Conference Comradery

 Conference Comradery with Jenilee Taylor

Jenilee Taylor, LGET, District 10, talks about conferences.

Jenilee Taylor, LGET, District 10, talks about conferences.

Today On the Table, we’re talking with Jenilee Taylor, District 10’s lt. governor education and training.  

Toastmasters districts around the world offer conferences for their members. Today we’re chatting with Jenilee about why Toastmasters should attend.

Kim Krajci:  Jenilee, do you go to conferences other than Toastmasters?

Jenilee Taylor:  I do.  I go to conferences for work and for other organizations I belong to.

KK:  What do you find that you get at conferences?

JT:  You get an ability to connect with people you wouldn’t normally see on a day to day basis.  You learn a lot about the organization you’re meeting for, you learn about ways you can change or alter how you do your work or organization on a day to day basis, and you can share your ideas with other people too.

KK: You have a history of being very creative in your customer service.  Does that come across in this sort of networking? Do you share ideas how to build caves for people in your hotel rooms?

JT:   Yes, pillow forts have come up at conferences before. But it’s not just about sharing creativity, it’s about just the comradery that you’re going through something with a group of people and you can relate to them on a different level.

KK:  Do you think that the Toastmasters conferences you’ve attended extend that same kind of comradery?

JT:   Oh, absolutely.  I have been part of Toastmasters for almost ten years, and I’ve been at conferences both inside District 10 and been to other districts [conferences] as well. It doesn’t matter if it is within your own district,  no matter what conference you go to, you’re always a Toastmaster and you’re always welcome.

KK:  What’s the value you think a Toastmasters conference should have to the average Toastmaster who’s never been outside the club?

JT:   I think that just the same as Toastmasters itself.  Every Toastmaster is on a journey, no two Toastmasters are in the exact same place, exactly the same time. So for any individual Toastmaster, they’re going to get something different out of it.  They’re going to get out of it what they’re looking for.  For someone who has never been outside of their club, they get to see a world outside of that bubble.  They get to know that there are different ways to hold meetings. There are different lessons to learn and different voices to be heard.

KK:  What do you think is the best part of a conference?

JT:   Wow!  That’s like asking a mother who her favorite child is.

KK:  Yeah, pretty much.

JT:  I think that the best part of a conference is really getting to meet other people.  You get to know others you wouldn’t normally get to meet.  Getting to interact with these people – it changes you, for the better.

KK:  We have this conference coming up, the spring conference in 2015.   We have the theme:

Ready Set Go!  The Race to the DTM!

I have to admit, I really like it.

Spring 2015 Conference

Spring 2015 Conference

JT:    I think it’s a great, very timely theme especially since we know our education program is going to be changing soon and knowing that everyone is currently working towards education goals that will lead to the DTM.  I think some of us are in a sprint, some of us are in a marathon, but we’re all in it together.

KK:  Do you see us spending a lot of time talking about the DTM?  Because there are some people who may want to come to this who say, “That’s not one of my goals.”  What will they get out of a conference with DTM in the title?

JT:  It’s not necessarily just about that.  You’re going to learn different leadership skills, different communication skills.  You’ll also going to have the opportunity to hear International World Champion of Public Speaking of 1995 Mark Brown, who will share so much more than education goals.

KK:  A lot of other districts have two and three day conferences.  We tend to stick to a single day, with perhaps our keynote speaker speaking the night before.  Why do we keep ours so small?

JT:   The reason we keep it so small… we have had surveys and asked attendees and even individuals who have never attended conferences what they’re looking for.  In our district, we tend to like a one day event.  It’s also very cost effective for our members, which tends to pull out a little more of an attendance.

KK:  Last year, we had a person who was supposed to get her DTM have to decline to attend the minting ceremony because she was going to a gala.  Can we have a gala?

JT:  I would love to have a gala!  If we can get enough people to sign on, I would love to wear a pretty princess dress and maybe one of those tiaras too.

KK:  That would be great.  Thanks, Jenilee.

JT:   Absolutely, Kim. Thank you.

I guess I’m not getting my gala this conference, but a girl can hope – and have a tiara on hand, just in case.

Thanks to Jenilee Taylor for her time talking about conferences with us.

Yes, the District 10 2015 Spring Conference is coming up soon.  The early bird prices will expire soon so register now to get the best prices.  We have a wonderful key note speaker, Mark Brown, 1995 winner of the International Speech Contest.  You won’t want to miss him – or our district’s International Speech contest.

At the spring conference, we vote for new district officers.  Club presidents and vice presidents of education, you need to be there, or get your proxy to someone who will be there.  There are limits to how many proxies one person can carry, so check with your area governor or division governor before turning it over to someone carrying proxies for other people.

We will also be voting on redistricting and other district business.  We need you to be there!  Sign up now for the conference – the business meeting starts early, so you won’t want to wait to sign up at the door.

We’re still looking for DTMs to contribute to our Advanced Manual Review Project.  If you have a manual you want to tell us about, let me know at our website,

Our music today, as always, is from, that incomparable site of great music.

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