Letters: January 2009

Letters: January 2009

Letters to the Editor

Proud of Toastmasters

Businesses, governments and educational organizations need us today more than ever. Toastmasters International does more than help people become confident, informative and inspirational public speakers. We can be proud that our international educational organization also promotes effective leadership in management.
Roy Skinner, DTM • Zug Club • Zug, Switzerland 

Amen to That!
On a recent trip to East Asia, I got to preach in a church in which I had preached two years earlier. After the service, a woman who remembered me came up to me and gushed, “Oh Jeffrey, you were outstanding. You were so much better than two years ago. What’s the difference?”

My one-word answer: Toastmasters! She was so enthused that she made note of the Toastmasters URL – www.toastmasters.org – and was planning on finding and attending a meeting.

A few days later my wife and I were in China, where we were to teach English for a week at an English camp for children. A number of officials and a television station showed up at the opening ceremonies. Just before they began, the person in charge asked if I would speak for two to three minutes in the ceremonies.

My wife smiled at me and said, “Table Topics, dear”…albeit for an extra minute. Thanks again to Toastmasters, I aced my speaking, did it within two to three minutes with no ah’s or um’s, and if the Chinese had a word for the day, I would have used it!
Jeffrey Anderson, ACS, CL • CBN/Regent Toastmaster • Virginia Beach, Virginia 

Keep Toastmasters in Tough Times
I want to emphasize that Toastmasters participation pays off, and to keep Toastmasters dues in your budget, even during unemployment.

For example, I revived my membership with Toastmasters three months after I relocated to San Jose, California. I visited nine different clubs in the Northern California area, attending their breakfast, lunch and after-dinner meetings for two weeks. As a result, I gained two coffee chats from working professionals, a free breakfast, two contacts willing to circulate my resumé and one informational interview. In exchange, I listened to the goals of these new networking pals. I took their business cards, keeping my promise to refer potential customers. After all, as Toastmasters we all support the mission to build up one another.

As a fresh MBA graduate and bride-to-be during this recession, I would like to [give] those nine Toastmasters clubs a standing ovation, for showing exceptional Toastmasters spirit of fellowship. A Toastmasters membership is a cost-effective decision and worthy expense during a recession.
Renee Lam, ACB • Sunrise Toastmasters of Walnut Creek • Cisco Speaks of San Jose

2010 Convention Location
As an Australian who was planning to attend the Toastmasters International Convention in Sydney, Australia, I am disgusted at the recent decision by our Board of Directors not to hold the 2010 convention in Sydney.

We call ourselves “Toastmasters International,” but in the years I have been involved in Toastmasters I have yet to see a conference outside of North America. Sure, we have a large base of members in the U.S. and Canada, but so, too, does Lions Clubs International, and its schedule for future conventions is: Minneapolis, Minnesota (2009); Sydney (2010); Seattle, Washington (2011); Busan, Korea (2012); and Hamburg, Germany (2013). Compare that to the upcoming Toastmasters Convention schedule: Mashantucket, Connecticut (2009); Palm Desert, California (2010); and Las Vegas, Nevada (2011). It makes our schedule look pathetic, and even more so when the word “International” is used in our name!!
Alison Edwards, CTM • Country Valleys Toastmasters • Biloela, Australia 

Truly International!
I belong to Tuggeranong Toastmasters in Australia and my family hosts international students on a regular basis. Our last student, Yen Liang Lin (Eric), was from Taipei City, Taiwan. I took him to Toastmasters, as it was a great opportunity for him to get a different grasp of the English language other than through his intensive English classes and at home.

He loved it and was very impressed by the warm welcome he received. At the end, he got up and thanked everyone for a wonderful evening and said he’d find a local Toastmasters club upon returning to Taipei City.

I received an e-mail from him last week; he has joined an English-speaking group so he can continue to practice his English. He has already gone to a Humorous Speech Competition to watch others compete. Toastmasters truly is an international organization!
Colleen Murray, CC • Tuggeranong Toastmasters Club • Canberra, Australia