May 1, 2011

The Lights, the Cameras, the Conference

Posted in Personal Growth, Toastmasters tagged , , at 1:31 pm by Mo Dardinger

This weekend my husband and I attended our first Toastmasters conference. There were bright lights at this conference. There were cameras at this conference. There was action at this conference, and there will be actions taken in response to this conference — “ripples,” as one of the speakers termed them.

The Lights:

  • Stellar performances in the two speech contests. My personal favorites were the fictional story of the waffle and the true story of a 17-year-old young man at the crossroads.
  • Acts of kindness on display.
  • Great appreciation shown for any small service rendered.
  • Keynote speaker Jason Schechterle, the Phoenix police officer badly burned in an auto accident a few years back. What an inspiring story he tells. (Ask me about making coffee.)

The Cameras:
I brought my own, of course. Then I was asked to photograph the Parade of Dignitaries with the official conference camera, which was a blast and also an honor. I’ll be posting the shots from my own camera — at least the highlights — either in an album on Facebook or on Picasa.

The Action:
My take-aways from the conference, the bits that I mean to act upon, are these:

  • A little appreciation goes a long way. Someone I helped out the first afternoon kept singing my praises to the conference leadership, and each of them in turn thanked me. I want to be the sort of Toastmaster, the sort of person, who routinely expresses appreciation for others both to their faces and behind their backs.
  • Networking pays off. It’s easy to learn enough about your friends’ businesses to prove to be a real blessing to them.
  • Help is there for the asking. No one is born a great leader or a great speaker. Many mentors are available in Toastmasters and elsewhere to help you learn, grow, and reach new heights of accomplishment. Just start moving, then be open to suggestions from those who have trodden the path before you.