Toastmasters Leadership Institute

Join us twice a year (in July and January/February) for the Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI). Officers can attend Club Officer Training (COT) during that session.


Reinvigorate your leadership muscles at this TLI. We kick off with a keynote by the 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking, Author and Entrepreneur Darren La Croix, sharing “Storytelling for Leaders”. Club officer training, Experts Panel Discussion, Exceptional Educational Sessions and much more. A day of learning leadership awaits.

This Leadership Event is intended for all our members and interested guests. Expect to see amazing educational sessions that will improve you! You’ll also get to network with seasoned professionals from tech and other exciting industries.

Saturday February 8, 2020

7:45 AM – 1:00 PM (includes breakfast) **Detailed Agenda below**

Synopsys Building 1, 800 N Mary Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Super Early Bird (expired Jan 20th) – $17 (Pay Online only)
Early Bird (expired Feb 1st) – $19 (Pay Online only)
Full Price/Pay Onsite – $21

The District Bookstore will also be on display so that you can make any necessary purchases.

Check with your Club President or Club Treasurer if you would like to register for the TLI using your club’s District Credits.


07:45 AM – Registration and Breakfast
08:20 AM – Introductions and Keynote 
09:30 AM – Club Officer Training (COT) or Choose Your Words Wisely for non-officers
11:15 AM – Educational Sessions
01:00 PM – Adjourn
01:15 PM – District 101’s Toastmaster Merchandise Table closes

Educational Sessions:

Speak Outside of Toastmasters for Fun, Profit & Club Building – Darren LaCroix

Session: Speak Outside of Toastmasters for Fun, Profit & Club Building

Speaker: Darren LaCroix

Abstract: Ever dream of being a professional speaker? Ever wonder about how to get new club members? What if the “how to” answer to both questions was exactly the same?
As a result of this presentation, you will walk away with incredible insight into how you can get started right away.
You may have seen his ad in Toastmaster Magazine. Though his system “Get Paid to Speak by Next Week”. Darren has helped many Toastmasters get their very first speaking checks!
He didn’t start out as a professional…
His mother is most proud because in High school Darren was the only student to be on every varsity team without ever getting his uniform dirty. Come learn secrets from the guy who did it the hard way so that you don’t have to!

Telling Tantalizing Tall Tales – Dennis Dawson, Evelyn Lee, and Brendan Murphy

Session: Telling Tantalizing Tall Tales

Speaker: Dennis Dawson, Evelyn Lee, and Brendan Murphy

Bio: Dennis Dawson, Evelyn Lee, and Brendan Murphy are experienced story tellers, long-time Toastmasters, and district contest finalists who will share tips and tricks for telling tantalizing tall tales to help you prepare for your contests this spring. Get ready for serious fun, and don’t be surprised if you’re asked to participate.

Abstract: Dennis Dawson (DTM), Evelyn Lee (ACG, PM4), and Brendan Murphy (DTM) share tantalizing tips and tricks for writing and delivering an award-winning tall tale. You will want to tell all of your friends about our amazing TLI. Now, you will have the tools to do it with hyperbolic panache!

Choose Your Words Wisely - Lisa 'Frisco' Dorr-Pozos

Session: Reframing: Choose Your Words Wisely

Speaker: Lisa ‘Frisco’ Dorr-Pozos

Bio: Lisa ‘Frisco’ Dorr-Pozos, DTM, has been a part of Toastmasters since 2013. She has served in numerous capacities within her clubs and the District, She currently offers her services as a freelance speaker and presentation coach in the South Bay and Central Coast regions.

Abstract: You know how powerful words can be, but did you know that the way you phrase what you think and say can dramatically change your mood and energy, as well as others around you? Frisco will share best practices, personal experiences, and the science behind reframing your thoughts and words to boost results for you and those around you.

Make Pathways Work for You - Ken Cawley

Session: Make Pathways Work for You

Speaker: Ken Cawley, DTM Past International Director

Bio: Like many of us, Ken Cawley joined Toastmasters to improve his public speaking skills. The skills he developed proved invaluable to his career as a training manager. They even landed him the lead in a national commercial during the dot com boom. However, who were around to remember the CNET commercials will know why Ken kept his day job. At the time, a USA Today poll placed them at the top of their most hated commercials list.

Abstract: Pathways was designed to teach and provide the opportunity to practice and develop critical communication and leadership skills. Unfortunately, many members simply skim the wealth of material provided. While they might give a great speech, they have missed out on the learning opportunity the program provides. In this presentation, you will learn the value and how to get the most out of each of the components that make up a Pathways assignment. Additionally, you will learn how to apply each of an assignment’s components to develop personally and professionally. As well as being for members who are just starting their Pathways journey, this presentation is also designed to meet the needs those already in the program.

Conflict Resolution - Arnie Buss

Session: Conflict Resolution

Speaker: Arnie Buss

Bio: Arnie Buss received an undergraduate degree in Psychology at Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Cornell University. He has been teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level for over 30 years. He has also been giving workshops in interpersonal communication classes for the past eight years as well as facilitating individuals and couples. His presentations on interpersonal communication skills to a number of organizations in the Monterey area have been very well received. A long time Toastmaster, he was a semi-finalist in the 2011 World Championship of Public Speaking.

Abstract: Conflict is an inevitable element in any relationship, and unresolved conflicts can lead to a dissolution of important relationships, whether personal or professional. Conflict resolution makes the difference between relationships that endure and those that fall apart. This session will present a heart-centered approach to conflict resolution that produces stable, lasting outcomes, and more importantly, maintains the integrity of the individuals as well as the relationship. The focus will primarily be on personal relationships, but this approach can be applied to all situations involving conflict.

Panel Discussion - Leading Outside Your Club: Opportunities as a Club Coach, Mentor, or Sponsor

Session: Leading Outside Your Club: Opportunities as a Club Coach, Mentor, or Sponsor

Moderator: Diane Bair

Panelists: Ken Braly and Pam Kangas (Coaches); Shoba Rao and Evelyn Belen (Mentors); Mythili Prabhu and Karen Solheim (Sponsors)

Moderator Bio: Diane Bair, past Division and Area Governor for Division A, joined Toastmasters in 2005 to overcome a range of speaking fears. Since then she has witnessed firsthand the ebbs and flows clubs can experience over time. She firmly believes that to be part of a strong club is to experience Toastmasters at its very finest.

Abstract: Expand your leadership skills and use what you know! In this interactive workshop, our panel will discuss how Sponsors and Club Mentors build and support new clubs, and how Club Coaches use their expertise to help revitalize struggling clubs. Learn how the programs work, and bring your questions.

Panel Discussion - Journey to Distinction

Session: Journey to Distinction

Moderator: Satish Shenoy, DTM

Panelists: Mythili Prabhu, DTM, PDD, Atul Nayak, DTM, Henry Miller, DTM, PDG

Moderator Bio: As a member for over 7 years, Satish sees Toastmasters as a way to continually grow personally and professionally. Within District 101, Satish has previously served in multiple district leadership roles as well as club officer roles across various clubs in the district. While he has savored his Toastmasters journey, he has particularly enjoyed being a global club ambassador visiting 25+ clubs across 5 continents including Antarctica. He is a member of Big Basin Toastmasters in Saratoga, California. 

Abstract: Achieving the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) certification is the highest level of achievement within Toastmasters. The path to DTM is strewn with many twists, turns and tumultuous challenges and there is many a lesson each of us have learned along the way.

The primary focus for this panel is to offer insights and practical advice for aspiring DTMs. Whether you are on the Traditional Program (that is ending June 2020) or on Pathways, there will be some resources made available to you with an open Q&A session to get your questions answered. 

Questions? Contact:
Program Quality Director, Vaibhav Singh


If you would like to volunteer for this event, contact our Program Quality Director Vaibhav Singh at