Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Report on the Toastmasters District Semi-Annual Conference - I

From: Prasad Sovani
Date: Tue, Nov 30, 2010
Subject: Report on the District Semi-Annual Conference - I

Dear Toastmaster friends,

Hi! I returned from Mumbai late on Sunday night and was busy in pending work, hence the delay in sending this mail.

It was fabulous experience at Reverberations 2010.
I was quite happy with the quality of contests and felt that it has improved over the years.

First the headlines:
Our contestants rocked, and narrowly missed out on winning one of the top 3 positions, but were good enough to win the semi-finals and enter the finals.
Both Mario Rozario(Evaluation) and Ramakrishna Reddy(Humorous) did us proud by giving their best shot!
So though they have not won a medal, they were GOOD!

The next District event is Annual District Conference in May 2010 at Mysore and I' like to have each club from our Division represented over there. So, if the clubs are represented on Thursday 12 May 2010,(For Semi-Finals to support our contestants) and onwards, it might be great for all of us.

I shall now give report of only day 1 in this mail.
We reached there at 1.30 pm on Friday and straightaway I had to attend the District Executive Committee meeting.

Our Division is vibrant & vivacious! We were the best Division of District 82-N. We have added 4 new clubs against the target of 6 and we are expected to achieve at least 10 new clubs by June end.
Plus when I talked about what is happening in our Division, all the present people applauded vigorously and commented during the break that Div M is different!

FYI, we are unique in 6 ways. 1. Forming new community clubs by splitting (The 'Prasad Sovani' model or Pune model) It was requested by some Division Governors that I talk about this. 2. Monthly dinners for Presidents & Div Council, to bond well 3. Training for Presidents on a regular basis to groom future leaders, 4. Mentoring rigorously as was evident in substantial improvement in Ramakrishna's speech, 5. Division newsletter & Wikia, 6. Lot of coverage in print media

That evening, we had the inauguration & while there were many programmes, I was touched by Frank Storey's speech.
Frank joined Toastmasters after repeated requests by his colleague. After his first meeting, joined straightaway, and same month joined 5 more clubs to practise more! Later, he went on to be District Governor in USA.

I have some take-homes from PDG DTM Frank Storey's speech and I feel that it certainly added value to me:

1. Never give up and invite people persistently. Frank himself was invited several times before he attended and went on to serve Toastmasters International as a District Governor!
I (Prasad Sovani) invited rigorously in Singapore and am doing so in Pune, but these words re-enforced my thoughts.

2. The domino effect: A brings B in to TM club and B goes on to sponsor 10 new clubs, one of which produces DGs! Amazing, isn't it? So always keep bringing new guests, you never know who will go on to become a Frank Storey, or a Nagaraja Rao or a Prasad Sovani!
You would have pleasure knowing that the person you introduced to TM, went on to become someone who served a far greater cause!

3. A little praise for a new TM goes a long way in making him feel interested in the movement! Frank was praised by someone initially as a Rising Star and he worked hard to prove those words.

4. I liked this the most--- Your club may not need additional members, but the members need you (movement), so keep adding members!

There was a cultural show and dinner but I had to stay in town at a family friend's home (Dalvi) and needed to be there in time for a decent chat and reach at a reasonable hour, so left earlier!

But, I invited my friend from the Dalvi household to join TMC in Mumbai and he may indeed do so! & who knows what he can accomplish as a TM ...........

Warm Wishes
-- Prasad

Prasad Sovani, Distinguished Toastmaster
Division Governor, Division M, Toastmasters International Dist. 82
Immediate Past President, Rotary Club of Pune Lokmanyanagar,
Professional Corporate Trainer & Economist,
GSE Scholar, The Rotary Foundation, 2005-06
Prasad Sovani,

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