If you weren’t able to make it to the 78th annual Toastmasters International twitter-birdieConvention in Mashantucket, Connecticut, your in luck! Taking full advantage of the new D7 twitter account, Cathey Armillas, our Lt. Governor of Education and Training, set out on a mission to “tweet” about the conference in real time to allow all the members back home in District 7 feel like they were there experiencing the convention themselves.

Read all 116 tweets from the moment Cathey landed in the airport in Hartford, CT all the way until she left the President’s Dinner Dance to go to bed after a long and exciting week!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

6:36 PM Aug 11th
Cathey here from D7. Just arrived at the airport in CT for the TM Int’l Convention. Will be reporting all week.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

12:17 PM Aug 12th
Just finished interviewing all the international candidates.

2:39 PM Aug 12th
It went really well. There are a lot of sharp, enthusiastic people who will soon be part of the TM Board of Directors.

7:10 PM Aug 12th
The opening ceremony just started.

7:30 PM Aug 12th
Gary Schmidt is on stage right now. Go Gary!

7:50 PM Aug 12th
Current TI President, Jana Barnhill, just said that. Toastmasters just passed the 250K member mark, also in 106 countries.

8:25 PM Aug 12th
Sam Silverstein is speaking right now about “No More Excuses”. He’s really funny!

Thursday. August 13, 2009

7:43 AM Aug 13th
First round of ed sessions: Engaging Your Audience, Club Success & Public Relations.

8:50 AM Aug 13th
I am sitting in the ed session, “Making a Connection-Keys to Engaging Your Audiences” by Michelle Devlin, DTM

9:01 AM Aug 13th
3 points: Be Authentic, Be Bold, and Interact With Your Audience.

9:18 AM Aug 13th
Second round of ed sessions: Using Humor Appropriately and From Good to Great: Optimizing the Moments of Truth.

10:11 AM Aug 13th
I am in the ed session, “Using Humor Appropriately” by Jan McInnis

10:19 AM Aug 13th
Points: 4 “No’s” of humor, 5 rules for using humor, and the 6 questions to ask your audience to make sure the humor works.

11:47 AM Aug 13th
The Golden Gavel luncheon is starting. The keynote speaker is Bruce Tulgen.

1:16 PM Aug 13th
Jana Barnhill is recognizing the 56 Distinguished Districts in the world. It’s the most ever. Guess which district is there? 7!

1:37 PM Aug 13th
Golden Gavel winner and keynote speaker, Bruce Tulgan, is speaking about generations…X, Y & Boomers. Funny and true content!

1:49 PM Aug 13th
Bruce Tulgan is talking about how the trophy mentality of Gen Y parents. The “Yes Johnny, you can have 5 outs in your baseball game.”

2:01 PM Aug 13th
Bruce Tulgan said “Teach leaders ‘people work’ not paper work.” Awesome speaker!

3:14 PM Aug 13th
3rd round of ed sessions: How Leaders Deal With Change and The Do’s and Dont’s of Corporate Visits.

3:16 PM Aug 13th
I am in the ed session, “Move It: How Leaders Deal with Change” by Darcy Keith

3:27 PM Aug 13th
Darcy’s points to change: Surrender, don’t be a victim, positive attitude, determination and ask for help if needed.

3:34 PM Aug 13th
Darcy’s story: She came back from a tragic car accident that paralyzed her to become a successful speaker. Her life is an inspiration.

4:34 PM Aug 13th
The Candidate Showcase is starting soon. The future leaders of Toastmasters will be speaking and doing Q&A to every region.

7:31 PM Aug 13th
The Candidate Showcase is almost over. There have been some fabulous people giving fabulous ideas for Toastmasters International.

Friday. August 14, 2009

7:56 AM Aug 14th
The future of Toastmasters International is about to be voted on in the business meeting that is starting.

7:59 AM Aug 14th
Gary Schmidt for President, Pat Johnson for Sr. VP, Michael Notaro for 2nd VP and a 3 candidate race for 3rd VP.

8:30 AM Aug 14th
Gary Schmidt was just officially elected President of Toastmasters International. Yay Gary!

8:35 AM Aug 14th
The candidates for 3rd VP are giving their campaign speeches. John Lau, Dietmar Wagenknecht and Ralph Wallace.

8:55 AM Aug 14th
Another contested race: International Director for Region 7: Viki Kinsman, Heather Perkins, and Heath Suddelson. Campaign speeches now.

9:07 AM Aug 14th
The final contested race: Int’l Director for Districts Not Assigned to Regions: Keith Ostregard, Mike Storkey and Jack Tsai.

9:20 AM Aug 14th
Proposal A is being presented. It will amend the Toastmasters International Bylaws. aka…Global Representation and Support.

9:24 AM Aug 14th
Wow! HUGE debates over Proposal A. We are hearing both for and against arguments.

9:30 AM Aug 14th
There is even an appeal to change the current bylaws to change the bylaws. Denied!

9:34 AM Aug 14th
Carl Cottingham, 30-year TM from D7 just gave a great argument for Proposal A saying it’s about serving our next 250K members.

10:07 AM Aug 14th
Just elected! John Lau for 3rd Vice President with over 50% of the votes!

10:27 AM Aug 14th
No majority for the race of Int’l Director for Region 7. 2nd vote. Now on the ballot: Viki Kinsman and Heath Suddleson.

10:38 AM Aug 14th
Just elected! Keith Ostergard for Int’l Director of Districts Not Assigned to Regions.

11:09 AM Aug 14th
Still in the business meeting. 3 hours now. They need more time for the recount on the Int’l Director for Region 7.

11:29 AM Aug 14th
Just in! Proposal A just passed. The vote? 8,912 for yes and 3,936 for no.

11:31 AM Aug 14th
Just elected! Heath Suddleson for Region 7 International Director.

11:33 AM Aug 14th
The 2009-2010 Board of Directors are being announced.

11:37 AM Aug 14th
John Lau is giving his acceptance speech for 3rd VP.

12:00 PM Aug 14th
Finally! The 4 hour business meeting is over! All is well in Mashantucket!!!

12:06 PM Aug 14th
2 luncheons going on now: Leadership & Discovery.

12:10 PM Aug 14th
I am in the Leadership luncheon. The keynote will be given by Johnny Campbell, DTM, AS called “The 21st Century Leader”. More soon…

1:24 PM Aug 14th
Johnny Campbell’s keynote: Your purpose should be to serve others with your vision and your talents.

1:29 PM Aug 14th
Lead people to lead. Don’t push them. Understand other’s value systems first.

1:42 PM Aug 14th
Main points: There is no perfect time for change. Change is now. Change is you.

2:02 PM Aug 14th
Check out Gary Schmidt’s acceptance speech: http://bit.ly/D27sk

2:21 PM Aug 14th
Hall of Fame program starting…recognizing excellent Toastmasters!

2:59 PM Aug 14th
Last TM year (2008-2009) 1,705 Distinguished Clubs, 1,459 Select Distinguished Clubs, and 2,407 President’s Distinguished Clubs.

3:31 PM Aug 14th
District 7 just got off the stage. Being honored for Distinguished District. Now up to the Presidential Suite 2 party w/the President!

3:23 PM Aug 14th
Party in the Presidential Suite on the 30th floor of the MGM Grand celebrating Gary as President!

5:54 PM Aug 14th
From one party to the next. I am now in the Region 1 party. Can you believe that the top 3 in TM are all from Region “1-derful”!

8:26 PM Aug 14th
Watching the test screening of the movie SpeakEasy. A documentary film about public speaking.

9:32 PM Aug 14th
LaShunda Rundles story just made me cry…but inspired me beyond belief.

10:25 PM Aug 14th
The movie just ended. It was great for Toastmasters and told a great story. It needs a lot of tightening though.

10:56 PM Aug 14th
Tomorrow is the big day! The World Champion of Public Speaking will be crowned at the Int’l Speech Contest!

Saturday August 15, 2009

8:56 AM Aug 15th
The highlight of the Toastmaster Convention is beginning. 10 contestants all competing to be the World Champion of Public Speaking.

9:12 AM Aug 15th
Contestant #1, Chakisse Newton from Region #8, “Happily Never After”

9:17 AM Aug 15th
“Happily Never After” was about living happy now not waiting for that “perfect” thing to come along to be happy.

9:20 AM Aug 15th
Contestant #2, Byron Embry from Region #3, “The Only Thing Standing”

9:24 AM Aug 15th
“The Only Thing Standing” was about Byron’s relationship with his mother and how her love was the foundation of his life.

9:27 AM Aug 15th
Contestant #3 Jack Ackerman from Region #4, “Listen to Your Heart”

9:34 AM Aug 15th
“Listen to Your Heart” was about making decisions to give to other people as it will always come back to you.

9:35 AM Aug 15th
Contestant #4 Erick Rainey from Region #1, “Feed the Right Dog”

9:44 AM Aug 15th
“Feed the Right Dog” was about listening to the right “dog” in your head and going after your dreams.

9:51 AM Aug 15th
“In Search of the Bunny Badge” was about making the choice to control your life and not letting circumstances control you.

6:56 AM Aug 15th
Contestant #6 Herminigildo Garrobo from DNAR (A), “Lessons from a Broomstick”

10:01 AM Aug 15th
“Lessons from a Broomstick” was about overcoming fears of rejection and failure and gaining confidence.

10:02 AM Aug 15th
Contestant #7 Stephen Cornwell from Region #5, “The Choice”

10:09 AM Aug 15th
“The Choice” was about choosing to live in love and love others.

10:12 AM Aug 15th
Contestant #8 Mark Hunter from DNAR (B), “A Sink Full of Green Tomatoes”

10:17 AM Aug 15th
“A Sink Full of Green Tomatoes” was about changing your view of the world from within your heart.

10:20 AM Aug 15th
Contestant #9 Mary Cheyne from Region #7, “Nelly”

10:26 AM Aug 15th
“Nelly” was about Mary’s inner critic who tells her that she’s no good and she will fail and how she has learned to overcome “Nelly”.

10:28 AM Aug 15th
Contestant #10 Maureen Zappala from Region #6, “Bless Not Impress”

10:35 AM Aug 15th
“Bless Not Impress” was about putting pride aside and building up others.

10:38 AM Aug 15th
The contest is complete. The interviews will start and the results will be in soon.

10:53 AM Aug 15th
Speaker #1, Chakisse is from South Carolina and has been a TM since 2003.

10:54 AM Aug 15th
Speaker #2, Byron has been a TM for just a year and joined TM because he had a speech impediment.

10:57 AM Aug 15th
Speaker #3, Jack is here with his wife and he has been a TM since 2001.

11:00 AM Aug 15th
Speaker #4, Erick is from Portland, OR and thanked his wife, Ailsa and his son Luke for being here and supporting him.

11:02 AM Aug 15th
Speaker #5, Carl is from the Founders District, and has been a TM since 2005.

11:10 AM Aug 15th
Speaker #6, Herme, is from the Philippines, and is from a “District Not Assigned to a Region”.

11:13 AM Aug 15th
Speaker #7, Stephen is from Tennessee and is following suit of all the other speakers and thanking his wife Melissa!

11:15 AM Aug 15th
Speaker #8, Mark is from Australia and is from District #69. His sister joined him here.

11:22 AM Aug 15th
Speaker #9, Mary is from Region 7, District 31, she was first introduced to TM when she was a kid and participated in the YLP!

11:26 AM Aug 15th
Speaker #10, Maureen is from Region 6, District 10 from Cleveland, Ohio.

11:30 AM Aug 15th
Also, Erick Rainey thanked our district in his interview for supporting him. Thank you D7! Good luck Erick!!! Results coming soon…

11:41 AM Aug 15th
The results are in…the 3rd place winner of the 2009 Int’l Speech Contest is…Erick Rainey!

11:44 AM Aug 15th
The results are in…the 2nd place winner of the 2009 Int’l Speech Contest is…Mary Cheyne!

11:45 AM Aug 15th
The moment we’ve all been waiting for…the 2009 World Champion of Public Speaking is …Mark Hunter!

1:42 PM Aug 15th
Ed session: “Dare to Do It-Accomplish Your Dreams with Humor, Creativity and Passion” by Fran Capo

1:47 PM Aug 15th
Hilarious session given by the “World’s Fastest-Talking Female” about saying yes first and then figuring it all out later.

1:51 PM Aug 15th
By the way…Fran Capo is the Guinness Book of World Records for World’s Fastest-Talking Female at 603 words per minute!

2:02 PM Aug 15th
Fran says that 40 hours a week is WAY to long to be doing something you don’t absolutely love!

2:12 PM Aug 15th
Fran is cracking the audience up! Her stories are SOOO funny! She does NOT take no for an answer to anything!

2:21 PM Aug 15th
She even climbed Kilimanjaro to do a book signing and down to the Titanic too! She doesn’t let anyone or anything get in her way!

2:31 PM Aug 15th
Final thought from Fran Capo: Don’t make excuses. If you want to do something, find a way. If you don’t, you won’t.

3:09 PM Aug 15th
Ed session: “Taking Care of Your Favorite Speaker: You!” By Carol Dean Schreiner

3:15 PM Aug 15th
Carol says: Love yourself just the way you are or fix it! Change can only come from you.

3:23 PM Aug 15th
The other 2 sessions: Panel Discussion on the Distinguished District Program and also FreeToastHost Tips and Tricks.

3:34 PM Aug 15th
Carol says: Take care of yourself. Physically, Intellectually and Emotionally.

3:42 PM Aug 15th
Carol says: Habits control your life, good or bad. It takes 21 days to change a habit. Choose one and start today. Sept 5th is 21 days!

3:56 PM Aug 15th
Carol has been a TM for over 20 years. Her final thought: Be whatever you want to be, because you are special.

7:44 PM Aug 15th
At the President’s Dinner Dance right now!

7:58 PM Aug 15th
Of course when Toastmasters Int’l President, Gary Schmidt walked in the room, The theme for Star Wars started playing!

8:01 PM Aug 15th
By the way…the President’s Dinner Dance is the closing ceremony of the Toastmasters International Convention. Fun! Fun!

8:57 PM Aug 15th
The conversation at my table is getting pretty risqué! Vacuums and bathrooms…don’t ask!

9:38 PM Aug 15th
Past President, Chris Ford, recognizes outgoing Int’l President Jana Barnhill as having a record # of Distinguished Districts. 56

9:42 PM Aug 15th
There’s a guy sleeping at the table behind us. Must be past his bedtime!

9:54 PM Aug 15th
Jana Barnhill just gave an emotional and inspiring outgoing speech. She ended by urging us all to have Courage to Conquer.

10:14 PM Aug 15th
Gary Schmidt just delivered his inaugural speech. It was incredible! I will post it on YouTube next week!

11:11 PM Aug 15th
The dancing is in full swing. Wow! What a blast! You can see Gary doing salsa, Pat doing the boogie and everyone having a blast!

11:56 PM Aug 15th
Dancing is still going on. I, however have sore feet so I’m saying good night to all my fellow TM’s. Signing off, Cathey