Sunday, August 15, 2010

Conventional Afterthoughts

Greetings Happy People,

Before I lay my head to pillow. I have to tell you about my overall thoughts of my experience last week.

As many of you know, I attended the 2010 Toastmasters International Convention in beautiful Palm Desert, California. Before I went into the conference, I had a mixutre of excitement and nervousness. I did not know what to expect. When the convention was over, I left with memories that will last a lifetime.

I currently serve as the District 33 Lt. Governor of Marketing. District 33 covers southern Nevada and central California. The first two days of the convention brought training to the Top 3 District Officer positions - District Governor, Lt. Governor of Education & Training, and Lt. Governor of Marketing. This training not only allowed me to know more about my role, but also meet with other Top 3 Officers from Districts all over the world!! We are talking 6 out of 7 continents!!

Another amazing thing was the opening ceremonies. They had an amazing flag parade where 106 flags went down the aisle. The 106 flags represent the 106 countries that have Toastmaster clubs. Nothing was more amazing when they brought out the American flag. As the flag stood out in the middle of the stage, the sound people were suppose to play the Star Spangled Banner. When that didn't work, the people in the ballroom sang the anthem. Even people that were not from this country knew and sang the words!! That gave me chills down my spine!!

Another amazing thing about the convention was the training. You had some top-notch people give training on communication & leadership. Some were as big a 7'4", others allowed people to "Sparkle!!" No matter what, they were worthwile. As the training went on, I also had the chance to meet some candidates. These people were running for different positions on the Toastmasters International board. Whether it was for 2nd Vice President, International Director, or anything else, they did their best to campaign by talking to the people, answering questions, and giving their presentations on why they should be selected. All candidates were fantastic people!!

When I am talking about the convention, how can I not mention the speaking contests? For the first time ever, this convention had a semifinals and finals for the World Championship of Public Speaking. There are 81 Districts in the world. Each district has their respective winners from their International Speech Contests. At Thursday's semifinals, they have nine contests (with nine competitors in each contest) give their best International speech at the semifinals. The 9 winners proceeded to Saturday's World Championship of Public Speaking.

I am proud to say that I knew two of the contestants that competed in the semifinals - Steven Hollingsworth and Bryant Pergerson. Although they did not advance to the final round, these guys gave the best damn performances they could. For that, they were champions in my book!! WAY TO GO STEVE AND BRYANT!!

Another thing to mention at the convention were the fancy dinners. The first dinner was the Golden Gavel Dinner where Toastmasters International gave an award to a non-Toastmaster that is making a difference in their community. The recipient was Carolyn Kepcher from the TV show "The Apprentice." She gave a speech on not only her adventures in working with Donald Trump, but also about her own company - Carolyn & Co. This company is about the providing a broad array of services and assistance to career women. To know more about it, go to her website

The second dinner wrapped up the whole convention. It was the President's Dinner and Dance. It was there where Toastmasters did not just enjoy the food, but also awesome speeches from outgoing International President Gary Schmidt and incoming International President Pat Johnson. Afterwards, we danced and sang to the music!!

Overall, I enjoyed myself at this convention. There were so many things to do and so many people to meet!! I felt grateful about the opportunity and my heart felt happy about the whole experience!! If anyone would like to write something on their bucket list, attending a Toastmasters International Convention would be one of them. For one week, you get to see, do, and experience many things!! This is something that I would recommend for all happy people!!

That is all I have for now. Take care, thank you for your time and attention, and see you at the August 2011 Toastmasters International Convention - in LAS VEGAS :o)


Jesse I-I-I

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