A Note of Appreciation
I recently came across the mention of Toastmasters and thought to myself, Wow, I should write them a thank-you note. Better yet, I should write them an article telling everyone why they deserve a thank-you note.
Growing up, I didn’t have the moral and family support other children had. In fact, I became acquainted with the Toastmasters organization through the donation of their members’ time, once a week at a youth home in Woburn, Massachusetts.
Someone would come in and teach us how to speak in front of each other and then in front of crowds. Oh, how nerve-wracking that could be for a 16-year-old! “But this will give you the experience,” said one well-seasoned speaker.
How right he was. It helped us conquer any fears and intimidation we felt about expressing ourselves to others. One day we were asked if we wanted to speak at the University of Massachusetts Lowell so others could learn from our experiences.
On the day of the event, we arrived at the auditorium in the early evening. It wasn’t full but was still a nice-sized crowd. I tried not to notice the audience. If you don’t notice them, you won’t be nervous. That’s what I told myself over and over, while I reminded myself to just breathe easy.
My speech went so smoothly that I looked and felt like a professional. Due to the wonderful dedication and commitment that Toastmasters members gave to the Alliance House, the youth home where I resided in the late 1990s, I was able to overcome many phobias and climb mountains I never knew existed. A long overdue thank-you, Toastmasters.
Crystal Springs, Mississippi, United States
Kicking Out Clichés
As a relatively new member and frequent abuser of clichés, I found the article “Kick Clichés Out of Your Speech” [January 2019 issue] to be a great wake-up call. “Inspirational” speeches are certainly less so if people doubt the sincerity of your message. It’s so easy to get comfortable using phrases and words like those mentioned in the article, but I can see how they do degrade your message. Thanks for the great advice as always!
Speak Up Club
Batavia, New York, United States
An Illuminating Experience
Members of the Chua Chu Kang CC Mandarin club in Singapore and the Johor Bahru Mandarin Advanced Toastmasters club in Malaysia came together in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, for their fifth annual joint meeting. The clubs focused on ensuring the event was filled with memorable and illuminating moments that would remind the members of their clubs’ Wow!Factor. Cassandra Ang of Chua Chu Kang CC Mandarin club said, “This event was filled with excitement, energy and ‘wow’ moments for everyone!”
Kim Siong Poh, DTM
Chua Chu Kang CC Mandarin Toastmasters Club