3rd January 2017 – Success is a Journey, and the Journey is Life



It started with a shared moment of silence for our beloved deceased, Shawn Cassidy Narcis, DTM, and TM Najmuddin Tarif, and following that was nothing short of excellence and exuberance. With light-hearted humour and energy levels soaring to the skies, guests, members and role players were determined to make the first meeting of the year one the heavens will be proud of!

List of office bearers

  • The Toastmaster of the Evening – Rano Iskandar, CC, CL.

Thought of the Day: “It’s your journey” Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them.

  • Table Topics Master – Amran Jamaluddin, CC.
  • Table Topics Evaluator – Pranika Lama, ACB, ALB.

  • Grammarian – Tieng Chwei Peng, CC.
    • Word of the Day: Exuberant (adjective), meaning full of energy and cheerfulness.
    • Rhetorical Device of the Day:

Description: Repetition of the last word of a preceding sentence e.g. fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

  • Ah Counter & ‘Who Said What?’ – Brendan Ti, CC, ALB.
  • Timer & Tip – TM Dalton Lim

Tip of the Day: Avoid having too many New Year Resolutions. Quality is better than quantity.

  • General Evaluator – TM Rahmat Tarsat

Prepared Speech Session


The room hid its anxiety well – it is what we are there to practice, after all. However, TM Haryati Gafur was not one to hide. “I have anxiety,” calmly, she stated. Yet, she stood in front of the audience and courageously faced it to share her CC5 Your Body Speaks Speech Project titled, “Jump in, mess up and keep the momentum going.”

So, you think you have problems trying to speak in front of a crowd? The heart beats faster, vision becomes blurry, brain doesn’t function – add the feeling of gagging before speaking, and multiply it by 10, and you would be in Haryati’s shoes! Remember how scary it was when you first jumped in to deliver your ‘Ice-Breaker speech’ at the Brunei Speakers’ Club? Try it in the watchful eye of Past President, Chris Woo, as your evaluator! Then, imagine having to host a BSC meeting as Toastmaster of the Evening for the first time, only to mess up the agenda! Haryati lamented mistake after mistake. However, it was only after having done them that she realized just how patient and forgiving fellow Toastmasters can be. They gave her valuable lessons to learn from and insurmountable hope that her life can be less anxiety-ridden. All she needed to do was to keep the momentum of making mistakes and learning from them going, and to allow time for her anxiety to blossom into self-confidence. We are so proud of your progress, Haryati!


“Alexa, time me for 5 minutes.” As Aziman Nasir, CC, CL, spoke, we could not help but wonder if he had given Dalton a new nickname. But, when the circular device in front of him lit up and whirred, we knew he was about to present to us something incredibly special. For his ACB3 Speaking to Inform Speech Project, he decided to inform us about ‘Voice Recognition’. With 7 built-in microphones surrounding it, the device could pick up vocal input from anywhere around the room. Alexa could be programmed and combined with various other technologies to allow you to switch on lights and play music on command. It can read for you an entire Wikipedia page if you tell it to! It can even answer your questions, although there would be some geographical limitations to its accuracy – the temperature of our meeting room was definitely not -1°C! Thank you Aziman for sharing with us yet another piece of technology that could improve our quality of life.

Table Topic Session (Theme: Expectations and Hope)

“How was 2016 and are you hopeful for 2017?” To Pooja Shivanand, CC, ALB, 2016 has been quite an unbelievable year, what’s with becoming District’s Champion for the Evaluation Contest and various other club achievements. With the ups there were also some downs, but she would like to remain positive for what’s to come.

“What are you looking forward to achieving?” What our guest, Joel, would really want is to win the lottery. If not that, then he would very much want to develop himself and become a better person. To get fitter by doing, and not just by watching YouTube videos, was one of his resolutions for the year. He also aimed to keep watch of his progress with the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)!

“What are you expectations for 2017?” Another returning guest, Safarul, mentioned that he would like to self-improve in three categories: (1) personal, (2) professional and (3) charity. The first two are something that he would work on every year anyway, but the third is something new that he would like to focus on. Ever since adopting a stray cat, he became more aware of the problems with stray animals in Brunei. Thus, he wants to be more involved in related charities. He too will be making use of quarterly KPIs to check on his progress.

“What have you learned from 2016?” From crashed cars and lost friends, 2016 had been quite a rough year for Hilman Omar, CC, CL. As he struggled through the year, however, he was showered with a lot of care and support from friends and Toastmasters. He was touched. He was grateful to have experienced it for himself that the world is not as selfish as one might think it is.

“Why do you believe in resolutions?” It may be Angelina’s first time in Brunei Speakers’ Club, but she was not afraid to speak her mind. Yes, she believes in the power of resolutions – that meaningful feeling of wanting to try something new and become a better person. People often relate resolutions to the start of a year, but it does not have to be so. Although some resolutions never do amount to anything, she still believes that it is a good starting point for good things to happen.

“How excited are you to start 2017?” TM Sharon Ong joyously stated her excitement to start the year. She would like to become better at her job, to maintain her grades in the course she is in and to look into opportunities for doing research in the future. The future definitely is looking bright for the hard-working and multi-talented young lady!

Award Recipients of the Evening


  • Best Table Topic Speaker: TM Sharon Ong
  • Best Evaluator: Allen Ang, DTM.

Closing Remark


The President, Jordan Yau, CL, listed out our club achievements of 2016. We held a highly successful conference under the guidance of Rano Iskandar, CC, CL. We have our Double Champions, Pooja and Allen, winning District’s Evaluation Contest and Humourous Speech Contest respectively. On a personal note, the President got married! Congratulations!

Yet 2016 was also the year that we lost two great Toastmasters, family and friends. He reminisced Najmuddin’s ‘go-getter’ attitude and Shawn’s selflessness. They have always been heroes. And in their memory, Jordan led us all to renew our vows as Toastmasters: to put in our all in the pursuit of lifelong learning and continuous self-development.

Until next meeting!


Written by:

TM Rahmat Tarsat

Photography by:

TM Rahmat Tarsat & Rano Iskandar, CC, CL

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