Tuesday, 15 January 2008

A new beginnning

January 6, 2008. 6 Days have passed since the ecstatic hours of time passing from 11:59pm, 31 December 2007 to 12:00am, 1 January, 2008. Yet, this significant date holds a different meaning altogether for the us in HELP Toastmasters Club, for on the 6th of January, HELP University Toastmasters club had its very first meeting of the year! There were glimmers of excitement in the newly installed committee board members' eyes, namely Ernest Wong, president of the club for the term January 2008. Many new radiant faces were also seen happily chatting with the present members before the meeting, the mood for an enjoyable time was set, and all that's left was to begin the meeting with a bang. The meeting began at 9:40am, with Ming Haur, the ASAA of the morning, chairing the ice breaker session.

After the audience had a rough idea on who was sitting beside them, Ming Haur passed the stage to the very excited club president, Ernest Wong, who was filled with more than passion and enthusiasm on that fine morning. Charming as always, Ernest greets the audience with a warm smile, and a loud, yet soothing "good morning." Ernest earnestly welcomed the new comers in the audience with open arms, encouraging them to join this unique club, and at the same time encouraged the present members to go the extra mile in assisting the club to achieve greater heights.

The momentum of the meeting was then continued with Ernest welcoming the Toastmaster of the morning, Claudia, to conduct the meeting. Claudia, with a splendid smile on her face, further warmed the audience up with her magnificent PR skills. Certain that her audience was now pretty relaxed, Claudia gave the stage to the table topics master of the morning, John Lee.

John Lee, a person well-known for his shrewdness and creativity, surprised everyone that very morning by introducing a very intriguing table topics session. The table topics session this time was a session whereby male table topic volunteers were given topics in which females are familiar with whereas female table topic volunteers were given topics in which males are familiar with. Everyone was shocked for a moment, nobody wanted to jeopardize their good image in this risky table topics session. The whole room went silent, until a brave soul volunteered without hesitation. That brave soul was Gajendran, a seasoned member of the club. Calmly and gracefully, Gajendran took center stage as he awaited his topic. The cool face was Gajendran soon changed into a face of confusion when he heard his topic : tell us about nail polish.
However, as quickly as the facial expression changed, Gajendran immediately began delivering his speech so proficiently as if he had been buying nail polish for his entire life. Gajendran's unwavering belief that he was talking about the right thing up to the very end convinced the audience that he knew what he was talking about.

Taking up the nerve-wrecking challenge next with no worries whatsoever was Felicia. She cheerfully walked up onto the stage with confident smile, she awaited her table topic question from John Lee. Surprisingly, Felicia was able to maintain that confident smile of hers even after receiving one of the hardest topic a woman could ever get : would you prefer alcoholic or non-alcoholic after shave? After smiling for what seemed like 5 seconds, Felicia began her speech with an enticing pout, saying the words "I love alcoholic after shave" convincingly. The audience were listening to Felicia's very persuasive speech as she elaborated on the reasons why she loves alcoholic after shave, and even the types of after shave (woah...you really had me convinced there for a moment that there was actually a white wine after shave ><)

The third table topic speaker of the day was Micheal, who courageously stood up after being cheered onto stage. Micheal walked up to John in a cool manner, as if he had left all his fears behind him the moment he stood up to volunteer himself. The table topic that was given to Micheal is : do you prefer 6-inch high heel shoes, or platform shoes. Without hesitation, Micheal convincingly talked about his two fully-packed racks of shoes. He further elaborated on the advantages of wearing platform shoes and the disadvantages of 6-inch high heels in terms of dexterity (in running away, for instance), and comfort.

As time passed, the audience were getting pretty much used to the pace of the table topics session, in no time, we had our next volunteer, Victoria. She was presented with the topic ‘what tools do you need in a toolbox.’ Coyly, she elaborated on screws and hammers, trying her very best to inform the audience about the necessary tools one should have in their toolboxes.

Soon, it was time for Qin Mei to step up to the stage, as she too volunteered after a bit of encouragement. Her table topic was about ‘the ways to upgrade your car’. Although not knowing much about cars, she was really sporting in trying to elaborately on her topic in a matter-o-factly manner.

Finally, it was Kent’s turn to volunteer for a table topic after much coaxing from his fellow friends. Kent was presented with the topic “ your favourite fashion designer clothes.” Being partially an introvert, Kent was speechless at first. Nonetheless, after getting a few ideas from the audience, he too was able to shed a bit of light onto such a difficult table topic.

Once the table topics session was over, John Lee handed to stage over to Ernest Wong, the Table topics Evaluator for the day. As usual, Ernest never fails to give very constructive evaluations to the participating, never stinging on a smile or two when some speaker has done something to be proud of.

In no time, it was time for the first assignment speech, which was done by Mr.Ahmad Muslim Ali. His speech was entitled ‘The Theory Of Attribution’. As an experienced lecturer, Mr. Ali was able to research his topic effectively, going deep into every single detail of his speech. His speech was very well structured as it was constructed with a very high level of maturity.

After a very educational speech by Mr. Ali, it was time for Hui Ven to present her assignment speech entitle ‘My Roller Coaster Ride’. In her speech, Hui Ven advertised the Toastmasters club elaborately as she related her life as the member of HELP University Toastmasters Club as a roller coaster ride ( a very fascinating fact indeed). Full with spontaneity, Hui Ven definitely cooked up a story that was inspiring, and interesting too.

The meeting later proceeded into the final section: the evaluation section. Hui Ven was the general evaluator. Being the usual cheerful person that she is, Hui Ven left a positive feedback on the meeting After commenting on the good points and what the club could improve on. Hui Ven bided farewell to the club as this might be her final time attending the club’s meeting (we WILL miss you Hui Ven!)

As quickly as it started, it soon ended. It won’t be another week until HELP University Toastmasters club organizes another meeting. All in all, it was worthwhile attending the meeting; it was fun meeting all the amazing people who are every so friendly in the first few days of new year.

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