Thursday, March 27, 2008


“The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone.
You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it”.

Elaine Agather

In August 2007, I attended my first Toastmasters International Convention in Phoenix Arizona as a “First Timer”. An amazing experience moving beyond my District 31, Region Vii and into the International Toastmasters world!! I met other District Leaders, International Directors, Toastmasters members, Professional Speakers, hearing moving speeches from W Mithchell and Barbara D’Angelis.

"Our chief want is someone who will inspire us
to be what we know we could be".
Ralph Waldo Emerson

AND although there are MANY favorite meet and greets at the Convention – My especially “in Awe” moment was when I took photos with first leading lady – past International President, Helen Blanchard, DTM – who has an amazing story about how women were not allowed to be in Toastmasters until the 1970’s and Helen had to “pretend she was a male and went by the name of “HOMER” (More on Helen that later...)

To top it off I witnessed my fellow Toastmaster friend, Vikas Jhingran win the 2007 International Speech Contest and become the 2007 World Champion of Public Speaking! This was a special treat since I also saw how Vikas’ speech transformed several times when he received excellent feedback from D31 members from the Humor & Drama Toastmasters Club. Vikas was also coached twice from the D31, 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking, Darren LaCroix’s during live coaching sessions in Boston and Rhode Island – And Darren asked ME to organize and host them. Thanks Darren !

I also attended Darren’s Get Paid To Speak Champ Camp and met other World Champs (1995) Mark Brown, (2000) Ed Tate, and had (1999) Craig Valentine sign my book!

Also met the 2003 WCPS, Jim Key and his girlfriend, Angie Flinn – actually Angie is now Jim’s fiancée – and soon to be wife on September 6, 2008. Angie Flinn, understand the leadership track she was the District 50 Governor! I have to give her a big thank you for featuring me as one of her friends and has my blog link on her BLOG. My turn to list Angie’s link on my BLOG!

As the 2007-2008 Lt. Governor of Marketing I have been “TAKING THE NEXT STEP” by attended many DEMO meetings, meeting many members in the District and attending many planned events.

I have Chartered eight new clubs and three more are about to charter soon!

I am hoping to “TAKE THE NEXT STEP” on the leadership Track and since I won’t know the results until May 10, 2008 at the Fall Conference Business meeting where we will vote on another Leadership Trio and have a new District Governor with a new theme – I have to wait to post the news about my Toastmasters Story then…

“A leader is one who knows the way,
goes the way, and shows the way.”

John C. Maxwell

In the mean time, I have more new clubs to charter, membership dues to collect, and continue to “Share My Toastmasters Story” with others along my travels so they too can enjoy the many benefits of what Toastmasters has to offer within the communication and leadership tracks.

Just as my District 31 Governor challenged me during the last three years with their themes – my challenge to YOU is to “Create Your Destiny”, “Tap Into Toastmasters”, “Take The Next Step” in the Leadership Track, Humorous/International Speech Contest Track, Public Speaking Track, Writing Track/Club Officer, District Officer Track – the possibilities are endless and Toastmasters is what you make of it. And more importantly you will emerge as a better speaker, better leader and better communicator from being a member of Toastmasters International!

“For me, it took getting into a formal organization – such as Toastmasters – to understand what total communication is all about.”
Peter Coors, Coors Brewing Co.

Want to “TAKE THE NEXT STEP” and learn more about Toastmasters -

Want to “TAKE THE NEXT STEP” learn more about District 31, which covers eastern Massachusetts and the entire state of Rhode Island.

Want to “TAKE THE NEXT STEP” and contact me to join a club or start a new club in District 31?

Respectfully Submitted By,
Sherri Raftery, DTM
2007-2008 Lt. Governor of Marketing

"Sharing My Toastmasters Story (Part V) to follow - sometime in the future!

“Shaping Ourselves…Shaping Our World” Toastmasters International 2007-2008 President Chris Ford, DTM



A charter is a document bestowing certain rights on a town, city, university, land or institution; sometimes used as a loan of money. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a bill of rights. The term derives from the Latin word "Carta" word meaning "paper".



The word leadership can refer to:
1. The ability "to get people to follow voluntarily."
2. Those entities that perform one or more acts of leading.
3. The ability to affect human behavior so as to accomplish a mission designated by the leader.

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