Letters – December 2007

Letters – December 2007

Letters to the Editor

Let Me Tell You…
Although profoundly on target overall, I found Toastmaster Hobson’s article on evaluating (November) significantly off the mark when it comes to the actual delivery of the feedback. To suggest that a first-person style can lead to conflict, a loss of sharing by the larger group, and the potential for a “threat of superiority,” are the most foreign concepts I can imagine connected to an evaluation.

I recommend we refrain from suggesting that one style is better than others. And if I could see you, Toastmaster Hobson, I would say that directly to you with the greater audience listening in.
Bob Turel, DTM • Tampa Bay Toastmasters Club • St. Petersburg, Florida 

A Powerful Process
Shawn Doyle’s article, “Secrets of the Pros” (October) says, “Stop using PowerPoint” because “very few people know how to use PowerPoint effectively.” Before we put PowerPoint out to pasture, consider this: A lot of what we learn about speech development and delivery comes from the written and oral evaluations of our fellow Toastmasters. Therefore, if members don’t know how to use PowerPoint effectively, they should create a PowerPoint presentation for their next Toastmasters speech. The feedback they get will help them improve their skills.
James Thomas, ACB, ALB • Fantastic Toastmasters • Newark, California

Salute to “Submarine”
The Toastmaster Tribute to William Snader in the October issue made me want to salute a Toastmaster in my small town. Her name is Suga Shiota, a founding member of our club, who died in a car accident a week ago. Her nickname “Submarine” refers to a Japanese humble expression and reflects her personal nature. Suga Shiota was a real role model of Toastmasters. Now, deep sorrow of her death is changing to a spontaneous move to found the “Submarine Memorial Fund” to honor her legacy.
Taka Asai, ATMS/CL • Tokushima Club • Tokushima-shi, Japan

Chris Ford at Conference
This past weekend (October 12-13), District 11 was very fortunate to host International President Chris Ford at our fall conference. Wow!! For someone who has accomplished so much in his career, Chris is so very down-to-earth. His participation in Friday’s Fun Night really added to the evening – only to be outdone by his talks and training presentation on Saturday. He is a charismatic motivator who represents Toastmasters with great enthusiasm and sincerity.

If memory serves me correctly, Chris mentioned that ours was the first of 12 district conferences he was planning to attend. If you have a chance to attend one of the remaining eleven conferences, you are in for a treat. I strongly encourage you to spread the word and make sure as many Toastmasters as possible get a chance to meet him. You will be glad you did!
Cathy Thuerbach, CC, CL • T.A.L.K.S. Club • Indianapolis, Indiana 

A Friend to Many Toastmasters
On August 31, 2007, I had the honour to deliver a eulogy at the memorial service of a very dear friend, Van Hoven Petteway, DTM.

He was one of the first persons I met when I joined Toastmasters. Van became like a brother to me. He was always supporting me in every way he could. The day I received my DTM, he immediately picked up the phone to congratulate me. When he found out that I was starting a new Toastmasters club, he came to the meetings on a regular basis and gave me his full support. He was such a wonderful example for people to follow, with his outstanding organization, leadership and communication skills. He was instrumental in setting up five Toastmasters clubs. He was working on his fifth DTM and his sixth club. Van would always say: Whatever the mind of man can conceive, the mind of man can achieve.
William (Bill) Spears, DTM • Lachine Voyageur Toastmasters Club Lachine, Quebec, Canada 

Two Toastmasters Leaders
The articles “Legacy of Champions” and “Shaping Ourselves...Shaping Our World” in the September issue are indicative of two great leaders shaping the future of Toastmasters. Coach Jacques Curtis in the “Legacy of Champions” epitomizes the quintessential mentor shaping the lives of his women’s basketball team.

International President Chris Ford uniquely provides the gift of leadership as an example to all of us as he presides over our global organization. His answers to the questions posed in this article are clearly “take-away” items representing the embodiment of Toastmasters International.
Bowman Olds, ATM • Speak Out at SAIC (SOS) Toastmasters McLean, Virginia 

Stepping up to Speaking Success
I just finished reading the article on Sarah Taylor – “Getting Paid to Speak” – in the October magazine. Taylor’s five tips for breaking into professional speaking were insightful in outlining key steps to enter into and become successful in professional speaking. This was a very timely article for me since I am working on developing my professional speaking career.

Thanks very much!
Carlton Dennis, DTM • Big Blue Toastmasters • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Do you have something to say? Write it in 200 words or less, sign it with your name, address and club affiliation and send it to letters@toastmasters.org