First-time ‘Toastmaster of the Evening’, TM Maudena Hamid went the extra mile to put together a truly unique experience. She took it upon herself to organise a special ‘Ladies’ Night’ meeting. Not only were her office bearers all female, it was a showcase of new talents as well.
From Maudena herself, to ‘Table Topics Master’ TM Syatrah Roslan, ‘Ah-Counter & Who-Said-What’ TM Lim Mei Ann, and ‘Grammarian’ TM Awfa Mawawi. The lineup was comprised of members taking on roles for their respective first times, rounded off by seasoned Toastmaster, Ruey Chong Narcis, ACB, ALS, as their ‘General Evaluator’.
Awfa introduced her Word-of-the-Day, ‘Incomparable’. An adjective meaning “Beyond Comparison; Matchless or Unequaled”. A simple yet impactful word.
Before kicking off the Prepared Speeches session, Maudena shared with us her Thought-of-the-Day. Paraphrasing Marilyn Monroe, she says “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius. It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring,” as people tend to procrastinate and put things off in striving for perfection. Thank you Maudena for the wonderful advice.
Our first Prepared Speech of the evening was a CC8 Project by TM Aziman Nasir entitled ‘Online Shopping 101’. As an online shopping enthusiast, Aziman’s passion is very apparent with his 192 online purchases to date and he would like to share what he’s learned so far when it comes to the world of virtual retail therapy. He defined online shopping as any online transaction that involves an official business. Transactions done via social media, usually involving buying, selling, and swapping from other individuals directly, do not qualify.
Aziman then identified from his personal observations, the important aspects to having a successful and gratifying online shopping experience. From research to payment methods to shipping to buyers insurance. But at the end of it, he advises to just remember that online shopping is “not about what you NEED. It’s about what you WANT.” Well done Aziman on such a detailed and perceptive account.
The next Prepared Speaker TM Tieng Chwei Peng with her speech ‘Technology and Love’ was also attempting her CC8 Project. Also similar to Aziman, her speech recounted on how technology has allowed us to move another traditionally practical activity into the virtual world. Specifically, online dating.
With online dating apps and websites, social media, and instant text messaging, the way we meet, choose, and communicate with our future partners has changed drastically. Gone were the days we would nervously call a love interest at their home telephone number, to only hang-up instantly when it was a parent instead that answered. Communication may be faster, and more convenient but things can sometimes get confusing. With tone and context missing, it is also prone to misunderstandings. And the anxiety from the entire ordeal will never change, online or offline. Thank you Peng, for the insightful and intelligent commentary.
Third Prepared Speaker of the evening was Rano Iskandar, CC, CL with an Advanced Communicator Project ‘Goodwill Speech’. Speaking on behalf of Toastmasters International, his speech was on overcoming the fear of public speaking. With a sweeping declaration, he opened his speech with the fact that everybody has fears. And that fear cannot be entirely eliminated. However, by sharing with the audience 3 simple tips, he showed that it can be reduced, tamed, and finally controlled.
Firstly is to ‘Observe and Practice’. By attending and taking part in Toastmasters meetings regularly, we will be able to broaden our understanding and experience of public speaking. Next is to ‘Know Your Audience’. Get to know some of the audience members so you can relax and feel comfortable, rather than isolating to yourself and your butterflies in a corner. And finally, ‘Do Not Memorise’. Rather than a script, use a speech outline so you are speaking from the heart, making you look and sound more natural. Congratulations Rano on an empowering and captivating speech.
After a short intermission, we enter our Table Topics session. Syatrah’s theme for the evening’s topics was ‘Excuses’. It called for all speakers to talk and explain themselves out of a given predicament.
First up was TM Faiz Zailani. When confronted by his girlfriend for not replying her text message, Faiz explained that it was because his mother had fallen ill. She is staying with his sister which leaves him to care for his father alone at home. He had been busy doing house chores and preparing meals. Taking the opportunity to use as a demonstration, he wanted to show his girlfriend how good of a husband he would make one day. Good job Faiz for averting trouble and doing a little self-promotion at the same time. Congratulations on winning the Best Table Topics Speaker of the evening.
Next, Reuben Chin, ACS, ALB had to address why an acquaintance was not invited to his wedding. He clarified that the wedding did not happen due to the minor foot surgery he had to undergo recently. Likening the pain from the surgery to married life, he himself was not sure whether congratulations or condolences were in order. As funny as ever, thank you for the entertaining speech Reuben. All the best and here’s to wishing you a speedy recovery.
TM Dalton Lim was our final Table Topics Speaker of the evening. He was tasked with justifying why he chose Reuben and Aziman instead of with Maudena and Pranika when asked to pick 2 Toastmasters to be stranded on an island with. Dalton answered by saying that he had a shared experience with Reuben since they were both stuck in an elevator before and that he found Aziman to be a very approachable and fun person while he doesn’t know Maudena well enough and found Pranika to be too fierce. Such a direct and logical approach to the question. Well done Dalton! Honesty is the best policy.
Even with most office bearers new to their roles, the energy of the entire meeting was filled with excitement rather than anxiety. Until next week, a thank you to all who attended for yet another incomparable meeting.
Jordan Yau, CL
TM Gerald Goh