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 fiancĂ©e 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