Letters – June 2007
Letters to the Editor
Special Humor Issue
My club is full of extremely enthusiastic new Toastmasters. And while we have a mentor pro-gram set up, many members still wonder, “How do you learn all this stuff? How about some training?”
We had some new Toastmasters asking just what is the right way to add humor to a speech and – poof! – there was the March “Special Humor Issue” of the Toastmaster magazine.
Let me suggest the next special issue topic: Speechwriting! How to turn any topic into a speech, and how to decide what really isn’t necessary in a speech that is too long.
Jen Carr, ACS • Toast of Broadway Club • Cincinnati, Ohio
Save the Trees
Loved the article in the March 2007 issue “Life in a Grammar Slammer.” If you think English is complicated, try German, French or Dutch. Growing up in The Netherlands, I had to master all four. Each of these languages also has 6534 exceptions to any rule. Maybe Spanish is better, I do not know. I don’t speak that.
It is just great that the English language allows you to use the word office as a verb. English is so much more fun than boring old French or German. And it’s so much shorter! Using nouns as verbs allows you to do fun things with your language, innovate and be very precise without hav-ing to use so many more words. I know people try this trick in Dutch and French, but it does not quite work as well in any other language. Think of all the trees saved if everybody would start to write in English...
Wim van Teeffelen • Utrecht Toastmasters Club • Netherlands
Teaching the Incarcerated
The article in the May issue about Speechcraft courses in correctional centers were both informa-tive and inspiring and underline the great work many Toastmasters are prepared to undertake.
They also reminded me of the great work done by Arthur Gorrie, DTM, for 20 years here in Dis-trict 69. Arthur conducted dozens of Speechcraft courses in Brisbane jail and was ultimately honored by the State Government of Queensland, which named the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre after him.
Arthur was District 69’s Toastmaster of the Year eight times and helped his club earn many awards until he passed away in 1992. His dedication to Toastmasters is still missed today.
John Scouller, DTM • Sandgate Toastmasters Club Brisbane, Australia
What a fabulous article in the May 2007 issue! The Wine Country Toastmasters demonstrated that there is more richness in their community than is found in New York State’s fine wines! What impressed me most about the story is the simple fact that these Toastmasters gave a gift to perfect strangers – good men who made poor choices.
It is not simply the fact that these volunteer speakers invested their time, energy and talents. They showed these incarcerated individuals that they mattered! They imparted the skills so many of us have learned from Toastmasters – tools that lead to future success. The underlying story of acceptance is encapsulated in the statement at the end: John plans to join their club when he is released. Job well done!
Jim Simms • West Pasco Toastmasters Club New Port Richey, Florida
Thank you for publishing the two heartwarming articles on how Toastmasters clubs help prison inmates improve their lives. They would have made the founder of Toastmasters International, Ralph Smedley, very proud!
Helen Cockrum, ATMB • Silvertongued Cats Toastmasters Club Los Gatos, CA