Friday, August 20, 2010

Feature Toastmaster - Wan Chee Wing

Dear Toastmasters.
My journey to the Toastmasters world was sort of by chance!
Five years ago, my wife asked me to accompany her with a few friends who have just graduated from a professional trainers program to 'shop' for a Toastmasters club to join - so that they can use it as a platform to practice their new found skill.

My role was merely as an escort. There were a few clubs that were visited and Maxis Toastmasters Club was the last one on the list. I have heard about Toastmasters before, but only in some vague references and never understood the full details of its operation.

My academic background was in the field of Mass Communications, and in the corporate world I have held positions as Advertising & Public Relations Manager, Media Manager, Sponsorship & Events Manager, Sr. Brand Manager, Marketing Manager & so on - and it was part of my job to conduct public speaking and dealing with the media on a regular basis.My first encounter at the Maxis Toastmasters Club meeting was quite an interesting one.

I remember, we were late - as usual, partly to blame the KL traffic and also locating the right meeting room at Maxis. When we finally found the room, we discovered it was packed with rather dignified individuals seated around a table in a large boardroom. Soon, I realized that there was a well structured agenda in conducting the meeting and everyone was rather disciplined. Suddenly, the aura of the Toastmasters movement clipped a couple of positive notches up, in my brain!

We took our seats and as a formality we were asked to introduce ourselves. I sat comfortably and was enjoying the proceedings. Then came the Table Topics session and my name was suggested - I was caught off guard! But, it was a pleasant experience and I started to enjoy those special moments - although for just 2 minutes.

I soon realize that the Toastmasters bug has bitten me and there's no reverse gear! I am thoroughly fond of my club and since then I have never failed to take on a variety of roles from being Table Topics Master to Evaluator, a Speaker to Ah-counter, as General Evaluator for other club meetings to taking part in Contests - every bit of it was of immense joy to me.

I have seen many members upon completing their 10th assignment and achieving their coveted CC title leave the club! This is very disappointing. I have always felt that there's the need to lend continuity and to give back to the very club that has groomed one to be a CC. Only in that manner could proper mentorship be administered. I felt duty bound to play a more effective role in promoting my club to a higher level.
Currently, I have completed my ACG & CL and definitely eyeing for DTM in due course and will definitely stay on with my club, "The Club of Champions" and the "President's Distinguished Club".

Yours in Toastmastering,
Wan Chee Wing, President-Maxis Toastmasters Club 2010/2011

Friday, August 6, 2010

TLI COT 31 Jul Event Update

I always find it a joy to be in UPM, reminiscing the good old days of going back to uni. So the TLI Club Officers Training (COT) conducted last Saturday 31 July was of course, not to be missed.

The Organising Chair, Prof Datuk Dr Wan Zin (also our Past Division P Governor) talked about UPM achievement and support that the university has given to its toastmaster club. It’s glad to note that our COT was held in one of the most reputable university in Malaysia, which says a lot about how Division P wanted to chart its course this year!

In his Opening Remark, our Division P Governor Hakim Hamzah talked about sharing the wealth of knowledge because we are after all, here to learn from each other. And he ended with the grand introduction to the new brand of Division P logo, a symbol of strength and unity amongst its members, and as what he usually quoted, Fiat Sapienta Virtus or Manliness Through Wisdom (sounds familiar huh for some Old Boys).

Our COT was of course entertained by our very humorous TMA Hadzrin Shah who was already practising his humorous speech contest as well as gaining large marketing airtime for his proud investment on Iphone. If only Steve Jobs was there, he would have given him a brand new Iphone 4 for toastmaster endorsement.

Our beloved District Governor, toastmaster Thannimalai who recently earn the title Distinguished Toastmaster was indeed a polished speaker. He shared his 4 critical success factor: CARE (Competent Communicator/Competent Leader, Advance Communicator/Leader, Retention of Club & Recruitment of New Members, Extension of Clubs) and consistently reminding officers the concept of a servant leader.

He end his speech with a very popular quote from Einstein, “A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving...” and to work in a humble & simple manner to achieve greatness together.

I love the fact that there is another power lady taking up the District Governor role next year. DTM Sue Chan from Penang was indeed an idol to all those ladies out there. The fact that she opened her speech talking about Paul the famous octopus was already a plus point! She shared the five steps to success – 1) Have a Vision, 2) Set Goal, 3) Build/motivate team, 4) Monitor Progress, 5) Achieve and spoke with confidence and with so much power that inspire the officers to achieve greatness in Education award this year.

A toastmaster training session is of course wouldn’t be complete without tea break, and oh boy, the mee goreng was just fantastic so special credit to the F&B! When it comes to food, who would want to withhold the growling sound coming from the stomach! But it was indeed a great networking opportunity for some of us, and a luncheon to most.

The officers were then asked to break into respective club roles for a more detailed discussion about their roles and responsibilities in the club. I was assigned to facilitate the Secretarial role, something that I’ve not done but very familiar with. I must say that all the club secretaries were an active bunch and we exchange email addresses afterwards to make sure that all contacts are not lost, and secretarial best practices can be shared amongst the attendees.

The wrap up session by TM Palaniappa was the highlight of the day. I think the best take-away I had was on the ‘show me the light, and more light’ illustration where he shared the tips on successfully convincing potential members to join toastmaster, and retention of existing members to continue their journey in toastmasters. But of course TM Hadzrin was quick to point out that his marketing strategy fails to include Iphone application, which of course would serve a great purpose to toastmaster enthusiast :p.

Overall we had very positive feedback from all the officers who attended, and look forward for more training by TLI team :D. Till then
More pictures coming up soon (courtesy of UPM)
Picture credit to DTM Tang Sum Chee