Letters: May 2009

Letters: May 2009

Letters to the Editor

Speech Inspiration
I enjoyed David Brooks’ article on President Obama’s inaugural address in the March Toastmaster (“Different by Design”). Moved and motivated by the content and delivery of the new President’s message, I made it the subject of my sixth club speech (vocal variety). Using a YouTube clip, I examined the speech for use of traditional inaugural rhetoric, and I found supporting quotes.

Initially, I was worried that this academic approach would not be of interest to my audience. However, my speech, “The President has Spoken,” was well received and sparked an after-meeting discussion with several members. It is wonderful to be among people who share an interest in public speaking and can discuss the President’s ideas in a non-partisan manner.
Char Hopela • Sound Speakers • St. Cloud, Minnesota

The Gift of Feedback
I belong to a young Toastmasters club within a government department and also serve on its executive committee. Until joining, I was under the impression that I was a fairly decent speaker – but I soon realized I was wrong. I got very good feedback from fellow Toast­masters, who are very supportive. They clearly exposed my drawbacks without judging me. I have learned a lot after becoming a Toastmaster and am learning more. I am now requesting that my friends and co-workers become Toastmasters. Glad to be a Toastmaster!
Mahesh Kashyap • Vincent Massey Toastmasters • Gatineau, Quebec

The Members Have Spoken
One of the reasons I’ve stayed in Toastmasters for more than 16 years is the philosophy of a “member-driven” organization. This concept was once again demonstrated when the decision was made to discontinue the Bravina “speech pill” advertisement in the Toastmaster due to members’ critical responses. Please continue this important and rare quality.
Patt Harper, DTM • Lincoln Toastmasters • Lincoln, Nebraska

A Winner All the Way
I recently participated in an area speech contest. After getting through about 75 percent of the material in my speech, I forgot my next line and, regrettably, took a considerable time to recover. I didn’t think fast enough on my feet to ad lib my way out of the situation. Worse, when I forced myself to proceed, my nerves showed a bit and my delivery was imperfect for a line or two. I placed second in the competition.

After the contest, I re-read an article in the March issue of the Toastmaster, by Colin T. William (“No One Loses in This Speech Competition”). In 2007, he had drawn a blank in the middle of his district speech. My Toastmasters mentor also told me that she has seen other speakers experience the same problem; one of them, unlike me, was not able to recover and finish her speech. Yet neither of these two contest “losers” gave up; both continued on as Toastmasters and achieved bigger and better results.

As Mr. William would say, I’ve already won by trying.
Dean Lampman • Public Health Speakers • Fort Worth, Texas

Green and Growing
In her March “Viewpoint”, Jana Barnhill wrote, “I am reminded of a favorite saying: ‘When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot!’” These words inspired me to give a speech encouraging all members, especially long-time ones, to start doing more presentations and to purchase and complete the Competent Leadership manual. The speech was titled, “When you’re green you grow,” which intrigued the audience. When I repeated the title and added the next phrase, they were all ears.

Thanks for the inspiration!
Lyn Hill, DTM • London Western Toastmasters Club London, Ontario, Canada

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