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Never Give Up

It is about 145 days since President Ron Yeap took office,to be exact the date 22nd November 2016 is the club’s 369th meeting since inception of the club. As up to this day every meeting as being going on as scheduled. It has been much fun and enthusiasm at every meeting. I should say every meeting had a different facet of the diamond.  If you missed a meeting it was as good as you missed a part of the life of the club. The new man at helm with his team made the club take a new dimension.

On this special day, I was approached by the President and he said “Mathew, can you be the General Evaluator of the day”. I, without a second thought replied “Yes Sir, I will do it”.  This position is normally given to person who is well learned in Toastmasters activity and from another club. In toastmasters we take a promise, “To serve my club when called upon to do so”.  This promise is one of the promises we take as an oath before each of our club meetings. 

What is my role as a General Evaluator is to assess the club for the entire meeting right from the start.  In my heart, I felt very emotional, as I was the Past president of this club and today my task to evaluate a single meeting and give feedback.  As a General Evaluator, I have to highlight what is good or what went right and areas that need improvement to suggest something that will encourage and motivate the club.  A general Evaluator is helped by key role players who check the timing, the words we use and if there are any speech crutches also there are speech evaluators who help to evaluate a speech. My role is appreciate these evaluators how well they have done their roles and suggest if there are ways we can further help for the club to learn and grow.

As our Timer Wendy Sim reported our meeting started on time and all speakers and speeches went on time.  The timer has 3 lights she used to guide the meeting green, yellow and red. Yes it looks like traffic light color. Some of us may get caught up with our speeches or our sharing so timer’s role, keeps us back on track so that our meetings as much as possible starts and finishes on time.
Actually, is easy to speak, however it is difficult not have speech crutches like “ah”, “eh” “hmmm” or repeat words like “ also”, also”, “I see” I see”,  “ you know”, “you know” .  The specialist to check this is called the Ah Counter.  This time the Ah counter was competent Communicator Vijay kumar. He carefully noted our speech crutches, can one imagine he even manged to detect a person with 39 speech crutches. Well, many of us start of like that. I remember hearing one of speech champion Distinguished Toastmaster  Justin Ong he shared that when he started he had more than 50 speech crutches.

Our Grammarian for the Day Chitirra, her role is another tedious one, she makes sure that we use the correct grammar, pronunciations and did we manage to use the Word of the Day in our speeches or in our sharing.  During the President address, she was asked to introduce the Word of Day and the meaning of the Word. She said the Word of the Day was “Laconic” sometimes a word like this is difficult to pronounce so in the meeting we get “a hands on” practice.  So our Grammarian will highlight the one who successfully used the most number.  I should say Chitirra was quick to observe the good phrases, misused phrases, good sentences structures and the how a wrong sentence can be corrected. A Grammarian is not necessary an expert in the language. This role helps us in the skill of hearing which is similar like the Ah counter. A Grammarian as she hears  the English language is able to learn and appreciate the language better.   

We had four speech evaluators on this day, Advance Toastmaster Gold (ATMG)KL Loh is a very senior member of the club he evaluated Mandy Chan a new comer to the club. She was only doing her second speech. I say she need a lot of encouragement to continue the journey in toastmasters in giving speeches.  KL Loh, ATMG, pointed out the strength this shy looking lass had. It was her second speech she manged to speak for the time allotted with our looking at notes, “Bravo’.    
When she was introduced with her speech title, all was thinking what was “YOLO”, she gave a personal story and explained "YOLO", You Only Live On Earth Once. It’s amazing, how she made the speech interesting. Our seasoned evaluator KL Loh ATMG gave tips to improve her speech who maybe a prospective speech Champion.

Our next evaluator Competent Toastmaster, Competent Leader (CTM, CL) Tan Ben Hoe  is another senior yet dedicated Toastmasters.  He evaluated Cheng San San for his 9th speech in the Competent Communication Series.  His speech title looked strange “Bursa PETS channel”. Kept most of us wondering is it all about pets.  Cheng San is an expert in stock exchange and he pointed out through graph and charts how if have knowledge we can gain much through stock exchange. He had a power point presentation to bring his point clearer. As Ben Hoe CTM CL applauded him on his topic he was quick to give him tips how he can use all what he learned in his earlier speech topics to make his speech look much more rewarding. Surely, Cheng can use this tip and give a great finale for this 10th Speech.  As the saying goes “Rome is not build in a day”.  As Cheng San keep speaking he not only attain his Competent Communicator status but he will be admirable speaker.  

Our President Ron Yeap was the next evaluator and we imagine who he as evaluating, it was May Ong CC, ALB. She is one of the area directors(AD). She had a unique speech title HOLD. She was inspiring us to continue our Toastmasters journey by repeating what we taught we are good in so we can be better. In his evaluation, Ron Yeap CC, admired her courage and the same time he added that such a persuasive speech like hers may have added more value with a more persuasive speech title.  His other examples for a good speech, I am sure added value to the AD May Ong and to the rest of the audience.  

Our Final evaluator is Advanced Competent Communicator Bronze, Advance Leader Bronze (ACB, ALB) CP Lau. This evaluator that has smile that can influence anyone to smile is one of our Past Presidents of our club.  He has participated in number of speech and evaluation contest. He had the privilege of evaluating our long standing member Advance Competent Bronze Kelvin Chong.  Kelvin was giving his speeches based on the Advance Communication Manual. All of us know Kelvin Chong as a very humorous man.  He has usual made us laugh as we enjoyed his speech. The evaluator CP Lau ACB, ALB in appreciating the speech gave finer points of how his speech, “Resources for living”, could be more meaningful if it can fulfil more of the speech objective in his speech topic “Speaking to inform”.  The nuggets that CP Lau shared was rewarding not only to the speaker but to all.  I should say as all the evaluations summed up may have made the club gain a new height in excellence.

As General Evaluator, I take all the points given by my support group to acknowledge the strength of the club and areas of improvement.  There are two important people who made the meeting successful, it was Sergeant At Arms (SAA),  Wenny Loh and the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME) Kevin Khoo.  SAA Wenny put the meeting in order by highlighting the house rules when the meeting began and she led all in reciting the in toastmasters promise, It may look like a small task. She is instrumental for meeting to be on time even after a refreshment break in between.  Our TME Kevin, actually helped to run the meeting according to the agenda. He had good gestures and high motivation spirit that kept the meeting lively.  Actually, he being the Vice President of Education, had been working on the success of this meeting more than a week of the meeting.  As he rolls out the meeting he was prompt in all his introduction.

TME Kevin Khoo CC, took special care of our guest Carim, as he introduced the history of Toastmasters and what one can benefit from joining it.   In any toastmasters meeting a session that gives inspiration to all is table topics.  He introduces the table Topic Master EK Yeo, CC, CL. He hand over the command of the meeting to him which is normally done by a handshake. As Table Topic Master took over he explains the session and encourages the audience to participate in the impromptu speaking. 
We had four speakers, the first speaker KL Loh had a topic “In order to succeed you must first believe”, and without wasting anytime, very fluently this seasoned speaker spoke of memorable event of fulfilling his dream at the age of 50years by climbing Mount Kinabalu. He used the word of the Day “Laconic" as he captivated the audience. He was followed by Wenny Loh, this pint size girl , with a slow and steady space answered to the topic given to her “ It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do”. She repeated the title to all to hear clearly and she said how she overcome the fear of the future.  She quoted the theme of the day “Never Give Up” which was introduced by the President Ron in the beginning of the meeting.  Wenny said, “Even when she need to let go she will never give up”.  Can you imagine how bold this girl is although small in size?  

The first two speeches inspired our guest “ Carim” and he decided to take part. He came up and repeated his title, ‘The best preparation for tomorrow is doing the best today’. When the Toastmaster gave the title and he repeated, it was in the mind of all that he is prospective toastmaster who has the style of speaking like a toastmaster. Well, for sure he signed up as a member at the end of the meeting.  I say for first timer He spoke well. Our final speaker was Manish, He is a bubbly man, when given the title “it always seem impossible until it’s done. It hit his adrenalin gland, Manish cannot sit still, and he is an achiever. As usual he attract response by asking the audience question, using this gesture as a pivot he sums up his speech. Yes, he uses the theme as he says “you can do it, never give up”

Table topics sets the pulse of any meeting. It creates so much of excitement. However as I said in the beginning, I am impressed by the president himself. President Ron in setting the meeting rolling, He gave an inspiring introduction speech. He welcomed the guests and he quoted people who succeeded without giving up. He inspired the seniors to continue in toastmaster's journey in not giving up with the speeches.  I was admiring this man for the past few club meetings. Something within him has changed as he took over the new role.   I truly believe I see this transformation not only in the President but in every EXCO.As a general evaluator I made comments of some changes to make the club environment of the club to look better. 

Finally I like to say Money Mastery-KL Toastmasters has fulfilled the Mission of Toastmasters International in providing a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.

Reported by Past President, Mathew Philippose, CC, ALB.

Thanks to the Team,
Manish Jha, CC
Money Mastery –KL Toastmasters Club
VPPR (Vice President of Public Relation 2016/2017)