This year’s District 47 Conference in Fort Lauderdale is shaping up to be an amazing experience for new and experienced Toastmasters alike! While the schedule is subject to change this early on, this will give you a good idea of what to expect.
This year, we’re “Culturing Up!” with the theme “One District, Many Cultures”. As you may know, District 47 is privileged to sport members with heritages from all over the world and this year we are celebrating this! More details on this will be forthcoming, but expect an opportunity to dress in the beautiful clothing of your heritages!
We want as many Toastmasters to come as possible. Registration, Valuable Ad Positioning and Presenter Applications are already open! Visit https://toastmastersd47.org/conference. We want everyone to enjoy this opportunity to grow and meet new Toastmasters, and that meant giving plenty of notice for busy schedules to be adjusted.
Even the events this year start early! ALL are invited to an absolutely free seminar by 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking Darren LaCroix the Friday afternoon (May 1st, 3pm probably, but not set in stone yet) before the conference begins, (whether you decide to register for the conference or not). If you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing one of Darren’s talks, you owe it to yourself to check this out! The content of this seminar will be announced at a later date, but you know you want to be there no matter what!
The conference itself kicks off at 6pm with dinner and the District Humorous Speech Contest. This is your chance to have some great food and enjoy District 47’s cream of the cream of the cream compete (that’s 3 levels of distillation there through club, area, division).
Following the humorous contest is Darren LaCroix’s keynote presentation. Be prepared to take notes and enjoy some World class storytelling that only a World champion, World renown presenter can deliver.
Enjoy an entertaining, well-crafted story? Want an audience to share a personal story or maybe an entertaining tall tale with? Do you enjoy some friendly competition? Make sure your plans include Friday night’s ever popular Story Slam! We need storytellers and we need an audience. If you plan to participate, be aware that because of time restraints only the first 10 speakers to sign up at the registration table will be able to speak (or at the door if slots are still available somehow). Presentations must be 5-7 minutes (and don’t forget to print and bring an evaluation form for credit). Even though is not an official contest, you’ll notice District 47’s heavyweights regularly competing at it year after year.
Saturday begins with a superb buffet breakfast. With your stomach and mind charged, it’s time for incredible workshop sessions! Remember, this is Toastmasters and not only will you have a chance to attend these incredible workshops, you also have the opportunity to present! Applications are now being accepted for workshop presenters until February 15th (apply here: https://toastmastersd47.org/conference). But please, only apply to be a presenter if you fully intend to not be a contest participant at the District Level. Also, we are looking for the crème de la crème. This is not how to run a speech contest or how to evaluate a speech. No, my friends, recommended workshop topics for these sessions should be more on the loftiness level of: “Solid Steps for Conquering the World”, “The Reproducible Way I made 6 figures Speaking Part Time”, “Toastmasters Skills I Used to Write A Best Selling Novel”, or “Why Jeff Bezos is on my Speed Dial, and it’s all thanks to these things I did in my Toastmasters Club”. I exaggerate a little, but not a lot. We want to know if/how you have done something big or have some huge specialty skill set you could see our conference attendees taking into the world to improve their lives or the world itself. Competition will be fierce for the 6 slots we have available this conference.
First time at the conference? Be sure to attend a special first timers session Saturday morning. You’ll have a chance to meet the District Director, ask questions about the conference, Toastmasters and there’ll be other special surprises as well!
After that, while you feast on an exquisite lunch, enjoy the District’s finest competing for the gold in the district level Evaluation Contest and immediately after that the Table Topics Contest. As usual, prepare to be dazzled by the best of the best our fine district has to offer.
Next up is a special presentation from District 47’s very own Anthony J. Longley, DTM, International Director, Region 8. DTM Longley is very experienced and well respected throughout the Toastmasters world and we are looking forward to his words of wisdom.
Make sure you stop by the candidate’s corner to learn about the candidates for higher District Officers (Div Director, Club Growth, Program Quality Development, District Director, etc.) The times it will be open are as of yet to be determined.
Enjoy good natured election drama? Interested in what makes the District tick? Please plan to stop by the Annual Business Meeting. Even if you are not attending the conference, you are welcome to attend this very import District function (and there is no cost, you are not required to be registered for the conference to attend). Not only will the new District Director (and other offices) for 2020-2021 be elected, but it’s also a chance to learn about redistricting of clubs to different Areas and Divisions (which happens sometimes), find out how the District money is being spent (money which comes from your dues) and participate in other District business, much of which can affect your club. Note, only District Officers, Club Presidents and Club Vice Presidents Education are eligible to vote.
After the business meeting wraps up (and fyi changes to Toastmasters Internationals rules should help us end on time this year), it’s time for the Saturday night festivities!
Saturday night is formal night…so make sure to dress your best!
The fun begins with the District Officer Procession. This is to recognize individuals who have given up their personal time to serve the District (Area and Division Directors, Trio, etc.). If you are a District Officer, this is the opportunity for you to shine! After all this is YOUR year!
As you enjoy a delicious dinner, prepare for the Conference’s Main event: The district level International Speech Contest (and taping for the next level). Each Division sends it’s very best to compete, and it’s important that you be there to cheer on your division. During this contest we decide who District 47 will send to represent us at the Semi-Finals. Keep in mind that we sent a contestant two year ago who made it to number three in the world…who knows, you may have a chance to witness history again at this conference!
While the results of the contest are tabulated, witness Anthony Longley’s keynote. You’ll undoubtedly laugh, maybe cry and certainly learn a few things.
What is any good conference without a good party? Wrapping up the “official” events is the evening is the coveted DTM Walk. This is District 47’s chance to celebrate the awarding of the Distinguished Toastmaster award to our newest DTMs!
And from there the energy is turned up past 11 and everyone is invited to join the party! If nothing else, witnessing (and joining) Leonard Burrows and the rest of the Bahamians as they completely rock the dance floor is worth the price of admission alone!
Finally, be sure to stick around for a special session delivered by Darren LaCroix Sunday morning! This is one last opportunity to witness a successful business person and World champion presenter sharing the things he’s learned with you.
See available pricing, packages and register to attend, apply to be a workshop presenter and consider advertising in our conference book here: https://toastmastersd47.org/conference
Can’t wait to see you all there!