Prevailing energy and infectious enthusiasm reigned in our meeting last Tuesday. Our Toastmaster of the Evening, TM Gerald Goh lifted the spirits of a small but merry band of attendees when he rallied everyone, particularly new members of the club, to take up more speaking roles in meetings. He sagely reasoned that apprehension will be shed and anxiety lost when we accumulate experience.
TM Rahmat Tarsat brimmed with mischievous confidence when she revealed love as the theme for our table topics session. Love, as she had warmly described, was not a thought or feeling, but a many-splendoured thing.
Our Grammarian, Pranika Lama, CC, ALB, selected the verb “enrapture” as the Word of the Day. The verb “enrapture” describes the pleasurable sensation of being captivated.
Our Timer and Tip, TM Amran Jamaluddin, reminded us to be more aware of time when we speak on stage. “Be aware of when you start and end,” Amran suggested solidly.
TM Adah Rani persuaded us to donate blood every three to four months in her CC3 speech. She won compassion from the audience when she recounted her nerve-racking experience when she restlessly posed many questions to the nurse, who was attempting to jab a large needle into her vein. The experience ended more quickly than expected, and Adah urged us to face our fear of needles as she had done. In addition to this, Adah implored us to be more generous and donate blood more regularly because the act of giving a pint of our blood would kickstart the production of blood cells in our bodies and improve blood flow. Finally, Adah gave us definitive reasons for donating blood regularly – blood is not something that could be manufactured magically and synthetically out of thin air, and a precious pint of blood could save up to three lives. Adah conclusively compelled us to draw out our altruism and start giving blood donations regularly. “Make a difference, and save lives!”
TM Jidun Dollah playfully instructed us on how to be more effective when celebrating birthdays in his CC3 speech. Jidun’s family celebrates the birthdays of every member in the family – all twenty-two members every year! With glowing amusement and heartfelt sincerity, Jidun shared three tips on celebrating the birthdays of our loved ones. First, we need to be physically and emotionally present at the time and place of celebration. Jidun realised this important tip when he discovered his sister’s disappointment with him because he was not emotionally present and was distracted with work on his laptop during her birthday. Second, we need to be sincere in giving different gifts for each family member. Jidun advocated that we must take the preferences of each family member into consideration, and not rely on the universal gift of chocolate. “Not everyone likes chocolate!” he cited his young niece as an example. Third, we need to ensure that we sincerely convey our heartfelt greetings to our family members. Jidun narrated how his sincerity alleviated his sister’s anxiety over organising her birthday. In sharing these three tips, Jidun hoped that we would all start to celebrate birthdays with sincerity.
Chris Woo, CC took the stage with an animated interpretation of David Furlong’s poem, The Frog Prince, for his ACB2. As the wise and wizened adults that we are, he raised our anticipation when he introduced his poem as a satirical challenge to age-old conventions in children’s bedtime stories. With his booming and powerful voice, Chris crafted drama and brought the characters of the gormless Mr. Snog the frog, the unfortunately proud Prince Gons, the deaf hideous hag, and the repulsively haughty princess in Furlong’s poem to life. With theatrical flair, he mediated the rhyme and rhythm, and transported us into a topsy-turvy world where the princess refused to kiss the slimy Mr. Snog the frog and petulantly flung him high into sky. With his facial expressions and body gestures, Chris painted a vivid image of the fortunate Mr. Snog the frog, who, with its senses reeling, and the sky and earth blurring, landed on the princess’s open mouth. Much appreciation should be given to Chris for effectively reading and performing such a curiously amusing poem.
For the Table Topics session, TM Rahmat Tarsat accommodatingly explained that she had prepared questions at three difficulty levels for her theme of love as a many-splendoured thing. For the first question on whether we would break the law to save a loved one, TM Jordan Yau brazenly revealed that he had broken the law many, many times. Witnessing the wide-eyed expression on our faces, he retracted his declaration and told us not to worry for they were all petty crimes. He cheerfully described how his significant other is his polar opposite in terms of personality where she loves to stick to the law. Whenever she is treated unfairly or with rudeness in any setting, Jordan will nick a small item to impose his own warped sense of justice. He contentedly admitted that the only set of law he would not break would be the law, set by his significant other.
For the second question on how we would know if we were in love, TM Sharon Ong braved an initial answer to the question, before requesting for a change, when she incited some positively overwhelming laughter from the audience. With the third question on what makes loves last, TM Sharon Ong sensibly answered that there needs to be effective communication and compromise in any relationship, whether romantic or platonic. Effective communication is important in order for us to convey feelings across, and compromise plays a role in ensuring fairness and hopefully making a relationship last.
TM Chang Seng Yee was asked to answer the fourth question on what she loves most about herself. She boldly admitted that she found the question rather difficult for there are many things that she loves about herself. If she had to choose one thing, it would be how people do not take her seriously. She surmised that it had been advantageous for her, when she overturned their low expectations of her capabilities and surprised them with the true range of her capabilities.
In response to the fifth question on who his ideal woman would be, TM A. Faiz insists that his ideal woman would be someone who shares his love for cats. He proceeds to add that, in all honesty, he would date any woman with whom he would be able to talk to and enjoy meals, since he loves food. She would, of course, have to be someone who loves him.
Shawn Narcis, DTM, wittily dodged the sixth question on whether it would be better to have loved and lost, or not to have loved at all, with a reassuring and supportive speech on how love is always about someone whom you care about. When you love somebody, you give the person all of your charismatic self. He compelled us to share time with our loved ones even if it was a brief moment of five minutes. Lastly, Shawn enraptured us with an ardent declaration of his love for his wife, Ruey Chong-Narcis, ACB, ALB, his children, and all Toastmasters.
Overall, the meeting was suffused with positivity and exuberance. The meeting was refreshingly led by a mixed band of experienced Toastmasters and first-time role players – TM Gerald Goh as Toastmaster of the Evening, TM Rahmat Tarsat as Table Topics Master, TM Heidi Rahman as Table Topics Evaluator, Pranika Lama, CC, ALB, as Grammarian, TM Dalton Lim as Ah Counter & ‘Who said what?’, TM Amran Jamaluddin as Timer & Tip, and finally TM Supatra Lee as General Evaluator.
In his closing remarks for the meeting, our President, Chris Woo, CC, announced that the Brunei Speakers’ Club will now be rescinding the rule that only members above a CC6 speech project can take up the roles of evaluators (Grammarian, Ah Counter & ‘Who said what?’, Table Topics Evaluator). Chris ended the meeting with an encouraging word for all members who have completed their CC1 speech project to take up more roles in running future meetings.
TM Sharon Ong
Photography and Caption by;
Chang Seng Yee, CC