An Inspiring Conference Story

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Edward Babino, President of  Nationstar Speaks
When I registered for the D25 Conference, I did not know what to fully expect.  I just knew that I wanted to get as much as I could from my experience in Toastmasters.  Later, I received a call from Allan Pickering, District Contest Coordinator.  He asked if I wanted to be a test speaker for the Evaluation Contest, set to take place the night of everyone’s arrival.  I was not that surprised by the ask, considering that I spoke with my club’s past president, Joyce Trimble, about wanting to get more experience in speaking (I wondered if she had something to do with it).  I said yes, and started preparing a noteworthy speech right away.
 I was a First Time attendee, and my night started at the First Timer’s reception.  Everyone was so warm and welcoming.  I was greeted by the District Director, Jodie Sanders, the Program Quality Director, Greg Pick, and many others.
What was it like being a test speaker?  At first, it was a bit nerve-racking.  I kept my mingling to a minimum in order to focus on what I was going to say.  When I finally got onto the stage in front of everyone and gave my speech, I felt a sense of relief and excitement.  The contestants who evaluated my speech were the most impressive and professional people that I have ever had the privilege of hearing.  Their critiques were each unique, but equally impactful.  I took away so much from their feedback and suggestions.  I hope that I can meet with them again in the future.
Edward with Contestmaster and fellow Nationstar Speaks club member, Mike Schellen
The rest of the conference was amazing and insightful.  From the educational sessions to the guest keynote speakers; I loved the camaraderie that everyone shared.  The Humorous Speech Contest was a blast of laughter and one of my favorites.  I knew that we were getting the best of the best from each Division and the speakers did not disappoint.

The D25 Conference opened me up to so much more that Toastmasters offers.  I met with Veronica Sites, Chairman of the D25 Speakers Bureau, and submitted an application to join.  My goal is to one day speak at an International Conference for Toastmasters.  I am currently serving as the President of my club, Nationstar Speaks.  For the next conference in May 2017, I want to get as many of my members to attend as possible.  I encourage you to do the same.
Article submitted by Edward Babino, President of Nationstar Speaks, a corporate club out of Nationstar Mortgage in Lewisville, Tx.  He was also a first-time attendee at the Fall 2016 District Conference and the District Evaluation Contest Test Speaker.  He also became a proud father for the first time this year.