Friday, October 31, 2008

Celebrating the 2008 Division Champions of Humorous Speech & Evaluation Contest

Here is the list of the Champions of each Division in District 51 for the 2008 Humorous Speech Contest and Evaluation Contest.

The winners qualified to participate at the next level of the District Contest Run-offs (Semi-Finals) at the Bali Convention. The top three winners of each Run-offs will compete in the Finals.

If the Champion cannot be in Bali to participate in Run-Offs, the 1st runner will be the alternate contestant.

(Updated November 12, 2008)

Division Humorous Speech Contest 2008 Champions
A Bryan Soh (A3 - Sacred Heart)
B Sagadevan Singaravelu (B2 -MAS Mawar)
C Stephen Fernando (C2 - PJ Hilton)
D Anthony Chukuma (D1 - Inti Management)
E Alice Lau Kiong Yieng (E3- Swan City)
H Agus Hidayat (H1 - Deli)
I Munmun Gupta (I2 -Inti College)
J Dinesh Vaswani (J1 - The Innovators)
K Stuart Lee (K6 - Brunei Speakers)
N Michael Xavier (N2 - Bayan Baru)
P Ahmad Sallehuddin (P1 - MIM KL)
S May Cheah (S1 - Taiping)
W Roger Mc Gowan (W4 - Speecom)

Division Evaluation Speech Contest 2008 Champions
A John Foo (A2 -Johor Bahru)
B Jessy Chahal (B4 - D'Utama)
C Allan Gan (C2 - NLP)
D Rebecca D Cruz (D2 - Azam)
E Luke Bong (E1 - Miri)
H Osmon Sudilan (H2 - Polonia)
I Vanessa Hendriadi (I1 - Jakarta)
J Samoati Siringoringo (J1 - The Innovators)
K Shahar Banon Hassan (K1 - Kota Kinabalu)
N Audrey Cheah (N6 - Penang Seagate)
P Ahmad Fakri (P1 - Semarak)
S Lilian Teh (S7 - Vista Penang)
W John Lee (W2- Help University College)

Congratulations to all District 51 Division Speech Champions!!!!

A big thank you to all of you who have provided above information.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Year 2008 - Year of Election

In 2008, we have seen many dramatic elections in Malaysia, around the world and soon on November 4 in USA.

In Toastmasters, we enjoy annual elections at Club, Area, Division, District and International level.

Here is a report of a successful election campaign last August at Toastmasters International Convention in Calgary, Canada.

1) Poh Kim Siong (Chua Chu Kang Toastmasters, Singapore) won the election to be our International Director for Districts outside North America, 2008-2010.

2) His campaign manager was Past District 80 Governor Gea Ban Peng (Braddel Heights Advanced, Singapore) who had written this article below to share.

3) I first met Poh Kim Siong at Toastmasters International Palm Desert Convention 1998 when we were convention delegate hotel room-mates.

Gea Ban Peng was Division S Governor (Singapore) in 1997-98 when I was District 51 Governor. When it comes to good stuff, everyone is related.

Kim Siong & Ban Peng

On Friday 15th August 2008 in Calgary, Canada at the 77th Annual Convention of Toastmasters International - Poh Kim Siong, DTM became the first member in District 80 to be elected to the Board of Directors of Toastmasters International. I was his election campaign manager.

We faced many challenges. We surmounted them. We enjoyed every minute of it. Many thoughts filled my mind. Below are four, not in any order, they just happened to pop up and I want to get this piece written quickly so that I can get back to work!

Begin with the end in mind.
7 Habits of Highly Successful People – Steven CoveyThe mathematics for success was easy. All we needed was 50% of the votes plus one more vote. That would give us a simply majority, a seat on the board, and a simply amazing feeling of confidence that we can do it. It gave us the courage to conquer.

Your daily life is your temple and your religion.
The Prophet by Kahlil GibranAll Kim Siong had to do was to be himself. He possess all the 4 qualities the voting delegates were looking for (1) a caring person - they could feel he truly cared for them – he was there for them, (2) a trustworthy person – they know the can trust Kim Siong to honor his commitment, (3) a humble man – they could see he was not arrogant - he would listen, and (4) a competent leader – his leadership track record was impeccable.

The journey is the mission – Journey to the West – Chinese Legend
The whole purpose of the journey to Calgary was to do things we have never done before, to experience, to learn, and to share. The learning, the growing, and the friends we make during the 4 days of intense work on the campaign trail was simply amazing. We were determined to enjoy the journey. And enjoy we did – especially Goh Wei Koon, Neil Sy, Aziz Mustajab, Arthur Ting, Desiree, Julia, Kim Siong, and I.

Happiness cannot be pursued. It must ensue.
Men’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued. It is the happy by-product of one dedicating oneself to a cause greater to oneself. In this case, Kim Siong selflessly dedicated himself to bring the benefits of Toastmasters to more people. That is a good cause. He cannot help but succeed.

Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But, perhaps, it is the end of the beginning. – Sir Winston Churchill Speech in November 1942
Winning the election did not bring us to the end of the journey. It is, in fact, the end of the beginning of the journey. There is so much to be done. Let us give our newly elected International Director, Poh Kim Siong DTM, a ready hand to help bring more benefits of the Toastmasters training program to a greater number of people.

Sincerely, Gea Ban Peng DTM
District 80 Governor 2004-2005
Presidential Citation 2006-2007

Constantly Learning by Doing

Goh Hock Hai (Bayan Baru Toastmasters) exemplifies the Toastmasters motto of constantly learning by doing. He is a Toastmaster of a year and two months, always willing to try new things and never gives up.

In September 2008, Goh Hock Hai became the first member of our Club this term to achieve his Competent Communicator.

Goh wanted to improve his presentation skills in his career in the hard-hat world of building and construction. Married with a daughter, he is no longer an SAA "single-and-available" but is a real SAA - the Sergeant at Arms of Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club. Our club has high expectations of quality food during break times of meeting and so it is always a tall order to be our SAA.

Last term, Goh actually had volunteered to play "replacement SAA" when our devoted SAA Della Chew moved on to a new job in Kuala Lumpur. This term, he was duly elected as the official SAA without a single shot fired....

Was truly impressed that Goh took up the role of Division N Evaluation Contest Chair yesterday. It provided the speaking platform for him to learn more by doing. To gain more self-confidence and to realize one's own full potential. Sounds like a Toastmasters mission and vision.

Keep it up Toastmaster Goh Hock Hai.

Congrats to a new Competent Communicator

Kadijah receiving her CC pin.

When Past Division N Governor Abdul Kadir (Kulim) forwarded the N4 Area Governor Eng Chai's (Intel Kulim) congratulatory email to Kadijah Mohd Ismail (Intel Kulim) achieving her Competent Communicator(CC), I just had to email Kadijah a few questions.
Purpose to share her experience and to encourage other Toastmasters to achieve their CC too.
Q1. Kadijah, When did you join Intel Kulim Toastmasters, why?
Joined around April 2008. Because a friend introduced me to the club.

Q2. Was speaking in English a problem for you? Where did you gain confidence in English fluency in school, work?
Yes, English was a problem for me. I started to gain and build up my confidence in English after I had joined INSEP program~ Aug 2006-July 2007.

Q3. Of the 10 project speeches, which was the hardest? why?
Project 10, the final project was the hardest because I needed to prove to the audience that I was able to combine many presentation skills in one final speech.

Q4. Which project, you did well? why?
Personally, I think I did well in final project because I could see that I was able to combine all important skills that I have learnt from projects #1 to project #10. On top of that, I received a very positive feedback from audience~ members of the Kulim Toastmaster club.

Q5. Many new members are enthusiastic in the beginning and then get stuck or fizzled out. Who? and what helped you to the finishing line?
Besides being blessing by having a very positive support from Toastmaster friends, I am glad that I am a type of person who always think positive and always have a mind to finish up what ever have been started.

Q6. What is the greatest satisfaction in achieving your CC?
Besides being able to polish my communication skills in English, I have the chance to get to know great people outside my working environment.

Q7. What would you like to say to those new members starting their CC?
Always think positive!! The achievement that you will get is not for anybody but for YOURSELF. Toastmaster is a place for you to learn and practice by doing it. Take this chance!! Members of Toastmaster are like brothers and sisters to you. They will guide you through out the process. Lastly, your success is depending on you. Thus, the choice is in your hands!
Looking forward to see you as one of the CC's!

Q8. How has the Toastmasters program helped you at work and at home?
At work, Toastmaster helps me to build up my communication skills with peers and managers.
At home, Toastmaster helps me to appreciate my family more than before since on of the key items that I have learnt from Toastmasters is: we respect people as they deserve to be respected.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Highlights of Division N Humorous Speech & Evaluation Contest 2008

Date: October 25, 2008 Saturday
1pm - Venue: Intel U Penang PG9

First was registeration. Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club members were manning the counter. Still I had to pay RM10. Honest folks. Saw the Deepavali decoration in the background by Intel.

Could see the contestants "relaxing" and were hving a pre-contest get-to-know each other. Perhaps contest briefing would happen soon or already done.

I went on the stage to get a feel. Just a few early birds. Most of the guests had not yet arrived or still milling outside.

Timing device was huge and right in front.

Took a quick look at the Humorous Speech Contest and Evaluation Trophies, including Certificates of Participation and Certificate of Appreciation for Organizing Committee members.

Next important stop was the restroom. Every contestant and members of the audience need to quickly know where it was located.

The Toastmaster of Day Rosalind Chan (Bayan Baru) did the roll call by Areas. Here are the list of clubs in each Area N1 to Area N7.

First, the Event Organizing Chair Frank Yap (Kulim) thanked his committee.

Then Division N Governor Eddy Chew (Achievers) gave his welcoming speech with 007 James Bond Presentation to introduce all the 7 Contestants each of both contests.

Humorous Speech Contest Chair June Lim (YMCA Penang) introduced each of the speaker.

Suddenly, Murphy's Law showed up. The hand mike and the clip mike started to act. It was unfortunate but unplanned.

The first speaker was able to overcome this difficulty to deliver his speech despite of the distracting sound system. Throughout the contests, the sound system caused intermittent problems.

As we seldom use the mike and amplifiers at club meetings, inexperience of handling this during contest can rattle any speaker preventing peak performance.

Here were the names of Humorous Speech Contestants in their speaking order:

1) Sherman Chew (Area N4 - Intel Kulim) - "Criteria of A Successful Salesperson" - about the 3Ps of effective selling.
2) Devigaamani Sigamani (Area N6 - Penang Seagate) - "Accidents, Accidents" - about personal story of motorbike accident.
3) Anne Kathleen Haslam (Area N5 - Sungai Petani) - "The Young Ones" - about staying young at heart, sang a song twice.
4) Michael Xavier ( Area N2 - Bayan Baru) - "What A Dumb Idea" - about smart and dumb bosses.
5) Penny Ooi (Area N1 - Maverick) - "Little Penny" - about being petite but advantages.
6) Selvaraj Balasundram (Area N7 - Penang) - "The Secret Link of Obama, McCain and Hollywood" - about trip to USA.
7) Kee Eng Hai (Area N3 - YMCA Penang) - "Elvis Phua Chu Kang" - about Elvis Presley and Singapore PCK, sang, danced and impersonations.

Around 3pm
Break time with vegetarian nasi lemak, curry puffs, bottled water.

Evaluation Contest Chair Goh Hock Hai (Bayan Baru) introduced the test speaker Joanne Tan (Gurney) with her speech title "Heels Up".

The speech title was mispronounced but Joanne had the presence of mind to clarify it. I enjoyed her entertaining speech about the advantages for a woman to wear high heels. Great body language to say the least.

Then all Evaluation Contestants were ushered out for 5 minutes preparation.

Meanwhile an interview session was carried for the Humorous Speech Contestants. It was good that the contestants were asked which club they were from. Very often, the audience had no idea.

Next photo showed too many Toastmasters to put on a clip mike. We are always learning as Toastmasters.

Then, one by one, each Evaluation Contestant gave their 2-3 minutes speech. The 7 contestants in their speaking sequence were:

1) Foong Wai Yi (Area N4 - Siltera)
2) Penny Ooi (Area N1 - Maverick)
3) Teo Tang Ghee (Area N5 - Darulaman)
4) Ricky Ch'ng (Area N3 - YMCA Penang)
5) Michael Xavier (Area N2 - Bayan Baru)
6) Cheryll Ng (Area N7 - Penang)
7) Audrey Cheah (Area N6 - Penang Seagate)

Apologies for poor non-flash old tech mobile phone snap shots. Just to give you a feel of the atmosphere.

You can get excellent photographs taken by event offical photographer Percy Chen (Penang Altera) as well as video taken by Videographer Koay Kay Hin (Bayan Baru).

Here are the some of clear and great shots taken by Percy and posted by Kah Hin click here and click here too.

Finally, the results were given by the Chief Judge who was Division N Governor Eddy Chew.

It was announced that there was no time disqualification for both contestants and that was great news and great relief to all.

Some food for thought on judging:
1) It is important to announce the name of the Chief Judge during contestant briefing in case of any protests by contestants prior to announcement of results. It is not in the contest rule that names of judges must be or remain anonymous after contest. Why not recognize the judges like in the good old days before the results are announced. Usually, we can guess who are the judges anyway.

2) Better to have two sets of Chief Judge and judges for two contests. This provides more opportunities for Toastmasters to judge at a division level contests. It also reduce the impact of one judge especially for a contestant who is representing his/her Area in both contests. The usual excuse is cannot find so many judges. Judges help to add number and variety to the audience since they are usually from non-participating clubs.

3) Contestants must be briefed that no testing of mike or restarting a speech once the Contest begins. Any verbal or non-verbal commnication of a contestant means the timer starts.

Even if the mike goes wrong? When that happens, the speaker can continue with or without the mike. Speakers must be prepared for any distractions during a contest. The only exception in the contest rule given is the failure of timing device, even then only an extra one minute grace is given.

Drum rolls......the winners are

Division N Evaluation Contest 2008
1st Audrey Cheah (Area N6 - Penang Seagate)
2nd Michael Xavier (Area N2 - Bayan Baru)
3rd Teo Tang Ghee (Area N5 - Darulaman)

Left to right - Teo Tang Chee (3rd), Audrey Cheah (Evaluation Champion), Michael Xavier (2nd)

Division N Humorous Contest 2008
1st Michael Xavier (Area N2 - Bayan Baru)
2nd Anne Kathleen Haslam (Area N5 - Sungai Petani)
3rd Kee Eng Hai (Area N3 - YMCA Penang)

Left to Right - Kee Eng Hai (3rd), Contest Chair June Lim, Michael Xavier (Humorous Speech Champion), Anne Kathleen Haslam (2nd), Division N Governor Eddy Chew, District 51 Lieutenant Governor Marketing Thannimalai

Before 5pm, the contest had ended - ahead of time....

Entire program ran on schedule with clockwork precision. Area for improvement was better control of sound system. Overall - well done!

Congratulations to the winners, please move on to Bali and grab top honors for Division N.