Meeting #01: 5 Ways Our Members Showed Off Their SUPERPOWERS!

Text & photography by Lim Chuan Yang

Superwoman Woon Yean Yi shows off her superpower!

“Have you always wanted superpowers? How would you get them? Before you jump into that vat of radioactive waste, consider this: did you know Toastmasters gives you superpowers? I bet you didn’t.”

Lim Chuan Yang

1. Invocation

In our quest for these elusive superpowers, we first learnt that power and responsibility are two halves of a whole from invocation speaker, Anupama. One without the either will only lead to the current state of world affairs, where two world leaders bicker on Twitter over who has the larger and more dangerous nuclear button.

2. Table Topics

Switching up table topics was Aaron! He led us through a journey of self-discovery where table topics speakers had to choose from a list of superpowers, one through to 10, and speak about the power that they had selected.

3. Installation

With that done, it was down to business as Immediate Past President Woon Yean Yi installed the new exco team for the term. Behind every club is a team of superheroes, striving tirelessly to keep the club running and the road less bumpy. This is the Executive Committee of the club, and today is the day they took up the mantle of responsibility for the care of the club!

4. Project Speeches

Stephen Homer brought us along with him on his super secret superhero work, studying how companies use Corporate Social Responsibility to improve the communities around them. Yean Yi then used her powers of mind reading to transport us to the mind of a poker playing teenager in trouble with the police while Ben used a calming influence (Yes! That can be a super power too!) to defuse a bunch of angry reporters.

5. Evaluations

Led by the vivacious Chloe Ong of Area J2, the evaluators fed us the breakfast of champions so that we might grow as strong as a superhero!

In the end, we didn’t gain super strength or the ability to see the future. But the superpower we got was no less critical for us in our admittedly more mundane lives, the ability to clearly communicate with our fellow human beings as well as the ability to speak publicly in front of an audience, widely accepted to be the most common fear in the world.

MUST READ: Here’s why this Mat Salleh is LEARNING to speak with Malaysians

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This Champion Shares How Toastmasters Can Turn YOU Into A Champion!

By Benedict Leong

Brimming with events, opportunities and challenges, Toastmasters is my go-to platform in keeping me engaged and excited. With speeches and roles galore, it is no wonder why so many public speaking champions were made. Here are a couple of tried and tested ways Toastmasters can turn you into a champion!

1. Contests

Self-improvement is a dish best served with the help of friends pushing you on. That said, Toastmasters offers a variety of contests for you and your members to push each other beyond the limit. Learn from the best when they are put to the test! As each contest nudges you to outdo yourself each time, maybe one day – you too can be the elusive World Champion of Public Speaking!

2. Evaluation

Your improvement is a difficult yardstick to measure alone. That’s what evaluators are here for. By offering feedback in a constructive and friendly manner, your eyes will be opened to new dimensions of your performance that you have never seen before. Be it a speech or how you conducted an event, you can count on your fellow evaluators to catalyse your growth in the most helpful way possible.

3. Networking

When you become a Toastmaster, you now have something in common with more than 345,000 people from around the globe! Flex your networking muscles as you doubtlessly make new allies in your career as well as your social life. With such an abundance of friendly people all dying to talk, you will make a new friend faster than you can read this sentence!

4. Clubbing

No, it does not involve loud music and awkward dancing, Toastmasters clubbing is the act of venturing to club meetings outside your home club. See new speeches and discover new approaches in conducting a club meeting. You are guaranteed to have lots of exciting stories to tell, minus the hangovers.

5. Leadership Roles

“Where Leaders Are Made” is the tagline of Toastmasters International. Serve in your club as an officer or go beyond to new heights! Learn the delicate art of delegation, management, and many more skills vital to being a successful leader. Who needs theory classes when Toastmasters lets you learn leadership by actually leading!

READ MORE: Find out how a Mat Salleh wanted to LEARN to speak with Malaysians through Toastmasters!

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My Story: Here’s Why This Mat Salleh is LEARNING To Speak With Malaysians!

By Stephen Homer

Stephen Homer (seated) wants to learn to speak to Malaysians

“Sunway Toastmasters Club gives me a contextually appropriate and diverse arena to practice my speeches (so Malaysians will understand me better)”.

– Stephen Homer

Being from the United Kingdom, my mastery of the English Language is not a problem, but the context in which I use it is. Obviously, throughout the world, slang and contextual words differ, so I needed somewhere to practice my public speaking to ensure that my language was adapted to the Malaysian context. This is very important to me, as I am a PhD student and intend to teach within my field of study. The language I use and how I speak is a necessity to ensure my future students are being taught to the best of my ability.

Why did I want to speak with Malaysians?
Being evaluated by a diverse mix of individuals, from students through to professionals allows me to improve and achieve a higher standard of communication within the Malaysian context. It’s not as easy as just adding ‘la’ to the end of every sentence!! Especially as within my field of study, I need to explain highly complex phenomena which can be difficult to grasp, even without communication problems.

So who’s that autocratic teacher??
Toastmasters has also helped me with my public speaking delivery. Before joining, I found myself very rigid. We all have memories of that autocratic teacher who stood at the front of the classroom, reading from a power point presentation or, if you’re old enough to remember, the overhead projector slides. This is not the kind of lecturer I wish to become. To me, being able to hone my speaking skills so that I become more engaging will allow me to take these skills to the classroom and enable students to immerse better in their studies.

Nevermind…just visit Sunway Toastmasters Club!
The developmental environment at Toastmasters is highly supportive, no matter what your personal goals are. Whether like me, you wish to develop your public speaking skills for a professional reason, or as a student you merely wish to get a better grade by improving your presentation skills, through to someone who just wishes to enrich themselves with a new ability, Sunway Toastmasters club would be a beneficial visit for anyone.
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