Thursday, July 31, 2003

A 2003 regular meeting snapshot

For once, I walked into the DU room quite early. Ann and Bing were already there manning the registration. My mood immediately soared. After a hard day’s work, Bing with her ever-bubbly attitude and Ann’s demure smile was a real tonic…

Jack started the meeting off by introducing our president. As usual, Wei Seong swept the floor with his enthusiasm and got the crowd inspired. The main point our perched leader was trying to evoke was memories were worth much more than any amount of money. Well conveyed by his use of RM 1 note and a picture that I couldn’t make out but no doubt held significant meaning and memories.

Gan took over shortly after and as usual he was calculative accurate in all his addresses. To help ensure that the meeting used the Queen’s favorite language correctly, Siva was ever watchful as the Language Evaluator. The evocative word of the day – “evoke” was a an early indicator of how the meeting would turn out…

Our Teh Tarik invocator, Mr. Terrance “I believe in destiny” Koh then took over. The message was clear, believe in destiny but play your part as destiny should never be used as an excuse for losing in life.

Table topic session ensued. Topics ranging from serious ones like “Global Warming” and “Grading Children” to the less mind taxing ones like “Would you marry a women who is higher qualified that thou?” was dished out. Besides the excellent speeches delivered by the participants, the stand out performer was Naomi who was a guest but delivered her speech with the class of a veteran TM.

As usual, the table topic evaluation session followed led by our resident sergeant in arms. Her evaluation was presented with a lot of zest and plenty of remarks to note for the speakers.

Humor was in the air as Chiam Kah Boon walked on stage and made us laugh with effortless jokes. They were sequential in nature but were funny enough to make us laugh loud and hard just before we broke for food.

Food was delicious and very much welcomed. Nothing like a bit of cake and fried rice after an energetic TM session.

We then went back in for the mean business of prepared speech delivery. It was all started off with TM Esther clearing up the term icebreaker with a wonderful delivery, which kept the audience captivated and lost at the same time. Next up was William with an interesting piece about the importance of branding.

Suddenly, out of the blue walked up TM Alex Tan looking really sharp in his tie and suit. First impressions are vital to a speaker’s success and just for that alone, Alex would have won the best speaker. But that was only one of his strength as he launched into a very evocative speech about how he conquered the length of Penang Bridge during a run. Descriptive, energetic and mesmerizing! Alex swept the floor.

With a winning speech like that, anyone doing his assignment after would be daunted. Anyone that is but Mr. James “Boomingly Sexy Voice” Tan. This time around James amazed everyone by picking on a subject, which did not have a single avenue for laughter and he pulled it off and I quote Allen - “with the class of a presidential address”.

As TME Gan aptly coined it, evaluation is like breakfast for the speakers and Sau Cheong and her able team of waiters cum evaluators served the meal of the day well. I had the honor of discussing Esther’s entertaining speech, which left us all gaping at the mystery that was still Esther Chen. Angelene then took the reins at giving her impression of William’s brand of speech. After that, it was TM Anna Lee’s turn of evaluating Alex brilliant speech and finally Mr. Allen “Charismatic” Kam gave his two cents on James. Sau Cheong then gave her general evaluation of everything that went on during the meeting. She broke the mold by giving her evaluation first and then diverting to Language Evaluator Siva, Ah-Counter Yeo Yoke Bee and Time Keeper Henry Fu for their reports.

After a long and evocative night, the meeting was regretfully coming to an end. TME took over and read out the winners for the night in which the seniors overwhelmed the juniors TMs. Bing won best Table topic speaker, Allen took home best evaluation but the main man of the night was junior TM Alex who ran away with the best speaker award.

Shortly after, the president took over the meeting and a new member, TM Calvin Lin was inducted. He immediately won the crowd over with his firm reasoning of wanting to join TM so that he can learn how to be the best from the best. He got my vote.

With that, the curtains came down on another TM meeting and the TMs broke out after another night filled with words and actions evoking laughter and drama simultaneously…. Trademark DU Toastmasters!

By, Vijay Balasegaram