Monday, October 15, 2007

Club Meeting on 24th September 2007

Our club, the Speakers’ Dream Toastmasters Club had its latest meeting on 24th September 2007 at the usual venue, the Kelab Golf Perkhidmatan Awam. Our Assistant Sargeant at Arms for this meeting, Chew Yew Fai CC called the meeting to order, after which the National Anthem was sung and the members present introduced themselves.

This evening, we had a potential toastmaster, Darick Wong, present, to observe the proceedings. We were also fortunate to have two toastmasters from other clubs. They were Kamalendran Eeswaran TM from Telekoms Toastmasters and Nini TM who is a member of two clubs, Pidato Perdana Toastmasters and Money Mastery Toastmasters. Nini was also an assignment speaker.

The theme for this meeting was “PLAN FOR SUCCESS” and the word of the day was “RECREANT”, introduced by Kamalendran, who was the Language Evaluator for the evening.

Robert Hue, in his presidential address, spoke of the successful Area W3 Humourous Speech and Evaluation contests, which were organized by our club and held on 17th September, in which two of our members, Alfred Koh and Simon Soh, did us proud by becoming winners. He thanked each and every one involved, who helped to make the event a success.

The control was then handed over to the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME), our Immediate Past President, Gwen Gwee CTM CL, who introduced the segment on “Do Your Thing”. This segment was shared by Hor Kam Peng ATMS and K. Loghandran DTM. Kam Peng started the session off by informing us of interesting articles from previous Toastmasters magazines which contained many tips on public speaking, for which we were all grateful. Loghandran took over with a story of a prince which was the illustration of how to coach shy members. He called it the “See, Say and Do” model.

The next segment, Table Topics, was conducted by me. The topics were, of course, unknown to the members and were selected by picking cards at random and speaking on the picture shown on the respective card. Those who volunteered for this impromptu speaking slot were Lim Hin Chong ATMS, Loretta Chin TM, Koh Teck Lee ATMB, Hor Kan Peng ATMS and Alfred Koh ACB. Hin Chong who got a picture of a wedding couple, spoke about remembering weddings and other important occasions in one’s life and which he found quite hard to do. Loretta had a picture of a man running. This reminded her of how she met our Prime Minister in Bangsar Shopping Complex. Teck Lee, who got a picture of an ice cream spoke of how much he and his children love ice cream. The last two speeches of the session made us thoughtful when, Kam Peng, who had a picture of some stationery. spoke of how she was involved in the distribution of stationery to children of low income parents, who were so grateful for the stationery. It made her think of us of the other half who take such things for granted and who do not appreciate them. Alfred, who got a picture of fishing, finished off the session by saying that it is better to teach a man to fish than to give him the fish, quite in line with the old saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. The session thus ended on a philosophical note. The control was then handed over to Mok Soo Pon ATMB, to evaluate the table topic speakers.

The meeting then proceeded to the prepared assignments. The speakers were Loretta Chin TM, Lee Mun Wai TM and our guest, Nini.

Loretta Chin was the first speaker. However, before she began, the ever innovative Loghan, her evaluator, distributed graphic evaluation sheets to all of us with which we were also to evaluate Loretta. The sheets were prepared in a manner which actually made it easier for an evaluator to evaluate.

Loretta’s speech was No. 6 in the C & L Manual and called “The House That Dreams Are Made Off”. Her speech was about change. Changes to her neighbour’s house after her neighbour moved out and the new owner started to renovate it. She spoke of how the renovations became a thing with her as she became fascinated with its progress and progressively curious about how it was going to turn out. She imagined a classy house when the change was complete, befitting her image of her elusive new neighbour. However, as the renovations progressed, she was disappointed to see that the good taste with which it started off was fast diminishing. Instead, it got quite bad and Loretta was horrified when she saw the Indonesian workers paint the walls a ghastly yellow ochre. The house looked a disaster with the loud colour scheme, making Loretta realise that if you want something done well you have to do it yourself and not leave it to others.

Lee Mun Wai’s speech was assignment no. 5 from the C & L Manual, which he called “The Winds of Change”. He said that the title of his speech was inspired by a song which he had heard and which made him think of his favourite past time, sailing and how, when one is sailing, one is alone against the elements, over which one has no control. No control over whether the sea will be calm and still that one can look at one’s reflection in it on a windless and moonlit night, as if it were a mirror. Because man has no control over the elements, man must respect them. He carried on to say that living our lives is like navigating a sail boat and just as a sail boat adapts to the winds of change, we must also adapt to change as change is inevitable in life. For us to change ourselves to adapt to the winds of change, we have to make decisions at the right time just as sailors make decisions according to the swells of the sea. Like sailors, we too are thrown into all types of “weather” as we journey in life and it is important for us to chart the course of our lives and make necessary changes in accordance with the winds of change.

The last assignment speaker was Nini who made her speech No. 8 from the C & E Manual, “Love Yourself”. She spoke of how she changed her eating habits to lose weight and be healthy. She gave us a crash course on the food pyramid. She also talked of the importance of embarking on a simple meal plan and generously gave us a sample menu for breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, tea and dinner, thus inspiring us to eat more healthy.

The next item on the Agenda was the delivery of the reports from the evaluators of the prepared speeches and Koh Teck Lee ATMB, the General Evaluator, called for the same. Loretta Chin’s speech was evaluated by Loghan, Mun Wai’s speech was evaluated by Alfred Koh and Nini’s speech by Hor Kam Peng.

After that, Alfred Koh, the winner of the Area W Humourous Speech contest held on 17th September 2007, made his winning speech before us once again.

Next, Kamalendran from Telekoms Toastmasters presented his report on the usage of the English language in the meeting, followed by reports by the AH Counter, our new member Dawson Sim TM, who did a thorough job and the Time Keeper, who was Chow Mun Yuen CTM CL, our VP Education.

The control was then handed over to Gwen Gwee, the TME, for the presentation of the prizes, as follows:

The table topics prize went to Alfred Koh.

The prize for the best assignment speaker went to Loretta Chin.

The prize for the best assignment evaluator went to T. Loghandran.

Gwen Gwee then wrapped up the evening’s activities, followed by the closing address by Robert.

Thank you.

Pushpa Menon TM

Club Meeting on 10 September 2007

The Speakers’ Dream Toastmasters Club had its first meeting in September on 10th September 2007 at the Kelab Perkhidmatan Golf Awam. After our Assistant Sargeant at Arms Chow Mun Yuen CTM CL called the meeting to order and the National Anthem was sung, the members present introduced themselves.

We had present, in our midst, members of different clubs, namely, Paul Tan and David Ann. Paul was there as a guest, to observe the proceedings and David was an assignment speaker.

The theme for this meeting was Mid Autumn Joy and the word of the day was “HEARTY”, which the members were to use as often as possible.

After the Presidential address by Robert Hue, the control was handed over to the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME), Loghandran Krishnasamy DTM, who requested the Language Evaluator for the evening, Chow Mun Yuen to introduce the word of the day.

This was, as usual, followed by the “Do Your Thing” segment in which our TME T. Loghandran DTM, taught us a sales pitch where you have a product to sell, but you do not ask a person to buy it. Instead, you recommend to him to try the product, after extolling its virtues. The key word is “RECOMMEND”.

The next segment, Table Topics, is a slot in a toastmasters meeting which gives the members a chance to polish their impromptu speaking skills. This interesting session
was conducted by Lee Mun Wai TM, the Table Topics Master, who devised an ingenious way of conducting it. Instead of asking the volunteers to pick their topics from a pack of illustrated cards, he introduced aromas which each volunteer had to recognise and speak about.

The table topic speakers, volunteering to speak on the various aromatic sensations, were Lim Hin Chong ATMS, Koh Teck Lee ATMB, Paul Tan, Simon Soh ATS and Yu Foong Sin TM.

Lim Hin Chong thought he had smelled plastic and he spoke about the different things which are made of plastic. The next speaker was Koh Teck Lee, to whom the aroma reminded him of the hospital. He told the members how much he disliked going to the hospital and how once, when he went to visit someone at the hospital, he ended up in the next bed. Paul Tan, the next impromptu speaker, did not seem to recognize the smell. He therefore spoke about how important the sense of smell is to a person. Simon Soh, thought that he smelled chloroform, while the last speaker, Yu Foong Sin thought her smell was minyak cap kapak. She said that the minyak kapak is a must in every household and how it is a cure for nearly everything.

The speakers were surprised when they were informed by Mun Wai what their various smells were. Hin Chong’s aroma was an “eau de toilette”, Teck Lee’s was “Listerine” (close enough). Simon Soh’s smell was……wait for it “Belacan” (probably, also close enough as the smell of belacan can knock you unconscious) and Foong Sin’s was “Vicks”. (also a must in every household). After that very entertaining Table Topics session, we settled down to listening to the prepared speeches.
The assignment speakers for this evening’s meeting were Yu Foong Sin TM, Mok Soo Pon ATMS, David Ann ATMG CL and Simon Soh ATS.

Yu Foong Sin’s speech was assignment no. 4 from the Competent Communication Manual and was called “Life At A National Service Camp”. She said that she had signed up as a part time trainer at the NS camp, so as to train the teenage trainees. She spoke about how the camp looked like a refugee camp where the trainees had to share a huge bathroom, She encountered some trainees who were school dropouts and who posed a disciplinary problem and was thus a challenge for the part time trainers. But then things got underway with all the trainees, who were helpful and friendly and took part in all the activities organized by the trainers. She felt a sense of pride as she watched the trainees perform and said that it will be an experience which she will always treasure.

The next speaker was Mok Soo Pon who did the “Speaking to Inform” segment. Her speech was called “Smooth, Silky Hands” and she spoke of how, as a child, she suffered from contact dermatitis, which caused her skin to be very dry, her fingers bent and cracked, causing them to bleed. She spoke of how her skin condition made her very self conscious, shy and withdrawn. When her contact dermatitis was eventually cured, she found that she had ended up with very rough skin. Luckily for her, an Indian friend of hers gave her a remedy for the rough skin. She tried out the remedy faithfully every week and found that the remedy worked and she had silky soft hand and skin all over. Soo Pon generously shared the secret of her smooth silky hands with us. The remedy is very cheap. All you need is white castor sugar, olive cooking oil, a pail of water, a towel and you are all set. Firstly, you have to apply 2 teaspoons of castor sugar on your left palm and add 2 teaspoons of olive cooking oil to it. You are then to gently massage the mixture into the skin for 2 minutes and wash under running water and pat dry and repeat on the right hand. In the event you wish to smoothen you feet, you will have to massage for 4 minutes. This has to be done once a week until you have smooth, silky hands and feet.

Simon Soh was next with his speech “Invest in People”. His speech was a keynote address to chief executive officers, where he said that for a company to be profitable it has to invest in people. Human capital is all important. Companies must invest in the right people in order to in increase profit.

The last assignment speaker for the evening was our guest, David Ann with his speech named “Ready, get set, GO”. He spoke about taking the first step in any venture, which is the most difficult step to take, because when one takes this first step, one moves from a comfort zone. He said that he took this first step because the IT company he was working for closed down and he had to look for a new job. He found a sales job in which his first assignment was to look for customers. He did not give up in spite of rejections and managed to close his sales. He said that the best way to close sales was to ask for the order. When you ask for the order, you move from the “get set” position to the “go” position. He said that we must never be afraid to ask if we want something. If we do not ask, we will always remain in the “get set” position.

The next item on the Agenda was the delivery of the reports from the evaluators of the prepared speeches and Loghandran, the General Evaluator, called for the same. Foong Sin’s speech was evaluated by Chew Yew Fai CC, Soo Pon’s speech by Gwen Gwee CTM CL, Simon Soh’s by Lim Hin Chong and David Ann’s by K. Loghandran.

Next, Chow Mun Yuen, the Language Evaluator, presented her report on the usage of the English language in the meeting, followed by reports by me, the AH Counter and Chow Mun Yuen, who was also the time keeper.

The control was then handed over to Loghandran, our TME, for the presentation of the prizes, as follows:

The table topics prize went to Simon Soh ATS.

The prize for the best assignment speaker went to Mok Soo Pon ATMB.

The prize for the best assignment evaluator went to T. Loghandran DTM.

Loghan then wrapped up the evening’s activities, followed by the closing address by Robert, after which the members took their leave, thus bringing to an end another enjoyable Speakers’ Dream Toastmasters Meeting, held every fortnight on the 2nd and 4th Mondays in the month.

Pushpa Menon TM