Thursday, October 30, 2008

5 Reasons to Join Mid Valley Toastmasters Club

1) We can help you gain the confidence to speak in public and become a leader
In Toastmasters, we have a system to guide our members through their journey to become proficient speakers. By going through a series of manuals, members will get to improve on their eye contact, body language, vocal variety and lots more. We also assign mentors for new members to ease their learning process.


2) We provide a platform for networking
We see the importance of networking which could lead us to new possibilities. In Toastmasters, you are not restricted to only one club. You can visit as many clubs as you want, building your connections along the way.


3) We provide the perfect venue for you to practice
In Mid Valley Toastmasters Club, we believe our surroundings do affect the way we perform. That's why we have selected the best for our members, a comfortable conference room in Cititel Hotel, Mid Valley.



4) We provide good food
We understand the gastronomic needs of our members, that's why our freshly cooked food came directly from the hotel's kitchen. Serving on a "All-You-Can-Eat" basis!



5) We provide a fun and friendly environment
In Mid Valley Toastmasters Club, we believe in learning with a fun experience. We could be dressing up seriously, but we are emphasizing on the fun! Mid Valley Toastmasters Club will help you loosen up yourself after a long day of work. On top of that, if your birthday is on our meeting day, let us know. We will help you celebrate your birthday!


If you want to know more about the club or join us for a meeting, kindly write to hur@earthling.net

Sunday, September 14, 2008

World Class Speakers

For those of you who have wished to learn to some of the greatest Toastmasters in the world, this will be your greatest opportunity, as on 7th September, I attended the special presentation by 2 world class Toastmasters: 1990 World Champion of Public Speaking David Brooks, DTM, and 2008 World Championship Public Speaking 1st Runner-up Loghandran Krishnasamy, DTM . It was a great learning experience, as we managed to pick up tips from these world-class speakers.

First off, Loghandran spoke on his experience of preparing for his winning speech, which he then performed for the audience. I managed to record his speech, and although it is a bit dark, if you increase the brightness on your screen, you should be able to see his performance.

video

Now, that was a world class speech, and performed by a Malaysian! As Loghan put it, we now have every reason to believe that we Malaysians too, can be world class speakers.

Next up was DTM David Brooks from Texas in his 'formal' blue jeans, the same blue jeans he wore when he won in 1990, and has become something of his trademark symbol in Toastmasters International circles.
His presentation was on everything that every Toastmaster should know, but rarely are able to discover without the proper guidance. He laid out the
Eight Essentials of Effective Speaking.
  1. The audience is not the enemy. The first fear of a new speaker is usually the fear of the audience, but they shoudl realize that the audience does not go to a speech or presentation hoping "Gosh, I hope this speech is lousy." or "Please let me hear this speaker mess up his or her speech." The audience is either neutral or supportive of the speaker, not hostile, so speakers should seek and return to friendly faces in the crowd.
  2. Determine what you want the audience to think, feel or do. Whether you wish to inspire, entertain, inform or persuade the audience, you, the speaker, must be sure of which of these you wish the audience to feel through your speech. As a test, the steps you want to put into achieving these feelings must be able to fit within the back of a business card. It shouldn't take too much to define the purpose of your speech.
  3. Write your speech word for word. A good speech is the result of good editing, and you cannot edit what you do not write. Writing out your speech gives you a good idea of what points to include or remove from your speech in order to streamline the points and to meet the time limit. Humans speak at an average of 120 words per minute, and can reach 170 words per minute at higher speeds. So by having a 1500-word speech should give you a rough idea that your speech will run for about 10 minutes, and you can tailor your speech accordingly.
  4. Bring life to your words with colourful images and examples. "A beautiful beach." does not impress the audience the way "A beach with golden sands, clear blue waters, and roiling waves." does. A good speech must be able to incorporate adjectives and adverbs in order to truly bring the lements of a story to life.
  5. The 6 words that can change the way you speak: "Make a Point, Tell a Story". Facts tell, stories sell. Don't write a speech only for the purpose of telling facts. The audience will be drawn in when you make it personal and sincere. Inject speeches with personal experiences and examples, and the audience will respond to you.
  6. 6 emotions that will connect to any audience: Happiness; Sadness; Anger; Surprise; Disgust; Fear. These are the 6 main emotions that every human being will experience everyday of their lives, often more than one at a time. A good speech will allow the audience to imagine these emotions, and thus give the speech a strong emotional touch.
  7. Do not underestimate the power of laughter. When we laugh, we relax. When we relax, we learn. People do not learn well when they are stressed, tense or bored. And what better way to clear those negative emotions than through laughter? But instead of using jokes, tell funny personal stories, as the audience can better connect to you by laughing with you.
  8. Don't tell us, take us. Let the audience live the speech, and that can be achieved through your voice and gestures. When your movement and voice matches your message, your speech then becomes memorable.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day To Remember!

by Chia Hur



Ladies & Gentlemen, please mark the 11th of September on your calender as there will never be a day like this again. This day shall be the day we remember Toastmaster Teh. The day we remember his contributions and sacrifices to the club. Toastmaster Teh, your deeds shall never be forgotten by us, your image shall forever remain in our hearts, your existence shall be eternal as Mid Valley Toastmasters. You shall be our HERO for life!



Don't worry, Teh is still very much in existence. Just that he's been talking about end of days and stuff(as the general evaluator of the IREKA meeting!). Telling everyone to live life like there's no tomorrow because of the Large Hedron Collider.



Okay now, that's not really the big deal here. The big deal is our toastmaster Teh finally got his hands on a new power. The power of the General Evaluator(I think he's been drooling for this)! The power to comment on EVERYTHING! The power to flip a Toastmasters meeting upside down! The power to turn a Toastmasters meeting into perfection! Let us give a round of applause to Toastmaster Teh the General Evaluator!



Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's Been Too Long

By Chia Hur

I felt bad after not visiting this website for a month, this place is like a Shangri La turned into wasteland! What happen to the updates? Sigh,I guess I'll have to start doing things myself. =P

Well, recently I participated in the Humorous Speech contest. Although I only made it to the Area, I would like to share my speech(script) with you guys who couldn't make it. Here it is!

I have a guy friend, during our college days we were like the most macho men in our campus. We were like the Chinese version of Shahrukh Khan except we can’t dance. One day we decided to hit the cinema together, just the two of us for some unromantic reasons.

One thing great about being macho man is that we have no plans, we don’t do reservation. We rather queue up for the leg exercise. For that day, it was a good exercise because the queue was freakin’ long. The tickets were selling out like hotcakes. By the time it’s our turn, it’s only the leftovers, the only seats left were the “neck-stiffing” seats in front. Looking at our depressed facial expression, the ticket seller offered us something that macho men like us would runaway from. She offered us pair of “lovey-dovey couple seats” behind.

I tried rejecting her politely by doing the traditional headshake, but it seems like it’s too difficult for her to understand. So I decided to get verbal and I told her “Today, it’s not my shoulder’s turn be his pillow.” As a result, we ended up with the “neck-stiffing” seats.

Personally, I have a very bad impression on couple seats. People are seriously abusing them for “kiss & hug” sessions. Now, I have a suggestion for the cinemas on how to solve this problem. All they need to do is to attach a glow in the dark sticker in front of the couple seats that says “if mating season is close, get a room!”

Back to the movie when my neck got stiffer and stiffer by the minute, suddenly I felt a 7.9 magnitude earthquake. Just before I was about to get up from my seat and run for my life, I looked around and I realized I was the only one experiencing it. And then I felt the earthquake again when I turned to my left, I found the source of the earthquake, it was man made. Apparently, that guy on my left side was having a great time shaking his legs off. It was like his legs; just his legs got possessed by some evil spirit. From what I heard, when you get possessed, you will feel an energy flow as if you were being electrocuted.

At that time, I wanted to confront that man, I wanted to ask him “Hey friend, do you need an exorcist?”, but before I could do that my mum’s image appeared in my mind. She was folding her arms like genie and she said “Son, silence is golden and all good things come to those who wait”. Believing in her words, I waited out. At the end of the day, I suspected that he was on Energizer because he did not stop shaking at all!

On that day, after coming out from the cinema with a stiff neck and dizzy head, I’ve finally learnt 2 things:

#1, “Opportunity only knocks once”, I should have let go of my ego and taken the couple seats instead, I could be saving 3 days of neck pain.

#2, I realized if you want something to be done, you have to start opening your mouth because “silence isn’t made of solid gold, it’s only gold plated.”


How was it? Did you guys, enjoyed it? =) This speech actually took me a month to complete, if I didn't lose, it will still be under construction. In the competition this time, I've learnt a few thing. Would like to share it with you guys too.

1) You need courage to speak, but you will need even more courage to pause. Ironic, but kind of true. I've been telling myself I needed to pause at some parts of my speech(punchlines), but I felt uncomfortable when I have eyes looking at me waiting for words to come out of my mouth. I really need more determination in pausing, if I want to stirr laughter into the crowd.

2) More drama! I've been to several contest and I don't think those guys are that funny. I don't think I have that much difference too. The trick to ignite laughter is to understand you audience. Understand what they want. From my point of view, audience wants more drama. They want to see more vivid body laguages, more vocal variety and more emotions! Yeah, need to brush up on my acting. =P

3) If you don't think you are funny, cheat! If you can't beat cheaters, join them! I got a confirmation from a few senior toastmasters telling me that as long as 2/3 of my speech is original, I can cheat my way thru using other people's materials. Doesn't sound heroic, I know. Even I wouldn't do it, but I hope this information would help you guys join the next speech contest. It's fun getting more ornaments to decorate your house!

That's it for today, stay tune for my updates! =P

Friday, August 1, 2008

Outnumbered on the 28th!


Our meeting on the 28th of July was another long one, ending at almost 10pm. But it was a fruitful and enjoyable meeting, probably because in this meeting, Guests outnumbered Members! We had 3 Guest speakers for our Table Topics Session, and 1 Project Guest speaker.

We had 5 Table Topic speakers: Gerard, Anand, and Guests Niki, Larry and Poh Leong. All three Guests were not Toastmasters, and Larry and Poh Leong were first time speakers and our 3 Guests spoke with flair, clarity and confidence. Poh Leong actually won the Best Table Topics Speaker award for the night!

Poh Leong, our Best Table Topics Speaker for the night.



For our project speakers, we had Guest speaker Dorcas Aung from Ireka with her 2nd speech 'Paving Your Way To Success'. As usual, she used her powerful voice to great effect, and was voted the Best Project Speaker of the night. Our Vice President of Education Lee Su Jane gave her 5th speech entitled 'Bang!!!', in which she detailed her personal experience of witnessing a bank robbery up close.


Dorcas Aung Ching Ching from Ireka, our Best Project Speaker for the night


President Anand did his 6th speech, titled 'Katrina and I', where he talked about his experiences while studying in America, where he saw and lived through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Our last speech for the night was from Vice President of Marketing Loh Chia Hur, as he essentially became a marketing person with his 1st Advanced Communicator Manual Speech, 'The Effective Salesperson'. Loh's speech involved him attempting to sell a magazine to fellow Toastmaster Seng Yaw, followed by an open-floored Q&A session.

Our General Evaluator was Kay Wong, and Vincent Hor was voted the best Evaluator for the night. Overall, it was a long but very fruitful evening. Special thanks to our Guest speakers and Evaluators!

Vincent Hor, voted our Best Evaluator for the night

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mid Valley Toastmasters Club Meeting 14/7/08

By Chia Hur,
I apologize for the late updates due to some personal issues. Last Monday, we had our very own club meeting in our home base Cititel, Mid Valley. It was the first meeting involving the new EXCO members that were elected a month ago. Here's some insights on what was happening on that day.
The attendance for the meeting was unusually low for that day. Three guests attended the meeting with us on that day.

The President, Anand gave his presidential speech for the very first time "relaxingly". He did his project speech later too.

Past Area Governor, Christine did her advance project speech as well on that night.


Our Sergeant, Seng Yaw was whispering the theme "Just Do It" repeatedly before pushing himslef forward for tabletopics and project speech.
Our General Evaluator on that day was DTM, Tang Sum Chee who made his way to our meeting even though he had an invitation elsewhere. Thanks if you are reading this!
Leung was our tabletopics evaluator on that day.
Gerald was one of the project speeches evaluator who earned the Best Evaluator of the day with ACG, Leong Oi Wah (since there was a tie in votes)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

IREKA Toastmasters Meeting 10/7/08

By Chia Hur

Last Thurday, Anand, Su Jane, Teh, Rae, Christine and I (did I missed anyone =P) attended IREKA's 1st Toastmasters Meeting. In case some of you still don't know anything about IREKA, she's our sister club! This means we were the sponsor of their club.

For you guys who missed it, here's how the venue looked like. It's a cozy place located in the heart Mont Kiara (within the concrete jungle of condominiums).

Our "Fantastic" president, Anand got his chance to become the table topics evaluator for his very first time!
Before we packed our luggages, the President of IREKA Toastmasters Club was generous enough to give us a souvenir as a token of appreciation. All of us that stayed behind till the very last moment took a photo to remember the night!

For anyone who's interested in joining IREKA's next meeting, you can notify any of our EXCO members. If you need the directions, you can email me at hur@earthling.net





Area Council Meeting 8/7/08

By Chia Hur

On the 8th of July, there was an area meeting in MAISCA to discuss about the various issues of Toastmasters. We got to meet with other clubs within the area which were DHL KL, Security's Commission, MAISCA, Universiti Malaya and our sister club, IREKA.

Just to give you guys an idea of the location of MAISCA, it's just right across Boulevard hotel (as you can see the picture below was taken from MAISCA building.

Before the meeting started I scouted and found a few interesting posters on Toastmasters. Typically the whole board (below) was filled with Toastmaster's posters and information.

Here's another picture I took during the meeting, the meeting room of MAISCA was quite huge in terms of length. For the meeting, only Anand (President), Su Jane (VPE) and I (VPM) attended as it was compulsory for us.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Guesting at Friendship TMC

2 Presidents and some crazy guy
(Lay Theng, Adnan and Ernest)
by The Teh

On July 1st , Adnan and myself went to Friendship Toastmasters Club's first ever brand new meeting for the new term. The meetings are held at KL Golf and Country Club, which is around Sri Hartamas (big signboards conveniently point the way). It was the first time either one of us had been there, and we were there as evaluators (Adnan as the evaluator for Table Topics, I evaluated a project speech).

The first thing that struck us was how organized the meeting was. Friendship had a very nice and professional newsletter printed out, detailing, among other things, the President's Message, Club Goals, an event calendar, and even a comic of Dilbert!
Anand and I were warmly greeted by the members, and Anand and I were impressed by how well prepared the role players were. Ernest from HELP TMC was the General Evaluator, and there were 3 project speakers for that night: Alexandra Lau for her 1st speech; Zaiton Zainal Abidin for Speech #4 (whom I evaluated); and ACS James Ariokasamy for Advanced Communicator Speech #1.

All in all, we were very impressed and the meeting went very well, although we did not manage to sample FTMC's regular chicken wings (the new SAA pledged that he would provide wings in future meetings). Thanks to Ben and the EXCO for inviting us there.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Advanced Communicators Meeting #24

By Chia Hur

In District 51, there's only one group of people gathering for Advanced Communicators Meeting (ACM) once a month. Like it's name, ACM, it means that the only people who are involved are Competent Communicators (CC) and above.


The ACM is very different from regular meetings. There are usually 3 speakers each time. However, the evaluation is split into two parts. First part is by the panel evaluators made up of three people. Second part is by the main evaluator, just one person. After that, the audiences are allow to comment on the speakers as well as the evaluators. The main objective of ACM is to give a better insight to speakers on how to improve on communication skills based on ideas given by all sides.


The ACM is currently held in Menara Mutiara Bangsar's Optometry, a shop owned by a toastmaster, Wei Seong (immediate past president of D'Utama Advanced Toastmasters Club). The only sad thing is that refreshments are not provided because they have no funds for it. That's why remember to eat before you go!


Without any further ado, I'll show you guys some shots I have taken just now.

Patricia, DTM of Extol Toastmasters Club as Facilitator

Soh Fong Wai, DTM of D'Utama Toastmasters Club as Speaker

Since he was doing a project on facilitating a discussion, all the ideas from the audiences were written on the board


The three panel evaluators sitting in front (which includes me)

The Main Evaluator

Toastmasters Leadership Institute - Officers' Training 28/6/08


By Chia Hur


A training for incoming club officers was held in Women's Institute of Management (WIM) on last Saturday afternoon. It was a training to equip club officers with knowledge and skills to cope up with their responsibilities as club officers. Since all the officers from clubs within Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur have to attend, the venue chosen was a hall that can fill up at least 200 people.

The hall getting filled up before starting off



The event started off with Suresh, the Toastmaster of the Afternoon taking up the rostrum. (Our Teh was a little shocked after knowing that he is only 19 years old after as well as the incoming secretary of division W.



Suresh Mohan, Toastmasters of the Afternoon showing his dimples



Before firing off with a series of speeches, the guests read out the visions and objectives of Toastmasters while standing.




Guests standing up while reading from the screen in front



After the guests were seated once again, our District Governor, Joseph Gomez took the stage sharing his years of past experience as a Toastmaster. He emphasized on "courage to conquer" during his speech. Joseph Gomez, District 51 Governor



It wasn't long before our Toasmaster's Celebrity, Azmi Shahrin's turn. As always, his speech was smooth, slow and confident. His speech was about how to achieve the 10 club goals to reach President Distinguished Club status. Azmi taking off the microphone for more stage freedom


At 3 pm, the club officers were separated into 3 different rooms according to their position in the club. I was "banished" into room 2 with Teh where we met up with Satchit (member of KPMG & Tamil Toastmasters Club) and Ernest (member of HELP University College). They were both talking about how to become an effective Vice President of Membership (for me) and Vice President of Public Relations (for Teh), respectively.


Satchit trying to pull off some jokes to reduce audience's tension





1 hour later, we gathered in the hall again where we had our past district governor, Low Yat Seong (from Damansara Utama Toastmasters Club, KDU) delivering his speech. It was about knowing toastmasters, the communication track, the leadership track, the awards and the benefits. Basically to know what you can offer to members and potential members.



Low Yat Seong on stage



The training ended with a finale speech by our very own Division Governor, Dr. Sharon (who talked me into helping her as a coordinator). She gave some gifts of appreciation to the speakers as well as outstanding clubs, like Mid Valley Toastmasters Club (our club) for having the Magnificent 7 there on that day.



Dr. Sharon and her finale

There you go! The Magnificent 7 in Mid Valley Uniform (Anand, you sure that's not janitor's Uniform? =P)




Thursday, June 26, 2008

HELP University College Toastmasters Club Meeting 21/6/08

By Chia Hur



It was a sleepy Saturday morning (8.30 am), I almost didn't want to crawl up my bed to go for a Toastmasters meeting. Although I wanted to roll in my bed for another 2 hours before getting up, I couldn't because I have a role to play in that meeting.



I embarked on a journey to HELP University College located in Pusat Bandar Damansara. Honestly, I didn't know where to park my car at all as I wanted to park at a place that doesn't need me to do any morning walk. Unfortunately, I parked at the other end which has the longest walking distant. =(



On the way to the Department of Student Affairs, I was quite surprised that the whole HELP University College was located underground (reminded me of Ninja Turtles where they actually lived in underground). When I arrived, several local toastmasters were already there waiting for the security guard to say "Open Sesame", yes, the door was locked.



The meeting started a little late, but everything went back on track.
























Outgoing President, Ernest doing his opening speech (he was also the General Evaluator)




Our Club's VPE, Su Jane playing the role of Tabletopics Master

























Jook Yew (yes, the guy that came by on Monday in our meeting) doing his project speeches



















Fong Wen, last project speaker of the day doing her last speech on the CC manual (she was the first person to be evaluated by me though)




















Ahmad from MIMPJ doing his evalutation which won him the Best Evaluator (he won the Best Tabletopic Speaker too). Did you manage to get his number, Jane? =X


Overall attendance of that day (have you ever wondered why in every Toastmasters meeting the tables must be arranged in a "U" shape?)


Okay, I was a little surprised about this too. They were actually giving trophy for new members and people who got promoted to CC (hmm...we were only giving certificates and handshake =P)

That's it for today. Keep visiting for updates!