Overnight shipping is a life saver. On Monday, I shipped my name badge from Oregon via Fedex overnight and late in the afternoon bought a camera from amazon with overnight shipping due to leaving both back at home. Both items showed up late Tuesday afternoon which means better pictures(Kinda) and the ability for people to know who I was.
Many people recommended that I attend the Toastmasters and You session Wednesday morning. I was told it was a session about the organization and how the upper levels interact… Yeah, not true, it’s a session all about how to be involved at that level as a regional adviser, director, or even president of our great organization. Even without intent to go beyond my service to D7 as LGET and hopefully DG, it was a great session to hear the stories about how much effort our volunteer leaders put into ensuring we have a great organization.
The Board briefing is something that I recommend for all members. The link takes you to the recorded version. Hearing what they have been working on and decisions that they are making is so important for us to pay attention to. It also provided information and ideas to discuss with the director candidates and 2nd VP positions.
I did attend the first timers session. I was hoping for more networking vs being told about the different aspects of the convention. Being a Toastmasters has made networking easier but I still struggle with it and appreciate forced events.
The opening night was incredible. Walking into the room to see all the lights, monitors, and people really connected in my head with how much effort went into this event. I met the person at WHQ who coordinates the conference and congratulated her on a great job. The opening speaker did a wonderful job. I was a bit concerned when he started off by cracking a joke about speaking in front of Toastmasters and having to be good. Joel Manby delivered an incredible message. At least until I got a call and had to step out. Hearing those who were able to see it all, it’s clear that the message continued to resonate with all the audience and I’m reading his book now.
Once nice things about stepping out early was that I was able to buy the book, meet his staff, and be first in line for a signature. That helped avoid the mob that followed once his session let out. After it was wrapping, I ran into Cat from WHQ and asked if she had plans for the John C Maxwell signing Friday.
Thursday brought us to Semi Finals and educational sessions. Ryan Avery was competing in the last semi-final of the day so I attended speech final #2 to watch Barry Mixon who I had met out at the hot tub Tuesday evening. He delivered a great speech about how he became homeless and struggled to come back from it.
The competition at the semi finals is fierce. All the speeches were incredible and the difference between first and fifth was all in the delivery that day and I think how each of them handled their nerves. Networking and the store caused me to miss out on the second semi final but there was no way I was missing the third. Ryan delivered a perfect speech as the 8th contestant. The woman after him put up a great challenge but he finished victorious. We had a great night celebrating until Midnight.