Letters: November 2010

Letters: November 2010

Letters to the Editor

Paying Tribute to the New International President
I was inspired by the first “Viewpoint” column from Toastmasters International President Pat Johnson (September). Quoting the ancient Indian sage Patanjali and writing about achieving greatness together was commendable. Patanjali was a great Indian guru who still inspires millions. Being an Indian and a member of a club in Saudi Arabia, I am impressed by our President’s ability to draw from such a wide range of knowledge.

Toastmasters’ growth in India and the Middle East is exploding. By the time I finish writing this letter, a seed will be planted somewhere for a new club to sprout! Pat Johnson’s message is that she genuinely understands her role as the head of this truly international organization.

Toastmasters’ sociocultural environment will be different from continent to continent, nation to nation and province to province, and so will be the needs of clubs, areas, divisions, districts and regions. Pat Johnson understands and accepts this pluralism as being crucial to Toastmasters’ success. With her as International President, I feel elated and proud. Toastmasters members are certainly destined to achieve greatness together.
PJ J. Antony, ACS, CL • Periyar Toastmasters club • Jubail, Saudi Arabia 

More Praise for Pat
I received my New Member Kit a few weeks ago as well as my copy of the Toastmaster magazine. I am truly inspired by International President Pat Johnson’s message of achieving greatness together (September “Viewpoint”). I joined Toastmasters to brush up on my speaking skills as I prepared for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and I achieved an almost perfect score. I realize that besides communication, Toastmasters can also enhance my leadership skills. Now I am excited to achieve more. I know that personal greatness can only be genuine if shared.
Noel Navalta Oribio • Lorma Toastmasters club • San Fernando City, Philippines 

Learning How to Listen
I was impressed by the article “Become a Better Conversationalist” by Patricia Fry (August). I read it each and every day to remind myself to give my full attention to the person speaking. Some of us have a tendency to let our minds wander or to anticipate what the person is going to say next so that we will have a response ready. Reading this article every morning helps me be a better listener and conversationalist. Thanks! I needed that.
Bob Mock, DTM • Westside Toastmasters • Pooler, Georgia 

Another Vote for “Thank You”
I side with author Margaret Page’s position in “A Question of Manners” (September) that thanking one’s audience is an appreciative gesture that should not be explicitly prohibited. Thanking the audience goes beyond good manners and etiquette, though those are certainly valid reasons. Having fixed and rigid protocols that are meant to enhance performances and procedures has a way of backfiring. Too often, these rules are followed by rote and take on the form of dogma, which is antithetical to the concept of learning, which is what I understand the Toastmasters ethos to be all about.
PC Leong • Advanced Aurators club • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 

A Grad Speech With a Lot to Teach
I read Rebecca George’s article “Commencement Speaker Gains An Education” (August), and to her I say, “Congratulations on your achievement!” I was privileged this past May to deliver the Southern Cross University graduation speech in Lismore, New South Wales, Australia. It was through my wonderful club that I gained quality guidance and the courage to present with confidence. This was the key to presenting my work and gaining recognition from the university business faculty.

I am so thankful for my Toastmasters club and the opportunity to give that graduation speech. Today, the world of presenting ourselves in a positive light is woven into every aspect of our lives – from using technology to choosing the correct words for our next speech. So no matter what your career goal is, I believe a Toastmasters membership is pivotal to unlocking a world of opportunity and ongoing success.
Cheryl Pearson, CC • Elanora Early Morning club • Elanora, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Sharing Leadership Lessons
I enjoyed reading the article “Three Keys to Effective Leadership” by Dee Dees, (August). The article was crisp, clear and to the point based on Ms. Dees experience as host district committee chair for the 2007 International Convention. Thank you, Ms. Dees, for sharing the three leadership keys – delegation, communication and appreciation. I found the article very useful.
Leo Joseph, CC • KCA Toastmasters club • Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

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.