Saturday, August 22, 2015

Meeting #262: A New Beginning (Written by Cheky Ng, Edited by Mak Kum Shi)

“The New Beginning” is the point of time or space at which something begins. As Mid Valley Toastmasters Club (MVTC) held its 1st meeting for the 2015/2016 term at a function room at 5th floor, Cititel Hotel, Mid Valley City, this phrase is befitting the meeting’s theme of the day.

The meeting marked the start of public-speaking journeys for Toastmasters who presented their maiden ‘ice-breaker’ speeches. The meeting marked the start of a new, enthusiastic, and assertive management team for the club.

30 persons had attended this meeting, of whom, five were guests. Our guest of honour was KPMG Toastmasters Club member Juliana Heng (ACB, ALB), who graced our meeting as ‘General Evaluator of the Day'.

The Meeting Agenda of the Day

Before the official start of the meeting at 7.00pm, our honoured guests were welcomed and served with refreshments by the club’s committee members. Like a gracious host at a wedding dinner, MVTC Sergeant-At-Arms (SAA) Ivan Guan had invited our guests to the function before the start of the meeting.

MVTC saw an auspicious start after Guan had briefed meeting participants on the club’s meeting rules. With confidence, in her welcoming speech, MVTC’s new idol president Carmen Chong (CC, CL) had introduced herself and her new committee members to guests.

During the ‘Getting to Know You’ session, guests were invited to introduce themselves, and were encouraged to use the word of the day, which was ‘Dawn’.

Subsequently, Toastmaster of the Evening (TME) Sim Chee Loon (CC) shared with the audience a brief history of Toastmasters International. Dressed in black t-shirt, coat, and trousers, while sporting a punkie hair style, like a bodyguard of Cititel Hotel, Sim looked quite cool.

Table topics were served by Evelyn Chong, table topic master of the day, as an appetizer to the audience. She encouraged members of the audience to participate in the table topic session. Four gentlemen, namely Sky Siew, Timothy Nakayama, Victor, and Ang Chee Yong, came forward and confidently presented their impromptu speeches. The session concluded within 10 minutes.

The Table Topic Speakers
The project speech session began after the conclusion of the table topic session. Five project speeches were presented, three of which were ‘The Ice Breaker’ speeches that were presented by Chris Chooi, Smita Konduru, and William Cheong, with the titles ‘My Turning Point’, ‘The Transformation’, and ‘A Humble Beginning’ respectively.

We saw their determination in taking up speaking roles and showing their commitment towards learning public speaking.

Smita Konduru is a member of LA1924 Club in Bangalore, India, and was a guest speaker for the day, while William Cheng is a new member of the club. Chris Chooi is an existing member who is redoing his ‘competent communicator’ track after completing it.

To commemorate their presentations of their maiden speeches at Mid Valley Toastmasters Club, the audience gave them a standing ovation to encourage them on their public-speaking journey.

This was followed by Mak Kum Shi (TM) and Ronan Lin (CC, CL), who delivered the fourth competent communicator and advanced storytelling speeches respectively. Mak’s speech was titled ‘How to Write Well’, while Ronan’s speech was titled ‘Treasury Memory’.

Mak Kum Shi was the chief editor of Property Insight, a renowned real estate magazine, while Ronan Lin hailed from the Guangzhou Bilingual Toastmaster Club. Ronan is currently staying in Malaysia, just joined our club, and is keen to continue her public speaking journey.

The Prepared Speeches Speakers
After the prepared speeches session had concluded, a recess of ten minutes was held. Sponsored by IGB Group, local food and drinks that were prepared by Cititel Hotel were served to members and guests at the function room lounge. Guests and members conversed with each other during the recess.

The speech evaluation session was held after the recess. This session has significance to members and guests, as audience members can learn from effective evaluation presentations, while evaluators are able to sharpen their listening and impromptu speaking skills. Speakers benefit from effective evaluations from evaluators who provide feedback and offer suggestions for improvement.

The evaluators for the various speakers were as follows: Christy Chang (table topic), Daniel Lim (Chris Chooi), Becky Benjamin (Smita Konduru), Siew Lai Yee (William Cheong), Ang Chee Yong (Mak Kum Shi), and Carmen Chong (Ronan Lin).

The Evaluators

Immediately after the evaluation session, our role players of the day had presented their technical reports. For this meeting, we had invited Juliana Heng to be our general evaluator. She is a young and talented leader who is keen to take up roles in other club’s meeting. She had provided some positive feedback about the meeting, commenting that the meeting venue and facilities were organised properly. She liked the table topic session mainly because the creative interaction between participants. She also recommended our club to facilitate the role player job with the provision of role player reporting card.

Other role players who presented their reports included Wong Mi Shan (grammarian), Rayner (time keeper), Juliana Heng (general evaluator), and Hamza (ah-counter).

The Role Players

Finally, the meeting came to a very exciting climax. The Toastmaster of the Evening led the awards announcement session. The best project speech presenter and evaluator were Smita Konduru and Carmen Chong respectively. The winners and the general evaluator were presented certificates of achievements as recognition from Mid Valley Toastmasters Club.

As the meeting was concluding, members received positive feedback from guests about the club meeting. Some guests had shown their interest in public speaking and were keen to join our club.

Prize Winners and Appreciation to the General Evaluator (Top Left)

Guest Feedbacks Session