Thursday, May 13, 2010

Zeal and Zest

This evening’s Toastmasters meeting was exceptionally well-attended. Thirty-eight Toastmasters and guests came to the meeting, bringing along with them lots of zeal and zest. Certainly D’Utama Advanced Toastmasters Club is well-recognized for almost always organizing energizing meetings.

But I wish we do not have invited speakers to come – unless they are of direct relevance to members. Besides taking away the Table Topics slot, these speakers invariably tend to begin marketing whatever it is that they are involved in. Take this evening. A Denise Tan was supposed to present a 30-minute talk on “We know we have to be creative, but HOW?” As far as I was concerned, only one slide addressed this topic – and even then, with little explanation on the points raised. The rest of the time was spent on showing us the same video clip three times and to get us to participate in two exercises merely to illustrate this concept of creative mathematics. Obviously, she started this company and so, her talk was a sales pitch – well, it sure sounded like one! About the only thing that I remembered was the claim that kids are smarter than adults - this program that she was promoting was actually meant for primary schoolchildren.

And the Toastmaster of the Evening, Ken Wang was lackadaisical in the performance of his duty. He didn’t introduce the role players, he didn’t inform the meeting of changes in the agenda, he didn’t have the speech titles, and he didn’t even invite the evaluators to read out the objectives. I could only wince with embarrassment.

Perhaps as he said, he had been away for far too long – five years, he claimed – the prolonged absence produced a poor performance that didn't reflect well of an Advanced Club.

I was the General Evaluator and I couldn’t save him even if I had wanted to.

On a brighter note, I discovered this gem of a video clip that captures a Sixth Grade recital performance of “Paparazzi” by an extremely talented Greyson Michael Chance. His stunning piano performance could even “teach Lady Gaga a lesson”, it was purportedly said. Anyway, anything that is even remotely related to Lady Gaga and I will surely feature in my blog! And so, this boy wonder who bangs out the piano ballad while his classmates look on in shock and awe, mouths agape – has even gone viral. As at the time of writing, this YouTube video clip has gotten more than 8 million views!

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