Another great LACE event. Maybe the best one ever.
The day started with our keynote speaker, Ricky Powell, DTM speaking about the three top skills for discovering happiness. At the start of his presentation, the power on campus went out. What a challenge for Ricky. To teach us about happiness during our darkest hour. As Toastmasters we learn how to overcome obstacles by not panicking as we make our adjustments. Ricky is as skilled as they come in these situations. His presentation was PowerPoint based, but he continued on without missing a beat. He challenged us to choose to be victors and not victims. Ricky led us out of the dark with his three top skills for discovering happiness: serving others, forgiveness, and gratitude.
The next session I attended "VP Membership Training" was presented by Tim Hollenbeck. Tim did a great job presenting without power for the first half hour. Because of his sense of humor and clear and powerful voice, we stayed involved throughout his two-hour presentation. My only criticism is handing out Snickers candy bars to those who answered his questions correctly. I think he intentionally misled us to think we were being rewarded when he just wanted to create a sugar rush so we couldn't stop talking. Although I have been VP Membership several times, I always learn new membership ideas from other members.
I attended the "Master Impromptu Speaking" presented by Michael Varma. Initially, I was concerned there would be no time to learn about impromptu speaking because his list of accolades is so long. That even included being honored by First Lady, Michelle Obama. This event filled the room. Who doesn't need to improve on Table Topics? Michael taught us how to identify the type of questions we need to recognize, either closed or open ended. He included a chart in his handout that showed alternative words to expand our vocabulary. He also taught us the Phase 1-2-3 technique to answer questions. He gave 10 examples. The first Phase 1 word was "Before", Phase 2 word "During" and Phase 3 "After." If the question was about Valentine’s Day, the question could be answered talking about what the holiday meant while single, meeting the first love, and now in an established relationship. After Michael's session, members will be crawling over each other to participate in future Table Topics.
As always, lunch was delicious and plentiful. Best buy in town considering all of the valuable breakout sessions. Also a good opportunity to network and meet Toastmasters from other areas.
The value of the session after lunch was debatable (pun intended). The title "Experience a Demo Meeting" hosted by Richard Snyder. If chartered, this will be a specialty club featuring debates. The topic "New Year’s Resolutions Should Be Declared a Waste of Time." Four speakers (2 for and 2 against) speaking for 3 to 4:45 minutes. Very interesting format and I'm glad I attended. The speakers for ending resolutions convinced me to drop my resolutions to exercise and eat healthier.
My last session "Leadership Opportunities Training" by Deborah Reisdorph and Lorrie Briscoe was very informative. Lots of audience participation to keep us awake for the last session of the day. Very good self-evaluation form to see where we have been in terms of leadership to give us a basis to guide us into future roles. I now have s better understanding of the new "Area Advisor Program.” This new program will help the District to find future Area Directors.
After the last session, the event concluded with a 30 minute "Wrap Up Session." I have attended LACE sessions since 2002 and it’s a first for me. During the session, we talked about mentoring and what we learned from the day. Although each session includes evaluation forms, it would be interesting to have group discussions about future LACE training ideas. The wrap included a few words from our keynote speaker and a final raffle drawing to win a free 45 minutes of consultation from Ricky Powell. I'm guessing the consultation will not be about "Living on the Dark Side."