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Members' Forum November 2016

Uncharted Waters

Thank you, Paul Sterman, for the detailed introduction to Toastmasters Pathways in “The Possibilities of Pathways” (July). Your article helped me piece together this great and wonderful puzzle. I can feel how much effort has gone into making the project a success. The striking difference between Pathways and the current education program is just as Immediate Past International President Jim Kokocki mentioned in the article: “You’ll have the opportunity to develop more skills than ever before—skills that will help you succeed inside and outside of Toastmasters.” 

We are going to walk through the uncharted waters together, but we are confident because this time, with full support from World Headquarters, all members will experience a thoroughly new learning experience backed by cutting-edge technology. How lucky we are to be a part of it!

Bruce Yang, DTM

Taichung Toastmasters Club
Taichung, Taiwan

What Really Matters

I continue to be impressed by the Toastmasters organization. Issue after issue of the Toastmaster, I am in awe of the community represented in its pages. In the July issue, I read about different members coming together in Brazil to boost Toastmasters in their area (“Member Moment,” Quick Takes). I turned the pages to view the traveling Toastmasters from all over the world, and I’m reminded of what really matters. With all that is going on in the world and within our local communities, it is easy to forget. Sometimes it takes a magazine and an organization to remind us of what is important. 

As fellow Toastmasters we have a voice and a place we belong. Not only do our lives matter within this organization, but our voices do as well. I retreat to my club locally and to the organization as a whole to gain insight, clarity and connection. May we continue to communicate effectively and demonstrate that our humanity is what really matters.

Tasha Hart, CC, CL

Daybreak Club
Jackson, Tennessee

What is an Emcee?

The word “emcee” is used very often in the Toastmaster magazine articles, but in my opinion it is not proper English. After many hours of wondering what it could mean, I had to search for this term on the internet and found out that it is a phoneticized abbreviation for “master of ceremony” (MC).

Many readers do not have English as a mother tongue and may also have the same difficulty that I had. I often distribute the magazine to prospective members, most of them non-native English speakers, but I do not find it appealing to read abbreviations that appear to be for insiders only.

Jean-Marc Glasser, CC

Club de Rhétorique Francophone de Munich
Munich, Germany

Some of My Favorites

Thank you for featuring Washington, D.C.-area clubs in your article “Capitalizing on a Capital Setting” (June), particularly in the year of our International Convention being held in D.C. I was disappointed, however, that none of the foreign affairs community clubs were represented. After all, Washington, D.C., is home to approximately 177 embassies. The U.S. Department of State alone has given rise to multiple clubs, such as the Talking Heads of State, Diplomatically Speaking, Stately Speakers and my own Tongue-Tied Trainers club, which meets on the campus of the State Department’s National Foreign Affairs Training Center across the Potomac from downtown Washington.

I was delighted that the author recognized our area’s penchant for witty club names but quite surprised that the list did not include some of my favorite examples, like T-S-A: Tackling Speaking Aggressively, PeaceMasters (Peace Corps), Revenooers (IRS), DIALoguers (Defense Intelligence Agency), Money Talks (Bureau of Engraving and Printing) and Silver Speakers (Department of the Treasury). 

Hope these can be added to the record.  

Amanda Ogden, CC, CL

Tongue-Tied Trainers club
Arlington, Virginia

Too Much Cynicism

I must wholeheartedly disagree with John Cadley’s article “You Got Me a Card! How … Nice” (July) regarding giving greeting cards to people. I was especially disheartened by his suggestion that there should be a wedding card that says, “Are you sure?” I enjoy giving a card that sends the perfect message, but if it can’t be found, a blank card with your own heartfelt sentiments is a surefire substitute and is surely to be treasured by the recipient. Especially affordable in this economy, a card sends the love and wishes that everyone enjoys receiving. 

We all need more fun in life, and people to share it with. Express your feelings in a card and make someone else happy today.

Susan Coon, CC

Kalispell Toastmasters club
Columbia Falls, Montana

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