Thursday, January 20, 2011

Visiting Toastmaster from Down Under

An email from a visiting Toastmaster from Australia:
"It was truly a delight to attend the meeting of Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club. One of the members John set the scene, when he asked me whether I came on a kangaroo when he found out I came from Australia.

As I was given the role of Humorist, I siezed on this opportunity and began with, John asked me whether I came on a kangaroo, when he found out I came from Australia. "So sorry lah," I said to BBTMC, "I rode in on a lion," and they roared with laughter. I had concerns when I was preparing my act, about sprinkling in Bahasia Malaysia and my own dialect, Hokkien and mentioned it in the beginning. "May I use words like 'si kui kia' and 'orang puteh'? The response was positively yes. Not having spoken in a toastmasters club outside Australia before, I was cautious about the rules. And also Penang was my hometown and I grew up in this lovely island until I moved to Australia. Can one forget the unique lingo spoken locally? Naturally not. I thought it would be fun to be able to transform into my old way of speaking, which is a mix of English, and other local languages and I asked for permission first, which to me was the obvious thing to do. The members were very warm and agreeable and made me feel very welcome that the concerns I had went whoosh out the window as swiftly as they appeared in my thoughts.

Overall I am extremely glad that I visited the club. BBTMC is a very dynamic club and I will definitely have a speech about my experience, the warmth of the club members and also amazingly public holidays including the first day of Chinese New Year, are of no hindrance to club meetings. This situation is rare if none at all in Sydney. If anyone can let me know that there are clubs in Australia which meet on public holidays, I'd be interested to know.

I am very grateful to Eilyen for giving me the Humorist role and all the club members for giving me such a warm reception. You've made my trip back to Penang memorable.

Gong Xi Fa Cai to everyone.

Shirley Childs"

Last Thursday, January 20, 2011 was Thaipusam -a state public holiday. The usual club meeting venue, Penang Skills Development Center, is closed during public holidays. But Bayan Baru Toastmasters, in keeping with the tradition of never cancelling or postponing a club meeting even on public holidays, held the club meeting at a different venue at Krystal Point II, Bayan Baru. Long live BBTMC.

On holiday in Penang, Shirley Childs, a Penang-born Toastmaster from Sydney, Australia joined the meeting as a visiting Toastmaster and even played the role of humorist. Shirley took part in the Table Topics session and won the best table topic speaker award. Bravo.

As Toastmasters International is an international organization, visiting a local Toastmasters club when travelling in a foreign county is a rewarding experience. For Shirley, it was the first time, she had spoken in a Toastmasters club outside of Australia.

Personally, I have attended Toastmasters club meeting in various countries, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, USA, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and different states in Malaysia. It is a great way to meet local Toastmasters and to enjoy an evening of sharing, laughter and fellowship.

So the next time you travel, check the club directory in Toastmasters International homepage and visit a local Toastmasters club if you can . Toastmasters is truly international.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Breaking News: Bayan Baru 2011 International Speech and Table Topic Contests Results

Both contests were held together on Thurday night, January 6, 2011 at Penang Skills Development Center the usual club meeting venue on the first club meet of the new year.

The Chief Judge was N2 Area Governor Seah Yeow Ngee. I was one of the judges with the rest of the judges from other clubs. There is no contest rule that judges will be anonymous - anyway, it was easy to know who were the judges when voting ballots were collected.

Lee Sze Kuang was the International Speech Contest Chair with Goh Hock Hai as his last minute stand in while Jack Ch'ng was the Table Topics Contest Chair. Jessica Teo was the Toastmaster of the Evening. Timers were Lim Kar Ying and Lau Choon Mei. Tally Counters were Wong Wai Leng and Lim Wei Sheng, Table Topics Contest Sergeant-At-Arm was Kenny Ngoh and registration was Teh Ghim Hong.

The contestants for International Speech contestants, in speaking order, were Jack Ch'ng, Margaret Chan, Eileyn Chua, Terence Lee and John Yeoh. Unfortunately, one contestant was disqualified on time.

The topic for the Table Topics contest was "Women spends more money than men in their lives. Do you agree?". The contestants in speaking order were Terence Lee, Eileyn Chua, Margaret Chan, Chew Yoon Seng, Ong Swee Keat, John Yeoh and Au Wai Yin. Great news - there was no time disqualification.

Congratulations to all. All contestants are already winners.

Here are the top three winners. Drum rolls. The top two will represent Bayan Baru Toastmasters at the N2 Area Contests in February, 2011.

Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club International Speech Contest 2011
1st - Terence Lee
2nd - Eileyn Chua
3rd - John Yeoh

Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club Table Topics Contest 2011
1st - Terence Lee
2nd - Ong Swee Keat
3rd - Au Wai Yin

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Toastmaster Magazine - Do you read? Do you write?

I was spring cleaning for the new year 2011 and found this old magazine dated January 1996. It caught my attention because it had a picture of a white rabbit as 2011 being the Year of the Rabbit in the lunar calendar.

The International President then was Ian Edwards and the theme was "Live, Learn, Lead". I would like to add a twist by asking can you live well, learn well and lead well if you do not read well.

Do you read The Toastmaster Magazine? Do you read your manuals of Club Officer, Club Constitution and By-Laws, Area Governor or District Handbook? Do you read your project manual a few times before you do your projects?

As Toastmasters, while we emphasize listening, thinking and speaking skills, we realize that much of the information and wisdom can be found if we read more.

For leadership and service, writing skill is important too. The articles written in The Toastmaster Magazine are living proofs of sharing and learning through writing. They can be read in 2011 even though they were written in 1996.

Writing whether by email, sms, fb, twitter or traditional printed material is one of the best and fastest way to share information and wisdom to more readers faster, easier and more cost effectively.

So never underestimate the power of your club blog or club newsletter. It has to be written before it can be read.

As Toastmasters, we emphasize on making effective oral communication a worldwide reality. Reading more and writing more, reading better and writing better will help towards achieving this noble goal.

Well, I have already written my first post for 2011 and hope you have read it too.