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Members' Forum September 2016



On Youth Leadership

The news from Christine Clapp about the YLP in the March issue of the Toastmaster magazine is exhilarating. As a rocket scientist who worked for the Indian Space program for more than three decades, I am fascinated by the Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program (YLP). I am also active in Rotary International and support many such ventures. Students are the source of inspiration for the development of the nation and hence high priority should be given to their leadership development and team working abilities. 

Let me also congratulate the president and officers of Trivandrum Toastmasters for maintaining the dignity and decorum of the organization.


Dr. N.R. Unnikrishna Kartha, Ph.D.

Trivandrum Toastmasters
Trivandrum, Kerala, India



A Man Set Apart

Thank you for finding Peter Kossowan, DTM, and putting the (June) spotlight on him. What a stunning achievement to sponsor 164 Toastmasters clubs in one lifetime! This is so valuable to all of us. Practical advice, simply implemented and carefully adhered to, over and over again. It is difficult to be set apart in a huge group of achievers, but on the rare occasions that I met such people, they inspire me to be like them.


Ralph Walker, DTM

Questmasters
Tampa, Florida



Impromptu Services

I was impressed by “An Impromptu Eulogy” in the Members’ Forum in the May issue. It was an inspiration.

I volunteer at a nursing home. After one of the residents passed away, her friend asked me to sing “Amazing Grace” at the memorial service. Then came another request to sing “In the Garden.” Although neither was rehearsed, I delivered both songs with heart.

Later, during the service, another friend asked me to share a poem she wrote. That made three different requests I was able to do without any preparation.

I’m grateful to Toastmasters for helping me gain the skills to give an impromptu presentation. I hope I brought some comfort on this sad occasion.


Mary E. Hunter, ACB

Bangor Toastmasters club
Bangor, Maine



When in D.C.

I enjoyed the article in the June issue on clubs related to government agencies in Washington, D.C., and the storied buildings in which they meet. When in D.C. on business last fall, I visited the warm and welcoming National Press Toastmasters club. As a former news reporter, it was a thrill for me to visit that historic building. 

I participated in Table Topics at the meeting, so now I joke that I can add “Spoke at the National Press Club” to my qualifications.  


Sue Davis, ACB, CL

Ventura Powerpoint Toastmasters
Ventura, California



One Environmental Example

I am a big fan of the Toastmaster magazine. From the very first page, I can’t stop reading until I reach the end.

In the Quick Takes section of the April edition, I read about how the Qatar Malayalam Toastmasters club in Doha, Qatar, held its first paperless meeting last December as an initial step to incorporate environmental considerations into their club meetings. This is a great idea. I thought, why not put it into practice in our clubs here in Hangzhou, China? 

With the help of my mentor, and all the sergeants at arms from each club in Hangzhou, I conducted a survey on the use of paper agendas in meetings in all the clubs in Hangzhou. With the data, I successfully delivered a speech about paperless meetings for Project 7 “Search Your Topic” and earned the best speaker ribbon.

The ideas in the magazine are inspiring. I love Toastmasters and its communities.


Lois Tang

Hangzhou METALK Toastmasters club
Hangzhou, China



Why Serve?

You may ask: What can serving on the club leadership committee do for me? The first thing it will do is reveal your weaknesses, but it will also show your strengths. It can be difficult to work as part of a team, but it brings great benefits. 

To encourage members, we reserve three minutes each week for a committee member to explain the duties of their role. It works! As we say in our club: Ask not what your club can do for you, but what you can do for you club.


Diane Oatley, CC, CL

Mallorca Wordsmiths
Baleares, Spain



A Source of Inspiration

The “The Power of Story” by Carmine Gallo (May) was an inspiring article. I recently gave a speech, “Achieving Your Personal Grand Slam,” in which I told the story of the Russian-born Uzbekistani tennis player, Denis Istomin, who overcame a serious car accident and made it, despite great odds, to the ATP men’s tennis tour. His struggles and triumphs provide inspiration to me as I achieve my goals.


Edda R. Bevilacqua, CC

Santa Maria Toastmasters club
Santa Maria, California




Do you have something to say? Write it in 200 words or less. Send us your name, member number and home club. Please note: Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity, and may be published in both the print and electronic editions.