Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Eve Speech

I had intended to finish my tenth speech in order that I can qualify as an ACS before Christmas. Everything was carefully planned but alas, my speaking slot did not materialize with MIHRM Toastmasters because the meeting was cancelled. Still, I managed to secure another speaking slot with Stamford Toastmasters but at the eleventh hour, this meeting too was terminated. Fortunately, I met Nini Yeoh on Monday and she told me about the IEM Toastmasters meeting today. And so, I did my ‘The Touching Story’ speech from the Storytelling manual, titled “A Boy Named Sandy”. ACS CL Robert Ram (my evaluator) said I did well, and I had evoked in him three different emotions: hope, courage, and sadness. He also said I crafted my story in short sentences – so it was easy for everybody to follow. Although my eye contact was good and my gestures were great – Robert felt that I could try to animate my facial expressions to better convey the pathos I was trying to express.

In any case, on Christmas Eve, I have successfully completed all my speeches, thereby permitting me to now graduate as an Advanced Communicator Silver. What is satisfying is that I still finished my planned project speeches according to my timeline, in spite of meeting cancellations.

This was an interesting meeting because only eight people turned up. Three of them were members of IEM and the other five were guests! In any case, this requires most of us to take on multiple roles – so I was not only a speaker (for Project Speech as well as Table Topics), but I was the Evaluator for Shirley Bak (who did her Advanced Communication speech – ‘The Moral of the Story’) and the Ah Counter. And guess what? I won recognition as the Best Speech Evaluator and the Best Table Topic Speaker. Not bad eh? Oh yes, I must congratulate Ir. Ismail Omar (IEM Toastmasters President) who also graduated this evening as an Advanced Communicator Bronze. And he was the other person who won the other recognition at this meeting – he was voted the Best Project Speaker (from among 4 speakers).
Also, our General Evaluator, Azmi Shahrin (a DTM from Extol Toastmasters Club) insisted that everyone call him Santa – since he was the only person who turned up in a Santa cap!
And so while most people would be either attending church service or engaged in merry-making – I was doing my speech at a Toastmasters meeting! I am really sober this year.

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