Letters – January 2007

Letters – January 2007

Letters to the Editor

Meeting Article Brings Mirth
As I was walking on the treadmill at the gym, leafing through the latest Toastmaster magazine, I found myself laughing out loud. John Cadley’s article, “Let’s Take a Meeting” (November) filled my morning with mirth. His description of each of the meeting’s attendees and antics was so true to life that I felt I was in that room myself.

As in making a good speech, writing a good article is just as important and much appreciated. He got his point across in a creative and entertaining way.

Thank you for a great start to my day!
Linda Potter • Tracy Toastmasters • Tracy, California 

Praise for Networking Article
I just read the article “The Art of Networking and Mingling” in the November issue. It has to be one of the best and most useful articles I have read in what I think is usually a pretty good magazine.

In fact it was so good that I e-mailed the author and told her so. Both Kathy Meeks and the Toastmaster are to be congratulated.
Greg Bowlen • City of Greater Geelong Club • Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Thank you for the November issue dedicated to networking, an essential business skill. My chamber of commerce regularly offers a course called Membership 101 that gives prospective and new members an opportunity to practice – and receive constructive evaluations of – their 90-second networking “elevator speeches” (very short Table Topics, even though they don’t call it that). The November issue kick-started me to volunteer to teach “Networking 101” at our winter club-officer training.
Susan Ellsworth, DTM • Crown of Laurel Club • Adelphia, Maryland

I read with interest your articles on networking and was struck by the omission of a simple idea. I often find that my name badge at a seminar or conference has only my name on it. While it is handy to know people’s names, it isn’t very helpful for starting a conversation. I fix this by simply adding a few words on my tag. For example, at a conference for librarians I would add: “interested in small public libraries.” This makes people stop and read my badge and gives me a really good starting point for a conversation. It can also be a catalyst to a new career.
Alison Edwards, CTM • Ettalong Beach War Memorial Club • New South Wales, Australia 

Let’s All be Cultural Detectives
I read “Be a Cultural Detective” by Jeanne Feldman (October). Her opinion helps me. I live in Indonesia, where every region has a unique tradition and culture. With so many different habits and customs, it’s easy to have a conflict or misunderstanding. For example, in one region here in Indonesia, people talk very slowly and smoothly. But in another, they talk very loudly. If we don’t know this in advance, it could cause misunderstandings.

Ms. Feldman’s article helps me to be aware of everyone’s background. By understanding our listener’s culture, we become better communicators. When people understand each other, there is hope for peace.
Maybe Lorensia • Excellence Club • Tangerang Banten, Indonesia 

Not Dressed for Success
I was taken aback by your choice of photo to supposedly demonstrate the proper way to moderate a panel discussion. The young lady in a polka-dot sundress (and a short one at that!) leaning casually against the panel’s table certainly wouldn’t win points for professionalism. Tip No. 1 was “Take the job seriously.” Neither her apparel nor her posture indicated she was doing that.
Tammy D. Bailey • Star-Telegram Toastmasters • Fort Worth, Texas 

Twice the Experience
After reading Frank Adamo’s letter about being competent or confident, I’ve decided to join a second club. As a CTM, I still wasn’t very confident when speaking, but after becoming a member of two clubs, the confidence has come over me. I’m less nervous and speak more calmly. Having two roles each week is very interesting and gives me the opportunity to become not only a competent Toastmaster but a confident one, too.

Becoming a Toastmaster is simply amazing!
Antoine Frage, CTM • Orchidee Toastmasters Club • Port Au Prince, Haiti