamas, home to a very enthusiastic base of Toastmasters. More than 40 clubs are spread throughout the country of approximately 400,000 people. Their enthusiasm will help bring a spirited environment to the convention, where you’ll have the chance to learn tips from expert presenters, network and share ideas with fellow members, and enjoy the pageantry and diversity of the four-day event. That holds true whether you attend the hybrid convention in person—in Nassau, capital of The Bahamas—or participate online.

Here’s a look at this year’s highlights.

Your Online Convention Experience

While you may miss out on the beaches, you certainly won’t miss a moment of the convention action if you choose to tune in online. All education sessions and convention events will be live-streamed from the stage in The Bahamas, and speakers who solicit real-time feedback will do so from the online and in-person audiences. Online participants will have access to chat boxes in each session to share their responses to any questions asked and to ask their own questions during speaker Q&As.

In addition, each session will open 15 minutes before the start time so online attendees feel as though they are entering the room with those in Nassau. All attendees will have access to the chat for networking and to allow everyone to feel the buzz of anticipation prior to any events.

Speaking of networking, the Networking Lounge will be open 24 hours a day for Toastmasters to chat with one another no matter where they are in the world. The chat will save throughout the event, so you can scroll back and see what people were discussing while you were away.

Another way to engage with the platform and other members is to earn badges by visiting the various sponsor booths and answering trivia questions that you’ll only learn from your visits. Connect with Toastmasters World Headquarters employees in the Marketplace and learn more about how they work to serve you. The more badges you earn, the higher you are on the leaderboard. Those in the top spots will be placed in a drawing to earn prizes from the Toastmasters Online Store like products and store discounts.

One great perk of online attendance? If the timing of a session, the keynote speech, or the Opening Ceremonies don’t work for your schedule, everything will be recorded and posted for you to view at your leisure.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #TIGoesBahamas on your social media channels and post about your experience! Check out the social wall on the convention platform to see all the Twitter posts using the hashtag, including your own.

People standing in line onstage holding flags representing their country

Opening on a High Note

The Opening Ceremonies feature the keynote presentation and the popular Parade of Flags. The latter is an inspiring sight, as members from around the world—many of them in native attire—parade onstage carrying the flags of their countries. This long-standing event showcases the truly international spirit of Toastmasters.

Keynote Speaker

Lisa Nichols is a renowned speaker, media personality, and the founder and CEO of Motivating the Masses, whose workshops and programs have transformed the lives of entrepreneurs and businesses around the globe. Her presentation, Jumpstart Your Greatness, will help you unblock your mindset, overcome obstacles to achieving your goals, and unleash your potential.

Golden Gavel Presentation

Yolett McPhee-McCuin, affectionately known as 'Coach Yo,' is the head coach for the University of Mississippi women's basketball program, which was returned to national prominence under her leadership. Throughout her coaching career, she impacted every community in which she coached, emphasizing an importance on community engagement, both through service and via dialogue with fans and supporters. She puts an emphasis on teaching, developing, and inspiring through character-building and leadership, as best displayed by her trademark motto #NoCeilings, which serves as a rallying cry within her.

Watch as Toastmasters honors her live from the convention stage on Friday, August 18. Learn more about the Golden Gavel recipient on the convention webpage.


Man speaking onstage with blue background and Toastmasters International logo

Convention Education Sessions and Speakers

This year, all nine education sessions will be live-streamed so online attendees feel the same engagement and excitement as in-person attendees. Each session will also be available for On Demand viewing after the session ends.

World Champions of Public Speaking Roundtable

Gain insights on speechwriting, storytelling, overcoming obstacles, and more from three Toastmasters World Champions of Public Speaking: Cyril Junior Dim (2022), Ramona J. Smith (2018), and Mark Brown (1995), as well as panel moderator Accredited Speaker Rochelle Rice, DTM.

No Joke: Engaging Your Audience Like a Clown (Not the Creepy Kind)

Take advantage of the opportunity to glean humor strategies from Don Colliver, a professional clown and comedian. You’ll hear entertaining anecdotes and gain practical tips for developing comedic presence, engaging your audience, and connecting through laughter.

Think Faster, Talk Smarter: Steps for Effective Speaking in the Moment

Learn science-based strategies for managing anxiety and creating succinct and compelling content. Matt Abrahams will offer tips to use in a variety of situations: interviewing for a job, handling Q&A sessions, giving effective feedback, doing impromptu speaking, and even making small talk.

Next Slide, Please

Do you need to breathe life into your PowerPoint presentations? Make your slides less sterile? In this session, learn the secret to creating engaging, innovative slide presentations. Dave Henson will offer tips on when to use and not use slides, demonstrate how to treat your slides as “your partner,” and even show how slides can save lives!

Leadership and Conflict Resolution: From Collision to Collaboration

Trainer and leadership advisor Simmone Bowe introduces strategies to help leaders effectively manage conflict. The techniques and ideas will enable collaboration, cooperation, inclusion, and support.

Boosting Your Confidence and Interview Success Tips

Gain practical interview tips for both in-person and online interviews, as well as guidance on marketing yourself and ways to effectively network. Eugenio Jaramillo, DTM, will boost your confidence and offer tangible takeaways.

Toast Talk Sessions

This first-time event features three experienced speakers who will each speak for 18 minutes on Toastmasters-focused topics. In “From the Inside Out”, Duquesa Dean, DTM, will teach you to embrace your authenticity and offer advice on leading and influencing others. Carlos Palacious, DTM, will share how developing your leadership abilities and improving your public speaking and communication skills help build strong relationships in “Unleash Your Potential”. And TEDx speaker and coach Linda Clarke will offer insights into storytelling and using Speechcraft to strengthen your abilities in “From Cautious to Courageous—The Journey of Speechcraft”.

New Slate of Leaders

At the Annual Business Meeting on August 18, Toastmasters will vote on International Officer and Director candidates. You can learn about the candidates for international office in the Candidate Showcase event on August 17.

World Championship of Public Speaking

The wait is almost over—learn who will be crowned champ this year! The eight finalists in the Toastmasters International Speech Contest, representing different parts of the world, will compete in the always highly anticipated World Championship of Public Speaking®. The semifinals take place August 17: four separate contests with seven speakers each. The top two from each contest advance to the championship held two days later. Find out who is representing your region in the semifinals.

Accredited Speaker Program

Want to hear Toastmasters who truly know their stuff? Watch the Accredited Speaker (AS) Program. Candidates for the AS designation speak on a specialized topic in their field; those who attain the title combine expert knowledge with mastery of the spoken word. The candidates give their final presentation before the judges at the convention. Check the convention website for more information on this year’s speakers and learn more about the Accredited Speaker Program.

Get Social!

One of the best things about the annual convention is the chance to mingle and meet with fellow Toastmasters from across the globe. You can make connections, catch up with friends, and share ideas to take back to your club.

Social activities (most of which require tickets) include:
  • Formal dinner and dancing in celebration of the new International President
  • Gathering of first-time convention attendees
  • Networking lunch with convention attendees
  • Smedley Fun 5K Run/Walk

… and singing too

Share your vocal talents and have fun at the Sing-Along, a favorite convention tradition started by Past International President Ted Corcoran, DTM, of Ireland.

The 2023 Toastmasters International Convention in Nassau, Bahamas, will be a vibrant learning experience full of new opportunities. Whether you’re there in person or watching online, make the most of your time!


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