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April 2024
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Members' Forum September 2018

“Thank you for writing Peter’s story. I know it will mean a lot to many more like myself who suffered in silence for so many years with this little-understood but deeply troubling affliction.”

Fayetteville, New York

Topics for Everyone

I received my first issue of the Toastmaster magazine [May 2018] and was privileged to read and comprehend the true benefits of Toastmasters. The quotes defining “leadership” on page 28 have real relevance to my environment, both personally and professionally.

This issue features topics across the various spectrums of one’s life—starting with the International President’s Viewpoint on reigniting our passion with clarity on our “purpose, talents and needs,” to a Nepalese woman’s [Shailee Basnet’s] quest to climb Mount Everest and later become a motivational speaker and comedian. Not to mention the nuances explained while dealing with challenging personalities, ways of making workplace presentations and the answer to the question now in my mind: Should I join a second club?

I look forward to reading future issues to embrace ideas for my personal and professional development.

Suresh Ramakrishnan Kartha

Orbit Toastmasters club
Muscat, Oman

No Longer Silent

My name is John Cadley. I write the monthly humor column for the Toastmaster magazine called “Funny You Should Say That.”

I read your article on Peter Dhu [June 2018] with great interest and empathy. I was a stutterer for a good part of my life and can relate so well to Peter’s embarrassment and humiliation. Like Peter, I was so afraid of speaking in school that I decided to be “stupid” and just not know the answer. My teachers knew my IQ and couldn’t understand why I was so “dumb.” Like Peter, I avoided any prospect of speaking. The condition was so defining for me that it actually determined my life choices: becoming a writer and a musician, neither of which require you to speak—just write and play. Stuttering caused me great suffering, especially in my adolescent years when the thought of speaking to a girl nearly gave me a heart attack. It also gave me a terrible self-image. I hated myself for being utterly incapable of doing what everybody else could do without even thinking. It was a feeling of great isolation and, yes, even despair.

I’m not trying to make this “True Confessions,” nor for you to feel sorry for me. Today I don’t stutter at all. It’s completely gone. And I’ve had a “successful” life in spite of it, whatever successful means.

I just want to share how deeply I understand his struggle and how greatly I admire his courage. I could never have done what he is doing.

Thank you for writing Peter’s story. I know it will mean a lot to many more like myself who suffered in silence for so many years with this little-understood but deeply troubling affliction.

John Cadley

Fayetteville, New York

An Intriguing Read

Bravo! What an interesting and informative article [“The Cultural Nuances of Communication,” May 2018]! I would love to hear more from the author, Ms. Nertinger. Having recently completed a Speechcraft with fellow club members for a dozen new Canadians, it is intriguing to learn more about other cultures. Our club of Russians, Spaniards, Sri Lankans, Egyptians and others speak using sounds that are unfamiliar, if not unknown, to us.

Jock Mackenzie, CC

Sunrise Toastmasters club 
Alberta, Canada

Anything Is Possible

As I read our International President’s message in May’s magazine, I couldn’t agree more. Passion is what “motivates us and keeps us focused,” Balraj Arunasalam wrote.

It is often meaningful to reflect on what made us join Toastmasters. And also ask ourselves, Have we achieved what we wanted to achieve? Only then will we realize how our experience has shaped us into who we are today.

I have benefited in more ways than one as a Toastmaster. Toastmasters has also helped me metamorphize from a shy speaker into a leader. Taking on roles as club president, area director, division director and annual conference chair has made me realize that anything is possible as long as we commit ourselves to it.

I thank Toastmasters for the opportunity to learn, grow and become. I will definitely pay it forward by helping others realize their potential through Toastmasters’ journey of self-discovery.

Nora Bamadhaj, ACS, ALB

Great Eastern Life Toastmasters
Changi, Singapore

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