Toastmasters Convention – Friday Morning


Friday morning was reserved for the Candidate Showcases. This morning those of us serving as delegates (meaning we are carrying votes) for the business meeting were treated to a steady stream of candidates telling us why they should be elected to the leadership of Toastmasters International.

If you haven’t already clicked away, here were a couple of notable comments I heard (bold means I’m intending to vote for them):

Region 8
Patricia Gann – spoke about how we need an Advanced Leadership Manual (not a bad idea)
David Hollingshead – Said “When I am elected”… twice

Region 10
Roberta Perry – Spoke about “Operation little bit” (people not willing to take on bigger roles, give them one thing for one week) – Disney method for resolving conflict (lock people in a room) – assign a “coach” at speech 8 to help members see the advantage of the advanced manuals. All really good thoughts and useful ideas. She swayed me.
Lois Sicking – She was good, but she did not sway me.

The President, President-elect and First Vice President Candidates came next – all unopposed.
Pat Johnson – A very polished speaker. Easy vote.
Michael Notaro – Also sharp.
John Lau mentioned a fact I hadn’t heard before (I like when that happens). Toastmasters International has a target ratio of 1 club to every 20,000 people. In the US the current ration is 1:40,000 and overseas it is 1:1.7Million. wowser.

Second VP
John Rich – Talked about better marketing training – then, what a blunder: He was asked which of the four Toastmaster values (Respect, Integrity, Service, and Excellence)  is the most important to him. He responded “It’s a tough question because I have to try to remember the values.” To which I said “ouch.” a little too loudly. He did work his way to Integrity, but he could have made that point without implying that he didn’t know the values. Note: I’m not saying every member should memorize the values, but past International Directors running for second VP should know them cold, and not try to endear themselves by “not remembering” them. Later, John did make an interesting corollary to the golden rule: Communicate to others as they would want you to communicate with them. I think that was a really good line.

Bash! – Integrity was Bash’s most important value, and he also mentioned the need for Excellence as part of his response to two other questions. Unfortunately, as great as Bash is, I think that he came off as a bit more nervous than the other candidates. While that doesn’t speak to his capability as a board member, I say it’s unfortunate because I think that could have a negative effect (I heard a few murmurs in the audience) when he is such a strong candidate overall. If you speak to him, you’ll see why I’m voting for him.

Ralph Wallace – Service was his most important value – He is a polished speaker and would do a good job. He would be my choice if Bash! was hit by a meteor or something.

George Yen – I like his take on the international aspects of our organization.

And then, like many of you who have already stopped reading, I took a break and skipped the other ID candidates (I’ve spoken or will speak to all of them anyway).

More fun. On to the World Champions Edge Lunch with the Champs!


  1. ROFL …oh goodness, Rob, you just cracked me up! Loved your comment about the meteor. FUNNY! Ralph is from our district. I would definitely vote for Bash! ’nuff said.

    Have FUN at the lunch gathering. Wish I could be there, too!


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