Note: The “Cockroach” character in this blog post is made up, to facilitate dialogue and not make Carl look like he’s crazy. Pretend that Carl caught a cockroach and kept it in a mobile phone-shaped cage, so no one knows he has a cockroach with him. This cockroach can talk and understands English.
Cockroach : Where are we?
Carl : We are at the Tampines Changkat Toastmasters meeting. Before you ask, Toastmasters is a public speaking and leadership club.
Cockroach : I wasn’t going to ask that. Everyone knows that the Toastmasters was started by Dr Ralph Smedley in 1924. Even cockroaches.
Carl : I’m Sergeant-at-arms today. I’m starting the meeting today and conducting the Ice Breaker today. I’m asking the Guests for their Name, Profession and...
Cockroach : Favourite author! Mine’s George Langelaan, author of “The Fly”
Carl : OK, mine is Jeff Olson, who wrote “The Slight Edge”.
<Carl gets everyone into the room, starts the meeting and does the Ice Breaker. He then introduces our debonair and dashing TMD, Ashish Kundra.>
Cockroach : Psst, What’s TMD?
Carl : Toastmaster of the Day. He’s the emcee for today.
Cockroach : Nice. He’s really handsome. <swoon>
Carl : You’re not his type. Here comes the Club President, Joe Wan, ACS/ALB with his Opening Address.
Cockroach : What’s that? ACB/ALB?
Carl : Advanced Communicator Bronze/Advanced Leader Bronze.
Cockroach : Nicee. He’s reminding us of our “Sparkling Leadership” for this term. And we have to discuss with each other who our favourite leader is, and 3 qualities of that leader.
Carl : You keep quiet. I’ll discuss with Ashish.
<Carl discusses with Ashish. They both like Hitler, because of his focus, determination and courage. Members of the audience are asked to share who their leaders are. Priya is a big fan of Nui, our Division S Director, for her presence and stepping up. Ashish tells everyone in the audience that Carl is so nice that he should be hired to fire people. Ironic!>
Cockroach : Hahaha!
Carl : Shut up! The only reason I’ve never done that is because I have not considered that career path.
Cockroach : Ashish is now introducing our Prepared Speech Segment. P2 (Organize your Speech) by You Xiao. Speech Title is “The Best Investment”
Carl : I’m impressed, Mr Cockroach. You were listening intently and paying attention.
Cockroach : Shh! You Xiao is speaking. He’s talking about investments that have high returns, yet safe. Invest in yourself. Instead of Toto.
Carl : Yeah, good point. Bravo!
Cockroach : I like to invest in my SHELL. I break the old one and grow a new one, haha!
Carl : Listen! Abigail Lee is doing P6 (Vocal Variety), titled “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” She’s talking about how one Thursday, it rained so heavily and water started coming down through the roof, and the roof collapsed.
Cockroach : Whoa! And it was an indoor waterfall! She and her colleague were moving buckets around to catch the water. When their supervisor came back, she put all the stock out of the reach of the water and wrapped it in plastic. Nice. I love waterfalls. When the surroundings are damp, we cockroaches reproduce like crazy.
Carl : Must be fun for you! MuMing’s next. Doing P3 (Get to the Point), his project speech title is “How to Live your Passion”. There’s a difference between “Wants” and “Needs”. When he worked in retail, his employer asked, “What do you want to do in life?”. Cos to succeed big, you first need to do the small things well. “No mud, no lotus” and “No plank, no sixpacks”
MuMing: “Ultimate business skill is to learn to be human”
Cockroach : <Shows off segmented body> Hey look Carl! I got sixpacks effortlessly.
Carl : I’m not an insect.
Cockroach : Hey! Pijush is speaking. AP1 from the “Humorously Speaking” Manual. Title is “From no time to no time”. Very odd title.
Carl : Shh. Save your commentary for later. He’s talking about the time his boss was fired, and he was “equally liberated” in between jobs.
Cockroach : That’s the euphemistic term. Haha, so he was cleaning up photos, and started creating copies of copies of copies of photos on Google Drive, Google Photos, local Windows PC, Ubuntu PC and external hard disk... Wah! He has more photos than I have eggs.
Carl : Yeah, it’s hilarious because we all do that. But I wouldn’t promise “5 minutes” to my wife.
Cockroach : You don’t have a wife... yet.
Carl : Exactly! Listen. Mohd Sufian is doing his P1 (The Ice Breaker). “Letting you know who I am” What a unique title!
Cockroach : Yeah, seems like he’s a rebel. “A is not for Apple, it’s for Astronaut”?! Engineer, spent some time working in Bangkok. If you don’t pay taxes, then you don’t exist. Because the Government does not have your records.
Carl : Yeah he says here in Toastmasters, we don’t have different cultures and religions. We’re just ... Toastmasters. He wants that bright future for his 4 year old son, Raihan.
Cockroach : Now it’s time for our July Babies’ Birthday Celebration.
Carl : Yeah our new Vice Presidents of Membership Kapil and Naveena are conducting it.
Cockroach : Birthdays of Cheng Lee, Joel, Chia Choon Kiat, Juanna, Pijush, Sachin and Mohd Sufian.
Carl : I like this picture of everyone singing!
Cockroach : Now it’s break time! Yay! Nice cake!
<Everyone goes out for break and returns for the Table Topics and Evaluation Segments>
Carl : The Evaluators are spot on and offering helpful advice. Project Evaluators offer useful advice and feedback on the Project (Prepared) Speeches we heard earlier, and tell them how to improve, as well as what worked well.
Cockroach : Yes! Naveena, Andrew, Chia CK, Jaric and Shaun!
Carl : Next come Table Topics. Impromptu speaking to practice speaking on our toes and think quickly!
Cockroach : So fun! Chee Wai, Ryan, June, and Erica speak...
Carl : ... about “What’s necessary vs what’s possible”, “Start wherever you are”, “Leadership” and “The beginning is the most important part of the work”
Cockroach : Yay! We’ve reached the end of another fruitful meeting!
Carl : See you next meeting. It’s been fun, Mr Cockroach. Here are some awards and announcements.
Club President Joe Wan receiving his Triple Crown Award (for completing 3 educational awards in a single term) from Area Director Ng Kin Foong.
Naveena gets her ACB and CL pins from Area Director Ng Kin Foong.
MuMing, our Best Prepared Speech for the evening!
Shaun Li, ACG/ALS, our Best Evaluator Winner
Erica, our best Table Topics Speaker, who talked about our initial conception process in a humourous way!
Here are some testimonials from some of our Guests:
"This is my second time joining Tampines Changkat TMC and I'm already looking forward to my next visit! Everyone there is friendly, fun to be with and supportive of one another. Thank you for having me! I'm looking forward to join the family! <3
- Erica Lim
“ I had an fun and informative time at the Tampines-Changkat TMC. The members were v spontaneous and supportive of one another. Great club and keep up the good work!”
Written by Carl Wong