Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Toastmasters speak the global language of humanity, ambition

Dr. Hill Krishnan spoke about the need to keep trying at the Toastmasters semi-finals.

     James Traywick is wearing a dark gray suit with a bright yellow pocket square, a lemon yellow shirt, a bow tie with a sliced lemon motif and, we will learn later, is carrying an actual lemon in his jacket pocket.
     The retired Chicago public school teacher, 69, belongs to seven local Toastmasters clubs, and was among 30,000 members around the globe who entered this year’s speech-making competition. He’s tried several times, but this year was the first year he was among 106 who made it into the semi-finals, held last Friday at McCormick Place, site of Toastmasters International’s 87th annual convention.
     “It’s such a safe environment to make mistakes in,” said Traywick, of the organization. “To improve your speaking ability. That was the emphasis for me joining, and it has been a really great experience.
Ena Agbahovbe,

     Founded in California in 1924, Toastmasters has 357,000 members in 143 countries. About 1,700 were at the convention, attending networking lunches and talks with titles like, “How to Get What You Want: Influencing Others Into Action.” The halls were crowded with men in three-piece suits and white Arabic thobes, women in colorful dresses and flowing chadors, entire districts clad in matching outfits: maroon golf shirts on a group from Northern California, goldenrod dashikis on 20 Nigerians, including Ena Agbahovbe.
     “This is my first time wearing something like this,” said the petroleum engineer from Lagos. “In our culture, when we’re having a big ceremony, we like to dress similarly, to show we’re like a family.”
     He joined Toastmasters two years ago.

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  1. In my first job a new boss decided we would all benefit from Toastmasters. I did benefit from it, but what I recall most was a memorable malapropism uttered by a member (no pun intended) during our first, organizational meeting. When a proposal that we all be given a copy of "Roberts Rules of Order" was approved, one of our number said he might get a good price from a relative who worked for what he thought was the publisher, a firm he identified as the Scott Foreskin Company.


  2. Almost made me rush out and join.

    My last attempt at public speaking (my granddaughter's wedding), ended when she rushed up to hug me and I forgot the last half of my oft rehearsed speech.

    Thanks for "thobes." Now I know what to call the robes that Arabs wear.


  3. I find it interesting when people work hard to overcome difficulties, such as a speech impediment, and end up in jobs such as broadcasting or acting. If you listen closely, you can notice, for instance, a person compensating for their inability to form the "s" sound. They become so polished in every other way that the deficiency becomes inconsequential. Almost unnoticeable. It takes a lot of courage and determination to overcome an obstacle like that.


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