Last September, I found out about Toastmasters at a business meeting in Abilene, Texas from a fellow business partner. Although I initially joined the Baylor Toastmasters to gain confidence in speaking, I soon realized the many other benefits that Toastmasters International has to offer by attending my first ever District 25 Conference held in Westlake this past weekend! Our president Mike Thompson suggested that I go and check out this event.
I am so glad that I was able to attend and I can honestly say the event was OFF-THE-CHARTS AMAZING!! I was greeted by the wonderful Kim Story who loaded me up with all of the accoutrements a “first-timer” could ever ask for and then whisked up to the 7th floor to the hospitality room to meet other “first-timers,” and other seasoned members! I met so many wonderful people!
The Tall Tales contest was later that evening and I was amazed by the awesome talent! And then came “fun night!” There is no better way to get to know someone than to play Jenga with bone-crushing two-by-fours. Thanks to everyone who welcomed us with open arms and made us to feel like we were part of a big family!
I want to stop here and mention the food! As a former teacher I consider myself an expert in the realm of “conference” food. The food was fabulous!
It was actually somewhere between the beautiful salmon entrée and Crystal Allbritton’s passionate speech about integrity that I decided that I wanted to learn even more about this wonderful organization I had joined. I was going to be “ALL-IN!” The DTM ceremony really brought the weekend to a beautiful close. What an honor to watch the recipients receive their awards and to hear their stories.
I heard so many heart-warming testimonies during the conference about how Toastmasters had changed lives. I heard how listening skills had improved marriages and restored relationships. I heard how a person got a major promotion because of the time management skills he had learned at Toastmasters. I learned that the Toastmasters track is not just about speaking, but is about becoming a better, more confident person over all.
Who DOESN’T need Toastmasters? I want to encourage everyone to be like my friend and to be a good inviter. He cared enough about me to share Toastmasters with me. I am so thankful. I want to encourage everyone to attend as many Area Contests and District meetings as possible! It takes what you think you know about Toastmasters in your head and moves it to your heart! Let’s be “All-In!”