CLCON 2023 Presenters

Key Note Speaker – Saturday, May 6, 2023

Darren LaCroix, CSP, AS, 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking

About Darren:


He felt invisible in high school.
He failed as a business owner.
He worked in a cubicle for over a decade.
Today he’s a world champion speaker.
What made the difference for him
can make the difference for you.

A Real-Life Underdog Story Filled with Humor and Hope

After a failed business in 1992, Darren LaCroix took a dare and took the stage at an open mic night at a Boston comedy club. He bombed miserably. It was horrible. The headliner that night told him, “Keep your day job kid.” Friends told him that his dream of making people laugh for a living was crazy and stupid. He didn’t listen.

He may have been born without a funny bone in his body, but Darren possessed the desire to learn and the willingness to fail. These were the essentials for achieving his dream. This self-proclaimed student of comedy is living proof that anything can be learned.

Less than nine years later, in 2001, Darren LaCroix outspoke 25,000 contestants from 14 countries to become the World Champion of Public Speaking…ironically with a very funny speech. Some said it was one of the best speeches in the history of the contest.

Since that victory, has delivered keynotes in every state in the U.S. and 44 international cities. He is passionate about showing people that if you are a pray, find the right mentors, and become a sponge, anything is possible.

Darren is currently the only speaker in the world who is a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), an AS (Accredited Speaker), and a World Champion of Public Speaking. In spite of this, Darren always reminds people, “The letter after your name are not as important as the professional you become in the process.”

He is the author of the book 17 Minutes to Your Dream, the co-author of Deliver Unforgettable Presentations and the co-host of Unforgettable Presentations podcast. Through his live workshops and Stage Time, he helps good presenters become UNFORGETTABLE.

Saturday, 4/29/2023

Superpowers, Activate !

Diana Robertson

Storytelling for Success: How to Tell Stories like Steve Jobs​

Diana Robertson is an award-winning speaker, communication skills trainer, TEDx speaker and coach and founder of Skillsme Academy, UK’s top virtual school for developing soft skills. Through her teachings she impacts over 10k lives annually in virtual and in-person settings. Some of the organisations she has worked with in the past include Deliveroo, the UK Government, Project Management Institute, Berlin Startup School, over 30 UK & US universities and many others.

Toastmasters Involvement:
My journey as a speaker began when I joined Toastmasters in 2016 as a shy, unconfident girl. Toastmasters and its supportive members have greatly influenced my progress since then. You can find my story in a recent [issue of Toastmaster Magazine](

Here are some of my Toastmasters awards and achievements:
– Finalist in the 2021 District 91 Humorous Speech Contest.
– Placed 2nd in the D91 Division D International Speech Contest in 2021.
– Directed D91’s first virtual conference in 2020, which was the largest district conference of the year globally, and was featured in Toastmaster Magazine.
– Held club roles as VPM and President, and other roles such as PR Manager for the Toastmasters community in Russia, club sponsor, mentor and many others.

Bill Cashman (DTM) and Dr. Rick Silverman

Jedi Mind Tricks to Fight Anxiety!

Dr. Rick Silverman, PH. D. – Dr. Silverman is a Licensed Psychologist (NH), who has been in all spheres of psychology in his career, covering patients from age 3 through adulthood. He has retired from practice but continues to facilitate a program in Derry, NH, on Anger and Emotion Management. He has worked extensively with people with anxiety.

Bill Cashman M.ED. – Bill Cashman is a retired Federal employee, having served 42 years as an educator and manager in the fields of education and civil rights. He has been a Toastmaster for twenty-five years. He won the District 31 Humorous Speech Contest in 2003. In 2022 he was awarded his Distinguished Toastmaster award. In retirement, he has taken up tennis and considers himself a recovering “choker.”

Tristan de Montebello

Unconventional insights from the World Championships of Public Speaking

Monday, 5/1/2023

Focusing Forward : Putting in groundwork for a better tomorrow

Christopher Nielsen

Setting Goals and planning for a successful club experience

Christopher Nielsen is a business owner, project manager, media producer, entrepreneur and cinematic music composer. He began his journey with Toastmasters 6 years ago when he motivated a group of people to help form the Fall River innovators. He has been involved in many club leadership roles and helped guide the club through many difficult and unique challenges over the lifeline of the club. He has been a club coach, Area Director and is currently the President of the Fall River Innovators. This year he has helped organize an effective and synergetic leadership team that has grown the club from 13 to 32+ members. Chris’s presentation will openly explore the mistakes, challenges and successes over the years. He will emphasize how having a good strategic plan with clear delegation strategies, that is centered around empowerment and motivation, can make all the difference in growing and sustaining a healthy club experience. “The key to a healthy club is the strength of your leadership team and a great roadmap and vision for them to follow”. This will be an interactive session encouraging feedback and sharing of lessons learned.

Peter Bossio, DTM

Why You Really Joined Toastmasters – A Workshop on Persuasive Speaking

Peter creates and delivers presentations for companies and individuals seeking to improve the quality of their communications. Known for his highly interactive and engaging style he speaks on a wide variety of motivational and communications topics. Peter brings decades of experience in public and private sector communications to fellow industry people, entrepreneurs and business professionals alike.

His work as an Associate Creative Director, UX Designer and Video Specialist keeps him on the pulse of today’s ever-changing communications landscape.

Peter was a workshop presenter at the 2019 Communications and Leadership Conference (CLON) in the Boston Area and was a featured speaker at GovSpeak, a TEDTalks-style event, where he spoke about motivating creative teams using his focused, interactive approach.
Additional speaking credits include being a two-time workshop presenter for Toastmasters District 46 (NYC area) conferences held at the Marriott. And was selected through open calls to be one of only three speakers to deliver workshops at the Toastmasters District 53 (CT/MA) Spring Conference at Amherst.

Peter is a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) and has been a guest speaker at New York University’s School of Con¬tin¬u¬ing and Pro¬fes¬sional Studies.
In addition to motivational talks he’s also led video training sessions for: Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) photography program and has delivered computer training workshops for the NYC Dept. of Probation and the NYC Depart¬ment of Design and Con¬struc¬tion (DDC).

Peter’s unique advertising, design, tech and communication background allows him to provide a broad range of communications training from inspiring fellow creatives to teaching small businesses how to create conceptually sound, beautiful presentations and effective marketing.

Peter is a member of Advanced Public Speakers club – District 116.

Tuesday, 5/2/2023

Technical Tune-Ups : A deeper dive into overlooked skills 

Sutikshna Veeravalli

Write Here, Write Now

Sutikshna Veeravalli has been member of Boston Toastmasters Club since January 2022. In the same year, she qualified for the Toastmasters International Speech Contest and rose to be District champion.
She currently serves as her club’s Vice President of Membership.

A multi-career individual, Sutikshna works as a educator of students with disabilities. She also performs Indian traditional music and dance internationally, serving the arts community also through a non-profit aiming to create more safe and equitable workspaces.

Christine Menschner

Leverage your voice for career success

Christine Menschner – Vocal coach for singers and speakers

Christine Menschner holds master’s degrees in Music Education, Vocal Performance, and Vocal Pedagogy. A performing artist, voice teacher, and vocal coach, she has been helping singers and speakers in Germany, China, and the US, from beginners to professionals, improve their voices for over 15 years. Christine loves helping shy and introverted clients find their strong, comfortable, and confident voices. Her greatest happiness is when they say, “Wow, I sound good!”
When not teaching, Christine enjoys Salsa and Bachata dancing, learning Mandarin, and traveling. Connect with Christine on LinkedIn or learn more on her website

Wednesday, 5/3/2023

The Power Of Improvisation: Practicing grace under fire

Norm Laviolette

Train your Head to Think on its Feet

As co-founder, and CEO of Improv Asylum, IA innovation, Laugh Boston and Laugh Louisville. Norm Laviolette brings the experience of building companies from the ground up into multi -million -dollar businesses. Norm understands first-hand why culture is integral to long term success and has built a team that exemplifies why communicating, listening and trusting are so important.
With appearances on NBC, ABC, CBS, NPR and Fox, Norm’s recently released book, “The Art of Making Sh!t Up” is a much sought after inspirational message that tells the story of how the skill sets of improv has positively impacted businesses, organizations and lives, including his!

Thursday, 5/4/2023

Modern Speaking : Delivering for the audience of today

Mary Cheyne

PLAY in Public Speaking – How to infuse FUN into your Talks

Mary Cheyne, MBA began as a socially awkward, self-conscious computer programmer. Today, as a World Champion of Public Speaking first runner-up, out of 25,000 contestants from 14 countries, she is proof that transformation is possible. She got there by understanding that becoming GREAT at public speaking isn’t just about technique, it starts with trusting yourself. Through her training and coaching, she has taught over 30,000 people in 30 cities internationally. Mary is a best-selling author and a TEDx speaker. The video of her TEDx talk on YouTube has over 537,000 views. Mary is also a karate second-degree black belt and instructor.

Alexandre Matte

Think Inside the Box: how to reach your audience online.

Friday, 5/5/2023

New Horizons: Explore professional speaking

Sheryl Roush

Speak Like A Pro: The 10 Must Haves in the Speaking Business

Discover what you need to get going as a paid presenter and how to promote your business, so you can apply to earn Toastmasters Accredited Speaker credential. Learn the 10 Must Haves in the speaking business today….!

How to Earn Toastmasters Accredited Speaker Designation

The Accredited Speaker Program, Toastmasters elite designation for subject matter experts that excel in presenting. Hear an overview of the AS Program, and how you might already be eligible to apply.
Led by Sheryl Roush, she is joined by several AS colleagues to share insights and answer questions!

Saturday, 5/6/2023

Making Real Change Happen: A Day of Breaking Barriers and Creating Impact

Dr. Sherri Raftery, DTM, PDG

Breaking into Prison Clubs – (For TMs Volunteers)

Dr. Sherri has been in Toastmasters since 2005, served as the District 31 Governor in 2009-10, earned the Area Governor of the Year, Toastmaster of the Year, Excellent in Marketing, Excellence in Education & Training, and Leadership, Dr. Sherri is the 2022 International Speech Contest 1st Runner-Up. Dr. Sherri has been a volunteer for the District 31 Prison Clubs since 2006, served as the Prison Club Coordinator, and is currently the Prison Club Director.

Carl Foster

Breakthrough in Public Speaking-Getting Much Better Much Faster

On joining Toastmasters at MIT in April 2005, I discovered and developed a method to accelerate development of speaking skills (The Thinking Out Loud(tm) Method). I served as President of the club for 2 years and assisted our members in the development of their speaking skills. During this period, I worked very closely with one of our members, Vikas Jhingran, who became World Champion of Public Speaking in 2007. I have developed and spoken on rapid development of speaking skills for many years including 3 Toastmasters District 31 Conferences. Responses have invariably been highly favorable. I am an engineer by profession and a past Trainer with Tony Robbins.

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