Letters: July 2009

Letters: July 2009

Letters to the Editor

The Courage to Conquer Microphone Trouble
President Jana Barnhill’s theme message saved the Division A International Speech Contest of District 76 on April 12th this year. Two clip-on microphones did not work during the contest, though I could hear the speeches from the back of the room. The contestants seemed unhappy and the atmosphere was not good. As the hosting club president, I desperately tried to brighten the mood with my closing remarks. The words suddenly came to me.

I took a Toastmaster magazine out of my bag and stood by the lectern. I gave an apology for the malfunction of the sound amplification system and then said, “The courage to conquer tough mike trouble: I’d like to introduce your courage in this magazine!” and I held up the page that features Jana Barnhill’s Viewpoint article. The words were a great success and the audience gave me applause. The atmosphere changed. International President Jana Barnhill, thank you for saving our contest. We all share your message: the Courage to Conquer tough times!
Shigeru Kobayashi, ACB, CL • Eight Princes Toastmasters Club Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan

The Real Prize
This year I entered the International Speech Contest for the second time. What a remarkable experience! During my first competition, I had gone overtime by two seconds at the area level and disqualified myself. I learned a valuable lesson: Time is important in Toastmasters.

Now, I’ve earned second place at the division level in Founder’s District. The experience, as explained by Darren LaCroix, 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking, taught me much about myself: I grew and learned how to connect better with my audience

After each contest, listeners told me they applied the strategies [from my speech] in their personal lives – or wished they had. It is exhilarating and revealing to learn that my presentations changed people’s perspectives and added to their pool of knowledge, while I improved my speaking talents.
Dr. Patricia Adelekan, DTM • Inner Strength Toastmasters Club Santa Ana, California

Paulette’s Journey Inspires Others
I wanted to share with readers some good news on what has occurred since my article was published on Paulette Bass (“Paulette’s Path”) in the Toastmaster (December 2008). In that story, I described how Paulette had earned her Competent Communicator award despite being developmentally disabled, and how she and I had used the “language expression” approach when working on her speeches together.

After the article came out, Toastmasters clubs from as far away as Taiwan and Hong Kong wrote to me about the article and how inspiring they found Paulette. Most importantly, some Toastmasters from District 27 in Northern Virginia, in the U.S., wrote to tell me they’re helping to create a Toastmasters club made up of developmentally disabled citizens.

The group requested my assistance. To help the club get started, I provided instructions on how to use the “language experience” approach, guidelines to follow when evaluating someone with developmental disabilities, and any charts and forms I created to assist Paulette in her journey to Competent Communicator status.

On June 25, Paulette is scheduled to earn her Advanced Communicator Bronze award. She continues to be an inspiration to others.
Carol Lunsford • High Noon Toastmasters • Peachtree City, Georgia

Thanks for Witty Articles
Reading “No Parking Anytime” by John Cadley (June) was a great way to enjoy my first cup of coffee this morning! The article had me smiling and laughing out loud before I knew it. I love when that happens! John Cadley’s articles are so funny and that’s a great gift to us all.

Thanks for sharing his wit within the pages of the Toastmaster magazine. It’s very much appreciated.
Linda Potter, CC • Tracy Toastmasters • Tracy, California