Innovation and improvement are the two keys to being the best. In order to constantly improve, we sometimes need to take a step back and see how others are playing the game. This is the reason that the best universities in the world have exchange programs so that students and teachers can learn from other universities. It was with a similar idea that two of the best toastmasters clubs in Singapore, Tampines Changkat Toastmasters Club and AIA Toastmasters Club, decided to conduct a joint meeting so that both clubs could see the others in action and adopt the best practices from each other. This exchange was planned in two stages. For the first stage, AIA Toastmasters Club members would host the meeting and provide speakers while Tampines Changkat Toastmasters Club members would take up appointment roles. In the second phase, the reverse practice would be done.
The aforementioned first phase of the joint meeting was held on 14th April, 2016. As per the usual track record, both clubs delivered as expected and it goes without saying that the members went home with a lot of fun, entertainment and education. The meeting, as with any toastmasters segment, comprised Table Topics, Prepared Speeches and Evaluations. However, before I go on to that, the appointment holders for such an important meeting should be mentioned:
Registration: Catherine Chia
Sergeant-at-Arms: Jason Lim
Toastmaster of the Evening: Joe Wan
Language Evaluator: Joni Seah
Table Topics Master: Naveena Methani
Timer: Saravanaraj Rathinam
Ah Counter: Amirul
The first segment was the Table Topics Segment where Table Topics master Toastmaster Naveena prepared several interesting topics for members to think on their feet. She gave alternate chances to members of Tampines Changkat and AIA and got the crowd into a healthy competition mode. Guests also participated and had a good time.
The interesting and extended Table Topics segment was followed by the Prepared Speech segment where five excellent speakers from AIA moved the crowd with their inspiring stories. Some of the stories were so touching that some of the audience was forced to shed tears. Special mention must be made of Toastmaster of the Evening Joe Wan who kept the crowd alive with his interesting comments about each speaker after he or she had left the stage.
The next segment of the night was the evaluation section where evaluators from Tampines Changkat Toastmasters Club delivered excellent evaluations and helped both the speakers and the audience learn about the several aspects of public speaking.
The final segment was language evaluation by Toastmaster Joni Seah who in a mere ten minutes explained the most interesting usage of the English language followed by how speakers could have refined their usage even further. This is always a very interesting segment that helps speakers refine their skills of spoken English.
At the end of the meeting, both clubs realized that they had much to learn from each other. Tampines Changkat saw how things were differently done at AIA Toastmasters Club what with the Registration counter, different order of proceedings, fantastic organization, digitized presentation and real-time updates on the screen. AIA Toastmasters Club saw the fabulous quality of the participants and was of course inspired by the infectious energy. However, the actual learnings were discussed among some of the members of the Executive Committees of the two clubs after the meeting.
Special mention must be made of Toastmaster Zhuo Shuzhen who is a member of both the clubs and who therefore got the most cheers and claps as she was instrumental in organizing the meeting.
It was finally time for the results of the night. The Best Speaker ribbon was presented to Toastmaster Alan Lim. The Best Evaluator ribbon went to Toastmaster Hyder Muhammad Taufik and the best Table Topics ribbon went to Toastmaster Arjun Chakrabarti.
Everyone had a fun night. In case you missed it, please feel free to visit the second leg of the meeting which will be held on 2nd June at the Tampines Changkat CC from 7.30 pm.