Letters: November 2008

Letters: November 2008

Letters to the Editor

No Lip Service – Please!

Terri Morrison’s article (“Protocol for Globe-Trotting Toastmasters,” August) was engaging and included a number of useful tips for doing business internationally. However, I found her advice on kissing distasteful. She wrote, “…never back away from a kiss from your host. You do not want to undermine your new business relationship by being coy about your personal space.” Excuse me?!

Oddly enough, this “tip” came shortly after her remark on handshaking, warning that “many cultures disapprove of publicly touching the opposite gender.” It seems to me that everybody should be respectful of others’ wishes when it comes to physical contact. I hope my business associates will keep their lips to themselves when dealing with me.
Susan Vogel-Misicka, CC • Zug Toastmasters Club • Zug, Switzerland 

Missing Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame page in the magazine epitomizes the success of Toastmaster clubs I have known over the years in my long Toastmasters experience – from my Ice Breaker to my Distinguished Toastmaster award. I will miss that page in the regular Toastmaster magazine, and believe posting it online will not replace the power of publicity in the regular magazine.
Sharlan Rae Starr • Speak-ERS Toastmasters • Washington, D.C. 

Opting to Be Outstanding
Richard R. Bonner’s article “Opt to be an Outstanding Orator” (September) could not have come at a better time for me. I received my Competent Communicator and Competent Leader awards in April 2008 after two years in Toastmasters. I signed up to pursue the Advanced Communicator Bronze award immediately, but during my club’s summer break I started to question this decision. Had I not already achieved my goal of writing and successfully delivering speeches – what more could I learn?

Bonner’s article clarified for me why I should continue to challenge myself. I may not end up being “an outstanding orator” but I certainly will end up having done everything I can to ensure I am the best orator I can possibly be. This I can achieve by availing myself the opportunities open to me in my Toastmasters club. Thank you Toastmaster magazine, for re-motivating and inspiring me. There is opportunity and challenge after Competent Communicator!
Maeve Flanagan CC, CL • Portlaoise Toastmasters 9363 • Co. Laois, Ireland

She Sets Standards
What a wonderful introduction Jana Barnhill gave to us in the September issue with her first Viewpoint as International President – “The Courage to Conquer.” She certainly set herself a particularly high standard to maintain throughout the coming year.

I also really enjoyed the article about Jana’s hopes and ambitions for 2008-09. If her leadership skills are as high as her inspirational skills – and I have no doubt that they are – Jana will be one of the great International Presidents of Toastmasters International.
Steve Howard, ACG, CL • National Toastmasters Club • Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

I would like to thank Jana Barnhill for her timely message, “The Courage to Conquer!” in the August issue.

I believe many of us, in one way or another, are “paralyzed by fear” as Jana described her own experience. Whether we are experienced or ‘baby’ Toastmasters, there is that tinge of fear, maybe in different degrees, when we are faced with the unexpected.

I implore fellow Toastmasters who are thinking of throwing in the towel to hang in there as we, your fellow members, can help you in your quest to acquire leadership and speaking skills. Do not let the storms of fear overwhelm you, but patiently cultivate that seed of courage until it grows and blossoms.
Soh Swee Kiat, DTMs • Toastmasters Club of Singapore • Singapore

PR Pays Off!
As VPPR, your features “The Power of Publicity” and “When You Promote It, They Will Come!” (September) inspired me to get the word out on our very active and enthusiastic club of 34 members – now rising rapidly to 40+ thanks to our publicity surge! We sent a press release to our local newspapers and to our delight found it was repeated verbatim in several.

We had some fun – and different! – photos taken of our group of officers, which again were published. In addition we got a slot on our local radio station, the very popular morning show, where club president John Kelly and I happily enthused for 20 minutes on Toastmasters and its history, how it encourages people to challenge their fears and how we personally had benefited from it. Our first meeting in September we reaped the benefit as 10 guests showed up; several of these are now members!

So we would like to thank you for your excellent articles – keep up the good work!
Jane Stephenson • Greystones Toastmasters • Greystones County Wicklow, Ireland