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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

If you know Conan O'Brien, tell him Warren Toastmasters needs a speaker

At the Warren Toastmasters club meeting tonight, I presented a speech on our club's upcoming Open House event, which we are scheduling for Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.

The objective of an open house is to generate awareness about Toastmasters in our community and to hopefully sign up some new members. We're a small club and looking to grow and could use some new members to help us along the way, and we'll help them in their quest for communication and leadership development (or in "public speaking" as is what most people know about Toastmasters).

I spoke to my club about the event basics: who, what, where, why, why, and how.

In addition, the marketing side of me is always thinking about the audience perspective, the WIFM or "what's in it for me." So I mentioned that our audience for this event is going to be the unemployed. I strongly believe Toastmasters offers job seekers a lot of great skills that will help them in their job search, including confidence, practice in thinking on your feet for those tough interview questions, unique networking opportunities, camaraderie, and lots more. Click here to read more about benefits for Job Seekers. Toastmasters helped me personally in my job search and I know it's helped others, too. Plus, we won't ever fire you from Toastmasters. Even when the economy gets bad.

But we need something really special to make this a fabulous Open House. And that's where you can help. I read that Conan O'Brien had started a twitter page because he's not able to be working right now. His bio on twitter reads: "I had a show. Then I had a different show. Now I have a Twitter account." Now that is funny.

So I'm thinking he knows what career transition is like. Granted, his perspective is a lot different that those unemployed in Michigan, but he's in transition nonetheless and has a perspective he's dying to share. And I'm sure he has plenty of free time right now.

So I tweeted asking Conan if he'd like to come visit Michigan and be a speaker at our Open House. View my tweet and RT me here. No, he hasn't replied nor do I expect that he will. He has over 400,000 followers and growing steadily.

brendameller hey @conanobrien Warren,MI Toastmasters club is seeking a speaker for Apr openhouse 4 a pep talk on finding new careers in MI. U interested?

I admit I'd probably have an easier time getting a commitment from Conan if our club were anywhere in the Los Angeles area, but hey -- if you don't ask the question, the answer is always "no," right?

Now I have thought this through a bit. If he were to agree to come to Warren, Michigan to be our guest speaker, we'd definitely need a larger room and we'd probably partner with a few other local Toastmasters clubs and move to a larger venue. I have connections and I could make the arrangements.

And I know it's a long shot that we'd be able to book a celebrity like Conan for a Toastmasters Open House. Because come on -- it's a Toastmasters Open House. But stranger things have happened. And sometimes celebrities do the unexpected because it is unexpected. And it's funny. And it makes the news.

If nothing else, the one good thing that this recession has done is given the Detroit area more visibility throughout the US. Hey -- we even had Jay Leno in town a few months back for a free event for the unemployed, so people know we're here and that we need help.

So my plea to you: if you know Conan, ask him if he'd like to come out to the Detroit area to give job seekers a pep talk on career transition at our Toastmasters Open House. Michigan could use the comic relief and we promise to bring in a crowd for his talk. Or maybe you don't know Conan, but you might know of another local comedian, or a celebrity who used to live in Michigan, or someone who would be a great motivational speaker for the unemployed. If you do, please send me a message on Twitter ( or reply to this blog. Our Warren meeting room holds about 50 and I plan to fill every seat for our Open House event.

Warren Toastmasters Open House
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
6:30 - 8 p.m.

No, we don't have a speaker or travel budget, but we can promise you that it will be one fabulous Open House. And the speaker can help provide inspiration for a few people out of work while helping to give some visibility to our great Toastmasters International organization.

And that is no joke. :)

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