IStock_000002545349XSmallToday is the first day of the Toastmasters International Convention in Palm Desert, CA. There are Toastmasters from around the world who have gathered here early for executive officer training and for officer elections.  As a newly elected member of the District 37 (State of North Carolina) Toastmasters team, I have been amazed by the number of dedicated people who have come here to dedicate their time to this organization. 

I've been especially surprised by the people who have been running for office.  Many of them have spent a great deal of their time developing marketing collateral, handouts and giveaways as they communicate their respective views about the organization.  It has already been illuminating to see the vast variety of presentations and the wide range of investments that have been made to the candidates' respective campaigns. No matter how flashy the material, in the end, I've found that to win our vote, it comes down to the following  key factors: 

  1. how well a candidate can communicate his or her vision of the organization, 
  2. how well each presents himself or herself in a professional, polished manner and 
  3. how well he or she inspires the audience.     

In my humble opinion, this last point is one of the most important.  You can have your best well-laid out plans and present these in the flashiest manner, but if you can't inspire a person, then you won't motivate them to follow you and your ideas.  Inspiration is one of the most important ingredients in a leader especially for those who will inevitably be running for the highest offices to represent Toastmasters International.  Some people call it "marketing magic."  Some call it "charisma and charm." Some have referred to it as "je ne sais quoi."  In the end, it's an intangible spark that a candidate conveys to inspire others.  

The District 37 team has many candidates to interview in the coming days, and I anticipate it will be a long process before our final decisions are made.  

When you decide to vote for a person whether its for an elected government office or an office for a nonprofit organization, what factors do you consider? 

Do you have the "Je ne sais quoi" factor that can be so illusive in others?  

Why do you think you do or do not have it?