Letters: December 2009

Letters: December 2009

Letters to the Editor

Enjoying the Fun for the Long Run
It was quite refreshing to read the letter written by Steve Richards from Luxembourg (“Am I the Only One?”, June). There are members out there, like Steve and I, and hopefully many more, still enjoying the Toastmasters experience out of sheer fun. This is my first year in a Toastmasters club and I love to attend the friendly meetings. Not only have I met lovely and supportive people with whom I can easily chat – I also go there for the fun and laughter.

Last but not least, I go there to gain confidence in public speaking. While I understand that for some the professional benefits brought to them by Toastmasters are outstanding, for many others the benefits of social interaction, the enjoyment of listening to the stories of their fellow Toastmasters, and the laughter and fun far exceed any other expectations.
Andrea Daniel • Western Lectern Toastmasters • Baulkham Hills, Australia

A Note of Praise
As soon as I noticed the headline “In Defense of Using Notes” on the cover of the August Toastmaster, my heart rate increased. Cheers for Bill Matthews’ article, “The Script as Friend and Foe,” for his guiding points on using full notes for public speaking. It’s about time someone stepped outside the Toastmasters’ mantra-like call for speaking away from the lectern and avoiding the use of notes.

As I teach a yearly course on public speaking and presentation skills, I always encourage writing out a full script and speaking from it (even when using a PowerPoint presentation). I show how to print out your script at 18-20 point size, and I urge bringing a horizontal and vertical printout, because some lecterns are very difficult to use.

For over 40 years I’ve tried just about every style Bill Matthews mentions and settled on the use of full notes, as it gives me power over the creative use of word choices. To “turn a phrase” while ad-libbing is very difficult. Thanks, Bill, for the four tips for success. They are noteworthy.
Larry Hurley • Bay of Quinte Toastmasters • Trenton, Ontario, Canada 

Looking from the Outside In
I was captivated by the article “Know Thy Culture” (October). So many articles about understanding cultural differences contain recycled, heard-it-all-before information. This was a great look at listening to a “typical” American speaker from an outside perspective. I laughed, learned a lot and came away feeling enriched for having read the piece.

Thanks for an A+ article.
Dena Harris, ATMB • Blue Moon Toastmasters • Greensboro, North Carolina 

Remembering Cory
My congratulations to you for another exciting issue of Toastmaster magazine and to Corin Ramos for her fantastic article, “Cory Aquino: The Philippines’ Plain-Spoken Leader” (October). I was moved and impressed by the content. It was a tribute to our dear president Cory Aquino, and showed how inspiring it was that even a plain-spoken person can make a difference in the world, earn the admiration of great speakers and be respected by others.

This article is a good motivator to speak up, and where else can we find a safe place to practice other than in a Toastmasters club, with people around us who are dynamic, encouraging and supportive.

The article made us Filipinos proud. Cheers!
Maribeth Young • El Presidente Toastmasters • Mandaluyong City, Philippines 

Ecstatic About Evaluation Article
Carol Dean Schreiner’s article “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (August) is the best magazine article I have read since I joined Toastmasters in 2006.

I read it twice in one go with great interest as it capsulized the essence of the Toastmasters evaluation process. Immediately, I scanned the “Handy Evaluation Checklist” that ran with the article, which I could use for my future evaluations of impromptu as well as prepared speeches. Being the current VPE of my club, I will promptly adopt Ms. Schreiner’s suggestion that evaluating the speech evaluators become a standard feature of the General Evaluator’s meeting role.
Gamini Senanayake, CC, CL • Wayamba Toastmasters • Kurunegala, Wayamba, Sri Lanka

Professional Photographers Needed
We’re seeking professional photographers’ submissions for use in Toastmasters publications and PR materials. Please submit photos of real Toastmasters speaking at a lectern, applauding in an audience, pounding a gavel, answering Table Topics or performing other TI-related activities. For more information, visit www.toastmasters.org/prophotos.

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.