How we like to start our evenings

Have you been galvanised!?

Have you been galvanized!?

How do we like to start our evenings at the Brunei Speakers Club? With colours, confetti and animation! Since the new term, Brunei Speakers' Club has been going greener with the use of paperless agendas in the form of PowerPoint slide projection. That is not the only innovation in this new term. Besides welcoming all members and guests as per usual, our Sergeant at Arms (SAA), TM Awfa Nawawi, briefly explained about Pathways, the new Toastmasters learning experience that recently rolled out internationally.

The Toastmaster of the Evening (TME), Tieng Chwei Peng, CC, took over the stage and explained the structure of the meeting which consisted of a Prepared Speech session, Table Topics session and an Evaluation session. Needless to say, the running of these sessions would not be possible without her army of roleplayers consisting of:

  • Table Topics Master – TM Lim Mei Ann
  • Table Topics Evaluator – Rahmah Ali, CC
  • Grammarian – Ong Yin, CL
  • Ah Counter & 'Who Said What?' – Aziman Nasir, CC, ALB
  • Timer & Tip – Amran Jamaluddin, CC
  • General Evaluator – Nabil Abd Kadir, CC, ALB

The 'Word of the Day' aptly described many of the roleplayers and speakers in the meeting! This word was:

Galvanize (verb)
Definition: To cause someone to suddenly take action, especially by shocking or exciting them.
Example of use: Rano’s impassioned pea galvanized the entire club to join the speech contest.

The Brunei Speakers' Club is generous with tips and feedback, and our Timer’s tip of the day was to “lock yourself in”. Our TME also shared her thought of the day, which was inspired by the Dalai Lama. What are the two days in the year that nothing can be done? No, they are not your birthday and Hari Raya. It is yesterday and tomorrow, which is why we should do our best to make the most of the present moment.

The line up of speakers for the evening consisted of members of the Brunei Speakers Club who had already completed ten projects from the Competent Communicator manual and are working on their Advanced Communicator manual.

Gerald giving a speech

Gerald giving a speech

First up was Gerald Goh, CC, ALB, who delivered his ACB1 project on “Technical Briefing” from the Technical Presentation manual. His presentation entitled “WasteNot Biogas Plant” was a mock presentation to a group of Year 10 students to explain the processes of a biogas plant as an Operations Officer. Gerald explained the four stages of production, namely, feed in material, anaerobic digestion, biogas output and fertilizer yield. Ultimately, the gas produced by this process goes through a power generator, powering the plant and homes, including beloved televisions and Xboxes. The leftovers are processed into fertilizers by heating up the resulting slurry. The audience was taken for a ride through the biogas plant processes through the use of animations and illustrations in Gerald's slides. Any Year 10 students would not want to miss out on this educational presentation on renewable energy!

While the first prepared speech was more on science and facts, the next speaker was on the other end of the spectrum by reading out fairy-tale story. Rahmat Tarsat, CC, attempted her ACB2 project on “Read a Story” from the Interpretive Reading manual. Her project title “Cinderella, the Politically Correct Version” threw the audience off-guard with the so-called politically correctness of the story. Cinderella was not just beautiful in this story – she was the embodiment of “Barbie-doll ideas of feminine desirability”. The prince was not just throwing a grand ball just for the fun of it – he was “celebrating his exploitation of the dispossessed and marginalized peasantry”. The audience was caught up in laughter not just by the story but also by the entertaining manner at which Rahmat read the story through the use of vocal variety. If anyone is bored of reading traditional fairy tale stories and wants to get some political education, Rahmat is your storyteller.

The Prepared Speeches section ended on a humorous note. In this case, the ending of one humorous session is followed by the start of another laughter-filled session! TM Lim Mei Ann handed out a selection of light-hearted topics:

  • What Disney princess would Jordan Yau, CL, want to be? He opted for Jasmine from Aladdin. Why? She is a strong and independent woman who did not simply wait around for a prince, unlike some of the other princesses. Added bonus? She is born rich too.
  • What pet would guest Hayley want to have? No domestic cats for her, thank you. She wants a wild cat like a tiger. Why go for regular when you can have something much more exotic? There are also songs about the eye of the tiger, and tiger is also the endorsed choice of pet by the Princess Jasmine!
  • Would guest Aqilah rather be a flying bird or a flightless bird like a penguin? She acknowledges that penguins are cute but she would much rather be able to fly majestically like the eagle!
  • What superhero would TM Jidun Dollah like to be? His choice of superhero is not batman, superman or spiderman. It is the fastest man alive, the Flash! Who would not want run, move, and think at super speed?

Self-evaluation is helpful but it is also important to get constructive feedback from others to grow. This is where the General Evaluator, role players and speech evaluators such as Hazwan Kamarulzaman, ACB, ALB, and Hilman Omar, CC, come in! Some notable feedback from the prepared speeches included varying the pattern of pacing for different sentences for more impact when dropping punchlines. Another feedback for speakers in general is to be mindful of improper usage of grammar, such as the insertion of word 'the' before a person’s name. The audience also learnt the significance of clapping until the speaker reach the stage as a sign of full and wholehearted support. 

Mei Ann as TTM

Mei Ann as TTM

Jordan in Table Topics

Jordan in Table Topics

Jidun, too!

Jidun, too!

Rahmah as TTE

Rahmah as TTE

Brunei Speakers' Club believes in showing recognition and appreciation for outstanding performances. This week, the audience voted Jordan Yau, CL, for 'Best Table Topics' for three weeks running! The 'Best Speaker' of the night by popular vote was the politically correct Rahmat Tarsat, CC, and the 'Best Evaluator' ribbon went to Hazwan Kamarulzaman, ACB, ALB.

It was a riveting night full of galvanizing characters at the Brunei Speakers' Club, with many thanks to the roleplayers, speakers and members of the audience.

Writer: Tieng Chwei Peng, CC

Proofreader: TM Lim Mei Ann

Photographer: TM Awfa Nawawi

Videographer: Anonymous