by Marcheta Gardner, DTM Club Growth Director

What do you do when you have the opportunity to host a dignitary? Sweat bullets! As Club Growth Director, I welcomed the auspicious honor of hosting our International Director, TK O’Geary! To say I had great expectations is an understatement!

She was so kind to send me a pic of getting on the plane, in her bright turquoise jacket! Yep, made it easy for me to spot her coming through baggage claim!

Our experience started Wednesday morning, 5/12 meeting with a potential new club in Waco! I must say, it was a brief and to the point meeting; however, we covered the P.I.E. – prepared speech, impromptu speaking (TableTopics) and an evaluation.  So exciting and we’ll see them in lights (on the D25 dashboard) very soon!

Next, Mr. Cooper Speaks kicked off the round of “Riddle Me This?” Contest Winners, one of five Clubs, that correctly answered the riddle the fastest, for the opportunity for their club to spend some exclusive time with TK. They had a “Toastalica” meeting, (that’s their stage name) with two great speeches, half time show (Table Topics) and effective evaluations.  It was creative and FUN to experience.

We wrapped up Wednesday evening with a great meal at Piaf Kitchen + Wine + Bar in downtown Grapevine. It was DELECTABLE Mediterranean food!  In attendance were the Trio, Division Directors, PRM, and the Finance Manager.

We had opportunities to meet with the other “Riddle Me This” Contest Winners – Keller Communicators, Afterburners, T.E.A.M. Toasters, and Highway To Excellence, over two days, from club meetings to a Virtual Happy Hour! Many were appreciative of TK sharing her wisdom, her Toastmasters journey, and overall thought- provoking questions.

We ended Thursday evening with a panel session focused on Ethics within Non Profits, held with our oldest club in the District – Club 305 Wichita Falls! Hats off to Richard Brown and the Club members for still holding it down in very creative ways. They continue to build membership by leveraging the Chamber of Commerce and The Improv!  Ask Katie Britt about that!

 In the midst of ALL those wonderful club meetings, TK and I made COLD CALLS! What! Being in sales for over 30 years, I’m like, “I got this!” But TK showed me more… Toastmasters fashion with her “touch.”  We visited a Kroger, Mattress Firm, Haverty’s and get this… the General Manager for the Marriott, where we held the Annual Conference… and many other businesses, I fail to remember… It was an exhilarating experience… AND one that I will pass on to our incoming Club Growth Director (we’re scheduled for Monday, 6/7!)

Wait… there’s MORE!  TK kicked off the Annual Conference with the first Education session, “Saddle Up Your Dreams: Your Super Power At Work.” She had us all on the edge of our seats, listening to every word!

The conference was a whirlwind!  From Education sessions, to Breakfast, Awards Luncheon, and oh… two Contests, to culminating with the DTM Ceremony, where TK gave the Keynote. She had us all engaged with some Toastmasters History. So, why did Ralph Smedley start Toastmasters anyway? Do you know?

I will cherish her visit for a lifetime and will share my experience with others.  TK didn’t just give us a fish . . .  She taught me and others how to fish!

Thank you, TK, for such a wonderful experience!  It’s Possible!

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