Think positive thoughts

Dear esteemed reader,

What comes to your mind when you hear the word, “Toastmasters”? Maybe it makes you think about toasted bread or a few words of congratulations before our glasses are raised for a toast. However, Toastmasters has nothing to do with either. To help you understand what we do, let me take you on a tour of our first club meeting in August.

Hjh Haryati as TME

Hjh Haryati as TME

Our meeting started with our lovely and reliable Sergeants at Arms (SAA), TM Awfa Nawawi. She’s the one responsible for getting the club meeting room ready, introducing the guests, and of course, refreshment! After her introductions, she passed the floor to the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME), TM Hjh Haryati Hj Abd Gafur. The TME, who hosted the meeting, then introduced the office bearers.

List of Office Bearers:

  • Toastmaster of the Evening: TM Hjh Haryati

Thought of the Day: “Think positive thoughts”

  • Table Topics Master: Farhan Jafar Ali, CC, ALB
  • Table Topic Evaluator: Aziman Nasir, CC, ALB
  • Grammarian: TM Erra Jamal
  • Ah-Counter & Who Said What: Ong Yin, CL
  • Timer & Tip: TM Wong Hui Ting
  • General Evaluator: Tieng Chwei Peng, CC

The TME moved on to the prepared speech session.

Cousins, busy, purpose. What did these words have to do with TM Lim Mei Ann's CC6 speech? In TM Mei Ann’s speech, “One Body, Many Parts”, she personified the different parts of the human body. She delivered the thoughts of individual body parts and described their busy schedules in fulfilling their purpose. Towards the end of her speech, TM Mei Ann concluded that we humans should also have a purpose in life, just like each parts of our body.

Rano Iskandar, ACB, ALB, paved the way for other speakers by delivering his first project under Pathways. “Why I Am Still Here” was a Level 1 speech which looked into the reasons Rano remains a BSC member despite some setbacks and challenges such as becoming the organizing chair for Brunei D87 Toastmasters Conference.

After a short break, the meeting resumed with Table Topics or impromptu speaking session. The theme was “Time”.

The first speaker, Rahul Breh, CC, was asked about whether he wanted more or wanted less hours in a day. His take on the question was that your day should not be measured by time. Instead, our day should be measured in terms of happiness that makes us a lively person.

The second speaker, our club's guest Bobby, spoke about a cycle that he wished to break. He explained about how boring and repetitive the work-home-work cycle is. As a result, he tries to have more fun in his life.

Yani Hepnie, ACB, ALB, the third speaker who is from Brunei Advanced Speakers, engaged the audience when she discussed about how our days can seem long and yet, our years seem short. She encouraged the audience to make the most of our time on earth.

Safarul in Table Topics

Safarul in Table Topics

TM Safarul Hassan’s attempt impressed the audience when he spoke about time being the greatest gift you can give someone. A tip from him is to put your phone face down when you are with friends.

Calvinca Poerawinata, from Brunei Gavel Club, reminded the audience that we make memories even when we think we don’t. Meaningful conversations, especially funny ones, are memories that we will reflect upon we grow older.

Jack Chin, CC, ALB, advised the audience to spend more of our time doing things that are purposeful as time is measured by moments. He added that we should prioritise what we want to do the most. Don’t you agree?

The last Table Topics speaker was TM Syatrah Roslan, who writes journal entries so that she could go back to feel and relive moments twice.

After Table Topics, we had an evaluation session. All speakers and evaluators were given feedback in terms of structure, grammar and body language. It might sound intimidating, but not so in Toastmasters! Here we learn from the constructive feedback given in a positive and supportive environment. We were also given tips on how to improve on our speeches.

Before the meeting ended, the 'Best Table Topics' ribbon was awarded to Jack who encouraged the audience to practice more impromptu speaking. Rozana Yunos, ACG, CL, won the 'Best Evaluator' ribbon. TM Sophiana Chua was presented a blue Brunei Speakers' Club (BSC) notebook upon her signing up for BSC membership.

Ong Yin, CL, shared her experience joining Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) in Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia. She shared about how the trip made the bond between members stronger and she also learnt a lot on what it takes to run a club. Ong Yin encouraged others to join TLI.

The meeting ended with a closing remark from our President. Pooja Shivanand, CC, ALB, who encouraged members to take up Pathways even when change is uncomfortable. After all, change is the pathway to success.

Writer: TM Hjh Haryati Hj Abd Gafur

Proofreader: TM Lim Mei Ann

Photographer: Anonymous