Toastmasters.color As you may know, I've started blogging again after a long hiatus.  I must thank my National Speakers Association (NSA) Blogger friends for their encouragement and support after attending the NSA Conference in Orlando a few weeks ago. 

One reason for my departure from blogging was the time I spent on my campaign for a Toastmasters International office in the State of North Carolina.  Between November 2009 and May 2010, I had been focusing much of my efforts on running for the Lieutenant Governor Marketing role for District 37.   It was an educational experience, and I am grateful that I had great advisors and supporters all along the way.  I learned how to craft a campaign and create a team of senior advisors.  I learned how to pull together a portable tradeshow display that I could bring with me to events throughout the State that included brochures and giveaways.   I found myself in Wilmington, Charlotte, Greensboro, Pinehurst, Raleigh, Durham, Kannapolis and Concord throughout my run for office.  The portable materials were a must since I often visited these sites by train and couldn't carry a lot with me. 

Most importantly, I learned how to lead and to communicate a message succinctly and with passion.  I became very focused on my theme "Shaping Lives," and every opportunity I had, I spent communicating my belief that Toastmasters International can transform people, and it is accessible to everyone.  It brings so many great speaking and leadership skills in a spirit of camaraderie. 

I was especially blessed when people would ask me how they could help me.  They wanted to represent me at events and give my brochures to members of their clubs.  I had followers that wanted to see me succeed in the election.  I am so grateful that people came out openly in support of me.  I knew I wasn't alone in this process, and I learned what a great team we have in this State.

I won the election on May 22, 2010, and I've been busy preparing now for the Toastmasters Convention that will take place next week in Palm Desert, CA.  I am thrilled that I'll have a chance to meet Toastmasters from around the world, get some wonderful training and watch some amazing speakers compete for the coveted "World Champion of Public Speaking" title. 

Sharon Anita Hill is the new District Governor, our highest ranking officer of the State.  Her theme this year is:  "It's Toastmasters, Baby!"  As you can see from the title of this post…combining her slogan with my slogan makes for a great team.  "Shaping Lives…It's Toastmasters, Baby!"   

What organizations have helped transform your life?

Who do you recruit to help you on your journeys?

Who are your supporters and how do you recognize them?