What You Missed Out On From The District 4 TLI

What an event it was.

We had an unbelievable Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) this past weekend. 125 members from 45 clubs across the District attended the event which was held at the prestigious Genentech Hall on the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) campus. It was fun, it was educational, and it was insightful. For those of you who weren’t able to make it, let me share back with you what you missed out on.

The educational sessions were so good you didn’t know where to spend your time

Division B Director David McLeod taught us the science behind Table Topics, improv experts Elaine Lung and Matt Birmodiz shared the secrets to improvisational speaking, Tony Luckett led us on a wild ride learning the principles of storytelling, 2016 District International Speech Champion Gina Grahame encouraged us to embrace authenticity and speak from the heart, Life Coach Linda Gonzalez gave us the tools to handle conflict, past District 57 Governor Tyree Johnson showed us the value of mentorship… not to mention District Pathways Ambassador Ken Cawley gave us a sneak preview of the new Toastmasters educational program. The sessions were so helpful and so varied, that I found myself floating from session to session because I was so worried I was missing out. Imagine going to a movie theater and your 8 favorite movies of all time are all playing at the same time.

The club officer trainings (COTs) held possibly the most talented training roster of all time. 

If you want to be the best then you need to learn from the best. And the best were on display during the Club Officer Training portion of the TLI. As far as the training roster, we had a past District Director, a professional educational designer, a professional communications and digital strategist, just to name a few. We even had someone who’s been working on starting his own Toastmasters Club in Cuba! There was enough collective talent and experience that would make the starting lineup of the Golden State Warriors feel nervous.

Aubrey Carrier singing Everything is Awesome. 

Wow. You had to be there to see/hear it. It’s often suggested that the best speeches open with power. Nothing was more powerful than watching Aubrey light up the morning remarks by singing Everything is Awesome from The Lego Movie.

In all seriousness though, it is awesome when you’re part of a team. Watching this event carry out the way it did made me marvel at what can be accomplished when we work together. From securing the venue, to preparing the food, to working the registration, and more; it didn’t just take a team to make it happen. It took a community. #ManyVoicesOneCommunity

For those of you who weren’t able to attend, I highly recommend you save the date for the 2017 Spring Conference this May 20-21 in Foster City. The theme is Always in Motion. There will be more sessions, more speakers, more fun, and possibly more singing? Only time will tell. See you there!

What was your favorite moment from the TLI? Please feel free to share by leaving a comment below. 

About Eugene Chen 25 Articles
Eugene Chen joined Toastmasters in June 2013. He is a member of First Republic Toastmasters and Cable Car Toastmasters. During his time with the organization, he has held a variety of club and district level leadership roles - the most recent being Public Relations Manager for District 4 during the 2016-2017 term. Outside of Toastmasters, Eugene leads the Enterprise Collaboration program at First Republic Bank where he uses the mechanics of social media, community management, information architecture, and user experience design to help his colleagues work smarter together. He’s also an avid half-marathon runner and has competed in over 20 races to date.

1 Comment

  1. You are absolutely correct about the sessions – it was a Sophie’s Choice of topics, one equally as intriguing as the next. I ended up in Gina Grahame’s where she was offering very specific tips that totally turned people’s speeches around. She would listen to their opening couple of minutes, talk to them about 30 seconds, and give them such fabulous feedback they were ready to take on a District contest! I also learned about the new Pathways program, which is making everything new and exciting (again). What a great day; I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

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