Friday, 17. May 2019, Copeland Tower Suites, District 68 Toastmasters 2019 Annual Conference

from 17. May 2019 - 17:00
till 19. May 2019 - 12:00

Copeland Tower Suites

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Event description
Are you searching for meaning in life or working to overcome a difficult challenge? Join District 68 for our annual Toastmasters leadership conference and learn through inspiring keynote speakers and thought-provoking educational sessions.
Help us celebrate Toastmasters achievements at the awards luncheon and watch the best of the best compete in three exciting district speech competitions all while enjoying networking with individuals from all over Louisiana, Beaumont, Texas and Southwest Mississippi. 
This three day event is open to both Toastmaster members and non-members.
Toastmasters founder, Ralph Smedley, once said "We learn best during times of enjoyment." If you are looking to grow as an individual while growing your network, join us May 17th-19th for a a weekend of food, friends, fun and forever learning!

The Driving Force, Dana LaMon, DTM
A presentation on undergoing and overcoming challenges.
Seldom, if ever, is the road to success described as a downhill coasting to the warm sands of a sunny beach. Success is frequently depicted atop a rugged mountain. The climb to success is steep, hard and treacherous.
To get you to the top despite the challenges that you will inevitably encounter, Dana LaMon will inspire (1) knowing what you want, (2) knowing where you are going, (3) acting to make things happen, (4) looking forward to your destination, and (5) persisting until the DRIVE to success is finished.

Leading With Courage and Heart, Mohamad Qayoom, DTM

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Mohamad started his Toastmasters district leadership journey during tumultuous times when his district was on the brink of dissolution. He was fortunate to belong to a team that turned the district around and it didn’t only survive, but it thrived and became one of the most successful districts in the United States. During this session, Mohamad will share some of the lessons that he has learned from various leadership positions which include: the importance of developing other people; the need for taking calculated risks; the value of consistency and persistence as well as trust; the significance of learning from one's failures; how to lead by example and manage priorities; and the importance of demonstrating empathy during difficult times.

Impromptu Speaking, Phil Varona, DTM
Have you ever walked away from a conversation and thought, "Man, why did I say that?!" You may not realize it but impromptu speaking is part of our everyday lives and being prepared can help prevent those "foot in mouth" moments. Whether you are called on in a work meeting, step onto an elevator with a stranger or attending a party; these are just a few of the ways we utilize impromptu speaking in our daily lives. In this session, Phil shares his take on the various types of impromptu speaking and provides tips for getting through the uncomfortablness of any situation with a well thought out response.

Making the Moment Meaningful, Dana LaMon, DTM
A presentation on living meaningfully.
This life is the only one you have, and you've got to make the best of it. You can choose to let circumstances and events dictate the course of your life, but in doing so, you miss your one opportunity to shape the world.
At some point in time every person who is aware of his or her surroundings yearns to be significant-- that is, to live with meaning. Meaningfulness is not something to be sought; it is to be made. Dana LaMon will set fourth four criteria for determining the meaningfulness of your decisions and actions—Purpose, Connection, Growth, and Self-definition. 

Dana LaMon,DTM, 1992 World Champion of Public Speaking

Dana LaMon is an internationally-known motivational speaker and author who has inspired individuals and audiences from Australia, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Africa, Botswana, Canada, and over thirty-five states of the U.S. He has been a professional speaker since 1991. He earned the distinction of World Champion of Public Speaking in 1992 from Toastmasters International. In 1993, Toastmasters added to his honors the Accredited Speaker designation, an accolade given to fewer than 70 Toastmasters in the organization's 92-year history.
Dana has been blind since age four. Growing up in Compton as one of twelve children, he now lives in Lancaster, California. Despite Dana's visual disadvantage, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics from Yale University and a law degree from the University of Southern California. He has been a member of the California State Bar since 1978. Dana served as an Administrative Law Judge for the California Department of Social Services from 1981 to 2010. 
Dana LaMon is the owner of ImageWorth, a company founded in 1991. Through this business he promotes his Principles for Meaningful Living. He gives motivational keynotes and seminars covering the topics of performance excellence, benefiting from change, personal growth, overcoming challenges, and diversity and inclusion. He speaks to audiences from corporate executives to kindergarten students and from religious congregations to prison inmates.

Mohamad Qayoom, DTM, 2018 TEDEX LSU Presenter

Mohamad Qayoom is currently serving LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans as an IT Consultant. He is a speaker, trainer, and a cybersecurity practitioner. He conducts presentations and workshops and speaks in various environments including cybersecurity bootcamps, security conferences, TEDx, and other technical community gatherings. As a Toastmaster leader, Mohamad is currently serving as the Immediate Past District Director of District 68, which includes Louisiana, Southwest Mississippi, and parts of Texas. During his term as the District Director, District 68 achieved President’s Distinguished status and received Excellence in Leadership award. He is a certified Project Management Professional. He holds a Master of Science in Computer Science and a Master of Science in Engineering Management.

Phil Varona, DTM, 2018 District Speech Evaluation Champion

Phil Varona joined Toastmasters in 2006 with the motivation to improve his impromptu speaking skills. The skills Phil has developed since then have helped him succeed both within Toastmasters and in his workplace. Phil is currently a Senior Staff Engineer in the Process Engineering department for BRIS Engineering, LLC. Phil's job involves project work where he is required to interface with various internal departments and outside clients to successfully complete the project. Within Toastmasters, Phil has held many leadership positions, including 2014-2015 District 68 Governor. Phil has also been a successful speech competitor, winning the District Evaluation contest three times and the District Humorous Speech contest in 2016.

Speech contests are a Toastmasters tradition and each year, thousands of Toastmasters compete in the Humorous, Evaluation, Tall Tales, Table Topics and International speech contests.
International Speech Contest
The purpose of the International Speech Contest is to provide an opportunity for speakers to improve their speaking abilities and to recognize the best as encouragement to all, while providing an opportunity to learn by observing the more proficient speakers who have benefited from their toastmasters training. The International Speech Contest begins at the club level, and proceeds through the area, division, district, region quarterfinal, semifinal, and International levels. The top 8 contestants in our district will present a five- to seven- minute speech on any subject they choose. The district International Speech Champion will advance to the regional quarterfinals, where they will compete in the semifinals for a chance to take part in the World Championship of Public Speaking®.
Speech Evaluation Contest
The purpose of the Evaluation Contest is to encourage development of evaluation skills and giving effective feedback, while providing an opportunity to learn by observing the more proficient evaluators who have benefited from their Toastmasters training. The Evaluation Contest begins at the club level, and proceeds through the area and division and ends with a district champion. At the beginning of this contest, a five- to seven-minute test speech will be presented. The top 8 contestants in our district will observe the test speech and then present a two-to three-minute evaluation of the test speech.
Humorous Speech Contest
Toastmasters recognizes the value of humor in speaking. The purpose of the Humorous Speech Contest is to provide an opportunity for speakers to improve their speaking abilities and to recognize the best as encouragement to all, while providing an opportunity to learn by observing the more proficient speakers who have benefited from their toastmasters training. The Humorous Speech Contest begins at the club level, and proceeds through the area and division and ends with a district champion. The top 8 contestants in our district present a humorous speech that must be thematic in nature (opening, body, and close), not a monologue (series of one-liners).

Conference attire for Saturday is business to business-casual with optional cocktail attire for the evening banquet. Friday and Sunday attire is casual to business-casual. 
Friday, May 17, 2019 5:00pm-10:00pm

Welcome reception including Hors D'oeuvres, DJ and cash bar
District Finals: Humorous Speech Contest
Conference kick-off Party with DJ & cash bar
Hospitality Room Opens

Saturday, May 18, 2019 8:00am-10:00pm

First Timer’s Session
The Driving Force, Dana LaMon, DTM
District Finals: Speech Evaluation Competition
Hall of Fame Luncheon (All Toastmasters who have earned an education award from 7/1/18-5/2019 will be recognized)
Impromtu Speaking, Phil Varona, DTM
District Business Meeting & Officer Elections
Leading With Courage and Heart, Mohamad Qayoom, DTM
District Banquet with cash bar (
District Finals: International Speech Contest
Installation of 2019/2020 District Officers

Sunday, May 19, 2019 9:00am-12:00pm

Making the Moment Meaningful, Dana LaMon, DTM
Additional event details to be announced!

Copeland Tower Suites & Conference Center, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member
This unique property offers two great options in one convenient location! For the economic traveler, book your room at the Comfort Inn & Suites side of the property. For those looking for a more luxurious expereince, reserve a room in the Copeland Tower. Experience the festive local culture of the Big Easy when you stay at this boutique hotel in Metairie, LA. Located between the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and downtown New Orleans, making it easy to visit neighborhood attractions including:

Audubon Zoo
French Quarter
New Orleans City Park
Lake Pontchartrain
Lakeside Shopping Center

Amenities include:

Free WiFi
Seasonal pool
Business center
Meeting space

Comfort Inn & Suties Guest rooms feature:

Microwave and refrigerator
Premium bedding
Coffee maker
Flat-panel TV
Work area

SPECIAL TOASTMASTERS RATE: $99.99 plus tax (Room rates do include deluxe continental breakfast)

The Copeland Tower Suites Guest rooms feature:

Kitchen facilities
Sofa bed
2 LED flat-screen TVs
Living room
Over-sized spacious suites (750 square feet)

SPECIAL TOASTMASTERS RATE: $149.99 plus tax (Room rates do include deluxe continental breakfast)
2601 Severn Ave., Metairie, La. 70002

Stay up to date by visiting out website at and follow us on Facebook at @District68Toastmasters!
Invite your friends and family, this event is open to anyone and everyone, no Toastmaster membership needed!

District 68 Toastmasters 2019 Annual Conference, Copeland Tower Suites event

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