Speakers and workshops

Daniel Rex

Daniel Rex – Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Rex leads the Toastmasters World Headquarters team in providing service, resources and support to 352,000 members in 16,400 clubs in 141 countries. 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 for 27 years, and during that time he has led several departments at World Headquarters, giving him a unique perspective and an impressive depth of knowledge of the organization. In 2008, he assumed the role of Executive Director, a title that was changed to Chief Executive Officer in 2013. Rex’s previous positions include Deputy Executive Director, Director of Communications and Marketing, Marketing Division Manager, and Membership Manager.

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).

Jessica Breitenfeld

Adaptability Intelligence- the skill to Spring forward with Jessica Breitenfeld (EN)

Traditional approaches to strategy—though often seen as the answer to change and uncertainty—actually assume a relatively stable and predictable world. The old with the new. EU and Brexit; Jobs and Artificial Intelligence and most importantly for this Marseille conference: CC with Pathways; There are no simple solutions. Teams that thrive are quick to read and act on signals of change. What’s needed is some simple, generative rules to facilitate interaction, help people make trade-offs, and set the boundaries within which they can make decisions. I propose thatthe mentality of  ̈Yes and ̈ is a method that is trainable & shall be.

Jess adores out-of-the-box creativity training which, through the method of improvisation techniques, allows for participants to be surprised and offers the opportunity through small exercises- to innovative their mentality- to access their personal values and gain self-awareness. She has taught and lived in 9 countries for 9 years and has been training soft skills, with a hint of culture intelligence at La Caixa, Damm, Maersk, H&M in Barcelona.

Yannick Clybouw

The Mathematics of a Perfect Speech with Yannick Clybouw

Vocal variety can be measured scientifically: pace, pauses, pitch and volume are objective data. Yannick Clybouw is the cofounder of Winston Analytics which has analysed the speeches of the World Champions of Public Speaking, the 50 most viewed TED talks and 200 talks from TEDxGhent.

Now, he wants to share their astonishing findings with you in Marseille:

  • What are the characteristics of a powerful and less powerful voice? Can you really speak too slowly? Be too dynamic? Have too many pauses?
  • How do Toastmasters members use their voice differently to TED speakers? What can you improve to sound more like them?
  • What exercises can you practice to empower your voice? Yes, you can already start by clearing your throat!


Yannick Clybouw has combined his two passions, public speaking and his background in signal processing and computer science at Winston-Analytics. This startup aims to automate feedback on the use of your voice. He took this challenge together with Thomas Vervaet and Tim Govaert with whom he cofounded Toastmasters and TEDX Gent ten years ago. In his free time, he coaches TEDxGhent speakers to help them shine on stage.

Marie Dubost

Show, don’t tell – Intro to sketchnotes and visual note-taking  with Marie Dubost (EN)

Embrace your creative side, engage your visual brain and join us for an intro workshop to visual note taking.

The first step in becoming a visual communicator is to get used to thinking and working visually. Drawing is the simplest way to do this. It might sound obvious, but an awful lot of adults haven’t drawn anything since they were at school…apart from during the odd game of Pictionary.

Research has shown that we process visual symbols 60,000x faster than text. That’s why we use symbols when we know communication is critical, urgent, or both. Visual communication is more engaging, and allows us to remember information longer as well.

Functional drawing is not an artistic activity. It does not matter if your picture is pretty, or realistic, or has any artistic merit. It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw at all. We meet a lot of adults who feel nervous when they think about drawing at work, because they can’t draw. Or so they think…

In this workshop, I would like to allow participants to reconnect with their visual brain, and learn to take graphic notes. They will do so by learning tips and tricks on how to make a visual synthesis of an idea, a concept, or a speech… and practice!

Colm Kehoe

Introducing you to the benefits of declamation with Colm Kehoe (EN)

To improve our communication skills, let’s rediscover one of the most celebrated ways from the past, not to mention the most celebrated way of the ancient Greeks – declamation.

Participation in this declamation workshop allows you to focus 100% focus on your style, timing, pause, vocal variety, stage presence, audience engagement, pacing – in a nutshell: your delivery – and the reason? Your content is already there and it’s great!

You will walk away with more confidence or with a lot of ideas about how to become more confident and as an added bonus, you will be entertained too.

This is premier league public speaking – learning by doing – the Toastmasters’ way – be angry, be mad, be sad, be jealous – stretch your emotions to the limits and hold on to your authenticity – a magic ingredient for every speaker.

The host for this exercise is Colm Kehoe, a Toastmaster in three clubs in Brussels (Armada, Berlaymont and Artful Orators).  A member of Toastmasters for tenyears, a coach with Brussels Debaters Club and an organiser of Declamation Contests across the EU, expect an interactive experience in this workshop.

Georges Melides

People who can wreck your life with Georges Melides (EN)

This workshop is about being able to identify the types of people who can wreck your life. If you’ve ever been the deer in the searchlight, frozen by excessive language or wildly inappropriate actions, being able to recognize the kind of personalities that can inflict a deep and lasting wound to your reputation, self-esteem or career is crucial.

In this session we are going to plunge into the specific patterns and warning signs of the five kind of personalities that can make your life miserable. We will identify some of the behavioural clues that should raise red flags in your mind. We will look at some common behavioural patterns of conflictual personality types and the warning signs for spotting them early on. We will look at the causes and origins of personality disorders, their prevalence and distribution among the different segments of the population. We will also have a glimpse at what happens at the physiological in the mind of High Conflict Personalities with these personality disorders and how to effectively understand and interact with them based using this knowledge.

We will also look at why the prevalence of these five types of people seems to increase and what are the societal conditions that facilitate this phenomenon.


Georges has been a member of Toastmasters for 6 years, he is the current President of Armada Toastmasters, a former Area Director and also a member of Brussels Toastmasters. He is a certified practitioner in the field of Organizational Development which includes the MBTI (Myers- Briggs Type Indicator) and the TKI (Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument). The core values of OD provide opportunities for people to reach their full potential as well as to increase the effectiveness of the organization itself through internal integration and external adaptation.

Juan Manuel Perafán

Becoming a good listener: Very Practical Tips with Juan Manuel Perafán (EN)

Juan Manuel’s opinion is that most of the educationals about being a good listener that he has seen are not concrete enough. He would like to share with you some techniques that he has learned from his time teaching psychological consultation skills on how to improve your listening!

Juan Manuel Perafán is a member of Fusion Toastmasters Amsterdam and Area Director of C1. He studied Social Psychology, which lead him to do an internship and his graduation project studying: Why people visit some apps more frequently than others? Consequently, he worked as a UX designer and conversion marketer. Currently, he works as a Tableau consultant.

Alain Petillot

Le vieil homme l’éloquence…les leçons d’une expérience! avec Alain Petillot (FR)

Le 31 janvier 2019, Alain Petillot a participé à un « concours d’éloquence » organisé par une grande chaîne de télévision française qui avait décidé qu’elle désignerait « le meilleur orateur – ou la meilleure oratrice – de France » !

Cela valait-il la peine de mettre en jeu une petite part de mon amour propre ? une sérieuse tranche de mon temps ? sans oublier le risque de ternir l’image de Toastmasters International…

Les réponses à ces questions diffèrent pour chacun d’entre nous. Venez assister à sa présentation et il vous confiera tout ce qu’il a appris, en matière d’éloquence, au cours des deux mois qui ont précédé le « concours », tout ce qu’il est préférable de savoir AVANT de se lancer dans l’aventure, et quelques leçons qui resteront ancrées en lui…

Il terminera la présentation en vous offrant le discour de 2 minutes et 30 secondes sur le thème « Ma France à moi » que les douze concurrents avaient préparé pour la finale. Neuf (dont lui) n’ont pas eu le bonheur de le présenter… Par avance, il vous remercie de lui en offrir la possibilité.


Bourguignon de naissance, Alain Petillot a fait ses études secondaires à Dijon, puis obtenu un diplôme d’ingénieur physicien à l’Institut des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon. Il est docteur-ingénieur en physique du solide.

Alain a rejoint les services commerciaux d’IBM France en 1969. Tout au long de sa carrière, il a travaillé essentiellement avec de grands clients gouvernementaux et passé de nombreusesannées hors de France, d’abord en Afrique puis aux Etats-Unis, dans un centre de support international. Après son départ en retraite d’IBM, Alain s’est lancé, en consultant indépendant,dans la formation des forces de ventes. Pendant 20 ans, il a animé un relais de distribution de nourriture aux familles en détresse du 12ème arrondissement de Paris.Alain a connu Toastmasters en 1990, à Paris. Toastmaster Distingué (DTM), il a gravi tous les échelons du cursus Toastmasters. Il a été Président de plusieurs clubs Toastmasters à Paris,coordinateur du secteur francophone, a occupé le poste de Vice-Président Marketing au sein du Comité directeur du CCET et servi comme Vice-Président Education puis Gouverneur du District 59P. Alain est membre fondateur de cinq clubs Toastmasters et est actuellement membre de trois clubs à Paris.
Alain et son épouse Odile vivent à Paris près de leurs deux enfants et de leurs cinq petits- enfants dont ils sont absolument gâteux !

Soft Skills in a Hard Environment with Jeroen Sennef (EN)

During this workshop, Jeroen will present some challenges in intercultural communication. The workshop requires active participation and it has prepared with real case studies. Attending will bring you new ideas how to communicate in a challenging and culturally different environment.

Frédéric Sourbié

Prendre conscience de son corps, vecteur de communication de vos messages avec Frédéric Sourbié (FR)

Le théâtre d’improvisation est un outil puissant pour apprendre à co-créer dans le non-jugement de soi et des autres, dans un climat de bienveillance et de bonne humeur.

Au cours de cet atelier vous :

  • Apprendrez à lâcher prise. Le théâtre d’improvisation permet de laisser libre court à son imagination et à sa créativité.
  • Utiliserez votre corps pour construire en équipe
  • Utiliserez les gestes pour faire passer un message en silence. Vous apprendrez que l’utilisation des mots peut être restreinte grâce à l’utilisation de votre corps.

Frédéric Sourbié a une expérience de 20 ans dans les fonctions commerciales et marketing en France et à l’étranger. Il a aussi été Vice-Président de la Chambre de Commerce Franco-Américaine de Midi-Pyrénées. Dans ce cadre de ces fonctions il y a été l’initiateur, le coordinateur et le maître de cérémonie d’événements faisant intervenir des dirigeants d’entreprise et des experts. Il est fort d’une expérience de plusieurs années de pratique dans le théâtre d’improvisation et souhaite transmettre les bénéfices de cette discipline au plus grand nombre. Aujourd’hui, au sein de deux compagnies il pratique et se forme en permanence lors de formations animées par des grands noms du théâtre d’improvisation : Mark Jane, Poupak Sepehri,…

Sophie Tweed

The emergence of an European YLP: the future District Leaders with Sophie Tweed (EN)

Sophie and her fellows YLP Coordinators in all D 59 are determined to offer a first opportunity for YLPeers to meet across borders:

  1. To improve their leadership skills in sharing their ambitions and practices acquired in their programs.
  2. To network with their peers to support each other in their learning curve.
  3. To network with adults TM to achieve their goals more efficiently with mentoring opportunities and support.
  4. To feel that TM is one world where generations are interconnected, being under age is a promise not a reduction.
  5. To be the future club creators and leaders in their Uni towns.

Sophie Tweed is a French native who lived 10 years in England and raised a family of two on both sides of the Channel. She has been a Toastmasters for 5 years in Toulouse, SW France, in the anglophone club Toulouse Speakers.
She started the TM adventure as a curious member enjoying the self-discovery learning curve as well as being fascinated by the Toastmasters methodology and impact on others.

2 years ago, Sophie was inspired by observing the agility and the potential of the young adults in her club, teenagers of members. She was lucky to be pointed into the right direction of District mentors to embark into the faisability journey of a YLP in the local international schooling system.

Today, 2 programs have been achieved at the International School of Toulouse for 28 young adults, including teams of 15 TM coaches & mentors.
Last but not least, since February 2018, Toastmasters and the YLP made an entry into the SW Direction of the Ministry of Justice and Education at the Juvenile Retention Center, with one edition of the program completed and another still unfolding. This has been a life changing experience bridging the French public authorities mission of public service to rehabilitate convicted young adults with Toastmasters mission and values.

Alessandro Zembelli

Ecoutez vous! Regardez vous! Supportez vous! avec Alessandro Zembelli (FR)

Alessandro Zambelli va mettre en évidence certaines résistances que l’on a, et qui sont de véritables freins à nos performances d’orateur.

Il va vous amener : 

  •  à gagner en confiance en combattant vos résistances, 
  •  à imposer vos silences, 
  •  à assumer votre voix, 
  •  à assumer votre image!
Francis Zentz

Rock Your Life with Francis Zentz (EN)

If you want to put a dent in the universe develop your leadership skills.

Talking about leadership is always related to VISION, PASSION, MOTIVATION and AMITION. Yes but what is the dark side? What are our unconscious drivers that will hold us back from fulfilling our dreams? What is holding us back from putting a dent in the universes? Those drivers are FEAR and FRUSTRATION. To lead your life and to rock it you need to FACE your FEARS and your FRUSTRATIONS. Are you ready to rock it? Acknowledging the dark side will help you to build a solid life based on four pillars:

  • RULES What rules should you redefine, suppress or add?
  • ORGANIZATION How can you organize yourself to be more efficient?
  • COMMUNICATION How can you be a charismatic communicator?
  • KNOWLEDGE Why be curious to learn and share your knowledge?

Francis ZENTZ is an International Speaker, Trainer and Coach. He has coached more than 10 000 CEO’s and managers to develop their Leadership and Communication Skills since 1995. Francis speaks French, German and English and is well-known as Francis From France.