Toastmasters District 53 2022 Conference
“Open Minds Open Doors”
Saturday, May 14th – Sunday, May 15th, 2022 – Online

Due to continuing concerns with the pandemic in the states served by District 53, District leadership has moved the entire conference online. Admission is free for both days, however registration is required to attend. Those who have already purchased tickets for the in-person event will get a full refund by May 5th and their tickets will be converted to the all-access online conference ticket.

Saturday, May 14, 2022
8:00am Mingle and Get Reacquainted
8:15am Opening Session – How To Get The Most Out of Today
Morning Keynote: Stuart Pink
“Speech Maps – The Essential Tool To Plan And Deliver Any Speech”
9:30am Breakout Sessions #1
“How Are We Doing? What Are We Doing?” with Rick May & Stephanie Caputo
“Spring FORWARD Into Your Life…” with Heather Skaanning
10:45am Pecha-Kucha & Speech-A-Thon: “The Value”
Advance Registration required to participate in either option – see conference registration
11:30am Communication & Leadership Award Luncheon
Honoree: Reverend Odell Montgomery Cooper
12:15pm Breakout Sessions #2
“SPEECHCRAFT: Edify, Equip & Engage” with Melanie Lee
“See the Story: Unstuck Speech Ideas” with Janice Dimock
1:15pm Afternoon General Session:
“Charting and Scheduling your PATHWAYS Journey” with Steve Lanning
2:30pm Afternoon Keynote Session:
Stuart Pink: How Do You Get Great Speech Ideas?
3:30pm District 53 Hall of Fame
4:30pm District Officers Installation
Closing Session
Sunday, May 15, 2022
9:00am-10:30am Leadership Workshop
“I’m The Leader, What Do I Do?” – Dan Rex, CEO, Toastmasters International

Speech Maps – The Essential Tool To Plan And Deliver Any Speech
Stuart Pink

After many years of speaking and membership of Toastmasters, Stuart realized that most speakers still make a fundamental mistake that significantly hinders their ability to create and deliver good speeches. Using Speech Maps require rethinking what a speech is and can provide the clarity you need to create and deliver a great speech. Stuart used a Speech Map to win the District 31 International Speech Contest in 2020.


Stuart Pink

Do you ever have empty speaker slots at your club meetings? Do you or your club members ever struggle to think of speaking topics? Do your speech topics not engage audiences as much as you wish? This session will give you all the tools you need to identify the perfect material for your speeches.

About Stuart: Stuart is a member of Foxboro Achievers and has been a Toastmaster in District 31 for 11 years. He has won the District 31 International Speech Contest 6 times. In 2012, he came in third in the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. This Spring Stuart will be publishing his book Last Minute Speaking – A Survival Toolkit which helps anyone survive giving a speech and become a better speaker. Stuart is passionate about public speaking and creativity and more information can be found at his website

On the Road to PATHWAYS:  Charting and Scheduling your PATHWAYS Journey
Steve Lanning, DTM

About half of our District’s Clubs are making measurable progress in PATHWAYS. That means the other half are NOT. Online navigation has proven difficult & complex, and many have just given up. But there is a workaround! There are many introductory tools that break down the projects & their navigation and simplify your journey. There is no reason you cannot complete a project, then a Level, then a Path, and eventually maybe even your DTM Award. But that journey begins with that very first step. You joined Toastmasters and you survived. Now it’s time to do that NEXT hard thing, wherever you are now. Planning and scheduling are your keys to success. But knowing where you’re headed, by setting your goals, is the secret ingredient. You’ll learn how to clarify your goals and build our motivation to reach them. You CAN do this! In this session, you will set goals, chart a path, schedule your projects, and learn how to pace yourself every step of the way.

Steve Lanning is a member of the Speakeasy Toastmasters, PROSPEAKERS Toastmasters, and Toastmasters of Downtown Springfield. He is the current District 53 Administration Manager and has served as Division F Director and other District Leadership roles. He also helps with Club Officer Training. He is working with the Club Growth Director with ways to support Club Coaches. Outside of Toastmasters Steve is learning to become a Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) advocate, and is an Ambassador for UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing. Steve turns 70 in June, and he and his wife celebrate their 30th anniversary in September.

“How Are We Doing?  What Are We Doing?”
Rick May, MS5, PM3, VC2 & Stephanie Caputo, PI4

In any community, Toastmasters is the only organization solely devoted to developing communication and leadership skills. Yet few, if any, know what it has to offer. Communication and leadership skills should go beyond the Toastmasters club environment. This presentation proposes targeting groups present in any community – young professional organizations, not-for-profit boards, technical trade groups – who are in desperate need of what we have to offer. In turn, it is an excellent opportunity to grow membership among professionals already inclined toward self-improvement. In this session, we will survey the communities in which we live and work, seeking outreach opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Rick May has a multi-faceted background as an ordained minister, a retirement plan expert, financial planner, and radio broadcaster. The common thread in all these endeavors is the need to be an accomplished communicator. It was this love of speaking and teaching that led Rick to Toastmasters in 2020. Rick is a member of Henry Hudson Toastmasters, has served as President of Blue-Chip Toasters, participated in two annual speech competitions, and conducted speech training in his community. Stephanie Caputo is a member of Nathan Hale Toastmasters and has spent the last 20 years as an entrepreneur and teacher, specializing in building empowering, community-oriented villages within brick-and-mortar business. For the past ten years, she has brought her integrator and systems building expertise to developing personal and professional consulting programs through Momentum Learning Systems, LLC, as well as founding several complementary businesses. Most notable is Questers’ Way, a brick-and-mortar center that fuses family, fun, learning, and food into an integrated facility that empowers the community to learn and grow together.

Spring FORWARD Into Your Life: How to go from Stress to Strength
Heather Skaanning

In this session you will receive five tangible tools to use each day when feeling stressed out or overwhelmed. The state of our world is heavy, and we need to allow people the space to be honest about that, and then start to effect change in their lives. This session will guide you to find relief, recognize your potential, reframe your goals, and refocus your priorities.

Heather Skaanning is a member of Nutmeg Toastmasters and the founder and CEO of Coaching by Heather, a life and business coaching venture that specializes in encouraging adults and adolescents to become more aware of their potential, confidently pursue practical goals, and step into lives of true passion and greatness.

SPEECHCRAFT: Edify, Equip & Engage
Melanie S. Lee, PM4

Speechcraft is a great tool to recruit new members, revive seasoned members and prepare reluctant members to make progress in pathways. It has been said that “…old ways don’t open new doors.” Now that we have made it this far, it is time to develop a new way of opening doors that will invite new energy, personal growth, and a supportive, positive learning experience for all.

Melanie Lee is the President of Greater Stamford Toastmasters and a member of Greater Bridgeport Toastmasters and is a retired NYC Public School Teacher of English, History and Creative Arts. A “pandemic protégé,” she has been a member of Toastmasters International since December 2020.

See the Story: Unstuck Speech Ideas
Janice Dimock, DTM

Have you struggled to come up with speech ideas? Are you looking for a creative way to approach your Pathways Level 2 projects? Then this workshop is for you. Compelling story ideas are around you every day, you just need to see them. This interactive workshop will demonstrate several ways to see the story in things you do or see every day. We will also address how to apply these techniques to your Level 2 Communication and Leadership projects. Join us to find new ways to See the Story.

Janice Dimock is a research scientist, wellness coach and aspiring writer. She expresses her creative side through writing, painting, and storytelling. She has been an active Toastmaster since 2006 and finds story ideas and speech topics all around her. Janice has served District 53 as an Area Governor, Division Director, PATHWAYS Guide and Chief Judge. She is a member of Southern Dutchess Toastmasters, BI Toastmasters and New England Advanced Toastmasters.

Dan Rex, CEO Toastmasters International

“I’m The Leader, What Do I Do?”

Dan will lead a discussion about developing and deploying leadership.

As Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Rex leads the Toastmasters World Headquarters team he works closely with the International President and the Board of Directors to develop the future of Toastmasters and create and execute plans and strategies to reach those goals. Rex has worked for Toastmasters since 1990, in 2008 he assumed the role of Executive Director, a title that was changed to Chief Executive Officer in 2013. Rex holds a BA degree in Modern Languages from Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah, and an MBA in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona. He holds certificates from the Leadership for Senior Executives course through Harvard Business School, and the Executive Leadership Program through the University of California, Berkeley. He completed the Strategic Leadership Programme through the University of Oxford. In addition to his Toastmasters duties, Rex serves as a member of the Key Global Associations Committee (KGAC) of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

Register now

Admission is free for both days, however registration is required to attend.

If you already purchased tickets for the in-person event, you will receive a full refund by May 5th and your tickets will be converted to the all-access online conference ticket – no further action is required by you.