Thursday, April 30, 2009

SIM Students Toastmasters Club


SIM - A lovely institution situation amidst plenty of greenery along Clementi Road

Creative Kean Chan with his interesting table topics. Mike has to demonstrate his selling skills!

The members listening attentively to President Kenneth Lee

The President presenting the ribbons for the best evaluator and table topics to DTM John Sih

It was my second time at the SIM campus at Clementi. A week ago, I had attended the Div. B International Speech and Table Topics Contests. Hence I had a better idea of making my way around the campus. It had been an extremely busy day, and after work, I rushed off for my violin lessons at Braddell Heights Community Centre. I did not have time for lunch and wanted to take some dinner but it would be too rushed as the meeting commenced at 7.00p.m. instead of the usual time of 7.30p.m. in most clubs. Hence, I was happy to see some food served outside the classroom when I arrived at the meeting!

The students were very enthusiastic and made an effort to prepare their speeches. Even Clare who presented her maiden speech had prepared power point in her ice breaker speech. She was so enthusiastic that she went overtime by 5 minutes! Mike, a Vietnamese student was quite impressive with his stage presence and reasonably good English! Perlin, with her attractive looks, would probably impress the judges with her speech should she take part in beauty contests in future. She was composed and confident. Jesmund, who did Project 8, won the best speaker prize. His evaluator, DTM John Sih, complimented him for his impeccable grooming. He was dressed smartly in black pants and black shirt with some discreet stripes and a matching tie. Jesmund was his own best "visual aid"!

Kean Chan came up with interesting ideas for his table topics. Speakers had to chose two pieces of papers attached to the board. They had to sell the items to the name on the paper. Hence, Mike had to sell tissue papers to Mas Selamat, while John Sih had to sell video tape of the Titanic to Elvis Presley! Vickna, the guest evaluator, had to sell a baby's milk bottle to Beethoven! We had a hilarious time of laughter! Wow! As an agent, selling properties to motivated buyers is already a challenging job. Selling Kean's items to the various personalities was indeed mind boggling! However, most of the speakers did a good job.

I helped out with the Language Evaluation, and as time was running out, I asked the timer to show me the red card when my 8 minutes were up. Charming Dr. Stella was the General Evaluator. She congratulated the Club for becoming a vibrant club which was so different from the time when she attended their meeting some time ago.

It was heartening to hear President Kenneth's closing speech where he shared how challenging it had been to bring the SIM Students Toastmasters Club to its current level of participation. The club has more than 40 members and have two meetings twice a week. A good executive committee is very important for the success of the club and I could see the passion and enthusiasm of the exco members.

Kenneth was also a participant at the Div. B contest and I remember he spoke very well, sharing about the toastmasters club and how we should tell more people about the wonderful activities. It was meaningful to me for I had often wished that I had known about the toastmasters club at a younger age, instead of only joining the club 32 months ago! I guess it is better late than never. However, now I have to slow down as my health is not in satisfactory condition. I am glad I had visited many clubs and was very active with language evaluation the past 30 months. After my final language evaluation at Raffles Town Toastmasters Club, I would have to take a long break. I would just focus on the speechcraft at Changi Prison and helping out as mentor in one of the newly established clubs, so that I could complete the final hurdle of DTM. (Distinguished Toastmaster).

Later I learnt from chatting with the President that SIM is a private university and hence the fees are quite high.....Kenneth would have spent about S$50,000/- for his course fees by the time he graduated. No wonder the SIM students are so much more motivated. It is interesting how we tend to take for granted when we receive easily; we become more motivated and thoughtful when we have to pay for what we want in life. I am confident that the toastmasters in the club will always continue to grow and bloom successfully, and I wish them all the very best.

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