Retired major league baseball pitcher Jim Mecir, of Lake Zurich, will be one of the featured speakers when District 30 of Toastmasters International holds its 2012 Fall Conference beginning at 6 a.m. Oct. 27, 2012, at the Holiday Inn Willowbrook in Willowbrook, Ill. Among other highlights of this year's conference will be keynote speeches by 1999 Toastmaster International champion Craig Valentine and the presentation of the District 30 Communications & Leadership Award to Alana McKinney.
"We truly have a world-class agenda for District 30's 2012 Fall Conference," said Ellen Schnur, chairperson of the event. "The roster includes internationally known, inspirational speakers who will share their remarkable talents and tips for public speaking, and you don’t have to be a Toastmaster to attend."
Speaking on overcoming adversity, Mecir, from the Florida Marlins in 2005, will talk about the life lessons he learned and his success in the major leagues despite being born with a birth defect that required several childhood surgeries and left him with a right leg that was shorter and smaller than his left leg. He went on to play for the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Oakland Athletics and the Florida Marlins during his professional career and received the Tony Conigliaro Award, given annually to the player who most effectively overcomes adversity to succeed in the sport.
In addition to Mecir's appearance, the conference will include educational sessions about making the most of a Toastmasters membership and a roundtable discussion on various topics, including building membership and nurturing leadership.
Valentine will deliver two keynote speeches during the day-long event, including an afternoon presentation about using effective public speaking to win over an audience and after dinner he will talk about how to use storytelling to boost your sales pitch. An author, motivational coach and speech coach, Valentine is an MBA who has perfected his public speaking skills by addressing groups all over the world. He became the 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking for Toastmasters International, winning out over more than 25,000 contestants in 14 countries.
In addition to announcing the district's Toastmaster of the year, Division Governor of the year and Area Governor of the year, the organization will present the Communications & Leadership Award to McKinney at lunch. A notable expert on networking, McKinney became an executive director and partner for Business Network International in the Chicagoland region and has been a featured guest on such national programs as "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "NBC Nightly News." She shares her extensive knowledge in the book "The Success Secret," published earlier this year. At the luncheon, McKinney will share words of wisdom on networking and publication of her books.
District 30 of Toastmasters International is comprised of more than 4,000 members representing more than 200 clubs within its geographic area, including Chicago. Its mission is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every individual member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.
Attendees can register for the District 30 International Toastmasters 2012 Fall Conference on the District 30 Toastmaster's website; or for more information, call Ellen Schnur at 847-987-6158.
This press release was submitted by the Long Grove Lake Zurich Toastmasters.