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Toastmasters Announces Speakers for 2020 Virtual Convention

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Aug. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Toastmasters International announced an exciting and diverse lineup of speakers for its 2020 International Convention, to be held virtually Aug. 24-29. With 16 inspiring speaking sessions, the 2020 International Convention will feature presenters from around the world.  

"This year's virtual convention features the most diverse collection of speakers in the history of the organization," says Deepak Menon, Toastmasters' 2019-20 International President. "This eclectic group of presenters will educate, entertain, and excite the audience through their unique styles and storytelling abilities."

The main-stage presenters include Dan Clark, who will deliver the keynote presentation during the Opening Ceremonies on Monday, Aug. 24. Clark is the CEO of an International Leadership Development Company; The New York Times best-selling author of 35 books; a university professor; a primary contributor to the Chicken Soup For The Soul book series; a podcast host; a gold-record songwriter; and an award-winning athlete who recovered from a paralyzing injury that cut short his American football career. In 2005, Clark was inducted into the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame; he was subsequently named one of the Top Ten Motivational Speakers in the World.

Julian Treasure is the recipient of Toastmasters' 2020 Golden Gavel award. Treasure is a sound and communication expert whose mission is to help people and organizations to listen better and create healthier and more effective sound, including speaking. He is author of the books How to be Heard and Sound Business. In 2003, Treasure founded The Sound Agency – an audio-branding company that asks and answers the question "How does your brand sound?" and works with some of the world's biggest brands to design their sound. Treasure's five TED Talks have been viewed more than 100 million times. 

Other expert presenters:

  • Angela Barrus, a behavioral therapist, transformation mindset coach, and professional speaker. As a credentialed "mindset expert," she equips her clients and audiences with powerful, simple-to-use techniques that achieve real and sustainable results.
  • Kingi Biddle, an orator, has been taught the art of storytelling by his elders. Biddle's presentation will be a journey into the storytelling world of the Māori people of New Zealand, where he descends from. The three takeaways from his presentation will be: understanding the role of the storyteller, getting insight into one of the main secrets of storytelling, and learning how to weave stories into all areas of your life.
  • John Bowe has written for The New Yorker magazine, The New York Times Magazine, and many others. He has spent the last eight years working on his new book, I Have Something to Say: Mastering the Art of Public Speaking in An Age of Disconnection, published this month by Random House. It begins with the ancient invention of speech training, in 400 BC, and continues with Bowe's often-hilarious journey in Toastmasters as a fledgling student struggling with materials such as the "Competent Communication" manual.
  • Simon Bucknall, an international, award-winning speaker, Simon Bucknall helps high-achieving leaders to maximize their impact through the spoken word. In 2017, Simon placed second out of 30,000-plus competing speakers in the World Championship of Public Speaking® in Vancouver, Canada. His clients include corporate executives at the highest level, technologists, engineers, politicians, academics, MBAs in business schools, plus the occasional prison inmate.
  • Dawn Frail holds a master's degree in Leadership, a diploma in Adult Training and Development, and a diploma in Computer Programming and Systems. This broad range of skills has been helpful as she turned her love of teaching and learning into a full-time career as a Leadership Development Specialist.
  • Richard Hardon is a business transformation expert, specializing in the innovative use of systems, strategies, and solutions to help enterprises and individuals get from where they are to where they want to be.
  • Saveen Hegde is a professional speaker and an entrepreneur leading a boutique consulting firm,, based in India. He has led consulting engagements on Design Thinking, which have proven to be highly effective for leaders of 70+ Fortune 500 companies in eight countries; he has addressed over 14,000 leaders in the last decade.
  • Ellie Kay, Accredited Speaker and Distinguished Toastmaster, is the author of 15 books reaching one million readers. She's a media veteran with 2,800 interviews and over 2,000 paid presentations to her credit. Kay is the founder of Heroes at Home, a nonprofit providing free financial education to the military.
  • Bob Mason is a professional speaker, a Past President of the New Mexico chapter of the National Speakers Association, and the author of four books on leadership. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he and his wife enjoy hiking and exploring Southwestern history.
  • Suhail Nasir is a telecommunications engineer by profession and works for Nokia Networks. Well-known for his passion for soft skills and personal development, he is often invited at various forums, conferences, and workshops to talk about leadership, soft skills, and topics related to personal development.
  • Dineshrie Pillay is a professional accountant with a passion for the development of people. Over 11 years ago, she left a corporate position to pursue her dream of coaching, leadership training, and becoming a conference speaker on the topic of leadership.
  • Katie Rigsby, a multifamily consultant and keynote speaker, Katie Rigsby works with property management professionals to help improve their sales techniques, marketing strategies, productivity, and leadership skills.
  • Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller  award-winning storyteller, comedian, motivational speaker, Huffington Post Contributor, and cast member of The Fashion Hero television show airing on Amazon Prime. She is also author of Who Hijacked My Fairy Tale, The Land of If Only, The Story Formula, and The Gutsy Girls Pocket Guide to Public Speaking.
  • Chris Thompson has been a content creator since the birth of YouTube. Now, with hundreds of millions of views across multiple platforms, he continues to create discussion and spread his message of authenticity.

To learn more about Toastmasters' 2020 International Convention, Aug. 24-29, and obtain a complete schedule of events, including the Opening Ceremonies, Education Sessions, and the 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 358,000 in more than 16,800 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.






SOURCE Toastmasters International

For further information: Dennis Olson, 720-439-5050 ext. 323,


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

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