Dana LaMon brings his Messages to the District 39 Spring Conference
By Paula Zdenek and Kristi Beres
He’s covered a lot of ground, traveling around the globe bringing his message of inspiration and motivation. Meet Dana LaMon, keynote speaker for District 39 Spring Conference being held on May 18, and 19, at the Marriott Hotel located in Rancho Cordova.
Scheduled to speak at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 18, the title of his presentation is, “Change A-D-V-I-C-E,” a new paradigm with six points that will determine if one will benefit from change – revealing the best someone has to offer while achieving their desired results.
On Saturday, May 19, at 4PM LaMon will also present his workshop, “Making Mentoring Meaningful,” a time-tested method for mentoring based on a relationship of trust, mutuality and commitment. Along the way, LaMon, will present some tips for mentors and what matters to apprentices.
Throughout his lifetime, it seems he’s been a man in high gear. A few of his accomplishments are: Yale graduate 1974; California State Bar since 1978; retired judge; author of four books; Distinguished Toastmaster; district leader; accredited speaker; father of four children; and World Champion of public speaking 1992.
What could be more extraordinary? He’s been blind since he was four-years-old.
He hasn’t allowed his visual disadvantage to slow him down, when asked how members can overcome any perceived disadvantages they might encounter he said,” You hit the nail on the head, perceived disadvantages! People must learn to see possibilities and opportunities, not disadvantages,” adding it Is all about how one sees the world.”
LaMon explained he joined a local Toastmaster club in April 1988 and attended his first conference in 1989, to support a club member who was competing in the International Speech Contest. Afterward, he decided to give in a try in 1990.
“In 1990, I learned I had to be me and not do what others did. I also learned that the audience hungered for a meaningful message,” he said.
He made a comeback in 1992 by winning the World Champion of Public Speaking award with his speech titled, “Take a Chance.” He explained how the speech developed along the way. His website states the presentation offers ways to get pass the barriers of fear, comfort and indifference that keeps us from winning the jackpot from within.
“I developed the idea and speech, “Take a Chance,” about six weeks before the contest. I had only one iteration of it with some tweaking as I practiced it … about a half-dozen times before local Toastmaster clubs.”
He credits his mentor, Lucille Lanham, for encouraging him to investigate the Accredited Speakers Program in 1991. Following her advice, he pursued and saw value in the program, earning the title in 1993.
Being a former judge, LaMon, credits his prior experience aided him as a professional public speaker.
“My experience as an administrative law judge for 29-plus years taught me the value of getting to the point quickly and making the point clear,” he said adding his experience in Toastmasters has also made him a better listener.
He also acknowledges that being a father of four has also helped him as a professional speaker.
“Watching the development of my four children emphasized the notion that every human being is different, but all seek to live meaningful (lives),” he said. “Interactions with my children offer great material for my speeches,” he added.
Serving as District Governor for two years, he encourages others to take a chance on leadership opportunities.
“Toastmasters is a mutually supportive group of people,” he said. “There is much that we can get from being a member. The mutual part means that is much that we should give as well. Assuming a district leadership role is one way to give to the organization to a larger group beyond the club.
“When I attended our most recent area contest, I could see traces of principles and practices that were implemented during my two years as division governor. In other words, leadership allows you to leave your legacy,” he added.
LaMon gave four benefits of attending the Spring Conference
- To encourage the leaders and organizers who put the event together.
- Support contestants.
- Receive inspiration and education from the presenters.
- Make connections that will be resources for what you want to do tomorrow.
For the $20 club registration you and your club can learn from Dana LaMon.