Wednesday, 5 March 2008

yet another 1st of March

The audience was small today. Jee Aik, the SAA, asked the crowd to introduce themselves and also asked them that if they could meet the prime minister, what they would say. Many of them seemed brave enough to let what others think, while some sounded playful with their answers, while some had interesting remarks. Jee Aik then passed the control to the president, Ernest. Ernest briefed everyone about the benefits of Toastmasters one can gain and how important communication skill is.

The Toastmaster of the Morning, Gajendran, took control after that. He initiated the assignment speech session instead of the Table Topics session, because the Table Topics Master, John, had not arrived due to unfortunate event. The first assignment speaker was Kang Han, with his Ice Breaker speech entitled “The I Word.” He described himself as a very cautious person, which is why he also wants to be an actuary as it suits his personality. As he illustrated each point of his story, he marked and reshaped the alphabet letter written on the board. For example, he marked “j” when he was talking about his joy and reshaped it by subtracting the dot of the “j” and lengthened the tail of “j” which led to an “O” for complete. Never seen an Ice Breaker speech like this before, commended Gajendran.

Next came Chee Hong, with his fourth speech called “A Global Threat.” The global threat was not something big like war and global warming but violence in forms of not just physical but also verbal. He gave examples of such violence such as politics and road rage which most people were familiar with. He concluded his speech by saying that we should practice to make good speeches in Toastmaster to overcome violence.

Around that time, the Table Topics Master had arrived, so John took over the control and the session was switched to Table Topics. The topic question was like this. There are several people in the hot air balloon, and the volunteer speaker is one of them. The volunteer speaker is to pick a character or personality, for instance Osama bin Laden, and reason why he or she should be allowed to stay behind in the hot air balloon while the rest should not. This topic John created allowed plenty of room for creativity and was easy, and many people participated without too much hesitation.

The first speaker was Ernest. He picked to be a police and reasoned that he has the authority and can threaten anyone with his gun. Next came Boon Keong, who for the first time trying out the Table Topics. He chose to be Dr Mahathir. He reasoned that he has greater authority, so not even the police can go against him. After him was Dexter who chose to be a serial killer, obviously threatening to kill everyone in the hot air balloon. Next to jump into the stage was Dat Han (nicknamed as Darth Han) and he picked the famous dark lord known as Darth Vader. He boasted about his greatness and power. What’s next? Master Yoda? Nope, it was Toastmaster Gajendran! He picked a Toastmaster which is basically himself. He came out with brilliant logical reasons to persuade us. He reasoned that he has a club to chart and members to train, and that most previous speakers just basically wanted to only kill. And Gajendran won the best Table Topics speaker. Amazing that a Toastmaster can beat even Darth Vader, so never underestimate the power of a Toastmaster, lol. Then came Qin Mei who was not going to let Toastmaster Gajendran to stay in the hot air balloon without a fight. She picked to be herself. She reasoned that she is just as capable as Toastmaster Gajendran as she can be used to do many things including training members. The most interesting part was that she reasoned that she has very small cute eyes which is impossible to resist her command.

After the Table Topics, it was back to the speech assignment session. Claudia was next, with her speech entitled “How to Guide,” which was her sixth speech assignment. She taught us how to maintain long distance relationship. Some of the ways she mentioned were wishing happy birthday by SMS and communication people with a chat program, if possible with a web cam too. In her last words, she said that if there is no effort, there will not be sacrifice, and that means no relationship also. Since she has completed her sixth speech, she is now eligible to be a speech evaluator! That means the club now has three evaluators!

After this was the break. People chatted and greeted one another After the break came the evaluation session. Siew Peng, the Table Topics evaluator, expressed that she enjoyed the Table Topics speeches as the speakers showed great creativity and confidence. Gerard, the evaluator for Kang Han, expressed that Kang Han did very well for an Ice Breaker speech. Gerard was also awarded the best evaluator later. Michael, first time as a Language Evaluator, did well at jotting down the correct and wrong usages of the language. He did it very confidently, even though it was his first time being a Language Evaluator. Then came Pei Yi, the Ah Counter, who seems to be back in action! Claudia gave her evaluation as a General Evaluator for the second time. She seems to have interest in improving her evaluation skill.

Overall, the meeting had one of the best Table Topics session and that members have grown much stronger. The club members have participated new roles, and this is a sign of learning and growing. Hopefully, they become better and more confident in their abilities. An assurance you can make is that the club has become stronger after this meeting.

Written by Jee Aik

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