Letters: August 2008

Letters: August 2008

Letters to the Editor

Inspirational Toastmaster
After reading the article “Humor is the Key” (May 2008) by Julie Bawden Davis, I couldn’t stop thinking about my own tough experiences. I agree with Andy Ransom that humor makes us feel happier and more satisfied. I notice that when we joke, people are attracted to us. Strained relationships can be repaired with a friendly joke.

I am very impressed with Andy’s achievements. He has to cope with everyday challenges, yet he finds enough strength to help others

As Andy noted, teaching can go both ways: He learns from people and they learn from him.

The article is very encouraging; it makes you look at your life from a different angle. Andy has just shifted the purpose of our existence to a very important goal – to make people laugh, to make people happy, to enjoy life together.
Irina Popova • Pickering Powerhouse Toastmasters • Pickering, Ontario, Canada

Sharing the Toastmaster
I was sitting in a waiting room not long ago, leafing through the usual boring, outdated, uninteresting magazines, when it suddenly occurred to me that this would be the perfect place to leave my Toastmaster magazines.

I love receiving the Toastmaster each month, and I devour it from the front page to the back, but then it settles among my other monthly magazines, wistfully waiting to be picked up to be read again and again.

Of course, by this time the next Toastmaster has arrived, so like the proverbial red-headed stepchild, the previous magazine sits lonely in its corner, waiting for attention.
Now, I cover the mailing label on my Toastmaster magazines with a label that has the name of our club, where and when it meets, and its Web site address – and then, with permission, I place it in that waiting room.

Why not place your Toastmaster magazines in your doctor’s, dentist’s, hairdresser’s, accountant’s, auto dealer’s or lawyer’s waiting room? What a great way to share the news of Toastmasters, while giving people an interesting and informative magazine to read!
Sue Boe, CC • Suncoast Toastmasters • Tampa, Florida 

Smiling Singaporeans
My hat goes off to Eric Feng (“How to Make a Singaporean Laugh,” June). I visited Singapore when I was in the Navy. I remember the list of dos and don’ts, including consequences.

Eric Feng did an outstanding job of displaying Singaporeans in a positive light. Now we know that Singaporeans have a sense of humor! I remember the Singlish spoken there. During my visit, I told a taxi driver that I wanted to go to Clifford’s pier. This conversation, along with the ride, went around in circles. Each time I tried to tell the driver that I wanted to go to Clifford’s pier, he replied “Clifford’s what? Clifford’s who? Clifford’s fear?” After circling the area, and once passing Clifford’s pier, I finally arrived at my destination.
Gerald Adams • Downtown Speakers Club • Knoxville, Tennessee 

Affirming the Positive
I was disappointed to see that Paul Endress (“The Art of Persuasion,” May) recommends using an “affirming the negative” type of question in his article: “That wouldn’t be important to you too, would it?”

This is a poor method of communicating that my husband and I try to eliminate from our discussions. If I answer “Yes” to this question, does the questioner think it isn’t important to me (correct), or does he think it is important to me (incorrect).

A better way to ask the question is “affirming the positive”: “Would that be important to you, too?” This method removes both the ambiguity imposed by trying to answer the first question and the unintended declaration that the questioner knows what the listener’s preferences are.
Eilene Lyon • Earlybird Toastmasters • Durango, Colorado 

Motivated by Magazine
I always look forward to the Toastmaster. In his article, “Unlock Your Leadership Potential,” (July) Victor Parachin advices that whatever you do, do it with total commitment. I was impressed by the many motivating examples used in the article. They helped get the author’s message across about personal transformation. After reading this article, I knew: “Tomorrow I want to wake up and live my life 100 percent!” Thank you for injecting a motivating factor in my life!
Marija Novar • Klub Toastmastera • Zagreb, Croatia

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.