By Lorne DuFour, President, Freddie Mac Voices
It was a rainy Saturday morning. How did I find myself at my first District Election meeting; one of a quorum? I began my Toastmasters Journey in November of 2018. At the time, I didn’t even know what Toastmasters was. One of my colleagues approached me and asked if I would be interested in getting involved. The mystique of “Toastmasters” was there and piqued my interest. He wanted someone to help him create our corporate club and get it off and running. I thought I was a pretty good speaker. I had experience with facilitating many training classes, so I thought I was a good fit to get involved.
Freddie Mac Voices officially chartered May 2019. I was immediately elected Vice President Education then to President. I quickly learned facilitating training sessions and doing formal speeches are completely different. While they have some similarities, there are quite a few differences as well. It was obvious I had much to learn.
On this rainy Saturday, I asked myself “why are you attending? As President of a D25 club, I now had the opportunity to participate in my first District voting experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well why a virtual meeting was obvious, Covid eliminated a business meeting “normally” conducted at the 2-day conference. Bur virtual was normal to me as this was my first. It was apparent much thought and coordination had been planned by the business leaders; Interviews with district candidates, voting applications for the registered attendees, and strict adherence to parliamentary procedures.
Complications had been predicted and there were back up processes in place. I was unable to retain audio and video connection but there was a back up to call into the business meeting. I admit it would have been easier to follow if I had not been just on my phone.
The driving “why” was to continue my Toastmaster Journey where and how it led me.
Whether I am learning how to be a better public speaker, furthering my meeting leadership skills, understanding how to be a better virtual leader or simply being a “master toaster,” I have loved my Toastmasters journey thus far and May 16 gave me a glimpse into activities outside Freddie Mac Voices. I am prepared for the next virtual meeting and look forward to it.