Sunday, November 30, 2008

With position, comes power and responsibilities and possibilities.

Photo: Gavel - the symbol of leadership

The second round of Club Officer training is just around the corner.

Every year in Toastmasters International, we elect a new set of club officers who are thrown into the deep end to learn to run the club and overnight enhance their leadership, communication and service skills. The Club Officer manuals and the Club Officer training and guidance of senior club members are the life jackets thrown in.

During the first round of Club Officer training and Club Installation, every enthusiastic club will zealously commit to achieve President's Distinguished Club or 10 DCP goals early without any qualms.

And now five months down the road, reality has set in. The busy schedule, the last minute projects pulled out, the unexpected resignations due to job changes.

Yet it is amazing to read that there is one Club in District 51 that has already achieved 9 DCP goals! So everything is still possible and it is time to pull up the socks.

It has been said that achieving 1 DCP goal from the Club Officer Training is the easiest. Yet, it is a measurement of leadership and the commitment of the club officers to get 4 of the 7 to attend two trainings per year. Club Presidents can always give free rides and overflowing recognitions to encourage officers to attend.

Unfortunately, sometimes even Club Presidents do not attend. Here is when the VPEs can become the heroes and heroines.

In the good old days, Area Governors would even visit the "weakest clubs" who did not send a single officer to attend. Did a quick briefing to give these clubs one DCP goal and to give their club officers their requirement to acheive the Competent Leadership award.

Even at some Club Officer training that I have attended, some club officers would show up to only sign their names and then to leave immediately or during the break, just to make the minimum number of 4 officers attending. That is not right and should not be condoned. If you can do that, others will start doing it too.

There was an email from Toastmasters International a long time ago that gave reasons why it would appreciate the benefit but would not give DCP credit to a video conference training given to a club which was 200 miles away by the District Officer because it was not a face-to-face training.

Since it was too expensive for the Club officers to fly to attend an organized training by that District, the Club had no choice but to accept the rule of credit giving but knew technically it was still possible for their club to achieve the other 9 DCP goals for President's Distinguished Award.

There is a range of diverse and opposing needs at any club officer training. The new club officer often complained that not enough basic training is given to help them play their role well.

The senior member who had attended many training before would complain that it was the same old thing and prefered some more esoteric exciting albeit non-Toastmasters leadership mini-workshops.

Yet there are plenty of opportunity for learning new things and sharing when senior and new club officers meet on an areas of common interest during any Club Officer training..

My opinion is that Club Officer training is the only and best time to focus soley on the responsibilities, challenges and sharing of best practices of the Club Officers. Other workshops can be held at other times.

If you are a Club Offcier, whatever your reasons to attend or not to attend, remember that you were elected, installed and have pledged to serve your club as a club officer to the best of your ability.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Where have you been in 2008? An Inspiring Video

Where have you been in 2008?

This YouTube video is inspiring. Like an inspiring speech, I hope it will make you feel better about yourself and this world.

Let me know if you like it?

Source: YouTube. Added by: Matt, 32, USA, Website:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Members Birthday, CC & Project Speech

Here are some snapshots that I have taken of tonight's Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club Meeting @ November 20th, 2008.

- Happy Birthday cake for November born: Leong Teng Leong, Alfred Kuan and VPPR Chew Yoon Seng.

- Only 4 Speech projects were delivered instead of original 8 members who had signed up. Bravo for Tajima, Alfred, Kishen and John for prevailing.

- As usual, President John Yeoh led by example, did his advanced project as "Guest" at a talk show entitled "Genghis Khan" with recently back from Bali, Michael Xavier playing the host.

- It was Guests Night. Prakash Rao brought his two children, Kuan Ee brought 4 classmates. Alfred Kuan brought his colleague Zan.

- Our 2nd Competent Communicator for this term:
Club Secretary Kishen Velu, CC. Congratulations.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Welcome to Bayan Baru Nov 20th Club Meeting cum Guest Nite

Welcome to this forthcoming Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club meeting at Thursday 8pm on November 20, 20008. It is "Guest Nite" too.

Venue is at Penang Skills Development Center (PSDC), Room3406, Block 3 Level 4 @ No.1, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone, Penang Island. It is 5 minutes from Penang Snake Temple.

Click here for the map. One gate is for entry, another gate for exit. Free parking inside. Ample places - there is outdoor parking spaces as well as multi-storey indoor car park. The guard is helpful and is aware of the Toastmasters meeting room venue.

Just take the lift to the Level 4 and you can see the meeting venue when the lift door opens - the meeting room with see through window screen.

If you cannot find the venue, call for direction, Club President John Yeoh, 019-4615178

As it is "Guest Nite", the usual RM5 admission is waived. So come one, come all. Bring your friends along.

The Toastmaster of the Evening is Leong Teng Leong with the theme "Hero To Zero". Just received his email of the meeting roles.

Toastmaster of the Evening: Leong Teng Leong

General Evaluator: Goh Hock Hai
Table Topics Master: Eileyn Chua
Table Topics Evaluator: Margaret Chan

Thought of the Day: Tan Kuang Ee
Humorist: Chew Yoon Seng
Timer: Prakash Rao
Ah Counter: Winnie Foo
Word of the Day/Grammarian: Kesavaraj
Registration: Chan Kuan Wai

Project Speaker #1: Tajima Keiji, P4
Project Speaker #2: Alfred Kuan , P5
Project Speaker #3: Kishen Velu, P10
Project Speaker #4: John Yeoh, ACS3

Evaluator #1: Rosalind Chan
Evaluator #2: Mah Ting Keong
Evaluator #3: SL Liew
Evaluator #4: Ong Swee Keat

Taiping Toastmasters - Well Done!

At the recent Bali Convention, Taiping Toastmasters made waves again as May Cheah won the 2nd Runner-up in the District 51 Humorous Speech Contest 2008.

May Cheah continues the fine tradition of Taiping Toastmasters in producing speech champions in the likes of Sukhdev Singh and Varpal Singh.

Personally, I have visited Taiping Toastmasters Club many times over the years. Besides going to the famous Taiping Lake, Maxwell Hill, Night Safari Zoo, one can just drive to Taiping for a great evening of fellowship and late supper at Taiping Toastmasters.

Taiping Toastmasters, chartered in 1980, is the oldest Toastmasters Club in Perak. Here is the meeting information from Toastmasters online directory.

Taiping Club - Club No. 552 , Area S-1, Divison S

Meeting Time: 8:00 pm, 1st & 3rd Wednesday

Venue: Panorama Hotel, Conference Room, 5th Floor
61-79, Jalan Kota, Taiping, Perak

Contact: 6012 4631982

Monday, November 17, 2008

News from International Director

Wow! What a great District 51 Convention@ Bali, Indonesia, 14th - 16th November 2008

Dear Brother SL,
I just came back from an exciting time at the District 51 semi-annual Convention. Congratulations to the Toastmasters of District 51 for putting together a great experience for me and for more than 310 Toastmasters that made the journey to that beautiful Bali, Indonesia.

The amazing experience began with being picked up at the airport by Convention Chair, Veronika Trianto.

The Convention was organized with excellent presenters and good food in a great facility. I congratulate District Governor, Joseph Gomez, DTM and his team on putting together a great convention. An excellent conference can go a long way to helping a District 51 achieve its goals.

I was warmly welcomed everywhere I went. It looks like we should get at least one new club in Bali very soon.

Once again, to the members of District 51 thank you for your warm welcome and for putting on such a great home coming convention for me. It made my first visit as your International Director a memorable occasion that I will remember for a long time.

Your friend for life

Kim Siong
Your International Director 2008-2010

Sunday, November 16, 2008

2008 District 51 Humorous Speech and Evaluation Speech Top 3 Winners

Here are the Top 3 winners of both Contests at District 51 Bali Semi-Annual Convention on Nov 16, 2008. Heartiest Congratulations!

Well done to all the contestants too - you are all also winners in your own right.

District 51 2008 Humorous Speech Contest:

Champion : Stephen Fernando
Division C, C-2: PJ Hilton, Selangor

1st Runner-Up: Roger McGowan
Division W, W-4: Speecom, Kuala Lumpur

2nd Runner-Up: May Cheah
Divison S, S-1: Taiping, Perak

District 51 2008 Evaluation Contest:

Champion : Michael Xavier
Division N, N-2: Bayan Baru, Penang

1st Runner-Up: John Lee
Division W, W-2: Help University College, Selangor

2nd Runner-Up: Ahmad Fakri Hamzah
Division P, P-1: Shell Semarak, Selangor

Click here for List of Past District 51 Speech Champions since 1997.

Exploring Indonesia Toastmasters Clubs

Photo of Organizing Committee of Bali Convention

Today, I decided to find out more about Toastmasters Clubs in Indonesia.

The District 51 Bali Convention is just over last weekend. Although I was not able to attend, I thought I could at least increase awareness of Toastmasters Clubs in Indonesia through this posting. Well, someone else has actually already promoted public speaking for Indonesia - USA President Elect Barack H Obama.

I have been 4 times to Indonesia for purely Toastmasters trips. Will write about that in another post. But in this post, just to publish some online photos of Toastmasters Clubs in Indonesia for your enjoyment. Click on the club name to find the source of photo and/or club sites.

There are over 48 clubs in Indonesia - in Java, Sumatra, Bali, Riau, Kalimantan, primarily English speaking clubs with a couple of Bahasa Indonesia clubs and a Mandarin Club.

Click here for the Toastmasters International directory of all the Clubs in Indonesia.

In 1998, when I was District Governor, I went to Medan twice to help charter the first two Toastmasters Clubs in Sumatra - Medan First Toastmasters and Deli Toastmasters.

Today, in 2008, glad to know that Sumatra now has its own Division, that Medan has hosted the District 51 Semi-Annual Convention in November 2007 and that there is now a Toastmasters Club in Bandar Aceh - see photos below.

Without a doubt, Indonesia has a great potential growth for Toastmasters Club and one day will easily have over 200 Toastmasters Clubs and have her own coutry district or even two districts.

Essential Toastmasters Club, Jakarta

The Innovators Toastmasters, Jakarta

Kalibata Toastmasters, Jakarta

Medan First Toastmasters, Medan, Sumatra

Polonia Toastmasters, Medan, Sumatra

Kutaradja Banda Aceh Toastmasters, Aceh, Sumatra

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2010 Toastmasters International Convention moved from Sydney to Palm Desert, California

Just saw this email published online. Thought I share with all.

So sad... Just have to wait longer for the first Toastmasters International Convention to be held outside of North America.

Palm Desert is near Palm Spring, west of Los Angeles. Palm Desert was the venue of the 1998 Toastmasters International Convention.

I attended this 1998 Convention. The venue was a 5 star hotel in a semi-arid flat desert turned into a green palm fringed golf resort with many outdoor jacuzzi pools and snow capped mountains in the distance. A beautiful place for a Convention.

Sent: 12-Nov-2008 16:08:48 PST
Subject: Toastmasters 2010 International Convention

Dear District Governors and Lt. Governors,
I write to you today to announce a change in location for the 2010 International Convention.

World Headquarters recently conducted an extensive Convention analysis, taking into account the global financial crisis and economic downturn, as well as the overall increased costs associated with holding the Convention in Sydney. This led to a realization and decision that it would not be fiscally responsible to hold the 2010 Convention in Sydney, Australia.

The new site for the 2010 Convention is Palm Desert, California. We hope you will join us and many of your fellow Toastmasters there!

We realize this will be a disappointment to many of our members, especially those in Host District 70, led by Elizabeth Wilson, whom we thank for theplanning and work they have already done.

Many Toastmasters saw the 2010 Convention in Sydney as a landmark in ourhistory, a demonstration of the truly global nature of our organization.

As we continue to stretch into more than 92 countries around the world, I can assure you that our global roots are deep. We will continue to evaluate sites worldwide as potential locations for a future International Convention and look forward to holding an “international” Convention as soon as the time is right.

This was not an easy decision to make, but it is one that will ultimately benefit the interests of all members. Our primary responsibility at this time is to be prudent guardians of the organization’s funds.

We appreciate your understanding and support.

Best regards,
Daniel Rex
Executive Director
Toastmasters International /
P: 949 858 8255 F: 949 459 2466

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

SOS - Looking for Missing Names of Past Speech Champions

Still trying to compile the full lists of Past Division N and Past N2 Speech Contest Champions. Here are the missing years, if you know, please post here or email me at "smspenang" at ""

Have added the names of the Past DVG, AGs and Club Presidents to help remember which term.Please forward this to someone who may be able to shed some light. Thank you for your help.

Divison N (Current List 1)
Year 2000-01 DVG Ahmed Bazari
AGs - Suaran Kor, Mah Ting Keong, Naranjan Singh, Peter Balan, Audrey Dewitt, Ng Fook Chin
- Division N Evaluation Champion 2000 = ?

Year 2001-02 DVG Sukhdev Singh
AGs - Thannimalai, Rosalind Chan, Devaraja Deva, Neelamekan S, Roger Green
- Division N Evaluation Champion 2001 = ?

Year 2002-03 DVG Roger Green
AGs - Chee Keng Kok, Andy Lim, Heleh Cheah, SIvanganam, Paul Seah
- Division N Evaluation Champion 2002 = ?
- Division N Table Topics Champion 2003 = ?
- Division N International Speech Champion 2003 = ?

Area N-2 (Current List 2)
Year 1996-97 AG Lee So Cheran
Club Presidents - Foong Wai Yi(NS), SE Lim (MIM), Usha Devi(Texchem), Rizal Fazi(PDC), Ooi Thien Ern(Intel), Adrian Ung(Bayan Baru)
- N2 Area International Speech Champion 1997 = ?

Year 1997-98 AG Pauline Ang
Club Presidents - Ricky Ch'ng(Hong Leong), Yeoh Ai Ling (BMCC), Ramamurthy Veerapan(Dell), Eunice Loo(MIM), Stella Teo(PDC), Janet Lim(Bayan Baru)
- N2 Area Humorous Speech Champion 1997 = ?

Year 2000-01 AG Mah Ting Keong
Club Presidents - Justina Goh(PDC), Tan Kok Joo(Bayan Baru), Fong Chin Meng(Intel), Laurence Yap(Komag)
- N2 Area Table Topics Champion 2001 = ?
- N2 Area International Speech Champion 2001 = ?

Year 2001-02 AG Rosalind Chan
Club Presidents - Margaret Chan(Bayan Baru), Yap Hoo Leyong(Intel), Andy Lim(Komag), Abdul Jalil(PDC)
- N2 Area Evaluation Champion 2001 = ?
- N2 Area Table Topics Champion 2002 = ?

Year 2002-03 AG Andy Lim
Club Presidents - Ong Swee Keat(Bayan Baru), Grace Lim(Intel), Marina Zai(Komag), Amran Abdul Hamid(PDC), Khairir Khalil(Penang Seagate)
- N2 Area Evaluation Champion 2002 = ?
- N2 Area Table Topics Champion 2003 = ?

Pictorial History of Bayan Baru Toastmasters (Updated)

Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club (1996-2010)

Charter Members 1996. Meeting Venue: Bayan Baru Residents Assocation, near Sunshine Square

First Christmas Meeting, Dec 1996

Meeting Venue moved to Panthers Club, Relau - opposite of PISA. Club Photo 2001

Meeting Venue moved to current premise at Penang Skills Development Center (PSDC), Bayan Lepas near Snake Temple @2004

Club Term End Appreciation Dinner 2004

Club Exco and members 2005

President's Distinguished again @JB Hyatt Regency, April 2007

Bayan Baru supporters @Division N Humorous Speech & Evaluation Speech Contest, Intel PG12, October 2007

Bayan Baru supporters @N2 Area International & Table Topics Contest, Sri Malaysia Bayan Baru, February 2008

Achieving President's Distinguishe Club award again, 10 out of 10 DCP goals, with International President Chris Ford @Penang Gurney Hotel, April 2008

Largest contingent of supporters of Bayan Baru Toastmasters @ Division N Humorous Speech & Evaluation Contest, Intel PG9, October 2008

Club Exco 2009-2010

Visit to Thailand; Joint meeting with Songkhla-Haadyai Toastmasters, Nov 2009

Christmas Meeting, December 2009

Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club: Members and new Executive Committee 2010-2011