If you haven’t noticed yet, all the images in these articles are linked to the full size images if you click on them.  This page is the reason more than any other.  Orlando has a weather pattern that is crazy.  Every afternoon, a storm rolled in and created some beautiful sunsets/cloud patterns for us to enjoy between events.  Every time I walked by the patio Continue reading Sunsets

Technical Fun

I’m a tech, It’s great fun to look at all the neat toys and gadgets they have and think wouldn’t it be great to have those at our conferences.   It was very fun to look at what was done and think about how would I do something similar.  Then to be able to walk up to the stage and find out how they actually did it.

The curtains on the main stage really impressed me.  Continue reading Technical Fun

Friday at the Convention

Friday is packed and the variety of activities increase.  The big event of the day is the Golden Gavel dinner with this years recipient John C Maxwell.  In addition to the dinner, there were more breakout sessions and the accredited speakers program.

I attended Pete Weissman’s session.  He is a professional speech writer and was leading a session on how to write speeches for other people.  The skills are similar and many of his suggestions can go straight into my own speeches.  His perspective is unique in that writing for someone else requires you to use their voice and their message.

I went to the Accredited Speakers panel and watched the first speaker.  He was the best speaker I’ve ever heard on the topic of disaster preparation.   His stories were exciting and very practical.  My concern was that he was moving all over the stage as if he had just a touch to much energy in the presentation.  It took away from his presentation for me.  He even had researched the plans for the event facility and the golf course.  We may find out how good those plans are with the hurricane heading their way.

After the first accredited speaker program, I left to go get a picture with John C Maxwell.   His line was very short with perhaps 30 people.  I’m not sure if it was intentionally scheduled during breakouts to reduce the line or if it was just bad luck.

My last session was with Lisa Panarello.  She was speaking on how best to network for professional success.  Once someone points out how excessively we swap business cards with no connection, it becomes shocking.  I was in the middle of a conversation with someone later that evening and when I asked for her card to ensure that I could stay in touch, someone else who had walked up pulled out their card and handed it to me.  I have no idea who that person was.

Evening came and I attended the Golden Gavel dinner.  The speech by John C Maxwell was great.  I took many notes on my phone.  There was a great section about why we need to focus on our strengths and not our weaknesses.  On the basis that we can only improve 2 notches on a scale of 1 to 10, if we spend our time working on skills that we are a weak in (say a 3) we can never be incredible at them, only just get to mediocre.  Focus on your strengths where you are already a 7.  People really want to work with 9s and you can get there from a seven with hard work.

One other specific note from the session.  The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.  It’s from Today matters and a great take away from this.



Make it easy for people to help

For the past three years, one goal of mine has always been to figure out a way to get more people interested in speaking.  Toastmaster districts have a large number of events where people can get up and speak to a larger audience than they get at the club level.  It has always been a challenge to get people to step forward though.

Those who are already comfortable are more than willing to step up  and those who aren’t won’t jump at the chance.  For Toastmasters Leadership Institute, I tried something new.  I included an option on the form asking if people were interested in speaking at the event.  I received better response to that question than I have from any other method and it will be on every form.

While people may not search out being a speaker, there are definitely members who are interested and if you can get the question in front of them, they will step up.

Prisoners and Realizations

I received my first communication from a Prisoner today.  District 7 has several prison clubs and one of the prison club members was elected to the division governor position.  I received a congratulations from him via a third party today.

I have a response ready to go back once I get confirmation on how to send it.  I’m starting to work on all the projects as the LGET elect.   Receiving a message from the division governor is reassuring.  If he can succeed as a division governor in prison, then there’s no way that being in Southern Oregon will hurt me in being LGET.