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

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