Saturday, 26 April 2008

Nothing like a good ol' Meeting

Ahh... nothing like another Saturday morning Toastmaster’s meeting to start your day….As first time Sergeant-at-Arms, Michael Chow called for the meeting to begin and posed the question, “What have you done to counter the effects of global warming?” as a Toastmaster’s “warming-up” session to wake up those who were still half-asleep, and also to give the audience a chance to introduce themselves.

The meeting then proceeded with John Lee, Vice President of Education giving the Presidential Address of the morning in place of the Ernest Wong, who unfortunately could not attend the meeting because he was attending another Toastmaster’s Convention.

Next, the floor was handed over to Tan Jee Aik, the Table Topics Master to initiate the Table Topics Session of the morning. He carried out the session by showing the participants a list of topics and asked them to select their own favoured topic.

His request for the first volunteer was quickly met by Han Lian who rapidly responded and chose the topic “What You Do is What You Get”. He caught everyone’s attention by relating his topic to the famous idiom, “What you reap is what you sow”. The next table topics speaker was Michael Chow who chose the topic “There is No Absolute Truth”. He challenged the audience’s trust in so-called “truths” by relating the example of Newton’s Laws of Physics which were disproved by Albert Einstein. This was followed by Jasmine Leong who chose the topic “People Cannot be Trusted”. She too posed an interesting notion that we cannot absolutely believe historical records as it could also be faked by the people of that time. Lastly, Boon Keong, the final table topics participant, selected the topic “Technology has Shaped the World into a Better Place” and discussed the importance of technology to all of us. After this, the floor was handed to Jason Moi to evaluate the table Topics.

After the Table Topics Session, the Toastmaster of the Morning, John Lee continued the meeting by introducing the first assignment speaker, Qin Mei who presented her fourth Competent Communicator Manual speech entitled, “Word or Actions?” She started off her speech by first asking the audience whether they agreed with the idiomatic expression, “Actions Speak Louder than Words”, and naturally, the audience agreed. But she then asked the audience whether they agreed with the phrase, “The Pen is Sharper than the Sword”, causing the audience to ponder about whether to agree with this second statement, thus effectively grabbing the audience’s attention. Qin Mei then discussed the importance of using actions and words in the right situation at the right time.

The next assignment speaker, Claudia Ting presented her eighth Competent Communicator Manual speech entitled “Fashion Updates” while using a laptop as means of visual aid. She assumed herself to be a “Style TV Network” television presenter and informed the audience regarding the latest fashion lines by various famous fashion designers. Everyone was impressed by her extensive research and knowledge pertaining to current fashion trends.

After Claudia’s speech, there was a fifteen minute break for refreshments and fellowship. This was followed by the third assignment speech by John Lee who presented his second Advanced Communication Manual Speech entitled “Lazy Lazarus”. He first gave an introduction to his presentation by informing the audience about the life of the author of the poem, Sylvia Plath, who was a brilliant but mentally disturbed woman. He told as that she had already attempted suicide several times, and that the poem he was about to read was her very last work before she succeeded in doing so.

After that, the assigned speech evaluators came out to give their respective evaluations. Claudia Ting evaluated Qin Mei’s speech, while John Lee evaluated Claudia’s speech, and Jasmine Leong evaluated John Lee’s speech. This was followed by the General Evaluator’s report which was done by Claudia Ting. John Lee then wrapped up the entire meeting by presenting the Best Table Topics, Best Assignment Speech and Best Evaluator Awards to the respective winners, followed by a closing speech.

True to the core,


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