Speaking in Praise – the Song of a Friend

Dr. Joel Ying, MD

Physician, Educator, Storyteller. He hosts this website for "Living the Present Moment" as a conscious journey of Body, Mind, Emotion & Spirit. Holistic and integrative, his practice includes Tai Chi and Yoga, Craniosacral Therapy, Healing From the Core, Meditation. Always exploring his edges, he shares them in the blog, newsletter, courses, and online study group.

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“A friend is someone who knows your song, and sings it back to you when you forget.”
~ adapted from an anonymous quote

My friend, R. Sunde, is an inspiring role model that I met at Toastmasters, the organization I joined nearly a decade ago to improve my public speaking skills. Sunde is full of stories that include growing up as a little girl in Norway in World War II, the love story that brought her to America, and her fascination with Lego (yes, I said Lego). Always impeccably dressed, she exudes confidence. (I especially like the patriotic red power suit that makes an appearance at Patriotic Speech contests.) With effective leadership and a wide repertoire of speeches, despite the obstacles, she continues to inspire me as she creates new challenges for herself … and continues to meet them. She will soon become a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), the highest distinction in the organization. What will she do next?

This past week, she came to the Naples Storytelling Guild, an open community of storytellers that meets at my office to tell and listen to stories in the oral tradition. She has been a regular there, bringing her stories, which are often times equal parts humorous and serious.

When people you admire stand up and talk about you in such a heart-felt way, it means so much. I wish you all friends like her. Friends who know your song, and sing it back to you when you forget.

Thank you, Sunde, for your beautiful and kind words.

Here is a copy of her speech.

Toastmasters Manual – Special Occasion Speeches
Speech # 2 – Speaking In Praise
5-7 minutes

Title of Speech – Live in the Present! – Joel Ying

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Wherever you are, be there! Emerson wrote. Live in the Present!

Once in a while we meet a person who has a long-lasting impact on us. He/she may be a good listener and a counselor, he/she may care for you and comfort you when you are sick. He/she may even entertain you with stories so you forget about yourself. No, he/she is not your spouse or partner. He is no other than Dr. Joel Ying!

Each of us may have met him under different circumstances. But we all are enjoying his hospitality tonight as many groups and people are doing every day. Dr. Joel’s generosity in letting Toastmasters and presenters frequently use his facilities is well known. That he also opens up his home to large groups of friends and acquaintances for poetry reading and Storytelling is quite remarkable. It shows that he is sincere in his mission of integrating body, mind and spirit for health and wellness.

Dr. Joel arrived in this country with only a box with toys. Still through lean times and with persistence he graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in computer science. He switched gear later and attended the University of Michigan Medical School and residency at the University of Miami.
He studied Tai Chi, Yoga and Meditation and moved towards an alternative and holistic practice in Naples while still practicing traditional medicine.

While integrating body, mind and spirit for health and wellness is Dr. Joel’s mission. he found out hat by joining Toastmasters he could get his message out to the community in an effective way. He worked diligently on the Toastmaster training program and quickly achieved the coveted Distinguished Toastmaster Award.

Along the way he has given numerous speeches and presentations. I remember very well the first speeches he gave during the Toastmaster training program. He was so shy and softspoken that it was difficult to hear what he said. We had general evaluation of speeches in that club, and the evaluations were mixed. Soon thereafter I was hospitalized with lung infection in Naples. It was Saturday, and I wanted to get home for the weekend. However, I had to wait for a Dr.’s verdict before they would let me out. Then suddenly I heard a familiar soft voice from the door of my hospital room. “It’s Sunde!. What are you doing here?” It was Dr. Joel on his hospital round. Now he had to listen to me and my lungs and then decide if I had to stay over the weekend.

Dr. Joel’s direct, but gentle approach to any subject of his expertise has made him sought after as a presenter. He has given numerous presentations at the Toastmaster Academy, like “Are you listening?’, “Evaluate the Evaluation”, “Emotion in speaking”.

When he gave the presentation of “Evaluate the Evaluation”, the audience got so fired up with enthusiasm from participating in the group activity that they wanted to evaluate Dr. Joel also. It took Dr. Joel by surprise, but he right away turned it around and evaluated the audience’s evaluation.

As time moved on, Dr. Joel turned his passion for speaking into a mission as Storyteller. He found that people grasped his holistic message and remembered it better when related in a story.

Organized storytelling events have become extremely popular all over the country. With his computer experience Dr. Joel has a natural talent for organizing storytelling events, including the Round Table’s performance at Brambles’ Tea house and on stage at the Tobye Studio in downtown Naples.
He believes in exploring your own stories and to present them to impact the audience.

What Dr. Joel is most known for, however, is his generosity in lending a helping hand wherever it is needed. He is always willing to help.

Not only does Dr. Joel gather friends and acquaintances to formal and informal meetings, he also invites everyone to his home for poetry reading and storytelling.

Everyone in the Toastmaster and Storytelling world has benefited from Dr. Joel’s generosity, his inspirational speeches and presentations or as the host of his many parties.

Some people make the world more special just by being in it! Dr. Joel is one of them.

Wherever you are, be there! Emerson wrote.

Dr. Joel’s motto is: Living in the present moment!

Right now let’s get up and be here in the present moment!
Live with joy! Give Dr. Joel a standing ovation for what he has accomplished and for the inspiration he is giving us!