by Jesse Ford, DL3

On Saturday, January 30, as a sitting President for my Corporate club, I was invited to attend a special “president’s only” training session where our Region Advisor Violetta Rios delivered a keynote. First off … How awesome is it to have our Region Advisor come to speak? If you ever have had any interaction with Violetta for even a short period of time you will see she eats, sleeps, and breathes all things Toastmasters.

During Violetta’s keynote I had two particularly important takeaways:

    1. Success is not being distinguished.
    2. Even my RA struggled at some point but it’s always the choice to keep moving forward.

For point #1 I was blown away … How can you tell a room full of Club Presidents while being in the middle of a pandemic that “success is not being distinguished”? She explained again what we all hear but often forget; “the member” is always the answer. Who do you serve? The member … Why do we put together such good training? The member …  What is the most important thing in Toastmasters? The member. This was so refreshing and amazingly simple yet at the same time extremely profound.

For point #2 she relayed several anecdotes that all centered around her two terms as club president. Spoiler alert; she is amazing.

After the keynote, all the Club Presidents on the call (more than 50 at one point) got to attend a special TLI. This was great but I could not help thinking how much I am inspired now to be an even better leader and Toastmaster. If you ever get the chance to hear Violetta speak, I highly encourage you to do so. You will not be disappointed and who knows you may discover that Region Advisor is not that far off from Club President. Cheers Violetta.

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