Saturday, May 16, 2015

Meeting #257: Dream Big! (Written By Ivan Guan; Edited by Timothy Nakayama)

There is a quote by the great man A.P.J Abdul Kalam: “You have to dream before your dreams can come true.” I agree with that. I personally believe that everyone should have a dream they can strive toward. Without a dream for the future, life is meaningless.

“Dream Big” was the theme for Mid Valley Toastmasters Club’s 257th meeting. If your dream is to become a professional public speaker, or if you’re someone who just wants to have a great set of public speaking skills (which always comes in handy in this great adventure we call life!), please, do come and join us every 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month @ 7pm, 5th floor, Mid Valley Cititel Hotel. We will be more than delighted to meet you in person!

The meeting started at 7pm whereupon our Sergeant-At-Arms (SAA) for the meeting, Phang Chen De, called the meeting to order and greeted all members and guests warmly. Phang is a new member of the club and there he was, playing his first role ever. Way to go, Phang!

SAA Phang Chen De

Our Prince Charming Club President, Shim Chee Loon, then took over the stage, delivering his humorous Presidential Speech. He was there to ensure that all guests were warmly greeted, enthusiastically welcomed and cheerfully introduced to other guests and members, before finally passing control of the stage back to The Master of Funny, Wong Woon Pen, who served as the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME). As the TME, Wong started things off with a bang by recalling his boyhood dream: to become a Fighter Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. He then made us laugh by sharing jokes about Peugeot 405 & 406 (if you missed the meeting, it’s time you asked him about it!). He followed this with a brief introduction on Toastmasters International before giving a quick roundup of how the meeting was going to be structured.

Our President Shim Chee Loon

Funny Master Wong Woon Pen

That was that. And then the fun really got started. Yes, you guessed right – the Table Topics session! This session focuses on building up your impromptu speaking skills as you will be given a topic by a Table Topic Master, followed by speaking on that topic for up to 2 minutes. Thus, you’ll need to think on your feet! The charismatic Daniel Lim was the Table Topic Master (TTM) for the night – and he had prepared a cunning “trap” for everyone by asking a question before the Table Topic session had even begun. The question he put forth was: “What is the gap between dream and reality?”

Our Table Topic Master, Daniel Lim

One of the guests, a brave guy by the name of Evan, replied correctly. “Action” he offered. “Guess what? You’re the first Table Topic speaker!” Daniel Lim replied. The “trap” had been set and, true to his word, Evan took that first step to being a proficient speaker by going up on stage and gamely requesting for his Table Topic. He received the following: “If you won the lottery in your dreams, how would you spend that money, also in your dreams?” Evan took up the challenge: he told us that despite it all being a dream, he would do the practical thing by putting most of that money into various investments (to make even more money, of course!). Some of the money he would donate to the needy and a good chunk of it he would use to travel around the world as seeing more of the world has always been part of his dream.

The second Table Topic speaker, Kelvin, received the question: “What would you do when you wake up and everyone else is a zombie?” The first thing that came to his mind was a set of actions that he could take to help him survive as long as he could. His survival instincts kicked in and he would go looking for resources and communication devices in order to find out if anyone else had survived the Zombie Apocalypse, especially his loved ones.

The third Table Topic speaker was Aaron, and the topic he received was: “One day, if you dreamt that you changed gender, what would you do?” Aaron’s reply was pretty straightforward: he would go shopping for some new clothes (you know it, girlfriend!) and then head on down to the Malaysian government department in charge of such things to make his new gender identity legal – you know, to avoid any uncomfortable situations that might arise.

Then it was the turn of our last Table Topic speaker, our Past President, Ang Chee Yong, who accepted the Table Topic Master’s challenge of taking up the hardest Table Topic: “If, in your dream, you are Malaysia’s Prime Minister, what would you do to improve the country?” Chee Yong immediately said that he would continue with the implementation of the GST in order to increase the country’s revenue, and also to use that GST revenue to build more infrastructure to entice more foreign direct investment. Chee Yong was very persuasive, managing to win the audience over to his cause. If he is participating in the next General Election, I think I will vote for him – because I’m impressed!
The next session was the Prepared Project Speech session and tonight we had a total of 4 Big Guns delivering their speeches.

The first prepared speaker to come on stage was Sky Siew. He delivered his CC#8, “Time Value of Money.” Sky started off his speech by engaging the audience with a humorous Jack & Jill story that illustrated the power of compounding interest (the 8th wonder of the world!). He ended his speech with a call-to-action to the audience: start saving money from today, and make more investments in order to enjoy a nice life after retirement.

Next up was our Club President again, Shim Chee Loon. Like Sky, he delivered his CC#8. His speech was all about “The Mask I Wear for Living”. He shared an experience at his previous job, where he had to put on a mask (figuratively, of course!) in order to fit in with the company culture and to assist him in pleasing everyone in that company. His advice was: life is too short and we should be honest with ourselves and to our loved ones. “Do not hide behind the social mask and do not bury our personal truths,” he said. “Be proud of who you are!” I would say that Chee Loon delivered a speech that required a great deal of bravery and courage to pull off. Kudos to him!

The third speaker was our club’s Vice-President of Membership, Wong Mi Shan, who delivered her The Roast from her Special Occasion ACM, titled “A President’s Retirement”. She delivered her speech in a humorous and yet respectful way to honor our President Shim for his contributions to the club over the past years. (he’s not really retiring, of course!). After listening to her speech, I got to know more about our President Shim, something that I, as a newbie member of the club, am grateful for. It seems that our President has this gift from God to give advice and solutions to the people who are suffering from stress in their personal relationships. How cool is that? I am going to get some advice in the next meeting, that’s for sure!

Last speaker for the night was our Past President again, Ang Chee Yong, delivering Addressing the Opposition from the Persuasive Speaking ACM, titled “K.W.S.P”.  Chee Yong gave an outstanding performance, successfully persuading the audience to allow KWSP to hold on to their EPF savings for an additional 5 years before they fully withdraw it from their accounts (this being in the news lately, as a proposal by the incumbent government) His facts and figures were clear and easily understood, as were the benefits those additional 5 years would bring to their eventual recipients. Many of us had initially disagreed with the government’s proposal, but Ang Chee Yong managed to sway us with his focus and clarity! At one point, we were wondering whether he is secretly a super-agent from Barisan Nasional (the incumbent government).

After a short refreshment break, we were onto the Evaluation session. This informative session involves the panel of speech evaluators offering their feedback to both Table Topic and prepared speaker alike. This immediate feedback is something that is unique to Toastmasters and allows all speakers to improve in their speaking and leadership skills.

Chong Chee Siong, giving feedback to each Table Topic Speaker

Timothy Nakayama, ACG, ALB giving feedback to Sky Siew and President Shim Chee Loon on their CC#8 project speeches.

Past President, Ang Chee Yong, giving feedback to VPM,Wong Mi Shan on her roast of Shim Chee Loon.

VPM, Wong Mi Shan, giving feedback to Past President, Ang Chee Yong on his persuasive K.W.S.P speech

This was followed by the Technical reports from our panel of technical evaluators: Kow Chee Khon as Grammarian; Quah Shee Jiun as Timekeeper; Siew Lai Yee as Time-Keeper; and last but never least, Fong Kok Loon, all the way from DTM Toastmasters Club, as our meeting’s General Evaluator!

Grammarian, Kow Chee Khon

Timekeeper, Quah Shee Jun

General Evaluator, Fong Kok Loon, ACB (DTM TMC)

Ah-Counter, Siew Lai Yee

After the reports, it was time for Award Presentations:
Past President Ang Chee Yong scored a brace, sweeping the Best Table Topic Speaker and Best Project Speaker awards. Our Vice-President of Education, Timothy Nakayama, won the Best Evaluator award. Congratulations! You guys are amazing!

Finally, we would like to say a big Thank You to the General Evaluator, Fong Kok Loon, from DTM Toastmasters Club. We are so grateful for the time and effort you took to share your thoughts and experiences with us. We will always remember the advice you gave our club and use it to improve further. We hope to see you again soon!

President Shim presenting the Certificate of Appreciation to our General Evaluator Fong Kok Loon (DTM TMC).

Before calling the meeting to an end, we had CAKE to celebrate the Birthday of all our April Babies.
Thank you everyone, for your presence at the meeting. This meeting was an astounding success only because of your efforts and participation. Thank you very much! Till we meet again in the next meeting!

By Guan Chin Kuan (Ivan)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Astonishing Mid Valley Toastmasters Club Meeting #256 (Written By Elizabeth Sandra, Edited by Timothy Nakayama)

The theme for our meeting on 13th April 2015 was “Surprise!” and it was definitely a meeting full of surprises! There were some familiar faces among the guests: those who were visiting and attending our regular Toastmaster meeting for the second or third time as guests. Quite a number of guests came from the same company (RHB).

It was my first time as the Sergeant-at-Arms and I soon found out that this role requires you to be the first person at the meeting to speak – and I did that by announcing the start of the meeting, after which I made way for the opening address by our charming President, Shim Chee Loon. This was followed by our usual round of introductions by members and guests alike.

After we had well and truly broken the ice, Toastmaster of the Evening Siew Lai Yee greeted the audience with her friendly smile and proceeded to surprise the audience when she introduced Toastmasters to the guests via an unusual manner – by asking the members a series of questions about Toastmasters, the answers which revealed the history of Toastmasters. What a surprise!

In keeping with the meeting theme of “Surprise”, Table Topic Master Chong Chee Siong took a page from Siew Lai Yee’s book by springing another surprise on us: our Table Topics came in the form of various things nestled inside a deep box, whereupon the Table Topic speaker would dip their hands into the box, pull out an item from inside, and proceeded to launch into a Table Topic about the aforementioned item. Creatively different from the normal Table Topics, Chee Siong’s “surprise” was entertaining and provoked a lot of thought and laughter from the audience.

Guess who volunteered to the best Table Topic speaker of the evening? None other than our guest, Damien! Those who came to our 255th meeting most likely still remember him and his Table Topic from that meeting. This time around, he grabbed a pair of sunglasses from Chee Siong’s box. Without a moment’s hesitation, Damien slipped on the sunglasses, posed coolly, and started talking about how people used sunglasses for different purposes, such as for hiding their faces or seducing the opposite sex.

Our Past President and seasoned speaker Ang Chee Yong retrieved a Youth Leadership Program (YLP) booklet from the box. He deftly made his Table Topic one about how students benefit from the YLP, how it boosts their confidence levels up and helps prepare them for future leadership roles.

Yeap Wei Leeng was up next, and out from the box came a broken mobile phone. Yeap spoke of the importance of the mobile phone in today’s time, and that without one, it would be difficult to keep in touch with our loved ones.

The last Table Topic speaker, Suman, our guest all the way from India, pulled out a mobile phone car charger. She spoke about how she had never even seen one, but that it was a good idea for most people to have one, in order to keep themselves connected with their loved ones on the go.

Next were the prepared speakers, each delivering a specific Project Speech.

The first speaker was Daniel Lim, whose speech was a call-to-action for us to remain focused on our goals and to work hard to achieve those goals in order to be successful.

Yeap Wei Leeng, despite being one of the role players for the YLP program that had taken place at SMK Subang Utama only 2 days prior, was incredibly energetic and he used that energy to share a story about how he managed to “get” his loved one after a whole year of admiring her from afar. If you’re curious as to whom his loved one is, well, you’ll have to ask him! That’s the benefit of attending a meeting – you get to hear it directly from the speakers themselves!

Those working in the financial sector would have found Christopher Chooi’s speech incredibly informative given that he explained in detail about winning in Forex.

Last, but never least, Ang Chee Yong, came up onto stage once again, to deliver a speech on how to be a better speaker, sharing three important tips on how we can hone our public speaking skills.

Then we sat through an illuminating evaluation session, where speech evaluators and technical evaluators gave their feedback on how everyone did during the whole meeting.

Once that was done, we moved on to the Award ceremony:
            Best Table Topics Speaker              : Damien
            Best Project Speech Speaker           : Ang Chee Yong
            Best Speech Evaluator                     : Timothy Nakayama

Congratulations to the Best Speakers and Best Evaluator! I would also like to thank our General Evaluator, Moses Wong, all the role players involved in this meeting, and all members & guests who attended the meeting. This meeting would not have run so smoothly without their support and participation.

I look forward to the next meeting, and hope to see you guys again!

Elizabeth Sandra

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Say “Yes I Do” to Mid Valley Toastmasters Club’s 255th Meeting! (Written by Ryan Ting, Edited by Timothy Nakayama)

23rd March 2015, Kuala Lumpur: When you were standing in front of your beautiful fiancée down the aisle of the  chapel, you said to her with full assurance “Yes I do!”. On the evening of the second Monday of March this year, we said “Yes I do!” by going to the best place a person can ever go after work, school, or even after a long day. Yes, you've got that right;  we’re talking about going to a Mid Valley Toastmasters Club meeting!

Our exciting journey started at 7p.m when  our S.A.A. Wei Leeng took control of the stage and got everyone to settle down. I found out that we almost had a full house - most of the back seats were filled up even before our charming President gave the opening address!

 Our dear President presenting in front of members and guests.

Our ever-bubbly Carmen Chong who was our Toastmaster of the Evening (TME) walked onto centre stage and did something out of the ordinary: She asked all of us to grab a glass of water (because obviously we don’t serve wine at our meetings!), and at the same time we stood up to toast to the newly-wed couple, Timothy and Mi Shan. Congratulations once again! 

Mi Shan radiates  with joy through her smile while Timothy (in yellow) looks on. 

After that , we moved on to one of the most exciting parts of the meeting where everybody gets a chance to be in the limelight for 2 minutes and talk off the cuff after receiving a question. Yes, it is Table Topics time! This time round, we have our good looking Daniel Lim as the Table Topics Master, the person in charge of presenting the Table Topic question to all those brave enough to volunteer. 

Daniel made us laugh the moment he mentioned that he was feeling very calm for Table Topics this time around compared to the Table Topics session in the last meeting: because now, instead of being a Table Topic speaker, he had absolute control over the topics as Table Topic Master, and it was his turn to give us all that adrenalin rush of a good set of Table Topic questions.

Christy was brave enough to accept the challenge as she willingly “volunteered” to speak first. Her topic was “Assuming you will not fail, what do you want to be in 3 years?” She shared with us that she would like to be a photographer and travel around the world if time was  not a limiting factor.

Our new guest Damien (right) walked up confidently to deliver his impromptu speech: “If you could afford not to work, what would you do next?” He motivated us by saying that life is about knowing the people around you and what makes them happy rather than of the overwhelming burden of work that refrains us from doing this, from living our lives. Striking a balance is key. 

“What is your personal goal and why?” That was Chee Siong’s question and he answered it with such charm and elegance. He knelt down with such elegant poise and said “My personal goal is for the girl of my dreams to say ‘Yes I do!’ to me”

Last but not least was our new member Casey who delivered an impromptu speech by sharing about his past and how things have changed now.

Now, we move on to the next stage of our meeting which is the project speech session There were a total of 4 speakers that night and each was as exciting as the others.

Wan Pin delivered his virgin speech (CC#1) with his speech title ‘My dream job’. The always cheerful Wan Pin shared some of his work experience with us  and mentioned that he would love to be in corporate finance one day. He ended his speech very well by throwing us a question: “How far would you go to obtain your dream job?” I believe it got us thinking for a while. Great job once again!  

He received the traditional standing ovation for delivering his very first speech.

Lai Yee, delivering her CC#4 speech ‘4 Days, 3 Nights’. From the title of her speech, you could tell it had to do with some sort of vacation. Well, I was right! She blew me away when she described the vacation she had at Sabah, the Land below the Winds. She was very descriptive about the things she did and felt throughout her trip there. I thought I was literally there, with my feet soaked in crystal clear sea water on the white and sandy beach.

Next up was Chrismiin from Sai Masters Toastmasters Club who also delivered a CC#4 speech with her intriguing speech title ‘Choices’. It was yet another inspirational speech where she reminded us that we cannot change the past. We have got to feel it, accept it, do what should be done and move on. Did I not mention that one of the perks of coming to a Toastmasters meetings is that you get to learn some life lessons? 

Our General Evaluator, Sharm Siva reading the speech objectives for our next and final speaker. 

The last on the list for the project speeches was Chee Yong who delivered his Advanced Communication Manual speech: ‘The Cold Call’. Besides showing us a very entertaining live presentation of a cold call, he also taught us a tip or two  about the techniques used in sales and marketing and how it applies to our everyday lives. Chee Yong is indeed a very good speaker and also a fantastic salesperson by profession.

After a short 10-minute break, we got ready for the evaluation session which all of us were looking forward to. This was the time where mistakes and hiccups are revealed, not to insult the speakers but to propel them to greater heights.

Timothy’s evaluation for the Table Topics speakers: short, sweet and straight to the point.

Chris doing a good job evaluating Wan Pin’s first speech. 

Christy (left) giving her feedback on Lai Yee’s speech while Chrismiin’s speech was evaluated by Chee Siong (right).

Timothy took up double roles and evaluated Chee Yong’s speech.

Mi Shan (top) giving her informative Grammarian report while Ivan (bottom) honestly reads out the number of Ahs,Ums, Ers we made unintentionally throughout the meeting. 

 Our well-respected General Evaluator summarised the evaluations and gave some points for improvement, little bits and pieces we can all take to heart as we continue learning how to thrive and excel on  our Toastmasters journey. The meeting was exciting and fun at the same time. Sharm’s expression above says it all. 

Wait! There’s more!

Finally, it was time to announce the winner for our club’s Slogan Contest. The winner goes to Wong Mi Shan with her powerful and catchy slogan ‘Communicate with Confidence’ which is in line with the club's vision in transforming members into great speakers and leaders.

A BIG thank you to those who have participated in this contest and to the judges Timothy and Chee Loon who were involved in the judging and scoring process. 

From left: Timothy, Mi Shan, Me, and Chee Loon.           

Everything comes to an end, and it certainly felt hard to say goodbye . All in all,  I believe we had a great time bonding and learning. The good news is thatthere’s always going to be another meeting  2 weeks after the one that had just concluded So keep calm and say a BIG “YES I DO!” to the next meeting. Till then, see you!

Ryan Ting 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

09032015 MVTMC International Speech and Table Topic Contest (Written by Lai Yee, Edited by Timothy Nakayama)

9th March 2015, KUALA LUMPUR: Mid Valley Toastmasters Club organized the most anticipated contest of the year – the International Speech and Table Topics Contest 2015. This was the night where the contestants were there to take to the stage and shine, as well as to inspire the audience and mesmerize the judges. Organizing Chair, Sky Siew pulled off the event brilliantly, with full support from his hardworking team of role players.

Before the contest began, there were a few things all going on simultaneously: contestant registration, dinner and refreshments, chit-chatting and making new friends, contestants silently rehearsing their speeches and then going on to draw lots. Mid Valley Cititel, 5th Floor was awash with new and familiar faces, all happy, all smiling.

The contest began sharp at 7.30 pm, starting first with the International Speech Contest. Becky Benjamin, Contest Chair for the International Speech Contest, called upon the contestants one by one and welcomed them onto the stage to deliver their rousing 5-7 minute speeches. All the speeches were inspiring and informative, and I believe that the audience would have benefited from hearing all 7 speakers deliver their best.  

The contestants’ names and speech titles were as follows:
1) Wong Woon Pen - A Perfect Match
2) Chong Chee Siong – Too Early
3)    Ivy Liew – Small Roles Makes us Great
4)    Ang Chee Yong – Power of Dream
5)    Ian Lai – I believe I can …
6)    Cheky Ng – The Journey
7)    Timothy Nakayama – Say Yes

~ The Power of Dream can only be realized if You Believe You Can achieve it and consistently Say Yes to open up opportunities; it will not be Too Early to start achieving your dreams by doing Small Roles which Make Us Great and don’t forget to enjoy The Journey with your Perfect Match! ~
After a refreshment break, we moved on and began the Table Topics Contest. This contest is very exciting as the speakers do not know what the Table Topic will be beforehand – upon being called to the stage and being presented with it, they have to immediately deliver an impromptu speech within 1-2 minutes. There were 5 brave souls (Wong Woon Pen, Chong Chee Siong, Chong Carmen, Timothy Nakayama & Ian Lai) who took up the challenge, and each of them had to face Contest Chair Yeap Wei Leeng’s interesting Table Topic : If you had a Super Power to change the world, what would you change?” There were different types of super powers that night: from the ability to change the world with just a single cute move like Sailormoon to the ability read people’s minds. The Table Topic Contest and the interviewing of the contestants that followed brought howls of laughter from the audience.
Finally, it’s result time! Drum Roll please~
Table Topic Contest Winner goes to:
Champion: Ian Lai
1st Runner Up: Chong Carmen
2nd Runner Up: Chong Chee Siong

International Speech Contest Winner goes to:
Champion: Timothy Nakayama
1st Runner Up: Ian Lai
2nd Runner Up: Wong Woon Pen

Congratulations to all the winners. For those who did not win, do enjoy your journey and learning from the contests. You still have 1 year’s time to improve your speaking skills and remember to “Say Yes” when we ask you to participate in the contest again. See you next year!

Also, bravo to the role players, as without them, the event would not have taken place! Thank you! Organising Chair - Sky Siew - International Speech Contest Chair - Becky – Table Topic Contest Chair – Yeap Wei Leeng – Timer – Chee Loon & Mi Shan – Ballot Counter – Eve Chong & Ivan – SAA – Daniel Lim & Lai Yee – Chief Judge – NJ Singam

Sunday, March 8, 2015

ANNOUNCEMENT OF BLOG CONTEST WINNERS FOR YEAR 2014, ROUND 1 (OCT-DECEMBER’14) (Written by Lai Yee, Edited by Timothy Nakayama)

Dear blog reader, have you realized that Mid Valley Toastmasters Club has the most updated blog content of all? This is because we are having an in-house BLOG CONTEST, where our enthusiastic members actively participate in writing a blog post for each of our cheerful and interesting meetings! This contest currently runs from October 2014 to June 2015, divided into 3 rounds (3 months/round).

In meeting #252, we finally announced the winner of the 1st Ever Blog Contest in Mid Valley Toastmasters Club. In Round 1 (October – December 2014), there were 3 contestants who all scored the same number of points, even after several rounds of judging, therefore, the judges have decided that all 3 of them are equally Top of the Top!

They are none other than (all equally ranked!):
  • ·         Wong Mi Shan (Meeting #249: Zombies)
  • ·         Chong Carmen (Meeting #246: Relight Your Fire!)
  • ·         Kow Chee Khon (Meeting #251: Let It Go)

To the other Blog contestants, Sky Siew, Wan Pin and Wayne Poon, thank you for your participation and we hope you guys can continue to challenge yourselves in the next rounds of the blog contest!

Last but not least, let us not forget the panel of judges, Shim Chee Loon and Timothy Nakayama, as the contest would not be complete without them.

For those interested to blog about our meetings, you are more than welcome to be one of the contestants of Mid Valley Toastmasters Club’s Blog Contest. Round 2 has just started!

You! Yes, You! Might be the Next Winner!