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.
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.