Walking into the meeting late, with my spirit all beaten up by the horrendous traffic congestion and heavy evening rain, my feelings was not all too great initially. But it turned out to be a pleasant surprise seeing a room filled with enthusiastic members and guests. When our Toastmaster of the Evening (TME), , delivered his opening speech in cheeky humor, it gave my beaten spirit a ‘shot in the arm’. He reminded us that we have indeed chosen to spend the ‘Winter Solstice’ festival with the Toastmaster family above anything else.
Bravo to all of you who made it for this meeting!
Besides that, what else made this meeting worth attending? Was it worth the sacrifice of spending once a year’s ‘Winter Solstice Day’ at home sweet home with your beloved family?
The traditional eating of sweet dumplings or ‘’ during the winter solstice symbolizes reunion and that we are soon to grow a year older (wiser – perhaps this is a better choice of word!).
The #251 meeting was insightful and meaningful for at least one of the two brave souls who conquered their fears in their Ice Breaker Speeches. We walked out the room with a metaphorical mouthful of dumplings, a symbol that we gleaned some points of wisdom from the speeches.
The meeting’s theme “Let it Go!” might not have been heeded by many. There were so many good thoughts and lessons to take home with us. Our memories might not be able to ‘bite off more than it can chew’, hence this written blog post may serve as the naturally preserved food (of thought), fresh for later consumption, at your own convenience. Certainly for those who missed this meeting, I’ve left some sweet ‘Tangyuan’, complimentary from MV Toastmaster Club, here on this blog for you to savour :)
Helping to put the house in order was our SAA Evelyn Chong. The opening speech was delivered by our President Shim Chee Loon and this was followed by a round of self-introduction by our guests. The TME Cheky followed up with his round of introducing the Role Players for the night. A big kudos to the self-sacrificing noble volunteers, for without them our meeting would not be as successful! They are none other than Jonnathan Moh, ACB, CL (Grammarian), Timekeeper (Siew Wan Pin), Chironjit Das, CC, ALB (General Evaluator), Shim Chee Loon (Ah-Counter).
The meeting went into upswing mode when our Table Topics Master, Timothy Nakayama ACG, ALB claimed the stage and offered his “Rice Bucket” challenge. After explaining his Table Topic rules (which did not require pouring the rice over your head…), the first volunteer, me (Kow) took up the challenge. The season’s holiday mood did help. Many of the guests took up the challenge as well. Among them, a commendable brother and sister combo, Koe Shern and Koe Yee courageously took up the challenge and performed their table topics with poise and impressed us with their sincerity.
Chen Choon of Elite TMC came in with his ACB skill and delivered his Table Topic, laid out with some inspiring never-let-your-dreams-go messages to the new and wannabe Toastmasters.
The last Table Topic speaker was our lady guest, Vivian. Yielding to the insistence from our charming President Chee Loon that we encourage lady volunteers for our Table Topics (and of course supported by many as well), Vivian from Melbourne took up the last Table Topic, ending the Table Topic session with a well-deserved round of applause. At the end of the meeting, the Best Table Topic Speaker award went to Koe Shern.
On to the project speeches, we had two Toastmasters and also working colleagues, Daniel Lim and Yeap Wei Leeng, delivering their maiden Ice Breaker Speech. Daniel, an Area Sales Manager of Optometrist Lenses and a fan of hunky starlet Daniel Wu, delivered his speech with the title ‘Miracle.’ Daniel shared his up-and-down days growing up in his family, first job and first car among others. While Yeap, a Professional Optometrist spoke on the topic ‘Far Far Away’, started off with the story of his grandpa travelling here from ‘a land far away’, China, how he graduated as a professional optometrist from a local university and is now working toward the noble-cause of assisting people with vision impairment in achieving 20/20 vision (eye-sight). Well done, Daniel and Yeap! You deserved the standing ovation from all of us to celebrate your courage.
The third speaker, Chong Chee Siong, a Sapura-Kenchana Oil & Gas Engineer, delivered his CC#7 speech slickly, on the subject of ‘Oil’. Chee Siong put in extra effort by bringing along with him a sample of Crude Oil for the benefit of members and guests. He brought us back to memory lane, in the year of 1859, when Colonel Edwin first discovered Crude Oil. Then he taught us how crude oil is formed. Without his speech we might not be aware that the Barrel Crude Oil Standard measurement is indeed 159 litres. He talked about the economic aspect of how the supply and demand equation impacts crude oil pricing. We all learnt a lot from you, Chee Siong!
The last project speech was delivered by our VP of Membership, Wong Mi Shan CC, who attempted her ACM Oratorical Speech titled ‘Women’s Rights Are Human Rights’. It was all written on her face, that this was indeed her most passionate subject. She walked to the rostrum and took to the stage with gusto. She mimicked Hillary Clinton’s speech of women’s right at the UN Conference in Beijing. The virtuous speech of championing women’s right worldwide, reminded us that there are many young girls around the world being denied basic education, and condemned to child marriages while mothers are deprived of the equal career opportunities due to providing for their children at home. Mi Shan’s posture during the speech brought elements of Mother Teresa’s grace and Hillary’s charisma into her speech. As a result, Mi Shan won the Best Project Speaker award.
After the solemn speech by Mi Shan, the meeting went into a lighter mode as we then held the cake cutting in celebration of the December babies among guests and members alike. Then we took 15 minutes for a refreshment break.
Upon returning from the break, General Evaluator Chironjit Das brought us into the Evaluation round, with Wong Woon Pen, ACB CL kick starting proceedings with his feedback for the Table Topics session. Woon Pen, a celebrated and seasoned speaker, gave us his much valuable feedback. One of them was that we should have taken the most of the time given to us on stage. Most of us (me included) rushed to complete our Table Topic before or once the timekeeper’s light turned amber. Guilty of this myself, his feedback was very much appreciated.
Christy Chang’s evaluation provided good feedback for Daniel. She commended his straight forward speaking traits. Vivien Lim in turn also provided great thoughts to Yeap and some words of encouragement. Well done to Christy and Vivien.
Jonathan Moh, ACB, CL offered Chee Siong (and many of us) some valuable advice of ‘Poker Game’ strategy in crafting speeches. We should not disclose the main message (i.e. the Royal Flush) too early or too late in the speech. Delivering it right in the middle of the speech is ideal according to him. A very good piece of advice, Jonathan!
Lee Chen Choon, ACB (Elite TMC) in his evaluation on Mi Shan, provided us with some prized lesson as well. Chen Choon, in his evaluation spoke of the power of the pause and pace when emphasizing one’s points during a speech. This is great advice for all of us. Thank you Chen Choon!
Chironjit Das, CC, ALB in his General Evaluator’s report, encouraged us to seize the opportunity of this club’s great facility which is enviable in comparison with many of the clubs that he had been to. We were reminded that we were lucky and should make an effort to attend meetings as often as we could.
He also advised the members of MV TMC to generate more energy during the meetings as this would help liven things up for those attending. We thank you for all your sound advice, Chironjit!
After Awards presentation and the guests’ feedbacks, the MV Toastmaster’s No. 251 meeting finally ended. What is worth noting though is that it was our last meeting for the year 2014. We were still spending our time busy basking in the ‘Tangyuan’ effect from the meeting, the delicious food that made us all grow a year ‘wiser’ in our journey to be a better speaker and leader.
Finally, since we are just 3 days shy from the Season’s Holiday, I am sending my warmest wishes to every MV Toastmasters Members and Reader of this Blog. Have a joy-filled Season’s Holiday!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!