Here's a cautionary tale for you traveling speakers. It starts with my upcoming engagement at the Toastmasters Region VII conference on Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, June 5 and 6. I'm speaking on how to apply your Toastmasters skills to the job. Boy, am I learning a lot about when to make arrangements for a trip! Thank God for my wife, Marie, to save my fat from the fire.
Everything was complicated by the fact that I was competing in TM's International Speech competition. Prior to learning that I was advancing in the competition, I was already booked at the conference. However, if you compete, you can't make a presentation. (It is determined to prejudice the judges if they see you present elsewhere. Makes sense.) So I had to wait to learn if I would win the District competition. If so, I could not speak at the conference.
However, if I lost the District competition, I could make my presentation and sell my book.
I lost. Boo! But the upside to that was that I became free to make my presentation in Moncton. However, I needed to know that I was on the conference agenda before I made my flight arrangements.
Then there was my back trouble.
Then the Memorial Day holiday.
Now it's two weeks before the event, and air fares are through the roof. Marie, being the organized one in the family (we're still figuring out MY contributions!) began making phone calls everywhere she could. Travel agencies! Airlines! Priceline! What flights are available? Could we save money flying out of Newark, NJ rather than Philly? If so, how do I get to Newark.
In the end, Marie figured a complicated calculus involving cashing in my US Airways Frequent Flyer miles to get me to Toronto, stay overnight, then take a puddle jumper to Mocton in the morning. Reverse route, and in the end there are only hundreds of dollars out of my pocket.So my suggestion Fan Club Members, is that when you are planning for a speaking engagement, take the chance and book the travel ahead of time. Even if you cancel, it has to be simpler than the gyrations that Marie went through on my behalf.
Thanks, Sweetheart. I don't know what I'd do without you.
Actually, I probably would stay home a lot.
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