The word Carpe diem came from a Latin term which meant ‘seize the day’. On November the 24th, the day was clearly seized to its very essence as it was once again time for another HELP Toastmasters meeting! However, the meeting that was held this time is much more special than any other regular meetings due to the fact that it is a joint meeting between HELP Toastmasters Club and Kuala Lumpur’s oldest advanced toastmasters club, the Damansara Utama Advanced Toastmasters Club. The meeting was started 10 minutes later than expected, at approximately 9:45 am, with Jee Aik conducting the ice-breaking session as the ASAA of the morning. In his ice-breaking session, Jee Aik requested everyone in the room to introduce themselves and to roughly tell everyone about their most memorable speech. After everyone seemed comfortable with one another, Jee Aik handed the stage over to the President of DU Advance Toastmasters Club, Wei Siong, to give his presidential address, who not only presented his speech with vigor and vitality, but also managed to captivate the audience with his solid beliefs that it doesn’t matter who or what one person is that makes him or her a successful toastmaster, it is all about the learning experience one gets that matters.
Wei Siong passed his control over to the Toastmaster of the Morning, Gajendran. As radiant and jovial as always, Gajendran warmed up the crowd with his charm and informed the audience about the history of Toastmasters international and the history of HELP Toastmasters. Eventually, Gajendran gave control of the stage to Jean Ee, the Table Topics Master. The momentum of the meeting began to pick up pace as the table topics session today is actually an indirect duel of wits between HELP Toastmasters and DU Advance Toastmasters, in which 3 representatives from each faction will rough it out spontaneously in a series of impromptu speeches that revolve around the theme of ‘thanksgiving’. First up was Jason Moi, who meekly put up his hand to represent HELP. Jason’s topic was ‘the 3 tastes that represent life’s goodness.’ With a sigh of confusion and a smile of a sporting individual, Jason related his topic with sweets and further elaborated on the three common tastes of sweets to life, which are : sweet which represents the happiness in life, sour that represents the weirdness in life, and bitter that represents the sadness in life. Soon, it was DU Toastmasters’ turn to reply to Jason’s speech, which was responded in the form of their own youth power : Peter. Peter walked confidently towards the stage, and was presented with the title ‘the 3 senses of touch that represent life’s goodness.’ Standing tall amongst his audience, Peter elaborated on his topic with passion, relating the first touch that represents life’s goodness to a warm touch; the kind of feeling when one touches a woman. Peter’s two other points were the painful touch when one gets when he or she touches boiling water, and a confidential touch which remained a secret up to the very end of his speech.
Next up was the promising speaker from HELP, John Lee, to enter the Table Topics arena. He was given the title ‘ the three smells that represent life’s goodness.’ Without hesitation, John Lee casually and naturally related the three smells of life to the sweet smell which represents the good things in life, the rotten smell which warns us to avoid the bad things in life, and the sour smell which teaches us how to appreciate life’s goodness. John’s speech was then challenged by the ever-alert Dennis Wee, who was presented the title ‘the three people that represent life’s goodness.’ As a person with a multi-coloured personality, Dennis Wee decided to affect the audience with his emotional story about his grandfather, whose presence is treasured greatly by Dennis and could have easily represented the three people in his life that reminds him of life’s goodness. This time, HELP Toasmasters was a bit hesitant, therefore DU Toastmasters decided to take the battlefield for the second time, by bringing out another one of their talented speakers, Che Wah. This time round, Che Wah was presented with the title ‘the three sights that represent life’s goodness.’ Che Wah, with enthusiasm and a flare for speaking, enthusiastically related his topic to the sun which represents the love that is always there, the moon that receives the love from the sun, and the stars that represent hope in one’s life. Moving on, the table topics session was ended with HELP Toastmasters’ answer to DU Toastmaster in the form of Jee Aik, who was presented with the title ‘the three sounds that represent life’s goodness.’ Jee Aik related his topic with the sounds of positive words that make one feel good, the sound of encouragement that empowers one’s belief, and the sound of push that drives one to do something (as Jee aik was “pushed out” by the audience to present the final Table Topics speech.)
After a heated Table topics session, it was now time for the table topics evaluation, which was done by Meyyappa. As the Table topics evaluator of the morning, Meyyappa did an exceptionally marvelous job in thoroughly explaining the strengths and points of improvements of every single speaker in a jokingly but yet serious manner.
In no time, it was time for the first assignment speech of the day, done by Peter Yu with his speech entitled ‘Do You Remember?’ Once again, Peter Yu displayed a remarkable amount of passion for his speech, and trying his best to inform the audience about how a human being remembers. Peter Yu was also able to incorporate several effective interactions with the audience into his speech, for instance, making the audience remember 8 cards that are flashed by him. He ended his speech with challenging the audience to increase their capability to remember and never to underestimate their mind.
The next assignment was presented by Lim Seok Mei with her speech entitled ‘AIDS.’ In her speech, Seok Mei produced an elaborate description on what AIDS is, the difference between AIDS and HIV, the perception of AIDS in the eyes of society, and the ways to help a person suffering from AIDS.
Soon, it was time for a break, which lasted for 10 minutes. The meeting was then continued by Ivan Ho with his speech entitled ‘virus, spam, and Trojan horses.’ Calmly, Ivan presented a clear definition on what a virus, spam and a trojan horse is. Ivan also informed the audience about the inconvenience such malicious software are capable of by relating it to his personal experience as a person who has been in the IT feel for a considerably long time and further elaborated on the ways of solving these pesky infections.
Ivan Ho’s speech was then followed up by an interpretive reading by Loo Shu Wei, with her speech entitled ‘the man in a case.’ In her speech, Shu Wei was supposed to play the roles of different characters in a dramatic play, which she did amazingly well at. Through her expressions, Shu Wei was able to bring the two main characters in her story, Verinha and Bulinkof, to life. Shu Wei has also managed to bring the audience into the setting of the play, enticing them in a Victorian setting that took place in a garden.
Finally, it was time for John Lee to present his speech entitled ‘why war?’ In this emotional and controversial issue, John Lee made his message simple by relating war to a simple fight between a brother and a sister. He then related war to the human mind, which begins in the human mind, and can only end in the human mind. He later poses a question to the audience about the goal of war, and opened the eyes of the audience with recent events that show the inhumane side of humans. Once again, he questions the audience on the goal of war when so many innocent human beings are suffering over some silly quarrels that were created by childish men in power. John Lee ended his speech with giving other alternatives apart from war to solve conflicts, and for the last time poses his question on why war should be waged when there are so many ways to resolve a conflict.
After John’s speech it was time for the general evaluator, Chan Siew Peng, and her team of role players to step up to the stage to conduct the evaluation session, which included the evaluations for the 4 assignment speeches, the language evaluation, ‘ah’ counting evaluation, time evaluation, and finally, words of wisdom from the general evaluator. Being the general evaluator for the joint meeting, Siew Peng sang words of praise to every single expect of the joint meeting, stating her overwhelming satisfaction on how the meeting was conducted, albeit a late start.
As the meeting was coming to an end, Azmi took centre stage for a moment to present the awards to the present committe for their outstanding job! Praise the current committee! Then, Shu wei finally gave her closing address as HELP Toastmasters’ president. All in all, it was a fun and educational meeting that will still be remembered by the participants for years to come as friendships were forged and business cards were exchanged in this meeting.
~ it is simply amazing, this meeting is certainly more than what I expected it to be,
Chan Siew Ping (General Evaluator for the Joint meeting)