Toastmaster: District 16 Conference


Are you in Oklahoma City today? Me neither; but I am in Tulsa attending the District 16 Spring Conference. What a fantastic event! Great people, great presenters and two unbelievable presentations by 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking, Craig Valentine.

After a delicious lunch, Craig gave a keynote about the 4 R’s of Remarkable Results. Being a fan, I have heard some of the material before. But watching him present (did I mention that he is good?), and hearing some new stories really added to my understanding of the material. His story (new to me) about “The Sheen Effect” was particularly amusing.

After lunch, there were three local presenters that gave great presentations about being a “Gung Ho” Toastmaster, having the “Courage to Evaluate”, and “Conquering your Fear” when giving presentations. It’s always great to see a mix of experienced local presenters with someone of Craig’s caliber.

For his educational presentation, Craig presented a new session on how to Create your Keynote. This session was based on his awesome program Create Your Killer Keynote Home Study Course.

He managed to distill his patented (I think) PARTS formula to help the audience understand his methodology and how they could apply it. The response was amazing. There were ~100 people in attendance and Craig had no trouble getting participation and questions from the group.

I don’t know if I’m supposed to tell, but it turns out there was a secret 5th R in the 4-R presentation, and he talked about it again in the afternoon. The secret was no secret to readers of my blog, but Craig makes a far more compelling case than I’ve heard from anyone else.

This important secret: Reading. Craig is a slightly more active reader than I am, maintaining a book-per-week pace for the last 16 years. Wow.

One of my favorite parts (no pun) of the PARTS presentation was the discussion about the Foundational Phrase. Craig gave a very compelling argument for using your Toastmasters club to help you refine your message. He mentioned how he had a great story about a misunderstanding during a Fast-Food drive through experience, and needed a phrase to go with it. After all, “No Phrase…No Stage”.

He took the story to his club, and a member responded with “What you say is not always what they hear.” Another great foundational phrase that Craig now uses in Leadership presentations. I am going to have to use that one myself, although I’ll go ahead and use one of my own stories.

It may not have had the excitement of Oklahoma City (inside joke), but the conference in Tulsa was a lot of fun, and it probably won’t be my last trip to District 16.

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