Building Bridges-Annual Conference 2020

Due to concerns for our members' health and COVID-19 meeting restrictions, the conference will now be conducted online over a number of sessions.  See the Schedule tab for dates and registration links.

Conference Schedule


Saturday May 02
10:00 - 11:00 AM

PRESENTation: How to be Fully Present When You Present - Scott Stiefvater
Education Session
Register Online

Saturday May 16
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

District Council Business Meeting
Register Online

Saturday May 23
10:00 - 11:00 AM

GRACE UNDER PRESSURE: A Masterclass in Public Speaking - Lisa Wentz
Education Session
Register Online

Saturday May 30
8:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Speech Contests
 ▪ Speech Evaluation Contest
 ▪ International Speech Contest
Register Online

Saturday June 27
10:00 - 11:00 AM

How to Rock Your Personal Brand Because Your Reputation Depends On It! - Roberta Guise
Education Session
Register Online

Speech Contests

Saturday May 30  8:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Register Here

Join us as our Division level winners winners compete in the District 4 Speech Evaluation and International Speech Contests. The District level winner of the International Speech Contest will be entered into Region Quarterfinals. Winners at the Region Quarter Finals compete in the Semi-Final who then compete in the World Championship of Public Speaking.

Note that the times shown here are an estimate.  Please do not use times shown for planning. 

 8:30 AM Welcome
 9:00 AM

Speech Evaluation Contest
This contest will have the best 5 Speech Evaluators of District 4 put their skills on display, for the coveted prizes.

 10:30 AM Break
10:45 AM   Hall of Fame
11:30 AM

International Speech Contest
The best speakers from each Division in District 4 will present their speeches. The first place winner will proceed to the Regional Quarterfinals.

1:00 PM End Conference

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do I need to use my computer?
Yes. This contest will be conducted using Zoom. There will also be a live feed on YouTube.

Where's the link to view the contest?
All registrants will receive a link, on 29 May 2020.

Do I need to be a member of Toastmasters to attend?
No, all are welcome!

Will this contest be recorded?
Yes. The International Speech part of the contest will be recorded, since the recording of the Winner's speech has to be submitted to Toastmasters International for the Regional Quarterfinals. But this recording will not be available to the members.

Session Speakers

rRoberta GuiseRoberta Guise
Roberta Guise, principal at Guise Marketing & PR, advises executives, consultants, experts and small business owners on building their personal brand and reputation as authorities in their fields of expertise, and making the world a better place. She also guides clients on strategies for growth.

Roberta is the founder of FemResources, a start-up nonprofit whose mission is to close the gender gap in the tech workforce and advancing women’s careers in technology and engineering. She’s an accredited delegate and speaker who represents San Francisco at the UN Commission on the Status of Women meetings at the United Nations.

Roberta Guise presented consecutive years at the Institute of Management Consultants Annual Confab and Annual Consult-Con conferences, UN Commission on the Status of Women’s annual forum, International Association for Feminist Economics, Tri-Valley Consultants Forum, Bay Area Consultants Network, SCORE, National Speakers Association/Northern California Chapter salons, and to many other professional organizations and nonprofits.

Her opinions have been published in such publications as the San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, BusinessWeek, Fortune magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. She’s currently writing a book on personal branding and reputation development.

Roberta Guise

Scott StiefvaterScott Stiefvater
Scott Stiefvater has been coaching business leaders to speak with confidence, power, and authenticity for almost a decade. He has lead presentation workshops for Duarte, Inc., the global leader in presentation development and design, and has trained teams and individuals from over 100 companies, including Eli Lilly, Kaiser, Apple, Capital One, Nestlé, and Viacom.

Learn more about Scott at

Lisa WentzLisa Wentz
Lisa Wentz is the founder of the San Francisco Voice Center, a public speaking expert, accent specialist and author of Grace Under Pressure: a Masterclass in Public Speaking.

Considered one of the top coaches in the San Francisco Bay Area, Lisa has been featured as a public speaking expert on CNBC and in TIME Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, L.A. Daily Journal among others. Press coverage. Lisa regularly coaches speeches, presentation skills and accent reduction with executives and managers from Fortune 500 companies. Her resume includes Adobe, Genentech, Google, Oracle, Salesforce and VMware among others. Lisa is passionate about serving the non-profit sector and has coached keynote speakers from, the Humane Society and ChanZuckerberg. Lisa has coached several C-level executives, TED speakers, and experts in the fields of business, technology, science and entertainment.

Conference appearances include, the Festival of Marketing, London, BSR Conference, Pacific Voice & Speech Association, Burning Man Global Leadership Conference, the Association for Theater in Higher Education and the American Society of Alexander Technique Teachers conference. For videos of Lisa speaking please visit the resources page.

See more about Lisa at

Education Sessions


Scott StiefvaterPRESENTation: How to be Fully Present When You Present - Scott Stiefvater

The technology behind our presentation suffering isn’t PowerPoint. It’s writing. Our writing mind intrudes on our ability to be in the moment with our listeners and to truly connect with them. Come join in this riveting conversation about what it means to trust your natural, conversational, speaking mind. Learn how to escape the limits of the mainstream, write-and-recite approach so that you can become the engaging and spontaneous speaker you are meant to be.

Date: Saturday May 02
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PDT
Register for Webinar



Lisa WentzGRACE UNDER PRESSURE: A Masterclass in Public Speaking - Lisa Wentz

In this one-hour seminar/workshop we will address these three areas. Each section will include audience participation.

Getting out of your own way as a speaker
Overcoming psychological blocks that increase our nervousness. Most blocks come from negative messaging during our developmental years. This talk will explore healthy ways to identify what holds us back and how to unravel these binds. From these findings we then explore how to present ourselves as our best authentic self on stage. 

Developing your physical presence
Faced with the challenge of speaking in front of a group can cause a slight panic in even seasoned speakers. Learning to reduce the physiological response to nervousness is a must to becoming a great speaker. Learn how to let go of tension patterns and increase your breathing capacity to combat an adrenaline rush and help you stay focused on delivery.

This section includes use of body language, how to influence listeners with carefully placed pauses, use of word stress, and varying tone towards a delivery that is clear, articulate, and memorable.

The session will end with a Q&A and bullet points of key takeaways.

Date: Saturday May 23
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PDT
Register for Webinar


Roberta GuiseHow to Rock Your Personal Brand Because Your Reputation Depends On It! - Roberta Guise

An emerging trend suggests that each of us needs an identifiable personal brand and reputation. Your personal brand is an intentional representation of who you are, your values, what you do, and the transformative change you bring about.

Your reputation is about how people perceive you. You can’t control perceptions, but if you purposefully develop a distinct persona for yourself, focused on how you can help make others better off, your reputation will closely align with your intentions.

Toastmaster leaders make a promise to serve and lead their club. One key aspect to making good on this promise points us to the emergency instructions flight attendants deliver as the plane takes off: put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. Likewise, you’ll excel in club leadership endeavors if you set a firm direction for yourself before advising others on their journey.

Session Outline
In this highly interactive session, Roberta will deep dive into her process for intentionally developing your personal brand and reputation. She’ll present techniques for building a rock-solid reputation with her 5 Ws of Reputation, explain the science underlying how ideas spread, and she’ll walk you through a rapid reputation audit. Roberta will guide you through a writing process that results in a statement about what you want to be known for—this being a key marker of your personal brand. A highlight is her Seven Steps to Building a Powerful Personal Brand, with a special focus on using your LinkedIn profile to stand out above the noise.

You’ll work in pairs in breakout rooms, solo, and sharing with all. Roberta blends theory, research, real world examples, interaction and activities to ensure you gain a deep understanding of the concepts during the session, and that you leave with relevant action items you can carry out immediately.

Learning Objectives
•  Identify and determine specific personal branding objectives
•  Identify or solidify what you want to be known for
•  Learn the six critical success factors to building your personal brand
•  Learn to leverage your personal brand—and thought leadership in particular—to improve your club’s reputation as well as your own
•  Know how to do a Rapid Reputation Audit™

Value to Toastmasters Officers
Public speaking is a core competency within personal branding. In addition to developing communication skills, presenting works to advance your career, spread ideas, grow your influence and shape your reputation. Within your role as a club officer, your personal brand and reputation will serve as a valuable role model for club members to learn from. This can also create a halo effect that positively impacts the club to achieve its success goals.

Date: Saturday June 27
Time 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PDT
Register for Webinar


Due to concerns for our members' health and COVID-19 meeting restrictions, the annual business meeting will now be conducted online.

Date: May 16, 2020
Time: 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Where: Online (Virtual Meeting)

Register here

Please register separately for each voting role you hold (Club President, Vice President Education, and/or district leader position listed below). 

Voting members MUST register by 6:00 PM on Friday, May 15 in order to receive a ballot emailed to them. Those who register after that time may attend the meeting but will not receive a vote.  Note that as the meeting is online, per Toastrmasters International policy, no proxies will be allowed.  

When the voting process is conducted virtually, no proxies will be permitted. Each District Council member must cast their own vote. District Executive Committee members are entitled to one (1) vote and may cast up to two (2) additional votes as a Club President or Vice President Education. All other members of the District Council shall be limited to a maximum of two (2) votes.

The above indicates that a member who is the President and/or Vice President Education of two clubs may represent both clubs with one vote for each.  Because proxies are not permitted, they may not cast two votes for the same club unless they hold both offices in that club.

The district council—which includes district leaders, Club Presidents, and Vice Presidents Education—serves as the administrative governing body of the district. District leader council members include District Director, Program Quality Director, Club Growth Director, Public Relations Manager, Immediate Past District Director, Division Directors, Area Directors, Administration Manager, and Finance Manager. District committee chairs and others whose participation the council requires may attend the District Council Meeting. Members attending the district conference who are not voting members of the council may attend but do not participate in council deliberations.

Meeting Documents

NOTE: Various documents will be added before the meeting so check back for updates.  Please submit any concerns or questions about the documents to the District Director ( 

Business Conducted

The business conducted at the Annual District Council Business Meeting includes

  • Finance Manager Report presented
  • Appointed officers confirmed
  • District executive committee's filling of district office vacancies confirmed (as needed)
  • Assignment of clubs to areas and divisions for the following year adopted
  • District Leadership Committee (DLC) report  of 2020-21 district officer nominees presented
  • Nominations from  floor taken and election of district officers conducted
    • Per Toastmasters International Policy and Protocol, all candidates, including floor candidates, for the offices of District Director, Program Quality Director, Club Growth Director and Division Director must be evaluated by the District Leadership Committee.
    • Eligible floor candidates must declare their intent to run in writing to the DLC Chair after the DLC report has been published and at least one week prior to the annual District Council meeting.
  • District director, program quality director, club growth director and public relations manager report on progress toward district goals

Document Highlights

  • Quorum is required to approve any of the above documents, which means 1/3 of eligible club votes must be represented. If quorum is not met at the meeting, there will be an additional online voting period post-meeting in which we will seek quorum.
  • Because the voting process will be conducted virtually, no proxies will be permitted. Each district council member must cast their own vote. District executive committee members are entitled to one vote and may cast up to two additional votes as a club president or vice president education. All other members of the district council shall be limited to a maximum of two votes.
  • Any new motions to come before the council must submitted on the Form for Presenting New Business.  The form must be submitted to the District Parliamentarian at ( three weeks prior to the virtual business meeting. In this case, by 5:00 PM on Saturday April 25.

Virtual Conference Room Instructions

Before the Meeting

During the meeting

  • Voting Members: use the zoom link provided via email and login by 9:15 a.m. to allow time to verify your credentials in the waiting room and troubleshoot technology.
  • Non-Voting Members: watch via the live YouTube stream.

Display Name

  • Rename yourself as follows: [full name] - [abbreviated role].
  • Use the following abbreviations: PRES, VPE, Area XX Dir, or Div X Dir.
  • For example: Joan Doe - PRES


  • Everyone will remain muted unless recognized by the chair to speak.
  • Please do not turn on your video unless requested by the tech chair.
  • To save time, video will not be turned on for participants during discussions/questions.


  • Only use the chat if you want to be recognized by the chair.
  • Include the name of your club and a brief description of your motion or comment.
  • When discussing motions, we will alternate between comments for and against.

Zoom Recommendations

  • Switch to Gallery View by clicking the small 3x3 grid icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
  • To show only the speakers on your screen:
    • Next to your Video icon in the bottom bar (on a laptop) or top bar (on an iPad), click the caret symbol: ⌃
    • Click: Video Settings…
    • Click the check box next to: Hide non-video participants

How to Vote

  • Election Buddy will be used to conduct voting during the virtual meeting.
  • You will receive a separate email for each item up for vote.
  • Email ballots will contain a unique link. Do not forward this email to others.
  • When prompted, the password is D4TM (case-sensitive).
  • Only those who have registered by 6:00 PM on Friday May 15 will receive email ballots.