“A glimpse into Pete’s and John’s challenges and how they overcame them is truly inspiring! I started Toastmasters nine months ago—one of the best decisions in my life.“
Grand Junction Toastmasters
Grand Junction, Colorado
There’s More to Speechwriting
While the “Speechwriting 101” article in the October magazine is loaded with good information, it misses an important issue. Not because it is erroneous, rather that excellent speakers are performing artists who are creating and delivering original material.
Yes, many speakers write their speeches, but the pros I know may or may not. I have been a serious speaker since 1957 and have never written a speech, but I do follow Bill Gove’s admonition to “know what comes next.”
My point is not to dismiss writing material as good practice, but to encourage speakers to begin with a program premise, “In this program my speaking goal is to ...” in as few words as possible; then create a program sequence of points to be made that leads to writing a speech manuscript—if that fits the speaker’s speaking DNA. The disadvantage of writing one’s speech is that, once it’s written, there is a reluctance to change it.
Los Chismosos club • Las Cruces, New Mexico
Zhongshan Toastmasters club (ZSTMC) in Guangdong, China, held our 200th meeting, which ended up being exceptionally successful! Not only were we able to invite several distinguished guests, we also creatively promoted Pathways and gathered more than 90 participants. This was not an easy feat, considering English is not commonly spoken here.
By sharing our joy and achievements with the Toastmasters community, we encourage other clubs and raise awareness of the strong Toastmasters presence in this part of the world.
William Niu, ACB, ALB
Zhongshan Toastmasters club • Zhongshan, Guangdong, China
I read the article, “Accelerate Your Toastmasters Experience” [September 2018] by Jennifer L. Blanck with interest and found it constructive and eye-opening, focusing on the main drawbacks experienced in clubs worldwide.
A properly introduced speaker will enjoy a comfortable and reassured stage to deliver the speech. The importance of such an introduction is often ignored or overlooked. Likewise, the need for special attention when providing feedback for new members is well described, since they are sensitive and vulnerable.
Also, success of any operation largely depends on the preparation, and a Toastmasters meeting is no exception. Well-prepared meeting role participants will not only feel comfortable in performing their tasks but also enjoy a well-conducted meeting. I congratulate the author for providing these valuable guides.
M. Y. Zainudeen, DTM
Wayamba Toastmasters club • Kurunegala, Sri Lanka
A True Inspiration
Peter Dhu’s story [June 2018] and John Cadley’s letter [September 2018] truly captured the mental and social isolation that I have been experiencing in the past decade. I did not stutter, however, I struggled to express my thoughts because I was too concerned about my grammar and pronunciation. With my confidence shattered, I was stuck in a world where the only decent conversation I could carry on (that passed my standards) was in my head, and the only other set of eyes that I looked at when talking was my husband’s. It was debilitating!
A glimpse into Pete’s and John’s challenges and how they overcame them is truly inspiring! I started Toastmasters nine months ago—one of the best decisions in my life. I am gaining confidence bit by bit, and I am happier and more optimistic!
Grand Junction Toastmasters • Grand Junction, Colorado
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