Night of social media

Hello everyone! It’s time for another BSC recap today!

It’s me, your friendly neighbourhood Ling Ling, here to escort you through the particulars of the evening on 19 September 2017. But this time, I was the Table Topics Master. (I was previously Toastmaster of the Evening in August. Link:

The star of the evening was our one and only Rano Iskandar, ACB, ALB. His theme for the evening was “Social Media”, his bread and butter, and it permeated throughout the whole meeting.

The night opened with TM Hajah Haryati Haji Abdul Gafur as our Acting Sergeant at Arms (SAA). It was her very first time to give the opening address so she was understandably nervous, but she soldiered on and did her best, including keeping her SAA introduction within 5 minutes – a feat that even experienced SAAs can struggle with.

We had one guest that night who came to visit Brunei Speakers’ Club (BSC). She was drawn to SEAMEO VOCTECH after seeing an Instagram post about BSC, so never underestimate the power of social media!

Rano took the stage, and boy oh boy, was he charming as ever! Everyone was a little low on energy after the contest last week, but they soon perked up with Rano in command. As expected of our Vice President of Education (VPE)! He was on the ball and had already briefed me on the theme of the night, so when he called me up next, I was able to get the audience ready for our tête-à-tête.

Sandy Tan, CC, was the Table Topics Evaluator, my partner in crime, and her explanation of her role that night was textbook. Our Grammarian was Hazwan Kamarulzaman, ACB, ALB, and he was perfunctory as ever. The word of the day was VACUOUS! Our Ah Counter & 'Who-Said-What' was Geneviève Lai, DTM. Battle-hardened Geneviève was definitely not vacuous in delivering her role that night! Toastmaster Jidun Dollah came next as our Timer and Tip, and he cheerfully demonstrated the traffic-light system to indicate duration of speeches and evaluations. Last was our General Evaluator, Aziman Nasir, ACB, ALB, who kept an eagle eye on the meeting throughout the night.

Rano as TME

Rano as TME

Lai Ling Ling (middle) as TTM

Lai Ling Ling (middle) as TTM



Jidun stood up to introduce his role

Jidun stood up to introduce his role

Rano closed up the introductions with his thought of the day – that social media is ever so present in our lives that it’s evermore easier to bond with a person, be it the one at the table with us or the one at a table on the other side of the world. Social media has bridged barriers and crossed distance, and is simply a marvel of technology, allowing us to make connections real, whether near or afar. Absolutely chilling and awe-inspiring.

Well! Without further ado! On to the main course of our evening: our two prepared speeches!

Our first speaker of the night was TM Safarul Hassan with his Level 1 speech in Dynamic Leadership Pathways, “29 and Intrigued”. There to explain his project was first-time evaluator TM Sophiana Chua, who handled herself with poise and precision. Safarul then guided us through the chapters of his life, beginning with his adoption from Malaysia that lead him here to Brunei, to trying to be his own man and migrating to Australia, to returning once again to Brunei to us here in Brunei Speakers' Club. Beautiful speech and an absolute joy to have him here in the club.

Our other speaker of the night was Rahmat Tarsat, CC, who was also doing a Level 1 Pathways, and she was evaluated by TM Supatra Lee. Her speech, "Lesson Learnt", was breathtakingly descriptive, lyrical and almost heart-breaking. She wove her speech with fire and talked about how she repeatedly burned herself when she drew her classmates ire with her enthusiasm for science, when she picked the majors she loved instead of the majors she was good at in university, and when she attempted to share her love for Toastmasters with her colleagues and was shunned. But, like a moth to a flame, she never stopped, because it is her nature to reach out and we are all the better for it. She was definitely well-deserving of her 'Best Speaker' ribbon of the night!

Rahmat breaking into Pathways

Rahmat breaking into Pathway

After those two intense and emotional speeches, it was almost a relief to fall into break time to enjoy the lovely 'kuih', puffs and oranges Haryati brought to the meeting. In keeping with the Chinese autumn festive season, our amazing and wonderful Rano gifted us with mooncakes too! Our numbers may be small that night, but the amount of food gorged by us was certainly no laughing matter. We feasted like kings to prepare us for what comes next: the Table Topics session!

First to be called up to the stage was Gerald Goh. His question was “If you were going to be an online personality, how would you promote yourself using social media?” Gerald needed no prompting and gleefully declared that he has always wanted to be known as a world-weary globetrotter, dominating the online world with phenomenal pictures of the places he’s been.

Next was Heidi Rahman with her thoughts on being friends with relatives on social media. She trod carefully, saying we all need space, but ultimately admitted to not being friends with family on Facebook – something we can all relate to!

After Heidi was Suneeta Pathak! She came up to the stage, eager and enthusiastic, and was given “What age do you think children should be exposed to social media?” As a mother herself, this question hit home and she had a concrete answer! 14, at first, but with moderation, and the full Monty at 18.  Mum always knows best!

Reuben came next and, as an avid user of social media, he was hit with “Would you rather have thousands of followers on social media or none at all?” He was flustered and flabbergasted at my ludicrous question. If he had no followers at all, that wouldn’t make it a very 'social' media now, would it? So, ALL the followers, he decided!

The penultimate speaker was Rahul and I [quite cheekily] gave him, “Can you ever be too old to keep up with social media?” He confessed that while he’s quite on the ball with the ins and outs of the world, he doesn’t quite like using social media like Facebook or Twitter. What he is, is a man of LinkedIn. He’s professed to be connected to over a thousand professionals on LinkedIn and is quite active on the platform. It was a small wonder that he won the 'Best Table Topics' of the night. Show us your ways!

Rahul (left) wins Best Table Topics

Rahul (left) wins Best Table Topic

Last but not the least, came Haryati. I asked her what kind of social media star she would like to be if she could. She mulled over it and professed she isn’t as active on the net as she would like to be, but she idolises the great Drew Binsky. If anything, she would love to moonlight as a great purveyor of the world, such as he, but preferably with a catchier handle than “the female Drew Binsky”. And that was that!

Aziman Nasir took stage as GE

Aziman as GE took stage

Our 2017 Humorous Club Champion Aziman took control of the meeting for our educational evaluation session, and he did not disappoint with his motivational and inspiring quips about each evaluator. Sophiana came up with her evaluation and  her delivery won her the Best Evaluator of the night! Supatra touched our hearts, Rahmat most of all, with her heart-warming evaluation. Sandy systematically went through, not just the content, but the execution of each Table Topics in good time and manner. Hazwan wooed the audience with his contest delivery material during his grammarian report. All his content were not "vacuous" at all! Geneviève reminded us on fillers and crutch words. The energetic bunnies, Rano and I, were caught off guard with fillers. The meeting ended on time as reported by our timer Jidun Dollah.

People of the evaluation session

People of the evaluation session

Rano came back on stage to put the club to order. Our next TME is none other than Toastmaster Nawawi. We were reminded of our Area Humorous and Evaluation Contest coming up on the 24th of September 2017 on the 3rd floor of the Progresif Cellular building at 2pm to 5pm. Sadly, Club Champion Aziman will not be able to represent us, but in his stead, second Pplace Rahmat and third place Haryati will hold the fort.

All in all, I couldn’t have put it better than Rano himself, “I truly enjoyed last night's meeting and a huge lesson for me - To let [it] go and let members grow.”

Writer: Lai Ling Ling, CC

Photographer: TM Lim Mei Ann

Proofreader: TM Lim Mei Ann