by Mary Gano DL3

When I first started hearing this year’s conference’s theme, I See You, I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve been a member of Toastmasters since 2012, and embarrassing enough, had never attended a conference. WOW, have I been missing out!!!

Friday evening, after a long day and an even longer week, I logged in for the conference, still not knowing what to expect. Then I heard TK O’Geary talk about SuperPower at Work. Being virtual, it was difficult to hear the presentation, however there were a couple of things that I took away from this presentation that caused me to reflect on my Toastmaster journey. When she said, “If I”, it made me think “If I” hadn’t left one of our company’s clubs to be a member of another one of our company’s clubs, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to watch some amazing people grow in their journey towards empowerment, confidence, and discovery in Toastmasters.

The Mary Webb quote that she mentioned “Saddle your dreams before you ride them”, made me think about my most recent journey as Area Director. I didn’t realize this was a dream of mine, until I began it. Once in the midst of it, I began to saddle my dreams of having the clubs in my area be successful and meet their goals. Now we can ride those dreams, realizing the ride may be bumpy, but the destination is attainable.

The other presentations that I watched were very good, aside from the audio issues. I felt everyone did what they could to make the conference as beneficial for those attending virtually, as for those in person.  Great presenters with a great amount of relevant information was shared.

The crème de la crème of the conference for me was the DTM ceremony. I was absolutely blown away. Before the ceremony, I thought that those who reached their DTM were always sure of themselves and had a high level of confidence. After listening to the journey of those recognized, many struggled with confidence, just I have, and still do, but it was the people, or should I say the family they found in Toastmasters, that made them reach for their goal of being a DTM. I commend them all for sharing, and being vulnerable, about their journey.

You may ask, will Mary Gano be at the D25 conference in 2022? The resounded answer is “Yes I will and I See You”!!!

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