Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Promise of Toastmasters: District 15 Summer Leadership Institute in Boise

Last Saturday morning I attended the semi-annual Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) for Divisions A and B here in Boise. It was held at the SuperValu corporate offices (formerly the Albertsons headquarters). The primary purpose for a TLI is simply to provide training for club officers filling the following seven roles: President, Vice President- Education, Vice President – Public Relations, Vice President – Membership, Secretary, Treasurer, Sergeant at Arms. About a hundred members attended, mostly from the Boise area but also including people from both Twin Falls, and Elko, Nevada.

The TLI began with a keynote speech followed by two breakout sessions. The first breakout session had the usual club officer training, The second breakout session offered a series of bonus topics:

Providing Feedback in Difficult Situations

Lead, Follow, or Don’t Get in the Way Too Much...Observations and Suggestions for Volunteers

Club Building Blocks: Planting, Tending, and Growing a Blue-Ribbon Toastmasters Club.

Finding Information

What Makes an Event Great

I spoke on Finding Information. My title began as How to Deal with Change - Continual Learning, but then got narrowed down and made more specific. My presentation was an updated version of one that I had given at one of the educational sessions at the District 15 Spring Conference in Boise back in May 2008.

I particularly enjoyed the keynote speech by Dwight Edwards. He began by joking that he isn’t tall - the rest of us are short. Dwight is 6’8” tall, and played college basketball for the University of Hartford. He also has an MBA and is a training manager at Hewlett Packard. Dwight was a guest speaker at Capitol Club last December. His keynote speech on Saturday was very impressive. He discussed growing up as a black inner city kid in Connecticut, being the first one in his family to attend college, and realizing the importance of communication skills in a career.

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