Learn, Unlearn and Relearn

BSC Meeting Recap 11th June 2019

After a week’s break of no meeting, last Tuesday’s meeting began with a bang. Our usual Sergeants-at-Arms David Lim opened the meeting and handed over to Rano Iskandar, the Toastmasters of the Evening. There were no specific themes. Instead, Rano shared the timeline of each role players and speakers on the enrollment as a toastmasters member. The longest serving member during the meeting happened to be Allen Ang (May 2013) to the freshest member, Syahnur Nizam (March 2019).

The timeline signified how varied our members are in terms of experience which led to the Rano’s Thought of the Day – “Learn, Unlearn and Relearn” by Alvin Toffler. Regardless whether we are fresh or seasoned toastmasters, there will come to a point that we will learn the tools, then, to unlearn some of the tools at some stage and when we need to adapt to changes or trends, that’s where we relearn. One example Rano shared was the introduction of the new educational system, Pathways, which totally differs from the previous education track.

Onto the prepared speeches, Syahnur Nizam presented his second speech on ”University Reflection”. It was nothing short of humourous. From holidays to work to money to even food, he brought us to a fulfilling journey of his university life, the four years of enjoyable suffering as he quoted.

Now in the work force, he appreciated the long holidays during his student years; He valued his work despite not getting much privileges as a permanent resident; His income wasn’t fixed so he learn to save more; He had a eureka moment when he popped the question “why can’t human just photosynthesize like plants” to solve world hunger; and he believed that teamwork is crucial as being a lone wolf won’t get your further. Of course, the quote of the night belongs to Syahnur when he shared about networking. He regretted not expanding his network beyond classmates etc after university life and finally realised that ”Your network is your net worth.”

Next prepared speaker was Aziman Nasir (Lost in Translation) who expressed his emotional roller-coaster moments of being a mentee during his early toastmasters years, a personal side we hardly see from Aziman. He had his inner demon to deal with – ego and stubbornness – especially dealing with his first mentor back then, Ruey Chong-Narcis. His wishes backfired as he hoped for Dr. Chris Woo, a World Championship of Public Speaking 2013-2014 finalist, to be his mentor. Upon completing his 10 speeches, he didn’t seek for Ruey’s help, taking the mentorship for granted.

Come to club speech contests, he reached out to Allen Ang and Reuben Chin, whom have tasted success in speech contests, locally and regionally. However, both gave a similar feedback when Aziman sent his draft, “What’s your message? What value do you want the audience to bring back?” And Reuben nailed the coffin when he said to Aziman, “Your mentor has failed you.” It opened Aziman’s eyes that he took mentorship for granted and Ruey could have guided him with his previous speeches.

In fact, even when joining as a member of Brunei Speakers’ Club, Aziman realized that he didn’t have a goal. If he could have just reached out to Ruey from Day 1, it would have been a different story all round. Now he seeks for the incoming Vice President of Education, Ling Ling, to assign him a new mentor.

Everyone has a story to share about festive season during Table Topics session. You might think the brave speakers have an easy way out with festive questions but Table Topics Master Sharon Lim had other ideas. Easy questions yet thought provoking. Here goes :-

First up was David Lim. He was spoilt for choices and played safe. Doing raya visits with your family or with your friends, there are pros and cons and hence, David doesn’t mind either. He even braved the audience by asking what do they think? (or was he actually buying time). He associated family with tradition and friends with finding new ones. It would be interesting to find out the cons of either choice but David left us hanging and wanting more.

Brendan Ti, a BASC member, believes karma can hit you hard and you will know your fate on why you are not on the invitation list for your good friends’ open house. On a lighter note, he doesn’t have to waste energy, entertaining people and feel more free. Don’t worry, Brendan, you’re invited to Rano’s Open House this Saturday, 15th June 6pm to 9pm and all of you are invited too :D

San Yeo, a new guest and also a social media content manager, accepted the impromptu speech challenge and shared of the three food items that caught her taste during festive season. First was “kek batik”, second one was “Kueh Mor” and the last one was “Rendang”. She loves rendang to the max that she won’t shy away from asking the host if they have rendang in their menu.

Sophia, a third visit as a guest, was enthusiastic on the topic of what activities she looks forward to during any festive season. She quickly answered with a bang – Raya hoping as she can receive green packets. However, truth to be told, she loves playing with light sparklers during Hari Raya that can be deemed illegal as it falls in the category of fireworks. She cheekily reminded the audience not to ask where she source the sparklers. Kudos to Sophia for attempting her first ever Table Topics and she couldn’t wait to share this experience with her close friends … awwwwwww.

The ever-flamboyant Ling-Ling tackled the final Table Topics question with raw emotions and went further by glorifying her statement during her Table Topics acceptance speech. The scenario can be a nightmare especially to ladies – If someone wears the same exact Baju Kurung as you, would you change or let it be? To her horror, she did experience it recently and there was no turning back as it was her superior at her workplace that chose the same design. The only positive outlook from Ling-Ling in this dilemma was to picture them wearing the dresses as a uniform. Nice one!

The two speech evaluators, Hilman Omar and Pranika Lama, visiting members from UBD toastmasters, were apt in their report for Syahnur and Aziman respectively. Hilman was very analytical and provided good pointers especially when structuring a speech so it will make the flow of the speech smoother and easier to follow. Pranika gave valuable feedback on mentorship speech by Aziman that the mentor-mentee relationship doesn’t have to be limited to just drafting speeches. In Allen’s feedback, he suggested for evaluators to give one or two important pointers so the receivers can digest the comments and improve on them gradually rather than having to learn and relearn many information.

Rahmat being Rahmat, she has the formula to personalize every Table Topics speaker in her evaluation. It makes you wish that you were the one speaking in front whenever Rahmat is the Table Topics Evaluator. Her report, even on recommendations, were pleasing to the ears. Nonetheless, Allen pointed out when the timing device turned amber, Rahmat doubled the pace of her delivery and once it hit red, well ….. you get the picture.

Who would have thought the word of the day “Nuance” would be used frequently. They were nine usages but only six made the cut. Rano and Jidun did their best but they were said in the wrong context. For your curiousity, nuance means a subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression or sound. One of the nice examples was “a nuance of feelings” by Brendan during his Table Topics session. During the Grammarian report, Wong Hui Ting highlighted an interesting rhetorical device known as oxymoron – a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction. She caught Syahnur using an oxymoron where he said “Throughout the four years of the enjoyable suffering.” I wonder if many of us feel the same way about our university life too.

It was great to see Kelvin Lai back in the Ah Counting game, giving both quantitative and qualitative accounts. We are still unsure if a tongue gesture is a legit crutch action. Then again, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Kelvin teased us with his subtle quizzes. He capped off the quiz where Syahnur correctly guessed that it was Brendan who was slowly killed by social media.

The general evaluator, Allen, praised two toastmasters for their improvements in Table Topics, David Lim and Brendan Ti, incorporating body gesture (tai chi moves) and humour respectively. Special mentions by Allen were also given to the two prepared speakers. Aziman showed how he was able to draw us into his story of his mentor-mentee journey while Syahnur was spotted by Allen on mimicking hand gestures when one greets “Hello toastmasters and friends”. Just as Rano said earlier, we learn, unlearn and relearn. You learn pretty quick, Syahnur.

Jidun Dollah, the timer and tip, was pretty comprehensive in his report and suggested Allen to cut down his report in between evaluators to save more time. Ironically, Jidun himself lost track of time when explaining Allen’s part and over shoot his report by two minutes.

Sharon Lim, the outgoing Treasurer, did her closing remarks, expressing her gratitude towards the current Executive Committee and also to the previous treasurer Ong Yin. It was not as easy as “money in, money out” but it involved a lot of work behind the scene and at a certain stage, she was a bit disorganized but she pulled through. Thank you, Sharon, on behalf of Brunei Speakers’ Club, for your contribution as a treasurer and making sure every member paid their dues and of course, collecting guest fees, week in, week out.


Enrolled as a member.
Allen Ang – March 2013
Lai Ling Ling – March 2014
Kelvin Lai – July 2014
Rano Iskandar – August 2014
Pranika Lama – August 2014
Brendan Ti – August 2014
Hilman Omar – May 2015
Aziman Nasir – June 2015
Rahmat Tarsat – September 2015
Wong Hui Ting – April 2017
David Lim – April 2018
Sharon Lim – January 2018
Syahnur Nizam – March 2019

1) BASC dinner 15th June
2) Hari Raya pot luck 18th June at BSC, starting at 6pm and it’s FREE for guests
3) Introduction to Pathways 101 on 18th June

Table Topics Winner: Lai Ling Ling
Best Evaluator: Pranika Lama.
Quote of the night: Your network is your net worth – Syahnur Nizam
Pun of the night: I know we’re not supposed to take about politics but every vote counts – Rano Iskandar on voting for the table topics.
Tip of the night: Refer to the timing device so you won’t go overtime – Jidun Dollah
Next week’s TME: Haryati Abd Ghafur


Written by Rano Iskandar