Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Brief History of District 51

There are over 80 Districts around the world by regions. Each District has its own annually elected or appointed District officers starting with Area Governors, Division Governors to District Governor to help Toastmasters International provide admistration support and leadership role in helping Toastmasters Clubs meet their members educational needs and in chartering more Toastmasters Clubs. OK, these are not the exact words used for the Vision and Mission of a District if you read the official manuals but you get the drift.

Before District 51 was formed in 1993, there was already a District 75 which covered all the Clubs in Philippines. It was the only Asian District then. There were 3 Districts in Australia and 1 District in New Zealand. One District covering the countries in the Southern Africa, 1 District in United Kingdom and 1 District for Mexico. The rest were Districts of North America which covered USA and Canada.

Today there are more Asian Districts including Japan, Taiwan, China, Middle East and a third District for Southeast Asia ie District 80. There is a new District coming up in India too.

Before a District is allowed to be formed by Toastmasters Board of Directors, that geographical region must have a minimum of clubs to first form a Territorial Council.

A Territorial Council called "PANSEA" (Pan Southeast Asia) was formed for clubs in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia with Gerald Green as the first Territorial Council Chairman. There were objections from some Toastmasters in Singapore as there was an existing Coucnil in Singapore which later became the Singapore Federation of Toastmasters Clubs (SFTC). Anyway, Toastmasters International had requested that both Malaysia and Singapore to disband their individual councils and set up a joint Pansea Territorial Council together with Clubs in Thailand and Indonesia.

In Nov 30-Dec 2, 1990, the first inaugural Pansea Territorial Council Convention was held at Hyatt Saujana, Subang in Selangor. It was organized by the Perdana Toastmasters Club. Seven of us from National Semiconductor Toastmasters took a train from Penang to join the Convention and to meet other Toastmasters Clubs.

KS Lim was Club President and I was VP Education. We were surprised by the sharp "political" divide between some Singapore and Malaysia Toastmasters "blocks". We were just there for speech contests, workshops, karaoke session, learning and fun and not politics. SH Choo of Butterworth Toastmasters won the Speech Contest. Foo Say Wei of Singapore was voted to be the second Territorial Council Chairman.

In 1993, Toastmasters International gave us a provisional District status and we were called District 51P.

The "P" attached was like a beginner driving license. Our Club members now have to pay a higher semi-annual dues to Toastmasters International than before as undistricted clubs. For your information, part of our semi-annual dues are diverted to our District fund for District activiites like training, Area Governor visits, speech contests, Council meetings, travel subsidy by officers.

But we were not immediately accorded full District privileges like that the top 3 District Officers getting a free air ticket to Toastmasters International Convention for District officer training and that our District International Speech Contest champion could proceed beyond District level to the Inter-District and if placed first, could continue to the finals of the World Championship of Public Speaking.

So for 3 years, we "suffered" with the "P" tag.

Then at Toastmasters International St. Louis Convention in August 1996, the Board of Directors announced that District 51P is now full District 51 backdating to July 1, 1996. Both Augustine Lee and I were at that meeting hall and we "jumped with joy".

At the Malacca Semi-Annual Convention Nov 1996, there was a special ceremony to drop the "P". The following year in 1997, it was the first time the District 51 Governor, LGET and LGM got free air tickets and could attend the District officer training in the New Orleans Convention. I was DG then but I had previously had to pay my own when I was LGM at San Diego Convention and as LGET at St. Louis Convention. And we were not allowed to enter training rooms in those days and so learnt everything from the manuals. Now wonder in those days, there was less Toastmasters who wanted to be top 3 District Officers. So the top 3 officers these days are "luckier".

In August 1997, at the New Orleans Convention, Club President of Hong Kong Toastmasters Andy See proposed that Hong Kong to join District 51 for faster growth and enjoy the benefits of being in a District. I agreed with the idea. Both of us visited Toastmaster International World Headquarter at Missien Viejo, outside Los Angeles after the Convention.

We had lunch with Toastmasters International Executive Director Terrence McCann. Terrence agreed with our proposal to include Hong Kong and advised us how to go about it. First, Andy See had to sell the idea to all the 5 current Hong Kong Clubs. Then District 51 had to agree at the next District 51 Concil Meeting and the Board of Directors had to approve and announce the decision.

Due to Andy See's foresight and hard work and even though only 3 clubs agreed, it was a smooth sailing as the motion was passed unanimously at our 5th District 51 Convention in Kuching in May, 1998. Toastmasters International later announced that Hong Kong would be part of District 51 as of July 1, 1998. I had to add that in 1996-97, 1997-98 we were ranked No.2 in the world as President's Distinguished District being outflanked by the District 34 (Mexico) and District 75 (Philippines) respectively in the last minute. But after the addition of Hong Kong, we were unbeatable, much stronger and dynamic in club growth and educational achievement and became World No. 1 District for the next 5 consecutive years.

In 2001, Brunei and Macau were added into District 51.

1n 2004, after 11 years together, our District was reformed (split) into two. Since there were more clubs in Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, we retained the number 51. Clubs in Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong were given the number 80 and now called District 80.

The reason was that we have grown too large with too many clubs to run a District effectively and efficiently and two Districts means double opportunities for leadership roles and contest spots. Anyway, we were split.

At the Medan Convention in November in 2007, another resolution was passed at the District Concil to propose another reformation (split) into two Districts: 1) Peninsular Malaysia and 2) Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei, Indonesia. Ironically, as we charter more and more clubs, District 51 has gotten smaller and smaller.

Hope one day, this trend will change direction where all the Districts in Asia can form a new region where we can Regional Conferences like what is happening for the Districts of North America in Canada and USA. Hope that Mandarin Speaking Clubs would be allowed to form their own District and have their own Mandarin speaking District Governor like the the Spanish speaking District of Mexico. Hope that that Toastmasters International will create a new Asian Region of Districts. In any case, District 51 has come a long way and the story continues to unfold....

Click here: Past District 51 Convention Photos (1993-2008)

Honor List of District 51 Governors
2009 Richard Chong (Mas Mawar, Selangor)
2008 Joseph Gomez (MIM KL, Kuala Lumpur)
2007 Chee Keng Kok (Butterworth, Penang)
2006 Sivanganam Rajaretnam (Kulim, Kedah)
2005 Low Yat Seow (D'Utama Advanced, Selangor)
2004 A. Arulnathan (MIM KL, Kuala Lumpur)
2003 Ho Fong Ming (Taman Indrahana, Selangor)
2002 John Lau (Kuching, Sarawak)
2001 Lilian Lau (Tanglin, Singapore)
2000 Christopher Teo (NOL, Singapore)
1999 Maimunah Natasha (Jakarta, Indonesia)
1998 Adeline Leong (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah)
1997 SL Liew (Butterworth, Penang)
1996 Dunstan Chan (Kuching, Sarawak)
1995 Augustine Lee (Lion City, Singapore)
1994 Li Yo Wei (Lutong, Sarawak)
1993 Kelvin Ong (SIM I, Singapore)

Distinguished District Awards
2008 President's Distinguished (No. 6, 87.95 points)
2007 President's Distinguished (No. 6)
2006 President's Distinguished (No. 4)
2005 - not distinguished -
2004 President's Distinguished (No. 4)
2003 President's Distinguished (No. 2)
2002 President's Distinguished (No. 1)
2001 President's Distinguished (No. 1, 110.62 points)
2000 President's Distinguished (No. 1, 109.36 points)
1999 President's Distinguished (No. 1, 131.76 points)
1998 President's Distinguished (No. 1, 142.88 points)
1997 President's Distinguished (No. 2, 169.84 points)
1996 President's Distinguished (No.2)

Brief History of Division N

Photo: 1st Division N Humorous Speech Contest, Oct 5, 1997

Where did "N" come from?

The idea of a Division in Toastmasters International is to assist Areas to help their Clubs. In the good old days, some Districts had only Areas and did not have Divisions. The Division Governors also represent the District Governor in carrying out District goals.

Usually in other Districts, Divisions are chosen starting from A, B, then C.

When District 51 was formed, Divisions were named after different zones they represent. By coincidence it formed the acronymn "INSECT"

Division I - all clubs in Indonesia

Divsion N - all clubs in northern zone of Peninsular Malaysia in Penang, Kedah, Perak as well as States which still did not clubs then - Perlis, Kelantan, Terengganu

Division S - all clubs in Singapore

Division E - all clubs in East Malaysia - Sabah and Sarawak

Division C - all clubs in central zone of Peninsular Malaysia in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor as well as States which did not have clubs then - Pahang.

Division T - all clubs in Thailand

A map showing the boundaries of the above was approved as minutes of the Disrtict Exco meeting. I still have it somewhere.

Ricky Ch'ng, who had encountered Toastmasters while doing his tertiary education in New Zealand, was an enthusiastic, very friendly and like-able Toastmaster.

Ricky became the first Division N Governor in 1993. Ricky can be seen everywhere and attended all the Conventions. He even won the third place in the International Tape Speech Contest to receive the award at the Toastmasters International Convention in San Diego in 1995.

For your information, International Tape Speech Contest was for undistricted clubs. Although District 51 was given provisional District status, we were not allowed to take part in the Inter-District and World Championship of Public Speaking until in 1997.

For me, as the second Division N Governor, I barely missed achieving the Distinguished Division Award. We acheived 17 CTM, just two CTM short of the goal of 19 CTM. Reason was two Toastmasters who had achieved their CTM and promised me and told me that they had submitted their CTM applications but did not do so. In those days, there was no online submission and you had to fax or send by post. Still it was a great educational achievement in 1994 for Division N as the year before, there were only 2 CTMs for Division N. So going from 2 CTM to 17 CTM is a big leap forward.

KS Lim (Past President of National Semiconductor) was the third Division N Governor and during his term with OC Ricky Ch'ng organized a very successful District 51 Annual Convention in Hotel Equatorial in May, 1995. During 1995, I also became the second Toastmaster in Penang after Gerald Green to achieve the Distinguished Toastmaster Award.

Photo: Looking ahead by the five Past Presidents of National Semiconductor Toastmasters (655-51P). Three of us became the first three Division N Governors.

Then in 2006, Division N was reformed (split) into two Divisions. Division N covers Clubs in Penang Island and Kedah. Division S covers Clubs in Penang Island, Penang Mainland and Perak.

The last "original" Division N Governor is Clement Pang. The first "reformed" Division N Governor is Abdul Kadir and the first Division S Governor is Sue Chan.

Honor List of Division N Governors
2009 Koay Kah Hin (Bayan Baru, Penang)
2008 Eddy Chew (Achievers, Penang)
2007 Palaniappa Subramaniam (Siltera, Kedah)
2006 Abdul Kadir (Kulim, Kedah)
2005 Clement Pang (Intel Penang, Penang)
2004 Koay Leng Sze (Kulim,Kedah)
2003 Sivanganam Rajaretnam (Kulim, Kedah)
2002 Roger Green (Speech Dynamics, Penang)
2001 Sukhdev Singh (Taiping, Perak)
2000 Ahmed Bazari (Butterworth, Penang)
1999 Margaret Chan (Bayan Baru, Penang)
1998 Agnes Oon (Butterworth, Penang)
1997 Jayie Tan (Butterworth, Penang)
1996 TT Khoo (YMCA, Penang)
1995 KS Lim (National Semiconductor, Penang)
1994 SL Liew (National Semiconductor, Penang)
1993 Ricky Ch'ng (National Semiconductor, Penang)

Distinguished Division Award
2009 President's Distinguished Division
2008 - not distinguished -
2007 President's Distinguished Division
2006 President's Distinguished Division
2005 President't Distinguished Division
2004 President's Distinguished Division
2003 President's Distinguished Division
2002 ?
2001 President's Distinguished Division
2000 - not distinguished -
1999 - not distinguished -
1998 - not distinguished -
1997 President's Distinguished Division
1996 ?
1995 - not distinguished -
1994 - not distinguished -
1993 - not distinguished -

Brief History of N2 Area

In the beginning....

In 1993, I proposed to Division N Governor Ricky Ch'ng (National Semiconductor Toastmasters) to have two Areas instead of 1 Area for Toastmasters Clubs in Penang.

I was then the IPP of National Semiconductor Toastmasters and volunteered to be the new and first N2 Area Governor.

TT Khoo (YMCA Penang) became N1 Area Governor and Sukdhev Singh (Taiping) became N3 Area for Clubs in Kedah and Perak for the term 1993-94 in the first year of District 51.

At the first District 51 Semi-Annual Convention in Bangkok in 1993, Dunstan Chan (Kuching) and I were the only two Area Governors outside Thailand in attendance. Show how much of enthusiam and the subsidy of our trip was Sin Dollars 100 only.

How to divide up the Clubs in Penang into two areas?

An initial proposal was to group all community clubs into one Area and all inhouse clubs in another Area. Eventually, it was decided best to use geographical division.

N2 would cover the clubs meeting in Bayan Lepas FTZ area while N1 covers the Clubs meeting in Georgetown which included Penang Toastmasters, Butterworth Toastmasters and YMCA Penang Toastmasters.

MIM Penang which meets near Padang Brown was caught in the middle but considered "south enough" to be part of N2 Area.

In the first year of Area N2, there were "7 clubs". Three were firmly established Clubs - National Semiconductor Penang (655), PDC (7371) and MIM Penang (6728).

Intel Penang(9699) was trying to get chartered officially. Two other Clubs, Applied Magnetics Toastmasters and B. Braun Toastmasters have started to have meetings but decided to close down. Hewlett Packard Toastmasters which met during lunch hour did not get chartered and discontinued.

So by the end of the year, there were left only 4 but very active clubs, fondly known as NS, PDC, Intel & MIM. We bought each installation tickets from each other and once, in 1994, even had a joint Area N2 Club installation dinner.

There were clubs added and removed from Area N2 but NS, PDC, Intel & MIM stood together closely over the years. In 1996, Bayan Baru which was sponsored by PDC also became a N2 Area "permanent fixture" club.

Clubs that were once part of N2 Area primarily because these clubs were chartered by N2 Clubs are Texchem, Bukit Mertajam Country Club, Dell APCC, Komag, Penang Seagate, Bayan Baru Mandarin, Vistana.

NS was later renamed Hong Leong and MIM was renamed Camaraderie. Eventually both clubs closed down.

Today, Area N2 covers Bayan Baru, Intel Penang, Intel Speak Up and MAS Tanjong.

One of the traditions in N2 Area is that Clubs prefer to hold their own club installations and that N2 Area Governor is given the role of Installation Officer to give more opportunity for everyone to do and learn more.

Another is to have regular Area Council Meeting and for clubs to hold election of the next N2 Area Governor during an Area Council meeting before the Annual District Convention.

Honor List of N2 Area Governors:
2009 Parthiban (Intel Penang, Penang)
2008 Khor Siang Kheng (Intel Penang, Penang)
2007 Koay Kah Hin (Bayan Baru, Penang)
2006 Mah Swee Chin (Bayan Baru, Penang)
2005 Yoon Peng Yew (Intel Penang, Penang)
2004 Melissa Teoh (Bayan Baru, Penang)
2003 Ong Swee Keat (Bayan Baru, Penang)
2002 Andy Lim (Komag, Penang)
2001 Rosalind Chan (Bayan Baru, Penang)
2000 Mah Ting Keong (Komag, Penang)
1999 Joachim Xavier (Bayan Baru, Penang)
1998 Margaret Chan (PDC, Penang)
1997 Pauline Ang (Hong Leong, Penang)
1996 Lee So Cheran (PDC, Penang)
1995 Sunalini (Butterworth, Penang)
1994 SL Liew (National Semiconductor, Penang)

Distinguished Area Program
2009 Distinguished Area (as of April 30, 2010)
2008 Distinguished Area
2007 President's Distinguished Area
2006 President's Distinguished Area
2005 President's Distinguished Area
2004 ?
2003 Presidnet's Distinguished Area
2001 President's Distinguished Area
2000 - not distinguished -
1999 - not distinguished -
1998 Distinguished Area
1997 Select Distinguished Area
1996 Distinguished Area

Note: In 2001, there was a net growth of 1 club with the chartering of Penang Seagate by efforts of N2 Area Governor and members of N2 Clubs.

In later years, however, net growth was due to new clubs charted by other Areas but added to N2 Area at the end of the term in June and then moved to another Area the next term in July 1 to achieved PDA. This is not a good ethical practice.

I hope Area N2 will again start to charter our own clubs for the PDA and our own growth and as a center of excellence for Toastmasters International. Just my 2 cents.

Hall of Fame - District 51 Speech Champions (Updated Nov 17, 2008)

And finally, the List of Past Champions of District 51. It took a few weeks to compile this tentative list. Appreciate all the help given by different Toastmasters.

If you are one of below winners, please confirm by posting a comment or sending me an email. Any inadvertent errors, God forbid, please let me know immediately, accept my apologies and will edit instantly. Thanks.

District 51 Humorous Speech Champion
1997 Magdalene Su (Division E - Miri, Sarawak)
1998 Stanlinaus Benjamin (Div S - LUA, Singapore)
1999 Vijayakumar Vijayaratnam (Div C - D'Utama)
2000 James Leong (Div B - Brilliant Advanced, Singapore)
2001 Dayal Khemlani (Div D - SRC, Singapore)
2002 Ong Swee Keat (Div N - Bayan Baru, Penang)
2003 Rudyanto Sutardji (Div I - The Innovators, Jakarta)
2004 Stephen Fernando (Div W - KL Sentral)
2005 Stephen Fernando (Div C - PJ Hilton, Selangor)
2006 Stephen Fernando (Div C - PJ Hilton, Selangor)
2007 Michael Rajesh (Div N - Intel Kulim, Kedah)
2008 Stephen Fernando (Div C - PJ Hilton, Selangor)
2009 Marianna Pascal (Division A - Sacred Heart)

District 51 Evaluation Champion
1999 Lim Li Li (Div B - CPA Advanced, Singapore)
2000 Michael Yu (Div H - Island, Hong Kong)
2001 (No District Level Contest)
2002 Stuart Tan (Div Z - Brilliant Advanced, Singapore)
2003 David Ingram (Div C - D'Utama, Selangor)
2004 Dominic Joseph (Div C - Taman Indrahana, Selangor)
2005 Peter de Run (Div D - Hornbill City, Sarawak)
2006 Shankar Kailainathan (Div S - Penang Advanced)
2007 Stephen Fernando (Div C - PJ Hilton, Selangor)
2008 Michael Xavier (Div N - Bayan Baru, Penang)
2009 Asha Suresh Chand (Division N - Oracle Advanced)

District 51 Table Topics Champion
2000 Tan Saw Bee (Div C - Crystal, Selangor)
2001 Prapairat Choradol (Div T - Bangkok, Thailand)
2002 (No District Level Contest)
2003 Jon Tan (Div C - DUtama Advanced, Selangor)
2004 Ang Swee Thian (Div S - Fuchun, Singapore)
2005 Lee Swee Seng (Div P - MIM KL)
2006 UR Unnithan (Div A - MIM JB, Johor)
2007 Albert George (Div D - Azam, Sarawak)
2008 Marianna Pascal (Div A - Sacred Heart, Johor)
2009 Palaniappa Subramaniam (Div N - Silterra, Kedah)
2010 Asha Suresh Chand (Division N - Oracle Advanced, Penang)

Photo: Rene de Jesus

District 51 International Speech Champion
1997 Rene de Jesus (Div I - Jakarta, Indonesia)
1998 Loghandran Krishnasamy (Div C - IBBM KL)
1999 Iskandar Ahmad (Div K - Kota Kinabalu, Sabah)
2000 Michael Xavier (Div N - Bayan Baru, Penang)
2001 Dunstan Chan (Div E - Kuching, Sarawak)
2002 Ramesh Muthusamy (Div S - Raintree, Singapore)
2003 Donald Yee (Div V - HK Achievers, Hong Kong)
2004 Stephen Fernando (Div W - KL Sentral)
2005 Lee Swee Seng (Div P - MIM KL, Kuala Lumpur)
2006 Mohamad Ariff Azahari (Div D - Azam, Sarawak)
2007 Shankar Kailainathan (Div S - Penang Advanced)
2008 Loghandran Krishnasamy (Div W - Speakers Dream, KL)
2009 Ong Swee Keat (Div N - Bayan Baru, Penang)
2010 Stephen Fernando (Division C - PJ Hilton, Selangor)

Monday, September 29, 2008

"Rome Was Not Built In One Day"

First, my heartiest congratulations to K. Loghandran of Speakers Dream Toastmasters Club (Kuala Lumpur) for winning the 2nd place in the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking in Calgary, Canada on August 16, 2008.

There is a saying that "Rome was not built in one day".

I remember 15 years ago, both "Lucky Luke" (then Penang Toastmasters) and I (National Semiconductor Penang Toastmasters) were both representing Division N in Singapore at the Pansea District International Speech Contest at Shangri-La Hotel in 1993. How time flies....

Pic 1: Sin Chew Jit Pow Newspaper: Division N International Speech Contest @Penang in 1993

Pic 2: 1993 Pansea International Speech Contest @ Singapore

Then 10 years ago, when I was District Governor, you won the District 51 International Speech Contest at Kuching, Sarawak in May 1998. And you became the 2nd Toastmaster from District 51 to take part in the Inter- District Speech Contest at Palm Desert, California, USA in August, 1998.

Rene de Jesus (Jakarta Toastmasters) was the first from District 51 to take part and won 2nd place at the Inter-District level behind a fellow Filippino in New Orleans, Missouri in August, 1997.

This year 2008, you have made your mark at the world's stage of Toastmasters International.

Bravo! You have made history and broken the "glass ceiling" for all Toastmasters of District 51.

You have spoken and spoken well.


Today I saw an email reminding all members of
Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club
that October 2 meeting will be held at Sunflower Training Center, I-Avenue which is opposite Komplexs Bukit Jambul.

Usually we meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursday 8pm of every month at Penang Skills Development Center (PSDC) which is located the Bayan Lepas FIZ on the way to the airport, near the famous Penang Snake Temple. But as October 2 falls on on Hari Raya, a public holiday, so PSDC is closed.

It is the tradition of Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club (BBTMC) to never cancel or postpone a club meeting, rain or shine or if it falls on a public holiday. There was even a meeting early this year on February 7 which was the first Day of Chinese New Year. I did not attend but other members did.

A member even invited their outstation friends who returned back to Penang for CNY to join the meeting for fellowship and eating CNY goodies during breaktime.

The email also reminded members there will be an adjourned AGM to accept the Treasurer's report. As Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club is a community club, the club has been submitting the Elected Officers List and AGM minutes to the Registrar of Society every year.

Therefore, any Toastmasters club in Malaysia should either be registered as a company Club under ROC or registered under ROS. If your club is neither ROS or ROC registered yet, do it asap. Otherwise, your meeting can be considered illegal.

On the same subject, our District 51 is part of Toastmasters International which registered in California, USA. But District 51 cannot be registered in Malaysia as it is part of Toastmasters International.

If you are the Area Governor or Division Governor or District Officer calling for any meeting or holding any speech contest or installation dinner, technically, you should ask your Club to be the host. Invite the Club President to open and close the event. This has not been happening lately.

What about the quorum?
It is a simple majority based on current number of paid membership at TI WHQ.

If a new member pays to the club but the Club has submitted payment to TI WHQ yet, that member is still not a member of good standing yet. And cannot be counted in the quorum nor take part in any speech contest. So ensure that new membership payment are prompted submitted - just pay online.

Consider doing all extras above as part of your learning to be a better communicator and leader! Then it is not so bad, it can be fun.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Visiting Butterworth Toastmasters Club - Sep 24

I was there as a contest judge for the Humorous Speech Contest. It was a Wednesday night. The Club venue was at Northam Tower, near the famous Gurney Drive of Penang island and was at one of the meeting rooms of Olympia College on the 28th floor. We had supper at Northam Beach Cafe.

Yes, once I was a hard core member of Butterworth Toastmasters. I was the Organizing Chair of Butterworth 20th Anniversary and compiled a year to year photo writeup souvenir book.

The Club has never met in Butterworth but always is Penang island in her 28 years of existence. So you may ask why was the Club named "Butterworth Toastmasters"? Come to the meeting and ask.

The winner of the Evaluation Contest was SK Yao. Congratulations! Photo showing Club President Siew Foong (left) presenting award to SK.

The winner of the Humorous Speech Contest was Tan Kok Hong. Syabas!

Unfortunately, one of the contestants was disqualified due to time.

It is important that as Toastmasters that we always try to speak within allocated time during our regular club meetings whether we play roles, give an evaluation or do our project speech. Practise makes perfect. So when it comes to contests, no problem in speaking within the time specified.

Tip: Do not wait until seeing the red light to stop.
Start summarizing your speech whenever you see the green light. Give your concluding sentence when you see the amber (yellow) light and before the red light is turned on.

Also met the incumbent N1 Area Governor as well as members of Gurney Toastmasters Club and YMCA Penang Toastmasters Club.

To my surprise, the members of Gurney Toastmasters did not know who I was and that there is a Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club in Bayan Baru. Better talk to the Vice President of Public Relations of my club.

If you like controversy - here is one. Both Butterworth and Bayan Baru Toastmasters were "shockingly moved" into N6 Area without consultation for this term starting July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009. There were vocal protests and now both clubs are happily back in their respective N1 and N2 Area which they had been since Day One in 1993 when N1 and N2 were formed.

People power. Club Power.

Visiting Beijing China Capital Toastmasters Club @ Aug 21, 2008

On a Thursday night last August 2008, I visited the Beijing China Capital Toastmasters Club. I was visiting Beijing for the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

I had googled for "Toastmasters", "Beijing" and it was one of the club websites that caught my attention.

So one great way to pull visiting Toastmasters or members of public to your club is to have an attractive club website online.

There was no guest fee, so it was free! I volunteered to be a silent evaluator in the Competent Leadership manual for a member who was playing her role as General Evaluator.

I also participated in giving my 2 minutes speech in the Table Topics session. Hey... if you travel all the way from Penang to Beijing, you gotta say something and make your presence felt.

I also gave out my Toastmasters cards to a few members of the club.

One of the club members had lived in Kuala Lumpur. There was another visiting guest who was also a Malaysian and also in Beijing for Olympic Games. Great minds think alike they say - it is true then.

For the record, I have visited Toastmasters Clubs in Shanghai and Guangzhou before and now Beijing.

Photo 1 - President Yann leading the meeting.

I enjoyed the meeting and the warm hospitality. The club members were (are) young and dynamic Toastmasters. I took these photos without prior permission and posted them here without prior permission.

If you are in Beijing, visit the Beijing China Capital Toastmasters Club.

Photo 2. Supportive and enthusiastic members.

This is my first blog entry. Will make it more interesting later. Always the first time.

Photo 3. Toastmaster of the Meeting