Before the meeting even started, Bilik Teratai at Seameo Voctech was already abuzz as members and guests piled in. Our Sergeant At Arms, TM Awfa, initiated the meeting by telling the history of Toastmasters followed by introduction of guests. One of the guests, Lisa, expressed her interest in public speaking as a reason for attending that night. Another guest, Azhani, a representative from Royal Brunei, came to observe the meeting for a potential collaboration with Brunei Toastmasters.
TM Dalton Lim, a three- time TME, took control of the meeting and ensured that the energy was high. He then proceeded to introduce the office bearers.
Grammarian – Nur Ahmad, CC
Word of the Day – Equanimity
Equanimity is a noun that means calmness and composure especially in a difficult situation.
Table Topics Master – TM Donna Balthazar-Lim
Table Topics Evaluator – TM Kelvin Lai
Ah Counter & Who Said What – TM Syatrah Roslan
Timer & Tip – Rano Iskandar, CC CL
Tip of the Day: Find a sanctuary when you have a lot on your mind to find some equanimity.
General Evaluator – DTM Genevieve Lai
After each of office bearer introduced themselves and their role in the meeting, TM Dalton shared his thought of the day. “Every aeroplane will fly off without waiting for you”. Therefore, one must be punctual in order not to miss a chance. The TME, Dalton, then invited speakers on the stage. First speaker was TM Suneeta Pathak, presenting her CC 5.
“Your Voice: Perceive, Project, Preserve”
TM Suneeta got the audience hooked from the get go when she shared what she does with the feedback she had received from her previous speeches. In her project, TM Suneeta explained how she practises projecting her voice through breathing exercises. She told the audience how we need to focus on our breathing and posture. One of the things TM Suneeta shared was how our head and neck must be in good alignment and not to stick our head out like a chicken. Then TM Suneeta instructed the audience to mimic her as she showed us how to breathe and we thoroughly enjoyed her speech. Finally she advised us to practise the techniques and over time, our voice projection will also improve. Her evaluator, DTM Shawn Narcis, was impressed with TM Suneeta’s eye contact and gestures.
The next speaker was TM Tieng Chwei Peng presenting her CC10, the last project from Competent Communicator series.
“The Best Present”
TM Peng took us back in time to when she graduated from a university in California. In her CC10, TM Peng told a captive audience how she found her parents waiting for her on top of a hill instead of the entrance. TM Peng was frustrated when a family trip to visit Golden Gate bridge failed. The reason? Her parents walked at a slower pace than her. When meeting her boyfriend for the first time, an irritated TM Peng had to repeat everything to her parents. Her experience left TM Peng fed-up and irritable until one day when she noticed her parents were getting older. The sobering moment when she saw her father taking different pills and her mother’s grey strands made TM Peng change. She made a commitment to visit her parents in KB every weekend and put in more effort to talk to her parents. TM Peng capped off her inspiring speech by reminding us to give our parents the best gift – patience. Her evaluator, Rozana Yunos ACG CL, praised TM Peng’s ability to take the audience on a roller coaster of emotions.
- Why do you or don’t you take selfies?
CC Pooja spoke about her disinterest in taking a lot of selfies. She argued that there is no point in taking them and asked the audience the rhetorical question, “What do you do with them anyway?” Pooja explained that she likes to meet others, look at them and talk with them instead of taking selfies. She believes that by interacting with your family and friends, you are making memories while selfies just remain forgotten on your phone.
- Which gender takes more selfies?
Lisa said females love taking selfies more so that they remember moments that they enjoy. She also thinks that females want to get likes on their Instagram or Facebook account, so they take more selfies. The third reason she gave was perhaps females just like taking pictures and record things like a beautiful scenery.
- The history of selfies
ACB, ALB Reuben got everyone hooked when he spoke about the first camera, gesturing his arms to show how big it was. Then he revealed that he just made it up, cracking up everyone. CC Reuben’s speech was interesting. There are more photos on Flickr the last six months although Flickr has been around since the 1990s. The audience was impressed to learn that 73% of those photos are selfies. TM Reuben also pointed out how people have ditched the pocket mirror and use their phone to check their appearance instead.
- Studies say that people who take a lot of selfies are narcissists
Mahani though came in as a guest, she sportingly participated in table topics session. She believed that there is some truth to the statement. Some people post their selfies to get likes on their social media account. Mahani said that she is not narcissistic since she only takes selfies or wefies to send to her son who is studying abroad.
- The last photo he had taken with his phone
CC Rahul explained that he never takes selfies. So the most recent photo he took was of the dish he had eaten. He sent the photo to his wife to assure her that he was well when he was on his travel. His photo made his wife happy.
After listening to the prepared speech evaluation, a delighted TM Suneeta was awarded the Halfway to Competent Communicator ribbon. TM Peng who completed her CC 10 earned a Competent Communicator ribbon and pin.
CC Pooja won her first Best Table Topics ribbon which made her feel like she won an Oscar. In a tongue in cheek style, Pooja backpedalled, “Did I say I don’t like taking selfies?”
In her evaluation, DTM Genevieve Lai praised the evaluators for giving the speakers recommendation. DTM Genevieve also admired how TM Dalton kept the energy high throughout the meeting.
During guest comments, Mr Devin from Progresif Cellular, commented how awed he was by the format, discipline and structure which Ziana, from IBTE, echoed.
After presenting the Best Evaluator ribbon to Rozana Yunos ACG ACL, the Vice President of Education, CL Gerald Goh reminded everyone to not just watch. Members and guests must participate in order to learn, just like learning to ride a bicycle.
So members and guests, come to our next meeting. Participate to make progress and take selfies!
TM Haryati Abdul Gafur
Gerald Goh, CL