The TEDxABQ-Toastmasters Connection

Jul 23, 2015 | 0 comments

This story recently appeared on the website for District 23 Toastmasters, covering New Mexico and neighboring parts of Texas, including Amarillo and El Paso.

Toastmaster Gail Rubin Selected for TEDxABQ

Kudos to Gail Rubin, ACB, for her selection as a speaker for TEDxABQ 2015. The new President of Albuquerque Challenge, Rubin identified her Toastmasters experience over the past four years as a key element to landing one of 20 sought-after speaking slots on the program.

TED talks – TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design – are all about ideas worth spreading. For six years running, TEDxABQ has showcased New Mexico’s biggest ideas to sold-out audiences. It’s one of America’s top locally-organized TED events, bringing people together in Albuquerque to share a day of live talks, videos, and deep discussions.

TEDxABQ Gail RubinRubin, a death educator, will speak about her big idea to take the topic of death out of the closet, talk frankly with our families and make end-of-life plans: wills, advance medical directives and preneed funeral planning. As the author of the award-winning book, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, Rubin uses humor and funny films to help teach about serious subjects.

“I joined Albuquerque Challenge to become a better speaker, support A Good Goodbye sales and get this important message out into the world,” said Rubin. “While Challenge is an advanced club, and even though I had no previous experience in Toastmasters, everyone was supportive and helpful. Albuquerque Challenge really accelerated my growth as a speaker.”

Rubin has competed in a number of District 23’s speech competitions, reaching and placing in the Division level for International Speeches in 2015 and 2013.

TEDxABQ puts its speakers through a three-month coaching program before the big event. Three of the speaker coaches are current or former members of the Albuquerque Challenge Toastmasters club: TK O’Geary, DTM; Merv Jersak, DTM; and Gregory Lay.

TEDxABQ takes place this year on Saturday, September 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. More than two thousand people pack Popejoy Hall at UNM for this annual event. Since the first event in 2009, response has been overwhelming, with exponential growth.

Visitors and new members are welcome at Albuquerque Challenge! The club meets the 2nd, 4th and 5th Saturday of the month from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Cooper Art Center, 130 Quincy Street NE in Albuquerque. Learn more at the club website,

A Good Goodbye