Do you know you have an extended family all over the world? Yes, you do! Toastmasters is a family without boundaries, and when you visit another country – of course, you have to visit your family over there!
And that is exactly what I did on my last trip to Hong Kong. It was great to connect with my (real) family, but I also dropped by a local Toastmasters club, TGIT – Thank God It’s Toastmasters Club, which is Hong Kong’s first advanced club. The theme of the meeting was “Masterchef” and, as promised, the meeting served up a delectable assortment of speeches. For example, I learned how to make a perfect cup of chai tea, and why steak should always, always be paired with potatoes. The advanced speeches were all from the Persuasive Speaking manual (under the traditional education program), which perfectly suited my palate because I have plans to work on that manual this year.
This visit resulted in a fun record of “firsts” for me: my first Toastmasters meeting outside Canada, my first visit to an advanced club, and, most delightfully, my first experience with a wine and cheese reception before a Toastmasters meeting. (Now, that’s food for thought!) I loved the congenial atmosphere of TGIT and I was greeted so warmly that I felt right at home with this new family.
The next time you travel, I encourage you to go see your extended Toastmasters family! This welcoming, worldwide family is a perk of being a Toastmasters member, so definitely go see them when you have the chance!
Jeanie Lai, ACB, ALB
Sheridan Park Toastmasters