6th January 2015 – Grab the Pearl of your Oyster

Happy New Year, fellow Toastmasters and dear guests! Let’s start 2015 with a bang!

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Ruey, our Toastmaster of the Evening

“2015 is my year to be courageous,” said our lovely first Toastmaster of the Evening for 2015, Ruey. Everyone, what is 2015 to you? For all the resolutions that you have in mind, remember this, “Take action! Vision without action is just a daydream” – Ruey.

Running out of positive adjectives to use in place of merry, cheerful, and joyous? Add the word ‘blithe’ to your dictionary. Thank you, Serene, our Grammarian, for introducing the word of the day.

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Guests introduction

Another meaning of ‘blithe’ is careless and indifferent. As the General Evaluator of the evening, President Hazwan scored his point for using the word of the day by emphasizing the importance of how feedback should be delivered constructively, “As leaders, we cannot be blithe to people’s emotions and feelings.”

Many of us could not help but feel nervous while speaking in front of people during a Toastmasters meeting. Reuben, our Timer and Tip guru of the evening, advised us, “Don’t be. We’re all here to learn.”

For prepared speeches, both Rano and Amran attempted their fourth project in the Competent Communication manual – “How to say it”.

From hate to love. Rano, once a loyal Windows user but now an advocate for Apple products, told us the reasons he experienced this “sudden change of heart.” Besides the better quality of experience that Apple has for its users over Windows’, the credit goes to no one other than Apple’s innovative founder, Steve Jobs. Through Rano’s vivid and descriptive languages, in addition to succinct, clear, and powerful words, he effectively portrayed his respect and admiration for Steve Jobs and his vision. Great Job, Rano.

Amran sharing his passion for fishing

Amran sharing his passion for fishing

Amran had a weird, unexpected, and supernatural encounter in one of his fishing trips. After an intense tug-of-war session between Amran and his prized fish, the fish was nowhere to be found, but the fishing bait remained intact! What was pulling the fishing rod? After this haunting experience, Amran figured out one thing – “Sometimes, there’s no need to ask for an explanation but to leave the mystery unsolved.” English is neither Amran’s first nor second language, but his third language! With all the similes, metaphors, and triads in his beautifully-crafted speech, Amran succeeded in painting the images of his story in our minds. We were really impressed with your effort and determination to challenge yourself. Bravo, Amran. You are an inspiration for all of us.

Shawn drawing the audience in with his persuasion skill

Shawn drawing the audience in with his persuasion skill

Shawn did a specialty speech for his sixth Advanced Communicator Gold (ACG6) project, in which his objective was to sell us a product or service. As an Ambassador for Toastmasters, of course, Shawn had to tell us about the Toastmasters District 87 Annual Conference 2015 in Kuching.

A 3-in-1 package composed of shopping, travelling, and learning. Who could resist that? That was how Shawn generated our interest in his opening speech. He then continued to use other people’s experiences to appeal to our emotions by asking Reuben and Serene to share their respective experiences of past Toastmasters Conferences. Focusing on positive reinforcements and using powerful words, Shawn conveyed to us the unique selling point of the conference by convincing us how renowned international speakers such as Dananjaya Hettiarachchi, Alex Wong, Johnny Uy and many others could leave us motivated and inspired for the rest of our lives. Shawn assured us that for a cost of just $500, we would have a holiday of a life time! The conference is open to all. What are we waiting for?

Joyful Seng Yee led a captivating Table Topics session with a fitting theme, “New Year’s Resolutions”.

Ling feeling motivated to attend all the Toastmasters Club in Brunei

Ling feeling motivated to attend all the Toastmasters Club in Brunei

You gain different experiences by attending different Toastmasters clubs. After visiting the UBD Toastmasters Club, Ling now aspires to learn from young students on how to speak like a youth. Fellow Toastmasters, let’s all put down attending all four Toastmasters clubs in Brunei as one of our New Year’s Resolutions. Last year, someone managed to motivate Mcallum into getting fit. After seeing the results – a healthy body and lots of energy, Mcallum’s New Year’s Resolution for 2015 was to pay forward the good deed by being the one to motivate other people.

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Mcallum, one of the guests

Tan was determined to complete all his Competent Communication projects by the end of 2015. He appreciated the mentorship and encouragement from his mentor. As Tan professed, “Reuben, be my good mentor, and guide me through.” We look forward to your CC and CL title this year, Tan.

Tan feeling determined

Our frequent guest, Brandon, is a meat lover. A vegetarian diet would be a difficult and arduous challenge for him. Congratulations, Brandon, for winning the first title of the Best Table Topics Speaker for 2015.

Congratulations Brandon, our perpetual guest

Congratulations Brandon, our perpetual guest

A special acknowledgment to Gerald for his excellent first attempt as the Table Topics Evaluator. Practice makes perfect yet the hardest part of the process is to take that first step. Don’t you agree?

How can we communicate better with our audience when we are on stage? One piece of advice given by General Evaluator, President Hazwan, is to maintain eye contact with our audience.

Ending the meeting on a blithe note, President Hazwan shared a piece of sage advice, “The whole world is your oyster. It’s up to you to take that initiative.” Opportunities are all around you. You – yourself – have to take the lead, to find and grab your precious pearl.

I wish everyone a wonderful and meaningful year ahead. Cheers.

Written by:
TM Supatra

Photography by:
TM Rano & TM Seng Yee

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