Written by Elaine Tan
Fostering Alliances through Communication
By Elaine Tan
With the Lunar New Year’s mandarin oranges and firecrackers scents lingering in the air and many still savouring their festive holiday, 12 Friendship Toastmasters Club (“FTMC”) members and one guest held hands and built bridges (theme of the day) to add spark to their communications skills. Everyone took the opportunity to become a participant, speaker, evaluator or role player.
Nursing a sore throat didn’t prevent President Ben Fong from delivering his fortnightly presidential speech. Elaborating on the theme, he said that we probably couldn’t survive in this world without having others to help us in one way or the other such as improving our communications skills by attending Toastmasters meetings.
Taking over the reins, our Toastmaster of the Evening Zaiton Zainal Abidin began her role by paying tribute to Toastmasters International founder Dr. Ralph Smedley who has empowered thousands of members to take on leadership skills.
Invocation Presenter Chor Chee Hoe emphasised that there should not be any barriers, boundaries or walls when it comes to building the bridge of Friendship (word of the day).
As Table Topics Master, Freddie Yap reassured potential participants that they would learn from their experience and as a result, received eight Table Topic participants. They were KC Lim, Kent Ho, Elaine Tan, Sivadass, Gino Chong, Chor Chee Hoe, Kim Chow and visitor Mi Yuan who took home the Best Table Topics Speaker award.
Attempting the challenge of Breaking the Ice during the Prepared Speeches segment was Kent Ho with his maiden speech entitled “The Present is a Present Today”. Believing that things happen for a purpose, Kent shared his relationship experiences with his family, friends and self. Highlighting that we should live, savour and enjoy life, Kent later received a standing ovation for his efforts.
Just a step away from completing the Competent Communicators manual, Elaine Tan Powerfully Persuaded fellow Toastmasters to read a book a month to enjoy the many benefits of reading in her ninth speech titled “Turning the Pages”.
After the Happy Break, Humour Master Freddie Yap lightened up the atmosphere with jokes between a patient and her gynaecologist as well as people in an asylum.
Then came the moment everyone had been waiting for… the evaluation section lead by Chan Guan Leong from the Sime Darby Healthcare Toastmasters Club who was also a Speech Evaluator for the evening. He was assisted by Table Topics Evaluator Grace Tan, Evaluator KC Lim, Grammarian Sivadass, Ah Counter Chor Chee Hoe and Timer Gino Chong.
Guan Leong’s feedback included:
- noting that everyone had the opportunity to communicate;
- having an excellent meeting venue with friendly members;
- commenting that the newsletter was well done as it listed upcoming speaking slots and achieved its targeted DCP points;
- suggestions to include FTMC’s achievements to date in future newsletters;
- requesting that the audio system be improved or the air conditioning system switched off to minimise noise distractions when participants were speaking; and
- introducing speakers who had not completed their Competent Communicator or Competent Leader manuals as “Toastmaster”.