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#412 You are One and Only

Ever wondered what your purpose was on this earth? What makes you so special? Meeting #412 helped us answer that question!   

Themed “You Are One and Only”, the one and only Serena Kong, ACB, CL kick started the meeting at sharp 7.15pm as the SAA. Being one of the only clubs that recites the Toastmasters’ Promise before beginning a meeting, she brought us through this set of reminders smoothly before passing the floor to the new President of the club. Chitirra took stage for the first time as the President of the club, welcomed the guests and invited them to introduce themselves and speak of the theme of the day along with the word of the day which was “sanguine”. It means to remain positive even in an adverse situation. She was as sanguine as she was nervous. An array of views were projected throughout about the theme. You may be one but you are the only one and without you things cannot be completed. Like a missing piece of puzzle to a beautiful picture. Have you already realized how important you are?

Mathew Philippose, CC, ALB is one of the few “one and only” kind of people who will step up to any given challenge at any given time and he came forth when called upon to do so spontaneously as a replacement invocation speaker. Things happen for a reason and we could not have had a better invocation to invoke not just this meeting but the whole term ahead of us. He reminded us all of our purpose as Toastmasters.

Manish Jha, CC, IP1, our new Vice President of Education then took over the stage as the Toastmaster of the Evening. He was lively and enthusiastic. Upon giving a short brief about Toastmasters to our guests he called upon the technical role players of the day to describe their roles. Yap Ooi Yee, CC was the Ah-Counter, Shain Anand was the Grammarian, EK Yeo, CC, CL was our Timer and boy were we lucky to have Lakmichand M.A., DTM a.k.a Lucky to grace our first meeting as the General Evaluator. 

Once again Serena Kong, ACB, CL came on to the stage to take us through the Table Topics™ session as the Table Topics™ Master. She came up with many interesting topics that our guests and members attempted with such will and enthusiasm. Julia rocked the stage and inspired us all to be great Toastmasters.

Upon completing the first part of our meeting, we moved on to the second major element of a regular Toastmasters meeting which was the Assigned Speech Session. We had with us 4 vibrant speakers tonight namely Shelly Sim, Mathew Philippose, CC, ALB, KT Chok, PM1 and Dato’ Dr. Mary de Silva, PM2. 

Shelly made a comeback with her second speech entitled Flat Earth to prove her point that the earth indeed was flat. Did she manage to convince us? That, we shall see in her repeat speech as per her speech criteria in the next round.

Mathew did his repeat speech on “A Crucial Moment” and once again left us thinking on how we would react given an emergency situation. 

KT Chok left us with laughter in his Effective Body Language speech entitled “Now Everyone Can Win” letting us know that the less you lose, the more you win. What a tactic?

Finally, Dato’ Dr. Mary engaged with her audience in a useful tutorial on how to pack our bags for travel. Pretty useful tips with a twist of entertainment as we learnt how to twist our clothes into sausage rolls for packing light. True to her speech title “There is Hope”, there was hope. 

After a jam packed line of speeches, we went for a short break and resumed 10 minutes later for the 3rd element of the Toastmasters’ meeting which was the Evaluations Session. 

Lakmichand M.A., DTM led this session in his usual authentic manner. Foo Fung Jiun, CC was called up first to give the Table Topics™ evaluation and he could not have been more observant, kind and genuine at the same time. Following, we had the 4 evaluators for the 4 speakers in accordance of the speakers. First up was Ron Yeap, ACB, CL, followed by Julia Leong, ACB, ALB, then K L Loh, ATMG and finally Tan Ben Hoe, CTM, CL.

After their respective evaluations, we had a 5 minute open evaluation followed by the technical evaluations from the Ah-Counter, Grammarian, Timer and finally our General Evaluator himself.

To close the night, the President was called upon again to give out the awards to the achievers for the night.

Best Table Topics™ Speaker: KL Loh ATMG
Best Project Speaker:   Dato Dr Mary de Silva PM2
Best Evaluator: Julia Leong ACB, ALB

Several key announcements were made and the guests gave their warm feedback about the meeting and the meeting was adjourned with a wonderful photoshoot.

In life, we face many struggles but help is always given to those ask and sometimes even when you don’t. Like how I was struggling to finish this piece and a random stranger heard me say “Oh, I’m so not inspired to write” and he said “Well, sometimes it happens! You get a writer’s block but the 2nd wind will come” and he left like a passing cloud. He was the one and only that helped me complete this blog. Your purpose, be it big or small is still pivotal. So remember that you are unique and you are one and only. 

Thanks to contributors, writers and reviewers.


Dato Dr Mary de Silva, PM2
Money Mastery –KL Toastmasters Club

VPPR (Vice President of Public Relation 2018/2019)

#411 Best Your Best Self

We all struggle to be at the acme of our lives but along the way do we tend to lose ourselves?
And so theme was raised, Be Your Best Self. The final meeting of the term in which we all discovered not just ourselves but our best selves before we stepped into the new term.
The world of the day was of course “Acme” because that was the destination while self-love was the journey.
The meeting began at sharp 7.15 where our dedicated SAA, Olvia Chen, PM1 brought us through the opening with the Toastmasters’ Promise as well.

Following, the Acting President, Chitirra, welcomed the guests, allowed the Grammarian to introduce the word of the day “Acme” and invited all for a round of introduction revolving around the theme and the word of the day. The very many opinions that came around in order truly was an eye-opener and food for thought. There were so many perspectives at which one could view the theme.
Despite being the last meeting of the term and as much as the ambience would have been one that wasn’t as upbeat we always have Ken Chan, DTM with his monkey business and appetizing humour as the Humour Master to save the day. Laughter is always in the air with this epic Toastmaster who is always true himself and to the club. An epitome of being one’s best self.
As the mood was set, the floor was passed on to the Toastmaster of the Evening, the ever-ready CP Lau, ACS, ALB. His brief on Toastmasters and leading us through the night was unique and original. Another example of being the best and being one’s self.
The role players of the evening were, KT Chok, PM1 as Grammarian, Crystal Chen, ACB, ALB as Ah-Counter, Serena Kong, ACB, CL as Timer and the veteran Toastmaster S K Ratnam, DTM from Extol Toastmasters as General Evaluator.

Upon defining their roles, the session moved to the exciting Table Topics ™ session by our Table Topics ™ Master, Shain Anand. Yet another exceptional individual, this Toastmaster decided to give a little twist to the Table Topics ™ with his originality by giving us story starters to attempt at rather than the usual topics that require our opinions on things. We saw the potential of members and guests who attempted with regards to their humour and story-telling skills.
The assigned speech sessions then commenced with yet another speech by Ken Chan, DTM. This time he was completing his CC#10 for the umpteenth time for he never stops revising whilst rejuvenating us all. His topic “Say Something Sweet” said it all as he brought smiles to our faces as he reminded us that kindness was one of the keys that would bring forth abundance to us all. When I received a compliment from the Toastmaster next to me, I felt beautiful and when I returned a compliment to the Toastmaster next to me it felt even more out of this world. An inner peace that was borderless from being the reason behind someone’s smile.
The next speaker was Dato’ Dr. Mary de Silve, PM2 attempting her 1st project in Level 3 of her Pathway. “The Dangerous Companion”, almost like an oxymoron was her title, it left us curious to know who it was. It left us even more baffled when we found out it was our phones. Now, we all knows these smartphones are pretty dangerous but when laid out with facts and more details by Dato’ Mary, it really did leave us a little intimidated and together we promised to be a little less friendly with that constant companion of ours.

Last but not least, we had with us Dr. Srikant repeating his 2nd project from Level 2 of his Pathways.
“Sailing in Indonesia” was the speech he did once with the theme Effective Body Language. As he figured there was room for improvement in this he made his 2nd and much better attempt at it while sailing us through his sailing trip in Indonesia.
As it was the final meeting of the term, the VP of Education, Chitirra, decided to do a basic presentation on the new Toastmasters education programme which is the Pathways. A 20 minute session on how a member could kick start and progress in Pathways was done by her just before the break.
After an extremely short break, the session resumed with the evaluations sessions. Nevermind not having ample time to eat during the break for we had a hearty session with our expert evaluators, all of whom display their best selves while giving an evaluation. The session began with our General Evaluator, S K Ratnam, DTM inviting K L Loh, ATMG over to give the evaluation on the Table Topics ™ speakers. Following, we had in order of the speakers, Ron Yeap, ACB, CL, Hj. Hashim, DTM and E K Yeo, CC, CL evaluate the speakers respectively.

After a simple open evaluation, the role players gave their brief reports and the session commenced with our General Evaluator giving his kind feedback on the overall proceedings of our meeting.
The Acting President, Chitirra, then proceeded to give out the awards to the best speakers for the night. Due to time disqualifications however, no voting was done for the Project Speech speakers. The best Table Topics ™ speaker however went to our guest, Mr. Simon from MIHRM. The best evaluator as always went to our charismatic Hj. Hashim, DTM. Yep! He was the Toastmaster next to me and that was the compliment I gave him. I’ve not quite seen someone who gives an evaluation with so much swag and style like he does!

Announcements made, appreciation done, the meeting drew to its closure with everyone giving their best pose of their best selves at the group photo.
You see, at the end of the day, it’s not about who you were but how you were and I’d like to end with the very impactful philosophy that the 2006 World Toastmaster Champion, Mohamed Ali Shukri goes by. Always remember that you are the one and only you in this world. You’re unique, you’re amazing and so be it. Be your best self. Now go be awesome and see you in the next term folks!

Blog writer: Chitirra

#410 Forgive & Forget

 “Selamat, Hari Raya, Kepada saudara serta saudari”……(Happy Celebration, to all friends and folks)
The famous rhyme of Eid Mubarak was played from the car radio, paving the mood to a Hari Raya Themed meeting at Money Mastery-KL Toastmasters Club. In the spirit of “Maaf Zahir dan Batin”, the meeting was themed “Forgive and Forget”, with the Word of the Day “Solicitous”.

The meeting time was adjusted to start at 7pm as we can observe fasting, and break fasting with our Muslim members and guests.
In this 410th meeting, we were visited by a few guests, including guest that was invited by members, as well as walked-in guest.

In this meeting, we are honoured to have Judy Lee, DTM from MIM PJ Toastmasters, taking up the honorable role as General Evaluator. The meeting was called to order by Assistant Sergeant At Arms, Crystal Chen, ACB, ALB at 7pm. The recital of Toastmasters promises led by ASAA reminded us of our pledge as a Toastmaster Member.

Madam President Wendy Sim, CC took over the stage with solicitous as this could be her last Presidential Address of the term. Nonetheless, Madam President in her address, would like us to be more forgiving and forget the past that could be holding us back, in order to move forward.

A round of self-introduction to the meeting was initiated by the President, and that given the opportunity to each attendee to state their role in the meeting, and the guest also got the chance to introduce themselves to the members.

Mandy Chan, CC, was the first speaker invited by the President to deliver the Invocation Speech. Mandy, after completing her Competent Communication project, grew more confident each time she took the stage. I was told she had volunteered herself to this role. How amazing a friendly environment like this able to build a character and boost up the self-confidence of an individual.
The Toastmaster of the Evening was a seasoned Toastmaster and Past President Serena Kong, ACB, CL. The history of Toastmasters and the founding history of our club was solicitously deliberated to the benefits of the guests who were among the attendees tonight.

To master the art of public speaking, one must be ready to speak impromptu. That is how the very exclusive Toastmasters program has included Table TopicsTM as its staple in the program. The session was led by experienced Toastmaster and Table TopicsTM contest winner, Mathew Philippose, CC, ALB. Crystal Chen, Michelle (guest), Victor Wan, Mike (guest) & Hj Hashim were among the brave souls took up the challenges.

In another session where assigned members came prepared with their project speeches, we saw Shain Anand being the 1st speaker of the evening with his title “Down to Three” from Competent Communication Manual, Project #4 – How to Say It.

The 2nd speaker of the evening was Mathew Philippose, CC, ALB in attempting his first project in the Pathway program, with the title “A Crucial Moment”. His chosen path is “Effective Coaching”, and this is project is from Level 1: Project 2 – Evaluation & Feedback.

Manish Jha, CC, IP1, was the 3rd speaker and he was delivering from the “Innovative Planning” path, Level 2: Project 1 – Understanding Your Leadership Style. His speech title was “Lead By Example”.
Last but not least from the Project Speaker line up was Dr. Srikant, PM1. He was delivering his speech from the “Presentation Mastery” path, Level 2: Project 2 – Effective Body Language, with the title “Sailing in Indonesia”.

A mutual learning environment provided in Toastmasters allow the members know how they fair out in the performances. Judy Lee, as the General Evaluator, invited each Speech Evaluator to provide their comment and feedbacks for the speakers. The evaluation session started with Dato’ Dr. Mary de Silva, PM2, took the lead to give her Table TopicsTM evaluation to the speakers. CP lau ACB, ALB gave the evaluation for first speaker Hj Hashim, DTM was the 2nd evaluator to evaluate on the performance of Mathew’s project speech. This continued with KL Loh, ATMG, the seasoned evaluator to evaluate Manish; and the incoming Division C Director, Ken Koh, ACS, ALB to evaluate Dr. Srikant.

Providing Evaluation Speech can be challenging yet rewarding. One has to practice his and her listening skill to listen attentively and analyse the speech presentation has met the project objectives at the same time. With the opportunity to observe and speak up, we will gain insight of the presentation requirements and skills at the same time.

When the technical evaluation team consist of Timer, Ah-Counter and Grammarian delivered their due reports, Madam General Evaluator Judy Lee given her General Evaluator’s report. We were relieved and grateful to hear that Judy gave a high compliment to the conducts of our meeting, which are in line to the Toastmasters International’s best practice. Judy also shared her thought to have a more contemporary and radical approach in the meeting practices, including placard of the TI history, app-based voting system and such, which are good suggestion for our consideration.

We thanked Judy Lee, DTM for her constructive feedback to the meeting.
In the final session, Madam President, Wendy Sim, CC once again took the stage for the closing of the meeting. The best performers of the meeting were announced, and the results were as below:

1. Best Table Topics Speech – KL Loh, ATMG

2. Best Evaluation Speech – Hj Hashim, DTM

The Best Project Speech award was not given due to time disqualification from 2 speakers.
President Wendy also took the opportunity to present the Pathway award ribbons to Manish and Dr. Srikant for their Level 1 achievement. The closing address grew more sentimental as President Wendy also give away her self-designed notepad with the Club Officers photos to her team of EXCO as appreciation of their contributions.

The meeting finally ended with a high tone by wishing the members and guest “Selamat Hari Raya” and happy holiday. We have chosen to “forgive and forget” the hatchet of the past, and we will choose to retain friendship and camaraderie moment forever.

Blog Writer: Ron Yeap ACB, CL