Letters: September 2010

Letters: September 2010

Letters to the Editor

A Whole New World
I totally disagree with the comment that “The Traveling Toastmaster” photo gallery doesn’t enhance our speaking, listening and leadership abilities (Letters, May). Whatever means we have available to publicize our international perspective (aka “thinking outside the box”), the better off we will be.

As international travelers, a number of us make a special effort to visit other Toastmasters clubs during our travels. Try visiting a Toastmasters club in the county or state next door for an eye-opening experience. You just may discover an international experience that can open up a whole new world. 
Bowman Olds, ATM • SOS Toastmasters • McLean, Virginia 

Travel Broadens the Toastmasters Experience
In response to the Letter to the Editor “The Traveling Toastmaster Wanders Too Far” (May), the lessons of the magazine’s Postcards page may seem a bit subliminal, but they are valuable and real. A few of the lessons I take from the page are: 

  • Many Toastmasters visit locations far from home. 
  • Toastmasters travel the world with confidence. 
  • Toastmasters can and often visit clubs in the places they travel to.

I have belonged to four clubs in my district, and have visited several others locally. While traveling, I’ve also visited clubs in London, England; Dublin, Ireland; and Sunshine Coast, Australia. Participating personally at clubs in these diverse locations has proved to be both fun and educationally profitable for me and my home club, since I took ideas and clever snippets back with me.

The cross-pollination of ideas, practices and customs gained by visiting other places and clubs near and far is a great way to broaden one’s life and one’s Toastmasters experience. 
Gerald Fleischmann, DTM • Orange Upon A Time • Orange, California

Picture This!
It would not have occurred to me to pack a Toastmaster magazine as I prepared for my first trip ever out of the country. I was traveling with a college spring break group that I was also meeting for the first time. When I ran across “The Traveling Toastmaster” on www.toastmasters.org, I thought it would make a nice icebreaker. Not only was it fun posing for the picture, with the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, in the background, it was an opportunity for me to talk about the organization and our club and to practice organizing thoughts quickly as I shared personal experiences with my new friends. “The Traveling Toastmaster” is a wonderful idea and my fellow Toastmasters loved the picture!
Karen Gilliam, CTM • Let It Flow • Cleveland, Ohio 

Two Small Letters: One Big Achievement
I have just received my magazine – something I always look forward to. As I opened it, I realized that after my name, the address label now had printed two very special letters: CC. I’m so proud! I’ve never expected or really ever wanted letters after my name; however, now with Toastmasters I have made an exception.

As I have steadily worked through my Competent Communication manual, I have gained confidence and developed new skills. I have found my public voice and know I deserve those two letters after my name. It is with relish that I look forward to expanding on what I’ve learned so far and enhancing every facet of being a Toastmaster. 
Sandra O’Hagan, CC • Clonakilty Toastmasters • County Cork, Ireland 

Improving Rhetoric and Romance
The article “Talking About Love” (June) by Caren Neile, which highlighted how some Toastmasters turned their long-term relationships into love, clearly shows that involvement in Toastmasters goes beyond developing self-confidence in public speaking. Toastmasters contributes to the total development of its members, including their personal lives.

My spouse, Sylvia, and I did not meet at Toastmasters, but we were co-founders of two clubs in the Philippines. We believe that learning public speaking should be a family effort. This gives us an advantage as we continue mentoring each other even outside Toastmasters meetings. 
Roland and Sylvia Inciong • IRRI club • Los Banos, Philippines 

A Point on Protocol
I enjoyed Craig Harrison’s article “Avoid Clichés Like the Plague” (May) and concur with most of his reasoning. But I disagree with his statement that opening a speech with “Mr./Madam Toastmaster…” is a cliché. I believe that is a matter of protocol/etiquette to acknowledge the audience, either first off or after a pithy opening. After all, what is a speech without an audience? 
Shirley M. Carolan, ATMG • Tick Talk Toastmasters Carlsbad, California 

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.