Letters: December 2008

Letters: December 2008

Letters to the Editor

Congratulations to District 67!

I want to point out a mistake in your October 2008 issue: on the Convention pictures section on page 31, the photo caption for photo #15 says “members from District 85” while it should be “members from District 67 Taiwan.”
Rebecca Hong, DTM • Shanghai Leadership Toastmasters Club • Shanghai, China

Editor’s Note: Several members caught this error and wrote to us. We apologize for the mistake and congratulate District 67 for its success.

A Winner in Many Ways
Congratulations again to LaShunda Rundles, Toastmaster International’s 2008 World Champion of Public Speaking. Thank you for featuring the article about her in the October magazine. It was very encouraging and motivating for me personally. In addition to the ongoing support [I receive] from my fellow club members, reading the article helped reinforce my desire to continue moving toward higher goals within our club. I believe this article illustrates the key force behind Toastmasters: the members. Knowing that the members are willing to give of themselves for the benefit of another is always noteworthy.
Arlys C. Dalton • J-Talkers • Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Listening and Leading With Love
I have been a high school and college teacher; a coach; a broker, owner and operator of a real estate franchise; an investor and entrepreneur; a commercial landlord; a candidate for political office – and the list could continue. But during all of these careers, I have never learned and shared as much about leadership and mentoring as I have in my 14 years as a Toastmaster.

The article by Craig Harrison, DTM, about John Robert Wooden (I am also a basketball referee) underscored the wonderful simplicity of leadership, something that all too often eludes us – Listen and Lead with Love. This, in a nutshell, is what my mentors in Toastmasters do. And for that I thank them.

People who think that you need to hire coaches and pay big dollars to tell them how to be a leader are mistaken. Nothing anywhere compares to the mentoring program that Toastmasters offers everyone, at an astonishing bargain.
Sharon Maclise, DTM • Excell Orators and All Weather Toastmasters • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 

Politically Incorrect
The October issue of the Toastmaster magazine was very disappointing. The articles by Linda McGurk, Bob Katz and Paul Sterman were most inappropriate. Toastmasters should not be playing the political game. Are we going to analyze the candidates for office in other countries as well? I am sure the non-American Toastmasters were totally bored with these articles that have little to do with the Toastmasters program. Now, after a president is elected, if you choose to analyze his communication skills – fine, if it is in the best interest of the Toastmasters program. Otherwise, keep the politics out of the TM program.
Barbara Barger, DTM • Sooner Toastmasters • Norman, Oklahoma

Editor’s Note: The Toastmaster magazine welcomes article submissions regarding the communication skills of political candidates around the world.

Watch Those OGUACVUs!
The funniest part of John Cadley’s “A Jargon of Our Own” (October) is his inability to see Toastmasters as the jargon-heavy organization it already is. CC, DTM, ALB, ACG: these acronyms mean nothing to people outside of Toastmasters, yet we Toastmasters bandy them about repeatedly in front of befuddled guests and new members without explanation.

Perhaps instead of asking readers to add to the glut of impenetrable jargon out there, better advice would be for Toastmasters members to look closely at their own speech patterns and not use so many OGUACVUs (Out-Group Unfriendly Abbreviated Consonant Vowel Units).
William A. Henehan • Transmasters • Brooklyn, New York 

A Political Plus
I’ve enjoyed and appreciated your recent articles about the candidates. I did want to point out that March 16-28, 2007, were officially proclaimed Toastmasters Days by recent vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, governor of the state of Alaska.

Maybe other states have done this. I hadn’t heard of it. Regardless, it’s a great idea and thanks to “whoever” in Alaska put this idea in motion.
Phyllis May, DTM • Key West Toastmasters • Key West, Florida

Call for stories: In this time of financial uncertainty, how have your Toastmasters skills helped you in business, your profession or other areas of life? Send your story to submissions@toastmasters.org.

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.