Monday, October 11, 2010

Distinguished Toastmaster Award

The DTM plaque from Toastmasters International Headquarters, USA

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I was talking to my recruit, Jack, on the phone when I heard someone knocking on my door. What a pleasant surprise to receive a parcel from DHL. At first I thought it was a painting from Canada, but later I saw that it was a plaque for my Distinguished Toastmaster award.

I had thought that the plaque would be sent by mail, but it was couriered to me. Wow! I have so many people to thank for in my journey of learning. First of all, to my ex-colleague, Aveline Tan of Dennis Wee Group, who coerced me and patiently waited a few months for me to come for my very first meeting on 6th of March 2006.
My gratitude too to our President Vanessa Yong, who took me to meetings almost everyday of the week with her, and who challenged me to complete ten speech projects in one month for my Advanced Communicator (Bronze). I am also thankful to DTM Quek Geok Cheng, who is very sharp about administrative details and who put me as a mentor in her sponsored club, The Vietnam Toastmasters Club. Also thanks to Goh Sor Hoon, Helen Loh and DTM Kan Kin Fung who helped me to apply for my leadership awards. I want to thank all the toastmasters who had helped to evaluate my speeches, especially DTM Fernando Young, who told me plainly and honestly that I had to redo my project 7 in my basic manual when I delivered my speech at the Walton Toastmasters' Club. I did not go home crying, but instead had a renewed determination to improve myself especially in the use of power point.! I am the type who is bent on picking myself up each time I fall. I am thankful to DTM Gea Ban Peng and members of my club, Braddell Heights Advanced, for they gave me good feedback on my contest speeches. I went to meetings with eagle eyes to learn by observing all the good speakers.

I had only discovered about toastmasters' club in 2006 and often wished I had learnt about the movement earlier. Hence, I decided to complete the program as fast as I
possibly could before I go six feet under! Until the Lord healed me of my excruciating backaches, I decided to be less active and even joked that when I get my DTM, it means just that - Don't Talk Much. However, now that the Lord has healed me of my backaches, I decide that I would continue to try my utmost to help in various clubs and encourage young toastmasters in their journey. Though I am still battling with chronic ear problems ie. ear imbalance and constant ringing in the ears, I will try my level best to help whenever I can. I have received so much from others and I also want to give back. I am always full of admiration for those very committed leaders in our District 80 - these leaders have given a lot to the Toastmasters' movement. If my readers in Singapore want to find out who they are, you are welcome to join any of the over two hundred toastmasters' clubs in Singapore. :-) There are 260,000 members in 12,500 clubs in 113 countries. Hence, my international readers who wish to join a club should be able to do so in their home country.

You will find yourself gaining more confidence when you speak. Thanks to the opportunity to try out table topics, it gave me more confidence to speak when suddenly Channel News Asia reporter Ms. Hoe Yeen Nie asked me when was the first time I heard of Mrs. Lee Kuan Yew! Little did I realise that the televised news of Mrs. Lee's wake, would be repeated over and over again on television, video clips and radio, and even published on Today tabloid. The first to call me was Aveline Tan who told me that she heard my voice on the radio while she was driving. She was definitely sure it was my voice for she could recognise that I always speak like a teacher who is conscious of her clarity and pronunciation! Many of my friends from Toastmasters' clubs smsed and emailed me to compliment me for speaking clearly and confidently! Humourist Ng Cher Khim teased me by saying that I spoke well, and if that had been a table topic contest, I would win in the contest! Fortunately I did not have pause fillers.

Since the inception of the toastmasters' movement in 1924 by the late Dr. Ralph Smedley, over 4 million people throughout the world have benifitted from the training. I am blessed to be one of the 4 million.

Gan Cao


yann said...

Bravo aunty Choo. You are my role model- never too late to start anything. You had inspired me to start my blog.


cooknengr said...

Hmmm, if you were born into a Vietnamese family, would you be named Choo Choo Tran?....just a random though :)