Parting Words

It was the second last opening speech for me as president, and I wanted to share something more personal and cosy.

It wasn’t perfect, and the ending was a bit abrupt. I could have ended the speech better. Here’s my heartfelt speech:

Good afternoon. 
What shall I say as my term as President draws to an end?  
Let’s see this club report and you would know how Kampong Ubi Toastmasters performed in the past year.  (*Slide)
The club has barely passed, with only five out of 10 goals met. We lack the advanced communicator awards and grossly short of leadership awards.
With just five goals achieved, it’s historic low for kampong ubi toastmasters. (*slide)
I must say I am responsible and it’s due to my poor planning, otherwise the club should have produced at least a competent leader. 
I should have let Taichi be either the organising or contest chair in March, otherwise he wouldn’t be just one role shy of the award of competent leader.
My apologies to Taichi and all of you.
I hope the club’s performance in the coming term would improve under the new leadership and with your contributions.
Serious stuff aside, how do you improve your public speaking learning journey? 
Toastmaster Jeremy, what do you do besides preparing your speeches, taking in the pointers from evaluation?
For me, I blog.
I blog about the toastmasters journey and experiences. For example, how I felt when I was delivering my maiden speech. (* slide)
I reviewed my speeches in my blog, to see what I could do to improve. (*slides)

I blog about the thought-provoking and inspiring messages from the meetings.(*slide)

I blog about you. (*slide)
For example, our marathon runner Taichi who confessed that he has not 1, not 3 but 11 pairs of running shoes.
Jamie’s first words after the contest.
Chen Kuang and Hesperus took part in contest though they had just joined.

I blog about the fun we had.
I blog about your milestones.
I blog about your victories.
I blog about your magic.
I blog about your best.
Thank you for everything.


We had fun!


100% results vs 50% commitment

Hesperus shared with us on how he has a body of a 17-year-old when he’s in fact 30 years old. The tip is exercising and for him, it means hitting the gym. He admitted that there were days when he didn’t feel like going to the gym but he JUST DO IT.  He also said, “How can you have 100% results when you only have 50% commitment.”

Well said. It doesn’t only apply to exercising but everything we do. My eight-year-old niece, as she was then, when asked by me as I was doing my master’s, if  I should stay at home (where I tended to take long naps) or go to the library for revision, her reply was as pithy as Nike’s slogan – do the right thing.

We all understand but it seems that we are simply not doing it. As what Hesperus said, it is all about your mental will.

Seeing only over 10 toastmasters turn up for these past two sessions – we’ve over 40 members – I rode on Hesperus’ speech and reminded attendees that while absence makes the heart grow fonder, their absence has been greatly felt.  And they must put in the commitment to see fruitful results.

But I am guilty of not putting in 100% effort lately. I almost forgot about the opening address to be delivered and didn’t practise enough. As a result, I had to refer to the script though it was a brief speech and I had omitted mentioning Edwin for his help in Taichi’s job-search.

But I singled him out in my closing speech to give him the recognition he deserves.

Lesson learned: don’t be lazy or complacent. Practice makes perfect and you would never be wrong for over practising.

Besides referring to script and omitted to credit Edwin, I also didn’t sound convincing in the opening address.

Neither did I exude confidence or sophistication in my closing speech.  Though my speech to wrap up the meeting drew on what Hesperus had said – encourage members to attend meetings regularly and stay fully committed, my delivery wasn’t smooth.  There’s huge room for improvement.

I need to improve my evaluation as well. While I had never done it, it’s not an excuse to put up an unsatisfactory performance. My evaluation did not have a proper structure and I didn’t summarise the contents in closing. I need to do more table topics to train my reflex responses.







The contests

“My mind was blank… I don’t know why I am here, ” said Jamie ruefully when interviewed by the contest chair Lynn while the judges were deliberating on the results for the evaluation contest.

Jamie, Jun, Pradeep and Anthonius took part in the evaluation contest held yesterday and the winner will represent the club in the area contest.

While I didn’t contest, I could feel Jamie’s exasperation, having been through some writing tests under pressure.

Though Jamie didn’t clinch the championship, her participation in itself was admirable.

Pradeep clinched the championship for the evaluation contest, with Jun and Anthonius the first and second runners-up respectively.

Jun clinched the championship for the humorous speech contest, with Anthonius and Taichi being the first and second runners-up respectively.

Jun spoke about his family members and girlfriend’s advice to him on being himself.  Anthonius’ was about his first love while Taichi made the Japanese food natto the subject of his speech.

Hesperus and Ethan Chen Kuang, though rookies in public speaking, had made their maiden attempts in contest. Wasn’t it great to see these young people facing head on their fear of public speaking?

I should make it a goal in my public speaking journey to take part in contests to challenge myself as well.

Taichi has been doing very well in this aspect. While he said he was a timid person, he takes part in the sport that has a certain degree of danger, free diving. He claimed that speaking on the feet, that is delivering a Table Topic, is scarier than free diving.  Yet, he has the nickname of “Table Topics King”.  Because he pushes himself to face his fears and challenge his limits.

However, we might lose him should he not be able to get a job by the end of the month.  What a shame to lose someone who inspires us with his indomitable spirits.

But perhaps the time has come for him to go home to start a family and settle down, as well as near to his ageing parents in Nagano.

Whatever it is, we wish him all the best – though we would like him to be here in Singapore.

Briefing contestants before they started entertaining us with their humorous speeches.

Briefing contestants before they started entertaining us with their humorous speeches.



Natto = Durians? Hmm…



Pumping his fist, Anthonius says he was going to give it to the man who struck up a conversation with his sister.


Shhh…Evaluation contestants were so serious as they prepared for their evaluation.


Chief Judge Yen clearly enjoying the speeches.


Congratulations to the contestants who emerged winners and runners-up, what a feat!