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Toastmasters Announces Speakers and Competitors for 2019 Convention in Denver

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Aug. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Toastmasters International announced an exceptional lineup of speakers for its 2019 International Convention, to be held at the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center near Denver, Colo., Aug. 21-24. With 12 inspiring speaking sessions as well as Toastmasters members from all over the world competing in the International Speech Contest, the 2019 International Convention is the place for speakers to be heard.

"We are thrilled to offer this golden group of speakers and contestants to this year's International Convention attendees," says Lark Doley, Toastmasters' 2018-19 International President. "The speaker lineup is filled with world-class presenters who will take the stage to entertain and educate our audience. The new World Champion of Public Speaking will also be crowned during the finals of the always exciting International Speech Contest."

Fourteen semifinal contestants will compete to become the 2019 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking. Seven speakers will also attempt to earn the Accredited Speaker designation, which recognizes professional speakers who combine expert knowledge in a particular subject and mastery of the spoken word.

The main-stage presenters include Phil Hansen, who will deliver the keynote presentation during the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday, Aug. 21. Hansen is an internationally recognized multimedia artist, speaker, author, and innovator—at the forefront of bringing art to a wider audience. Crashing irreverently through conventional boundaries, Hansen works at the intersection of traditional art, offbeat materials, and interactive experiences.

Rejection Therapy pioneer Jia Jiang is the recipient of Toastmasters' 2019 Golden Gavel award. Jiang is the owner of Rejection Therapy, a website that provides inspiration, knowledge and products for people to overcome their fear of rejection. He is also the CEO of Wuju Learning, a company that teaches people and trains organizations to become fearless through rejection training. In 2015, he authored the Amazon bestselling book "Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection." In 2017, his TED Talk was one of the most-viewed of the year.

Other expert presenters:

  • Carol Bausor, founded her own language training company called ILTC. As a Toastmasters leader since 2010, she trains others in giving speeches and honing their presentation skills.  She believes that international communication is not only easy, but also the secret to a more peaceful planet.
  • Mark Brown, 1995 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking. Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Brown immigrated to the United States at 18 years old with only $40 in his pocket and a dream for a better life. He has since become one of the most popular inspirational speakers in the world.
  • Corey Ciocchetti, an Associate Professor of Business Ethics and Legal Studies at the University of Denver. Ciocchetti has won multiple teaching and speaking awards, including the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award and the Joel Goldman Award for most respected speaker on the CAMPUSPEAK roster.
  • Nicholas King, a seasoned and polished executive with a varied and multi-disciplined career spanning 14 years. He is a specialist in carving out and developing new markets, including sales coaching, relationship management, website optimization, website traffic generation, retargeting and online audience demand generation.
  • Michelle Mras, a military wife, mother, powerful survivor of several traumatic life events and an award-winning international coach and Keynote Speaker who elicits a positivity that engulfs audiences. Mras is committed to helping others realize a more balanced life that frees them to build healthy self-beliefs.
  • Ruby Newell-Legner, founder of 7 Star Service, a behind-the-scenes force fueling the dynamic advances in fan engagement trainings that turn everyday customers into raving fans. Serious organizations know that a loyal and devoted customer base provides the foundation that allows their agency to grow exponentially. 
  • Michael R. Notaro, a practicing real estate attorney who founded his own commercial real estate company at 33 years of age. Notaro served as Toastmasters International President during the 2011-2012 program year and is author of the recently released book "The Call of the Leader."
  • Nick Jack Pappas, a comedy writer, stand-up, and activist in New York City. In a field of over 1,000 candidates, he was one of eight chosen for the NBC Late Night Writers Workshop in 2015. Pappas is currently a writer at the Upright Citizens Brigade.
  • Lee Rubin, an emerging voice, frequent speaker and panelist at corporate and professional association conferences throughout the country. In the workforce, Rubin has been a Human Resources professional with Fortune 500 companies across a variety of industries for nearly 15 years.
  • Craig Valentine, an award-winning speaker and trainer who has traveled the world helping speakers, executives, and salespeople turn their presentations into profits. Valentine co-authored the Amazon number one bestseller "World Class Speaking in Action," and was Toastmasters International's 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking.

To learn more about Toastmasters' 2019 International Convention, Aug. 21-24, and obtain a complete schedule of events, including the Opening Ceremonies, Education Sessions and the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking, visit The public is welcome to attend.

About Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., the organization's membership exceeds 357,000 in more than 16,600 clubs in 143 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators and leaders. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit Follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.

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Dennis Olson
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SOURCE Toastmasters International


Dennis Olson
Senior Public Relations Strategist
+1 720-679-0446

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