Monday, December 22, 2014

Meeting #250: Holly Jolly Christmas! (By Wan Pin, Siew)

By Wan Pin, Siew

The theme for the 250th Mid Valley Toastmasters Club meeting was Holly Jolly Christmas and would prove a most jubilant night for all who attended. In light of the fact that the club had reached its 250th meetinga great milestone for any club, there were some tweaks here and there in respect to the meeting agenda  what better way to spice up a meeting than by adding some twists and turns to the normal proceedings? 

Firstly, all participants were encouraged to dress according to the Holly Jolly Christmas dress code  gold, black and green! Most complied.  

Secondly, while we have always begun the meeting with the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME) introducing guests and new members alike to the wonders of Toastmasters International , things went a little different this time. The TME, Woo Li Ping, delivered the introduction in quiz-form, where she would quiz the members and guests alike on Toastmasters Internationals historyIf you failed to get the answer right, you would be sent up the stage to do a bit of a dance, to a Christmas song no less! Li Ping gleefully went about picking on the unfortunate victims for her quiz, but alas, most of the members and guests alike were well-versed in Toastmasters history  so, I have to say, that I, as the writer of this post, was pretty disappointed with that!  Oh, and well, yeah, just an FYI  I failed to answer one of Li Pings questions, so I had to dance in front of everyone. Haha. Go ahead. Laugh. 

Even the Table Topics session enjoyed a revamp. Instead of providing a topic for the courageous volunteer to speak extemporaneously on, the whole session took the form of a chain story, whereby the very first speaker begun telling the first part of the story, in any way he/she likes, and then the next speaker has to continue on with the story, and then you keep on passing the story on to the next and next speaker until one speaker concludes the story. So its like a giant make-your-story-up-as-you-go-along game plan, with each speaker getting an entire minute to stamp his or her creativity upon the story. 

As the Table Topic Master, Chong Carmen got things going by hand-picking our President Shim as the first speaker  and he was given the very first two words to begin the telling of the story: Christmas Gift 
Lets just say that the story became OMG Crazy after that. I cant remember much of this rather hilariously-told story, but the basic premise is: 
A young man wanted to present a Christmas gift (perfume!) to his girlfriend, in her house. However, he got knocked out by his girlfriends father (ouch!) and, after regaining consciousness, police barged into the house and then subsequently chased the young man out. As the plot thickens, our unlikely hero bumps into his ex-girlfriend on the streets, and attempts to court her, despite knowing full-well that he already has a girlfriend. 
What happened next? Well, like I said, I cant quite remember! My excuse? Too absorbed in the story itself that I forgot to take down any notes! 

The night continued and we reached the Prepared Speeches session. 3 speakers were delivering their speeches that night.  

Becky Benjamin spoke on Stress, whereby she defined stress and then spoke on how we could manage it. If youre the type who has a lot of stress but were not present at our 250th meeting, I would suggest you contact Becky in order to learn how to manage stress!  

The second speech of the night was Hair Care, by Ivy Liew. To be honest, I wasnt aware that there were 8 types of hair-care products that we could make use of in our everyday lives. Well, that was a very informative session from Ivy. Kudos to her! 

And lastly, we had The Story of an Ethiopian Girl by Mi Shan. The speech was a story, about the life of an Ethiopian girl who suffered from fistula. Although Im not a lady, but I believe that living in a less-developed country, where  52% of the women give birth without a trained maternal health professional present, can be an extremely difficult situation for any woman.  I think we should cherish the fact that we live in a decent developing country , where we have up-to-date medical technology and where most people can afford the treatment required to cure similar afflictions.  

During the refreshment break, we celebrated the 250th meeting by consuming a very yummy raspberry cheese-cake (no eggs).  

(From Left to Right: Best Table Topic Speaker [Timothy]; Best Prepared Speech Speaker [Mi Shan]; Best Evaluator [Carmen])

It was a great night, to be honest, especially the Table Topic session and Introductory Quiz. All of the role players did a very good job in making this an awesomely spectacular meeting. If you are reading this but are not yet a Toastmaster, come JOIN US NOW! Not later, but now! You dont even need to think about it  just come! I guarantee, that once you come, you will be thinking why you never made time to discover the goodness that is Toastmasters much earlier! 

Say Cheese session: 
Happy 250th Meeting for Mid Valley Toastmasters Club!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Meeting #249: Zombies (By Mi Shan, Wong)

By Wong Mi Shan

Our theme for the 249th meeting was Zombie, inspired by a particularly creative Table Topic put forth by Ryan Ting during our previous meeting.

Meeting started slightly late, at 7.03pm. Even though we had quite a number of guests visiting our club that night, the meeting room was still visibly empty as many of our members as well as the General Evaluator were still stuck in traffic due to heavy rain and the commencement of World War Z at Federal Highway.

Sergeant-At-Arms, Siew Lai Yee, called the meeting to order and told everyone to switch  their phone to silent mode, sit back, and enjoy the meeting.

Then came our most charming President ever, Shim Chee Loon. Contrary to his usual Presidential speech, this time he kept his speech short and sweet, and proceeded to ask guests and members to introduce themselves.

Second-timer Toastmaster of the Evening (TME), Christy Chang took the stage. She shared with us her terrifying experience as a first-time TME last meeting.  After the previous meeting, she felt she could have done a better job, so she quickly ran to our VPE Timothy to book her role as a TME again for this meeting. Her tenacity in the pursuit of improvement really inspired me.

Christy gave the audience a brief history of Toastmasters International and followed this with a very meaningful speech, a plea to us to not be a Zombie and settle for mediocrity, and that sometimes it pays to take the path less traveled upon and just do something crazy. Kudos to our VPE-cum-Creative Director for the meaningful theme of the evening, Zombies.

Because our Table Topic Master, Timothy Nakayama was still caught in the rainstorm, we had to shuffle our agenda by having the prepared speech session first.

Our first project speaker for the night was Sky Siew, a professional financial planner by trade. He is always eager to impart his knowledge about personal finance, planning for retirement and how to manage our debt. However, for his CC#7: Research Your Topic project, his topic was “Global Warming”. That’s something new. Yours truly was also Sky Siew’s evaluator. I told Sky that I thought his speech was very well-researched and well-organised. Our most charming President told me that he learned something new from Sky’s speech and that he didn't know beef consumption was one of the major causes of global warming.

Next up was one of our Past President, Ang Chee Yong, ACB, ALB. He works at one of the fastest growing financial planning firm in Malaysia. Working towards his ACS title, he attempted an Advance Manual speech: The Effective Salesperson.

For this project speech, Chee Yong first did a role play with our current President, Chee Loon where Chee Loon played a potential customer role and Chee Yong was supposed to sell him a book titled “Speak Like Obama”. In the role play, the  book was going for RM 129.90 and had Obama’s signature on it and Chee Yong guaranteed that one could speak like Obama if they purchased the book. Sounds like a good deal but I wondered how much the book would cost if I didn't want Obama’s signature. Chee Yong even up-sold another book to Chee Loon, a book titled “Just Get It Done” so that Chee Loon could avoid procrastinating.  

Overall, the speech by Chee Yong, assisted by Chee Loon was very entertaining and enlightening at the same time, teaching the audience some effective sales techniques.
Next up should have been a speech by our VPE, Timothy Nakayama, but his evaluator, Wong Woon Pen was still stuck on the Federal Highway so we proceeded with Table Topics.

Our Table Topic Master for the evening was Timothy Nakayama, our Creative Director who always comes up with very creative and interesting Table Topics. In conjunction with our theme, Zombies, all the table topics are related to the 7 Cardinal Sins – Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride. Speakers could choose one of the seven sins, and then could decide whether they wanted to speak on a “Normal” topic, which was your usual normal difficulty sort of topic or  a “Random” topic, if they felt like having a go at a more creative sort of topic.

First Table Topic speaker was first time guest Wan Pin, who is now a member of Mid Valley Toastmasters Club! WELCOME!!!

Wan Pin chose Greed – Normal, and his topic was “Gambling Destroys Life”. From his speech, we learned that Wan Pin is a good dancer as he effortlessly cha-cha’ed throughout his speech. We also learned that he doesn't mind risking RM 50 to try out his luck at Uncle Lim’s place.

Our second Table Topic speaker was Ricky, another guest for the evening. Ricky chose Pride (the biggest sin of them all) – Random. His topic was “Pride Goes Before a Fall”

Ricky shared with us something from his own life story, on how his father used to be so rich that they took a helicopter from Sg. Besi to Genting, how his father then lost that wealth and eventually rebuilt both himself and the family. Life lesson in 2 minutes – good job, Ricky!

Our third Table Topic speaker was our Past President, Ang Chee Yong, who had earlier tried to sell our current President a book about how to speak like Obama Chee Yong chose Wrath – Normal. His topic was “Your Anger”

For this topic, Chee Yong told us that he used to be short-tempered and frequently raised his voice at others. His first job was as a sales promoter, where he learned to speak like Obama and earned his pocket money. His other endeavors, including being an insurance agent and raising a family, have given him the training ground to become more patient and less likely to get angry.

The fourth Table Topic  speaker was May, also a guest. She chose Envy – Normal and her topic was “Comparing Ourselves to Others”. She reminded us to always focus on our own goals in life instead of trying to keep up with the Joneses.

By this time, evaluator Wong Woon Pen had finally arrived so we went back to our third project speaker, Timothy Nakayama, with his speech titled “The Monster of Hakuba”. Tim told us the story of The Great Monster Slayer of Hakuba, who encountered a “Mr. Pen”, during the Tokugawa era in 1600,  a man who was indeed mightier than the sword. Fast forward to year 2012 , and he still bumped into the mighty Pen…

Evaluation Time!

Newly-minted Competent Communicator, Chong Carmen, as the Table Topics evaluator.

Yours truly evaluated Sky Siew.

VPE, Timothy Nakayama evaluated Obama-like Ang Chee Yong.

And the mightier-than-sword Mr Wong Woon Pen evaluated Timothy Nakayama.

Followed by Grammarian report by Ryan Ting, AH-Counter report by Kow, Timer report by Lai Yee, and last but not least, General Evaluator report by GE Jonathan Moh.

Next up was the award presentation session.

Best table topic speaker goes to…..Ricky!

Best Prepared Speech was awarded to……. Timothy Nakayama (surprise!!)

And Best Evaluator goes to….. past VPM,  Wong Woon Pen!

Mid Valley Toastmasters Club is a very fun and happening club. That’s the reason why we had announcement after announcement at the end of the meeting.

First announcement:
It was from our Supporting Exco member, Ryan Ting who encouraged and reminded everyone to sign up for the Slogan Contest.

Second announcement:
Mid Valley Toastmasters Club will be organising our inaugural Tall Tales Contest with Ang Chee Yong as the Organising Chair for this history-making event! The contest will be held in January 2015. For more details please be in touch with Ang Chee Yong at

Third announcement:
On Mid Valley’s 250th meeting, which is our next meeting on 8th December. Toastmaster Li Ping Woo will have a lot of excitement in store for us. Stay tuned and attend our 250th meeting to find out!

Fourth announcement 
It was about our Christmas Party, which is happening on 20th December 2014, in Puchong. For more information please get  in touch with Organising Chair Christy Chang at Terms and conditions apply.

Mi Shan: I have always enjoyed spending my Monday evening at Mid Valley Toastmasters Club and hope everyone else does too. Our next meeting, a special one which is our 250th meeting, will be held on 8th December (Monday) at Level 5, Cititel Hotel, Mid Valley. Hope to see you there!~

Monday, November 24, 2014

Meeting #248: Monsters (By Sky Siew)

By Sky Siew Voon Fei

10th November 2014  was our Mid Valley Toastmaster meeting #248, with the theme of the night being Monsters. Our meeting started with the introduction of the guests and members. Our President Shim Chee Loon started the meeting by asking guests and members to share with everyone about who or what they saw as a monster. Some of them said their bosses, some of the intern students said their supervisors were their monsters.

After the introduction session was over, Chee Loon passed the floor to our Toastmaster of the Evening (TME), Christy Chang. Christy took over the floor and begun by introducing the Toastmaster organization’s history. The meeting continued with the Project Speeches first as our “ever ready” Table Topics Master. ACG, ALB Timothy Nakayama was caught  in some emergency and would arrive late for the meeting.

Our first speaker of today was Becky Benjamin, who did her CC#1 Ice Breaking speech “The Journey of Becky”. She shared with us that she likes to dance and has been dancing since childhood and that she has a sister called Jessica who also attended this meeting. She dreamed of making big money and having her own business. However, during the year of 2009 when she came to KL to further her studies, she  faced a shortage of money. She started her very own business during her time in univer. When she graduated she joined IGB group. One thing she would like us to bring home was the message that we should never give up on our dreams. We should believe in the Law of Attraction. Becky’s speech gave us a better understanding about both her and her dream. She achieved the CC#1 objectives with awesome content.

Our second project speaker, Vivien Lim delivered her CC#9: “Time Management”. Vivien started her speech with a little bit of nervousness as she was informed at the last minute that the projector could not being used during her speech. However, she was still able to finish her speech within the time given. She started her speech by saying she was not happy with her 2014 resolutions as she had no time to complete them. She cannot take leave for her personal life and resolutions. After that, she shared with us how we can all have more efficient time management. Please note it down for your own good:
Step 1: Recording (record what are you going to do every morning)
Step 2: Analysing (analyse which one is urgent and important and give it first priority)
Step 3: Change it (work smarter, organize your work, schedule your work)

The meeting continued with Carmen Chong who delivered her CC#10: “Take for Granted”. She started her speech by breaking a hard boiled egg which caught the audience’s attention. She delivered her speech in a humorous way. She shared with us the fact that she was once pampered like a princess and that all her dreams were fulfilled by her queen. She also mentioned she was reluctant to call her grandma as grandma. She used to take things for granted and never felt grateful for what her grandma did for her. Furthermore, she shared with us that she has no regrets about what she has done in the past – her regrets are only for those things that she never did at all. She shared her story with us as she  did not want us to repeat her mistake. She won herself the Best Project Speaker of the Night with her touching experience. Congratulations to her! 

Our Table Topic Master arrived and the meeting continued with the Table Topics session, with the Table Topics cleverly tailored for the night’s Monster theme.

His Table Topic sessions are always so creative. He used a board and pasted a few monster cut-outs there and let the Table Topic participants choose which monster they wanted, and the Table Topic would be closely tailored around that monster.

Our first Table Topic participant was Wai Hong and he chose Werewolf: if he was bitten by an animal, which animal he would like to be bitten by. He shared with us that he wished to be bitten by a cheetah as the cheetah is well known to be the fastest animal. He wanted to get the super power of the cheetah and then he would be able to complete his task as soon as possible. Then he would have more time for his personal life!

The second Table Topic participant was the Toastmaster from Singapore, Anthony. He chose the Ghost cutout and his Table Topic was: if he had a third eye, what would he like to see with it. He wanted to see beyond just surface level, to look deeper into the truths underneath. He wanted to know the truth of everything. He also wanted to know the future and invent something which can benefit mankind.

Our third participant was  Chris Chooi,who is Mid Valley Toastmaster Club member. He chose the Lochness Monster and his Table Topic is: Being famous, would you want it? He started by saying that  everyone wants to be famous but famous for what? He wanted to be famous for something great which can benefit to mankind. Our world would be more beautiful if we had more people like Anthony and Chris Chooi.

Our forth speaker is a student intern who is doing her internship in one of our member’s company. Shirly Chan’s Table Topic: the biggest fear in her life. She shared her biggest fear: animals, because of their fur. Whenever she touches their bodies, she feels uncomfortable. She delivered her the speech with a bit of nervousness as this is the first time she attended a Toastmasters meeting.

The last Table Topic speaker was Yoong Hean who is from Sunway University Toastmasters’ club. His title was: would he accept the power of immortality? He said to us that he did not wish to accept this power as he did not wish to see all his friends die over and over again. His life would be getting boring (maybe like Wolverine). He would like to live his life to the fullest as he would treat everyday as the last day of his life. His interesting content won him the Best Table Topic speaker of the night.

There was a short break after listening to all the good speeches and Table Topics and the meeting resumed after a 15 minutes break, continuing with the Evaluation session, where all the speakers would be evaluated.

Cheky Ng evaluated the Table Topic participants. He commented that the participants were very good in trying out the Table Topics. He advised participants to be more humorous when delivering Table Topics. He also commented that participants could do with more hand gestures, eye contact, and reduced repeating words.

Next will be our project speaker evaluator Woo Li Ping. She evaluated Becky Benjamin. She commented that Becky had good body gesture and a good introduction to her speech. She commented that maybe Becky could have interacted more with the audience.

Ang Chee Yong is the evaluator for Vivien Lim’s speech. He pointed out some improvement point for her so that she could better organize her next speech. Her nervousness can be reduced with more practice. He also mentioned that timing is very crucial when delivering a project speech. For her next speech, she may use her emotion to inspire the audience.

Our last evaluator is Wong Woon Pen (who used to be our Humour Master). He evaluated Chong Carmen. He mentioned Carmen could have done better in her speech. He also said that Carmen should have tried to inspire the audience by using her emotions. She could have used a catchphrase that could be remembered by the audience. Her body language was good but she can definitely still be improved in order to move herself to a higher level. His interesting evaluation successfully won him the best Evaluator of the night. Congratulations to him!

Our General Evaluator (GE) of the night, Lim Thian Seng, ACG, ALB from Taman Indrahana Toastmasters club then came up to give his comments: that our club had  a good setup, good role players who explained their roles well, and that the members of our club were full of energy that night.

After the speech from the GE, Christy Chang presented  the details for Mid Valley Toastmaster Club’s next outing event: Christmas gathering pot-luck party! 
Details as below and feel free to register with her as seats are limited!

Event: Christmas Gift Exchange
Date: 20/12/2014
Time: 6pm-10pm
No of Pax: 20 pax
Cost: RM20 and above
Venue: Sri Camellia Apartment ( her house~~~)

Our meeting ended with our Vice-President of Education, Timothy Nakayama urging the club’s members to join the club’s current Slogan contest, run by EXCO Committee member, Ryan Ting.
See you guys at the next meeting which is on the 24th of November 2014.