Workshop Presenters & Bios
Darren Fleming is a mentor, conference speaker and corporate trainer. A Toastmasters since the age of 19, he now travels the world showing business leaders how to communicate their vision to their staff, clients and stakeholders. A prolific thinker, he has authored 6 books on communication, leadership, sales and influence. He has developed corporate programs that are used by some of Australia’s largest companies as standard training programs for staff at all levels. Darren is passionate about the role evaluations play in building strong clubs. It is the strength of the evaluations that draw guests to join and members to stay. When we lift the standard of evaluations at a club level we will grow the strength of each club. This workshop will show you why each club needs to have strong evaluations, how to create them and how to deliver them. When we do this we will create stronger clubs, Areas, Divisions and Districts. This will help Toastmasters create the leaders of the future.
Mark has been actively involved in all aspects of leadership for over 40 years. A former British and Australian Army Officer, a Director at Ernst & Young Business consulting, a senior advisor as a consultant to dozens of business leaders in a wide variety of industries, a leadership trainer and coach, a business owner, and a father of three beautiful girls (best job and greatest leadership challenge!!) are just some of the roles where Mark has had to exercise leadership capability. One thing, among many, that he has learned over this journey is that you never stop learning, (or you shouldn’t!). Within Toastmasters, Mark has been a member in seven clubs across three states over the past 11 years. He has been a Club President, VPE, VPM, SAA and Treasurer, has started and Chartered two new clubs, and achieved the Distinguished Toastmaster award. He has also competed successfully in contests at Club, Area and Division level. Despite his military and corporate leadership experience, Mark strongly believes that leadership in Toastmasters offers unique challenges, together with those confronted by leaders in other arenas. Given the voluntary nature of Toastmasters, the quality of leadership at all levels of the organisation varies tremendously, but as a trained facilitator within world renowned leadership author and trainer John C Maxwell’s leadership team, Mark believes fervently in John’s axiom that, “Everything rises and falls on leadership”. Leadership is not about position or titles, it is about influence, action, and making a difference in both the success of the organisation and in the lives of those people she or he is privileged to lead within it. Mark looks forward to you joining him at the District conference to explore leadership, and how we can all do it a little better to improve our clubs and the members.
Thomas Moore is passionate about public speaking, mathematics, education, travel and dance. He has spent the better part of his working life as a Maths teacher in Melbourne's outer east and has a keen interest in leadership in education. During his time as a teacher, Thomas has led teams of upwards of 35 teachers and has learnt numerous skills which he now uses in every aspect of his life, including Toastmasters. Thomas' mission is to change the way that maths is portrayed in the world today. He has recently embarked on a PhD to shed light on this area and has presented at education conferences all around Australia. Thomas views maths as an engaging opportunity to embark in play and also approaches Toastmasters in the same way. Throughout his workshop, Thomas promises an entertaining mixture of pleasure and play as he explores the 'Hidden Figures' that connect mathematics with public speaking.
Maribel Steel thrives on engaging and empowering her community, locally and worldwide. Based in Melbourne, she shares her lived experience of being blind as a professional writer, public speaker and educator, inspiring people to see beyond limitation to possibility. She is a peer advisor for VisionAware (USA) and was a columnist for Verywell.com. She counts being the mother of four children as one of her most challenging and fulfilling careers. Maribel has worked as an Aromatherapist and Masseur, a children’s choir leader, a Wellness Vocation presenter and as a Mentor Coordinator for Women with Disabilities (VIC). In 2017, she was awarded a High Commendation in the WriteAbility Fellowships and received an ‘Inspire’ Award in the Lynette Rowe Best Achievement in Community Service. In that same year, Maribel joined Glen Waverley Toastmasters with a vision of improving her speaking style. A year later, she was invited to present at the American Foundation for the Blind Leadership Conference in California and took the opportunity to speak to other Toastmasters clubs in Silicon Valley. Maribel has completed her CC and Cl manuals, has been a Toastmaster Contest participant, was awarded Toastmaster of the Year by her club in 2018 and is currently the Speechcraft Coordinator (VIC & TAS) D73. She is passionate about helping people to embrace their challenges with a kind heart and determined spirit, using their own sense of courage to seize the challenge and turn it into their next stepping stone to personal success. Apart from networking and meeting new people, following her creative muse and ‘doing lunch’ with girlfriends, Maribel finds a particular joy in travelling with her life-partner. Her recent book, ‘Blindness for Beginners: a renewed vision of the possible’ was launched in collaboration with Write-Ability Victoria in April 2019. W: maribelsteel.com
Susan Weser is a corporate wellness coach, speaker and trainer. She holds a Bachelor of Science, Graduate Diploma in Computing, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and a Certificate IV in Food Coaching. One thing that has been a constant in Susan’s career is change. She has had stints in Information Technology, Time Management/Productivity and Food and Wellness Coaching. And she has been fortunate to have lived and worked in some fabulous places, namely Melbourne, Sydney and New York City. Susan is the founder and director of Melbourne company, Empowered2Thrive. She is passionate about helping organisations be more productive and profitable by focusing on the health, wellbeing, happiness and personal productivity of their employees – definitely a Win-Win! In our modern, fast-paced world, so many people are just surviving, rather than thriving, living lives that are unbalanced, stressed out and sleep-deprived. Susan loves to inspire and empower people to practise self-care and to be their happiest, most motivated and unstoppable selves. Susan’s workshops and presentations run the whole gamut of wellness and productivity - whether it’s techniques to create more balance in life, creating great eating and exercise habits, overcoming distraction and procrastination, creating morning routines, implementing easy techniques to manage stress and have more energy, or sleep-smart strategies to wake up refreshed and recharged every day.