It was my 3rd time to attend the annual convention of TI and it was my 2nd time to participate in the trainings for district top three officers which are held before the convention every year. They still let me feel a sense of gratitude even though a month has passed since our return. The plentiful experiences from the convention not only enhanced my confidence in leadership and communication but also expanded my personal growth. For encouragement of our members to participate in the convention in the future, I’d like to share some of my experiences from the convention in the following points:
1. For the convenience of most members, the annual convention was scheduled in the middle of August during summer vacation. The high costs associated with traveling during this time have induced some to voice a change in the timing of the convention, but like a pilgrimage, a large number of members still poured into the convention to show their support to the organization and show their interest in learning from Toastmasters’ best speakers. I expect that our members who have the interest to join such a pilgrimage should prepare themselves and join us next year at Foxwood, Connecticut, in August 2009.
2. There were two full days of training for the top 3 district officers in DNAR (Districts Not Assigned to Region) from Sunday to Monday afternoon. The training included: building effective teams, conflict management, district leader breakout sessions (training for the role of DG, LGET and LGM respectively), building new clubs, transition training and district success workshop: planning and budgeting. The programs were full of challenges and used discussion with workshops, although a little boring for some team members who liked to grab a microphone to express their ideas to show their outstanding knowledge, I still learned a lot of leadership skills which may help me to management smoothly our district in the future.
3. The campaign activities for new International Officers and Directors of board were the most exciting event during the convention. All the processes were under the instruction of WHQ and in the spirit of a true democracy. The most splendid part of this campaign activity was the candidate showcase reception. Every candidate put up their stand to show their articles and received greeting or interviews from many Toastmasters which included District Governors. We, the top 3 officers from D67, as a team together, visited every candidate after an appointment. We ask them 3 questions:
Their mission for their new office, their idea about the translation of Toastmasters’ educational materials into Mandarin and their idea to solve the high shipping fee for materials from WHQ.
The purpose of the last two questions was to urge the future leader to understand the problems we encounter and help to solve the issues in the future. We also expressed our ideas and suggestions for the 2 issues, such as increasing the range and speed of translation, having a professional translation company to translate the education materials; also we suggested having special store in Taiwan or in Asia to solve the problem of shipping fee. We also conveyed the same issues to the Manager and Officer of WHQ and received positive responses. Although they have their difficulties, for example, lack of budget to translate manuals into many different languages due to the large number of educational materials, but they promised to try any possible method to solve these problems in the future. I believe that having their understanding of our problem is the biggest achievement we got this year. I also hope that the issues will be solved in the near future.
4. The international speech contest was another key event. It attracted many members. Our contestant Sammy Su represented our district to compete with other 6 DNAR contestants and got the 2nd place trophy. The best result we have ever had in our district. Owing to her natural ability, relentless efforts, and her support team led by Helen Chen, DTM, she got the honor of being named 2nd place. In fact, she performed very well and it was possible to win the contest. I expect that she will win the champion next year if she continues with her hard work.
5. Every year at the convention, there is quite a number of educational and training programs, such as general keynote speeches, leadership track, communication track and club & district success tracks. One of the programs was hosted by 2007 public speaking champion, Vikas Jhingran. His topic was “Public speaking—An emotional approach”. He explored the importance of having an emotional connection with the audience. He also emphasized to use music, movies and art as a resource for speech ideas and showed us how he used this idea to win the world championship in year 2007. We all agreed that after one year’s preparation and presentation in different occasions, he accumulated a lot of new ideas and now he has become an excellent trainer.
6. Hall of fame is another exciting session too. This session was arranged after the Luncheon party, so, every award recipient felt very honor to stand on the stage to accept the award and accept the greeting from the audience and toke many memorable photos. Our District won the 4th position in District Distinguished program, so, our District was invited to accept the honorable award in the front of the line. As the 4th position was announced, our IPDG Jack Tsai, DTM, was invited to sit at the top row of the stage during the formal luncheon on Aug.15, 2008 before the hall of fame. It was a great honor for all of us. We expect that our DG Marian Hsiao, DTM will have the same opportunity to sit on the very high position if we work together. After this convention, I’d like to organize a very honorable and respectful atmosphere to present our awards in this Fall-convention which will be held on Nov.15-16 in Taichung.
Many years ago, a woman asked a great Chicago educator Francis Parker after his lecture, “How early can I begin the education of my child?” The master replied, “How old is your child?” The woman replied, “She’s five years old.” And the master shouted, “Already you have lost the best five years.” My dear fellow Toastmasters, the annual convention provides a lot of fantastic programs for us to learn. Don’t hesitate and miss the great opportunity of learning! Now, let’s start to save money and arrange our holidays for next August 2009. Let’s go together to join the annual convention.
五、 每年都有多樣化的教育訓練課程，包括溝通、領導、專題演講及分會與總會的成功管理等。其中去年的演講比賽冠軍Vikas Jhingran ，被安排為今年度的訓練講師之一，其題目為”Public speaking—An emotional approach” 其題目為探討演講時需要用感情連擊聽衆的重要性。並引用音樂電影或藝術作為演講之意念。我們聽後一致認為得獎後經過一段時間的思考準備，可能有更吸引人的材料及能力來訓練別人。
婦女回答：“五歲了!”大師大聲叫道：“天啊! 不要站在這裡跟我聊天，趕怏回家；你已經誤了最好的五年了啊！” 各位會友：世界大會真的提供許多精彩的節目，可以讓我們開心的學習。不要再猶疑了，趕快存錢並排出明年的假期，我們大家逗陣去參加世界大會，以免躭誤了最好的學習時間呢！