On the evening of 2nd August 2016, the guests knew they were in for a treat when they stepped into the meeting room in Seameo Voctech. With a blink of an eye it has been a month since the new term began and the camaraderie was strong with guests and members old and new. With advanced speeches on the menu, the 5th meeting of the term was a 5 course gourmet meal in its own right.
For starters, Toastmaster of the Evening A. Faiz suavely took the stage and introduced his team.
- Table Topics Master
The jovial TM Mei-Ann Lim decided that table topics will be revolved around decisions in charity.
- Table Topics Evaluator
TM Heidi Rahman set out to be a methodical evaluator, announcing beforehand that she will be dividing her evaluations with 30% on content and 70% on delivery and structure.
The ever-improving TM Dalton Lim declared the Word of the day as benevolent and the language device he will focus on as similes.
Being kind and noble
e.g. The old wise man had a benevolent disposition.
A figure of speech that brings out the characteristics of a description by comparing it with another thing
e.g. Her smile was as bright as the sun.
- Ah Counter & ‘Who said what?’: TM Awfa Nawawi
- Timer and tip
TM Syatrah Roslan shared with us a tip of the day: “Time can be charity when it comes in the form of helping others.” Time is an invaluable gift and she encouraged the toastmasters to invest their time in the meetings to help each other learn and grow.
- General Evaluator: Allen Ang, ACS, ALB
After the entrée, the newly wed Toastmaster of the Evening TM A. Faiz swept the audience off their feet with his eventful first week since his wedding which involved lost glasses and himself driving to the bride’s rescue in a heavy rain. With the theme of the night as charity and the gift of giving, A. Faiz believes that marriage, which translates into the selfless act of giving one’s time, energy and care to another, is the biggest gift you can give to someone.
The meat of the meeting was undoubtedly, the prepared speeches. The line-up of the night was no grade B steak, but a premium – the advanced speeches. The first speaker, Rahul Breh, CC, tantalized the audience with his speech from the humourous speech manual, “Be Lazy, Stay Efficient.”
He began by describing the moment when he realised that in his circle of engineer friends, the only one that owns a Mercedes was the laziest. It then dawned on him that he must learn the art of it.
According to Rahul, the first step was to always identify the problem from your surroundings. He left the audience in stitches when he attempted to find a solution to his wife’s pac-man-like vacuuming patterns that he deemed inefficient. To which his wife responded, “Why don’t you do it?”
He then shared gems of wisdom by using laziness as a tool to become efficient. For example, combatting his addiction to social media by enforcing a 28-letter password on all of them, which lead him to ultimately delete Facebook. To top it off, Rahul urged us all to follow his footsteps in living life with a pinch of innovation and a garnish of laziness – work smart, not hard.
Speaking from the Specialty Speeches manual, the second seasoned speaker, Rano Iskandar, CC, CL, enticed the audience with his speech entitled “Be the Difference.” Rano believes there is a leader in all of us, and there is a vision in all leaders. He shared that he once aspired to make a difference, change people’s lives and unlock their potential. However, no matter how much he did, he never felt fulfilled.
Rano then brought us on an emotional journey on his discovery of why he was not happy and ultimately pinned it down: he had always wanted something in return, and it was all conditional. Without realizing, his actions were based on what he aspired his mentees to be so that he would be showered with praises. However, he had neglected the needs and aspirations of the mentees themselves.
Upon this epiphany, Rano began to change his ways and now urges everyone to do the same. We are always thinking about making the difference in this world, but not many have become the difference we want to see. Rano left his enigmatic speech with this succinct statement, “Be aware, make a choice and be the choice.”
TABLE TOPICS :
Benevolent topics presented in a malevolent manner, where speakers were put on the spot with mind-gnawing choices.
For TM Aziman, it was decided that he would offer his friendship on Friday mornings, and the question at hand was whether he would spend his time with the elderly home or the youth center. Right off the bat, Aziman declared that he wakes up at 8am on Fridays to go hiking with his parents. Unfortunately, they leave at 7am. While he admits that he gets caught up with things sometimes, he considers his parents as “the elderly” and promised to try harder to wake up early enough to go hiking with them. It was a warm reminder to us all that when we want to do something for others, we should take care to not forget the ones closest to us.
Nina Kifrawi, CC, ALB was given the choice to either agree or disagree with the quote “It is in giving that we receive.” With much gusto, Nina agreed with the statement as she could relate it to her involvement in the educational sector. As a teacher, she feels great that she was able to give knowledge to the younger generation. Having recently become a career guidance officer, she finds it fulfilling that she could empower not only one person but the whole community.
The guest Ajirah braved the stage and was asked if she ever felt like she needed charity, whether it being in the form of money, time or compassion. Though reserved at first, she shared that she was a full time mum which, as everyone knows, does not receive recognition unlike most other ‘occupations’. However, she does receive appreciation from her baby and her husband and in that moment, the audience was surely appreciating mothers’ sacrifices.
TM Nabil was given the choice of donating $100,000 to research and fight either cancer or infectious diseases. After he graced the floor he channeled the Spanish phrase “Por que no los dos?” which means “Why not both?” to the maximum by not only deciding to contribute the money to the two given options, but adding in a myriad of other choices. He gave the audience the giggles when he revealed that those options catered to none other than himself. Nabil reminded us that while giving to others is a form of receiving, we must not forget about our needs.
Amran, CC, took that message a step further when he was to imagine himself going on a holiday abroad. He was faced with the choice of either helping out the earthquake relief himself or using his remaining travel fees to fund it. Having a background in construction work, our resident ‘Superman’ cautioned us that we must always make sure that we ourselves are safe in all emergencies. This is simply due to the fact that you cannot begin to help others, if you cannot help yourself. After he humorously remarked that no one would bring a lot of money while travelling anyway, his decision was to help out himself. With that, Amran concluded with the profound statement that money is not valuable; but lives are, winning the hearts of the audience as well as the Table Topics ribbon!
After these soulful speeches, it was time for evaluations, what TM A.Faiz alluded to as ‘vegetables’; it does not always taste nice, but it is essential for our growth. The quality controller, General Evaluator, Allen, ACS, ALB, posed that anyone could be a critic, but not all can provide positive feedback, which he will be focusing on today.
TIPS TO TAKE AWAY
- “Funny does not happen by accident.”
While comedians make humour seem effortless, nothing is a coincidence. “Signposts” are signals that guide the audience by hinting at a joke that is appearing soon and can be in many forms (i.e. pauses.) When used correctly, signpost can be employed to cue the listeners and elicit laughter.
– Stuart Lee, ACS, ALB
- Engaging the Audience
It is very important to connect with the audience in the opening of the speech especially if the purpose of the speech is to evoke an emotional response. It could be asking a question, or asking for a show of hands or anything that allows the speaker to intercept with the audience’s train of thoughts. “Simple things can be effective if used in the right ways.”
– Ruey Chong Narcis, ACB, ALS
- The Importance of Congruency
When delivering an evaluation, it is important that no points should contradict one another. A discrepancy between opinions in an evaluation will render the recipient of the evaluation confused. Evaluators are also encouraged to match their facial expressions with the comments they are making to do justice to not only the evaluation itself but the speakers being evaluated.
– Allen Ang, ACS, ALB
Stuart Lee, ACS, ALB secured the Best Evaluator ribbon.
All in all, Allen praised the relatively young team of role players today and expressed how impressed he was by the logistics. With the recognition from the head chef, the role takers beamed with a new air of refreshing excitement.
“If you have a great leader, then having a benevolent dictator is great.” – Joanna Waters.
There is a leader in everyone and no matter what type of leader it is, we can all be the difference. And the first step to unlock the leader in us is to participate in Toastmasters.
President Jordan Yau, CL, took the stage and invited everyone to participate in the upcoming Humourous Speech contest as well as the Evaluation Contest. On the faithful day of September 13th Tuesday, speakers will gather and the top of the crop will advance to the Area Contest. Whether you are there for the growth, the competition, or even just the rush, it is a promise that this will be an unforgettable experience.
When all was said and done, the meeting was just like the lingering tastes of apple crumble cheesecake, leaving the connoisseurs of public speaking yearning for more.
Derby Teo, CC
Gerald Goh, CL