Letters to the Editor

Don’t Feel Small if You Drawl

In regards to the article “Turning Accents Into Assets” by Sher Hooker (June), I know what it is like to be criticized about my Southern accent. During my Navy and college careers, others teased me about my accent. I remember once overhearing a shipmate tell another shipmate in the chow line, “I hate Southerners; they are so uneducated.”

I acted as if I took it all with a grain of salt, but below the surface, I developed a complex. There were times that I felt ashamed to be a Southerner. My advice to Toastmasters is: Do not evaluate speakers based on their accents or backgrounds.
Jerry Adams • Downtown Speakers • Knoxville, Tennessee

Not Quiet on the Set
Kudos to the Toastmaster magazine for the June 2009 cover story “Be the Star of the Show.” The practical advice offered in this issue is both timely and on the mark.

Our local TV-savvy members in District 27 have been experimenting with cable access television – as a means to both “Talk Up Toastmasters” and share their powerful stories – for nearly a decade. And with the advent of Web-based technologies we can archive shows and recycle their messages to others long after the play date has expired.

Do continue to feature articles on television, radio, the use of podcasts, YouTube and other social networks in future issues.
John Lesko, DTM • 1500 Speakers club • Arlington, Virginia

Theme Esteem
Thank you for producing an excellent magazine. I have been read- ing it since I joined Toastmasters almost a decade ago and have long admired the efforts taken by the editorial team to focus each issue around a specific theme. I imagine this takes considerable effort and I appreciate it.

It helps us to grow as members because it gives us an opportunity to explore several different perspectives on a specific area of communication and leadership. Whether the featured subject is persuasive speaking or presentation skills, speechwriting or storytelling, Table Topics or technology, we benefit as members from this detailed work. The fresh subject matter in each issue of the magazine challenges us to think about communication in new ways.

I make the effort to try to apply the best of what I have read in the Toastmaster to my communication for the month. Four weeks later, I get to explore a whole new aspect of communication. This sustains my personal growth and helps me continue to have fun with my Toastmasters experience. The Toastmaster magazine is a vital and necessary component of Toastmasters International. It is a powerful tool for professional development.
Angela Hatton, ATMS, CL • Eastside Toastmasters Brookings, South Dakota 

Hope Takes Root
I’m a member of the San Francisco Japanese-English Toastmasters. I just wanted to thank you for Victor Parachin’s encouraging and beautiful article about “Cultivating Hope” (July). I can’t tell you enough how much I was touched when I found this article on my way home the other day. June had been a tough month for me for many reasons; I was really tired and depressed, but this article saved me.

Mr. Parachin, thank you very much for reminding me about the importance of keeping hope. I’ll keep this message with me and am going forward strongly in my life.
Mariko Foltz • SF Japanese-English Toastmasters San Francisco, California

What a Wit!
John Cadley is without question one of the funniest, wittiest men on the planet! The best thing the magazine has done in the past 10 years is to get him to write a monthly column. I still have “A Disingenuous Discussion” (August, 2008) on my desk and read it at least once a month and say “Amen!” Apart from the humor, and the message that I subscribe to 100 per- cent, I find that article particularly poignant coming from someone deep within the advertising industry.

Keep up the great work!
Peter Temesvary, CC • Budapest club • Budapest, Hungary

Net Gain From Networking
What a wonderful time to make full use of the article “Work a Room” by Lin Grensing-Pophal (June). In leading a PR campaign for my Toastmasters club, I stumbled across this article. I saw that the essential networking skills described will prove beneficial to my club members, as many of them are in the network marketing business. They can learn these different styles in the Toastmasters environment as well as anywhere else.

My club was founded 18 months ago. Luckily, this article came along when I planned for an aggressive PR campaign and was a true blessing in disguise. Many thanks to you, Lin. I too have learned something new to enhance my networking abilities.
Jason Wong, ACB, CL • Team Flantech Bukit Mertajam, Penang, Malaysia