There were many unexpected problems in this meeting, so it started about 15 minutes late. Many key positions such as role players and evaluators were not filled which caused the situation to be chaotic. Fortunately, John managed to solve all the problems by getting members to replace or take up more than one role. After John settled all the necessary problems, the meeting was ready to begin.
For unknown reason, today’s meeting was small. Most of the people present were regular members while there were several new faces. The SAA, Jee Aik, asked the crowd to introduce themselves and asked what they got fooled on April Fool’s day. Surprisingly, many said they did not get fooled while some said they mistook April Fool’s jokes for facts. The control was then handed to John, who was taking the president’s place for the presidential address.
After that, Jason Lim took control who was replacing the missing TOM. This was his first time being the TOM. He requested the word of the day from the Language Evaluator, Han Lian, which was “prodigious.”
Next was the Table Topics session. Han Lian, as the result of the meeting problems, was asked to play the role of TTM and it was his first time being the TTM. The first volunteer, Michael, was given the topic that if he were to recommend a book to read, what book would it be. He recommended the Bible as a Christian. Since this was inappropriate, he recommended the monthly Toastmaster magazine as a Toastmaster. That was a brilliant switch. The second speaker was Chen Kiat, who attends our club regularly. His topic had something to do with the craziest fashion. Creativity was not his talent since his field is accountancy, he said. He then compared the fashion between men and women, saying women have more choices. I own a
For the assignment speech session, the first speaker was Jason Lim with his speech “Things that Define Me.” He said its name Jason means healer and that he aspires to be a potato because of its flexibility. Next was Michael with his speech “Not Your Boring Old Engineer.” He spoke of wanting to be an environmental engineer as he wants to make a difference and protect the environment. He demonstrated many deep long term plans in his speech. The third speaker was Peter Yu with his speech “Have You Ever Wondered?” The central theme in his speech was critical thinking. For example, what do we actually study for? Last, but not least, was John. He presented his first interpretive speech, “All Creatures Great and Small.” His story involved a young boy who was threatened to lose his baby finger if he lost the bet.
For the evaluation session, Peter Yu, though he was not qualified to be a speech evaluator, due to the meeting problems, was asked by John to take up the role and Peter accepted. If he did not, John probably would have had to evaluate 3 speakers. John had been coming in and out of the lectern; he was the president, Table Topics evaluator, speech speaker, speech evaluator for 2 speakers, and he was going to do one more thing later which was the closing business address. He sure had lots of work.
In short, there were many unexpected problems sprung up in this meeting but were managed. We live in an abnormal world where abnormal things happen. So problems are normal in an abnormal world. Although problems are painful and undesirable; nevertheless, they provide opportunities to sharpen our leadership skills and character. John had demonstrated leadership qualities in handling the problems as he managed to get members to fill up the empty roles or play more than one role. The club members and an outsider, also helped in the meeting as they were willing to try out new roles that they never played before and play dual roles in cooperation with John. Problems are never desirable but they give opportunities to build and test our character.
By Jee Aik