International Speech & Table Topics Contest - 16 March 2010
by Angeline Lee and Elaine Tan
The air was cold and slightly more invigorating than usual. It may have turned a few of Friendship Toastmasters Club (FTMC) International Speech & Table Topics (ISTT) contestants’ hands cold. Fortunately, they did not experience cold feet. Some were anxiously doing last minute revisions while the seasoned contestants were exploring the new stage arrangement and happily grabbing a quick bite. A mixture of gamely first-timers and experienced contest speakers had their few minutes of limelight and fame before anonymous judges and a sea of new faces.
Decked in royal blue and silver, elegant Kim Chow charmed the audience and calmed the contestants’ nerves while President-cum-Contest Organising Chair Ben Fong welcomed everyone present. The International Speech Contest saw Tom Chen, Freddie Yap, Sivadass, Khairul Hassan and Elaine Tan attempting to win the hearts of the audience within the allocated time of 5 to 7 minutes for each speaker.
Tom asked why should we have regrets, punish ourselves and lose sleep in “Life Regrets – It’s a Choice”. Even if things don’t work out at times, we have made the best possible decision at that moment in time. We have a choice – either to blame ourselves or move forward.
Storytelling maestro Freddie narrated a few crime scenarios in “Crime? What Crime?” His hilarious solution to reducing crime rate includes behaving like a nerd as criminals would then try to avoid you. He also advocated budgeting for potential losses. A robbery would then be less painful for you as you have budgeted for this event.
Sharing his life story in “Unchangeable Change”, Sivadass said Malaysia has changed since Merdeka and so had he since becoming a Toastmasters member. He had the audience in stitches when he shared an anecdote of the person who introduced him to Toastmasters.
“The Gruelling Desire” had Khairul describing her experience at the Standard Chartered Marathon held in Singapore on 6 Dec 2009. In the beginning, she was surrounded by 30,000 runners at 5 AM in the morning. Towards the end she had to remind herself - Pain is temporary, glory is forever !
In “Heart & Seoul”, Elaine gave an imagery tour of her next holiday destination – Seoul. Her tale encompasses the freezing temperature of winter, staying warm at soothing saunas, savouring authentic and exotic Korean dishes, and witnessing creative masterpieces at the Seoul Design Olympiad.
When it came to the Table Topics Contest, competitors were ushered out of the room and only allowed in one at a time as the same question was read out: “What is the best investment that you have ever made?”
With all the knowledge out there, learning and self-growth were the best investments for Tom as one can lose in the stock market and in relationship.
The topic was delightful for Kent who selected friends as they can enrich the mind, relationship and add value towards a meaningful life.
Going back to his primary school days, Freddie attributed his love for reading to a headmaster who read storybooks to his students. His investment in reading is now reaping benefits at his office and at our Toastmasters meetings.
Gino linked investment to wealth, wisdom, knowledge and health. Health is important as without it, we won’t be able to enjoy all the money that we have.
On the other hand, Toastmasters was at the top of Sivadass’ mind as it propelled him to become a better speaker. He encouraged the audience to continue investing in themselves, by attending Toastmasters meetings.
While waiting for the Chief Judge to tabulate the results, Kim Chow interviewed the speakers on their colourful backgrounds.
With the help of LGM-P DTM Francis Ng, mementos were presented to Chief Judge Hadzrin Shah, while tokens of appreciation were awarded to the panel of role players consisting of Mohd Yusof Ismail Fahmy from Speakers’ Dream Club, Ng Ying Ling and Muhammad Dazlyreza Jamaluddin from Ambank Club, and our very own Chor Wai Yee and Tan Lay Theng.
LGM-P presenting certificate of appreciation to Timer Ismail
Ballot counter Dazly
Ballot counter Chor Wai Yee
Timer Ng Ying Ling
SAA Tan Lay Theng
Chief Judge Hadzrin Shah
Area W7 Governor Tan Lay Theng presenting certificate of appreciation to Contest Chair Kim Chow
And then excitement mounted and all were eagerly awaiting the results. The winners are
Winners of the International Speech Contest
1st: Freddie Yap
2nd: Tom Chen
3rd: Khairul Hassan
International Speech Contest Champion Freddie Yap
International Speech Contest 1st runner up Tom Chen
International Speech Contest 2nd runner up Khairul Hassan
Winners of the Table Topics Contest
1st: Tom Chen
2nd: Gino Chong
3rd: Freddie Yap
Table Topics Contest Champion Tom Chen
Table Topics Contest 1st runner up Gino Chong
In his closing speech, President Ben Fong gave special thanks to the organising team namely, Angeline Lee, Zaiton Zainal Abidin and Kim Chow.
Both our first place winners who also received a cash prize, will represent FTMC at the Area W7 ISTT Contest on the 8th of April. The detail of this contest is as follow:
Event: Area W7 ISTT Contest
Date: Thursday 8 April 2010
Time: 7.00 PM
Venue: Multipurpose Hall, Tiffani Kiara,
No. 1, Changkat Duta Kiara, Off Jalan Duta Kiara,
Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
(opposite CIMB bank, Solaris Mont Kiara)
Freddie and Tom, we wish you best of luck at the Area W7 Contest !
Fellow Friendship members, it would be a crime if we were not at Tiffani Kiara on 8 April to support our ISTT champions. We promise you it would certainly be one of your best investment of time spent.
See you at Tiffani Kiara on 8 April !
Group photo of our ISTT contestants with Kim Chow, Contest Chair and Ben Fong, Organising Chair