Toastmasters may begin at the club level, but at the District Conference is where I first experienced the bigger vision of what it truly means to be IN Toastmasters. One of the keynote speakers this weekend said, “We all start in Toastmasters for selfish reasons: to be a better speaker, to give better presentations, or (in her case) to spend more time with my husband. At some point though, you grow beyond those initial reasons”.
I joined Toastmasters less than a year ago and this past weekend was the first District Conference I have attended. Although I had an inkling of the magnitude of Toastmasters after having competed in contests and having attended the Awards Banquet back in August, the vision hadn’t really captured my heart until now.
Maybe it was the vibrant First-Timers Chairperson who made me feel so welcome. Maybe it was the Hospitality Suite with lots of goodies to munch on and fellow Toastmasters to chat with. Maybe it was the keynote speakers, the individuals who have chosen to be a part of this organization for 30 years and more, sharing their experiences, their passion, and their vision.
Maybe it was the friends I made.
Regardless, I am not the same individual I was before. I am proud to be a part of an organization that does so much good. I am proud to be associated with such educated, well-spoken, confident, and funny individuals.
When I was involved in network marketing, I was told that “Decisions are made at Events”. I thought it was true then, and I believe it more now. The District Conference is where you tap into all the untapped resources you didn’t even know that Toastmasters is holding out to you.
Toastmasters is more than just learning to overcome sweaty hands or counting “Ums”. Toastmasters is about people, from diverse backgrounds, with infinitely different life experiences, coming together to help each other achieve goals.
Mary Kay Ash once said, “A good goal is like a strenuous exercise – it makes you stretch.”
Well, we are one limber group of individuals!
I want to encourage you to make a decision. Make a decision, now, to attend the District Conference in the Spring. Time, money, family obligations, whatever the potential excuses, decimate them now and make a decision to be there. 99% of success is showing up, and you can bet that I plan to be there.
Fall Conference First Timer