Necessary learning

Our best chef in town, the Sergeant at Arms (SAA), TM Awfa Nawawi, started the Brunei Speakers’ Club meeting on time at 19:30 on 22 August 2017. The club was honoured with 2 guests tonight.

President Pooja Shivanand, CC, ALB, the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME), introduced our Table Topics Master (TTM) Geneviève Lai, DTM. Geneviève is a Toastmasters veteran who has been a Toastmasters for 22 years.

Our Grammarian Hazwan Kamarulzaman, ACB, ALB, introduced the word of the day “ignominious”, which means deserving or causing shame or humiliation. An example for the correct use of this word is “Failure in Toastmasters is not ignominious; it is just a necessary learning”.

Our charming Ah Counter & 'Who said What?' role player for the evening is Rahmat Tarsat, CC. She has the fluency and the right archetype to inspire fellow Toastmasters on how not to have crutch words in speaking.

Timer & Tip this evening was Ong Yin, CL, and she introduced her role with her usual smile.

General Evaluator (GE) role was played by meticulous TM Lim Mei Ann. She excitedly introduced her role with excitement. A GE is the evaluator of evaluators.

Thought of the day given by the TME was a quote by Benjamin Franklin.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

The first speech was an Ice Breaker project under the Pathway 'Innovative Planning', by TM Edy Zurina. Her speech was titled, “My favourite book in 3D”. Upon starting her speech, she ecstatically proclaimed that her favourite authors were Anthony Robins and Jim Collins. Holding her printed, rolled speech in her left hand, she stepped forward and backward numerous times with palpable energy. She did a great job in describing how wonderful the world of books is and how powerful the motivation received from a good writer, such as her favourite author, is. Listening to her favourite author is Edy's description of her favourite book in 3D.

The second speech was by our Area Director Amran Jamaluddin, CC, entitled “Thing to Remember”. Before the start of the speech, he took a couple of seconds to take in the contents of his printed speech on the side of a table. Then he stood in the middle of the room and never looked back at the printed material. He stood as tall and rooted as a flag post to deliver his ACB1: Speaking to Inform project. He used his hands reservedly and sometimes he employed a loud vocal projection to communicate the information he intends to share with all of us. His speech brought in a powerful point of how important it is to understand and know about first aid.

The third speech was from the Advanced Communicator Storytelling manual and the speech title intrigued me. It was “The Devouring Rock”. It was about a local folktale which is shared in such a matter-of-fact manner by Aziman Nasir, CC, ALB, that I could literally and figuratively imagined the characters as if I knew them for a long time ago. His story involved the desire to eat fish eggs. The main characters of the story were the mother named Thanjong and her 2 children, a 3 year old hungry boy called Pukan and an 11 year old elder sister addressed as Malur. He drew everyone into his speech with his description of strong characters and heartfelt pathos.

Break time at Brunei Speakers' Club (BSC) is the best in town as our SAA is also a good chef. Her homemade tarts, tea selections (black, green or mint) and fruit platter deserved a longer break time to cherish it all.

Second half of the meeting started with TME passing control to TTM Geneviève Lai. Table Topics were delivered by TM Awfa Nawawi on 'Benefits of hugging a Tree'; Hilman Omar, CC, on 'Why do we say bless you when we sneeze?'; our guest Alysha on 'How would you respond to a smile if you had a bad day?'; and lastly, Rahul Breh, CC, on 'Why do we have white hair?'

Speech evaluation for TM Edy was given by TM Safarul Hassan. This was his first speech evaluation for Level 1 and he did a great job. While evaluating, he stood with his left foot forward and right foot behind consistently. His upper body oscillated back and forth while his foot remained mostly firm in ground. He encouraged Edy to continue to do a fantastic job in her upcoming speeches. Edy won the 'Best Speaker' ribbon.

The speech of Amran Jamaluddin, CC, was evaluated by Gerald Goh, CC, ALB. He was meticulous in his evaluation, paraphrasing lines from Amran’s speech. Gerald stood the tallest when he spoke in a commanding manner. His eyes scrolled through the eyes of every member, maintaining eye contact, stopping now and then at Amran. His smile was encouraging and he was educational for other toastmasters to emulate.

Liyana Sidek, ACB, ALB, evaluated Aziman Nasir, CC, ALB. Her evaluation started with positive comments and then came the critical points in which informed Aziman on how his folktale storytelling could be improved. She enacted examples of vocal variety to improve the speech.

Lai Ling Ling, CC, evaluated the Table Topics tonight while grammarian Hazwan Kamarulzaman, ACB, ALB, turned up the heat as an evaluator contestant. He was eloquent throughout his evaluation and made very wise remarks, conjectures and opinion on the speeches today. He dished out quotes with fantastic aural value, such as:

"An eloquent speech is not from lip to ear, but it's from heart to heart."

"False eloquence is exaggeration. True eloquence is excellence."

Ah counter & 'Who Said What?' Rahmat Tarsat, CC, started her evaluation with a beautiful smile. She diligently recorded crutch words and articulated her findings qualitatively. The 'Who Said What?' section of her role tested the listening skills of the audience.

Timer Ong Yin, CL, did a fantastic breakdown of the timing report. She also did the close out for the club's evening.

Writer: Rahul Breh, CC

Proofreader: TM Lim Mei Ann