8th July 2014 – Explicate the Scenario at Hand

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Fellow Toastmasters.

To be or not to be stubborn? Each of us have opposing voices on our shoulders calling our shots. They tell us what is yin, and they tell us what is yang so to speak. Like Harvey Dent, stubbornness has two faces. When you pull out of your speeches (you know who you are) and Chris Ng soldiers on, this is the good kind of stubborn. When you only sit on your bean bag all day playing video games and refuse your dad’s request to do otherwise, this is the bad kind of stubborn. When you are persistent in selling goods that customers don’t need to achieve your sales targets, I will let you decide your own moral boundaries. From this, ‘Getting to the point’ speech, we learned to identify the different faces of stubborn. We explicated its contents and learned not to convolute our points too much. Few and focused points will be enough to fulfill your speech objectives.

Our first Table Topics speakers relived their carefree school days. Edward told us about his favourite English teacher, Madame Yong. She let him enjoy so much individual reading time and made him class monitor which was the envy of all his classmates. Gerald reminisced his happy-go-lucky days in his school’s computer club. There was nothing else that mattered then. Ahh.. to be younger again and just type your days away! Chris Woo ruminated on those endless recess periods when he just felt blessed to be protected by his many girlfriends from those big and mean bullies.

Our next Table Topics speakers shared the thrills they pursued during their schooling years. The queen of last-minute studying, Ling Ling always felt the rush of gambling with exam results after 15-minute cramming sessions. Despite this delinquent behaviour, she succeeds! Chandra deceived the authorities with his innocent demeanour. He mixed with the high school ‘gangsters’ and played hookey. Questionable advice but congratulations, best Table Topics speaker! Ling on the other hand has always been Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes. He chased girls in the school yard for fun but always protected them from bullies whenever it mattered. This is what gentlemen do.

Despite those inner opposing voices, Jolin braved her two minutes in the spotlight. It was interesting to hear her story of growing up in Australia, and of her math & P.E. classes. So many struggles in them! It’s sad that Ching can’t remember his first friends in primary school but he did remind us to appreciate our friendships. After growing up in an open environment, Ching had plenty of close friends and they are the ones who have helped him survive tough times and have made him wiser each time. Always have your words be congruent with your body language. Use pauses strategically in your speeches to deliver those punchlines, fellow speakers.

Cheers,
Hazwan

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