Monday, December 31, 2007

Division B, District 51 Winning Humor Speech

This is a funny one from Toastmaster Eugene Ng. A cracker of a speech which is sure to tear you up... ;)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Fellow Toastmasters,

Have a wonderful christmas and an awesome new year!

Yours truly,

Friday, December 14, 2007

CL10: To Become a Vet!


This is speech no 10 in the Competent and Leadership manual. The most challenging speech in the manual. Toastmaster Goh Sheen Yee has joined the rank of Competent Communicator.

Actual Speech:

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow Toastmasters and guests. It is indeed my pleasure to stand here right on this stage tonight to deliver you a speech.

Have you ever experience the difficulty of making an important decision? A decision so important that it would change your life or determine your future? Like a decision to get married……

When it comes to making decisions, some people follow the crowd; others take the road less traveled. Whatever it is that we chose, there is one thing for sure, once we made a decision that is it! We have got to take full responsibility of our own decision or believe in the decision that we have made is the right decision.

I decided to pursue a veterinary medicine course a year and a half ago. I am going to share with you how I feel about the decision that I had made.

The grass is always greener on the other side. Here are my thoughts:

What if I pursued a different course? My life would be different. I will get a whole new and exciting experience. I wish I could turn back the pointing hands of the clock.

I entered the vet school and I didn’t quite like it initially. The lectures I had to attend were boring and dull. Since topic of lectures did not suit my taste, I found myself half asleep in the lecture halls. Everyday life seemed like a tiring routine and I really missed my home (and the home-cooked food). People asked me why I want to become a vet. I prefer not to answer that question. When they knew that I am a vet student, people ask: So you really like animals huh? I prefer not to answer that question too considering the fact that not all animals are adorable, for instance the scaly slimy Sunbeam Snake makes my skin hairs stand. At the end, I convinced myself that I didn’t like vet school.

After a year and a half doing vet medicine course, I realized that veterinary knowledge is a precious set of knowledge. Veterinary knowledge encompasses all knowledge on animals’ health and animals’ welfare.

Vet students learn like human doctors. We treat. We treat animals with medicine and drugs. We vaccinate animals against diseases. We also take good care of animals’ welfare by ensuring that animals are treated kindly and humanely.

This field of knowledge is really worth pursuing because we learn almost everything.

We learn about the invincible microbes such as viruses, bacteria and others; some which cause diseases. We study them to control the harmful ones like the Nipah virus. The animal’s anatomy is important. Now I know the precise location and shape of the bull’s testicles and penis (for surgery purpose)! Besides, we need to acquire the surgical skills such as fixing broken bones and neutering small animals to control the problem of over population of strays.

This knowledge that I am acquiring makes me feel great and proud to be in a vet school.

Besides, Vet students were encouraged to participate in organizing activities and events. The Vet faculty has always been very supportive of student organized activities. Recently I was part of the organizing committee for International Veterinary Student Association Symposium held in Asia, Malaysia for the first time where delegates from 16 countries come to Malaysia to share knowledge, exchange cultures and opinions and learn new skills. It is through activities that I learned that working with other people as a team has not always been easy. Armed with good communication skills and leadership skills, conflicts and misunderstandings had been overcome.

My life is going to be centered on animals. Since I entered vet school, I visited numerous zoos, horse units, farms and animal clinics. I touched snakes. I loved my dog, Black Jack more than ever especially the way he smells. I think like animals too considering the fact that I always put myself in their shoes.

There is no right or wrong decisions. Go ahead and make a life changing decision. Embrace whatever the challenges that comes our way upon the road that we have chosen to partake. And after we made that life changing decision, don’t look back; just step forward!

”A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.” – Tony Robbins

By, Goh Sheen Yee

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Speaking in Advance

Agenda for the meeting

From Joint Meeting...
All veteran speakers eventually make their way to the prestigious D'Utama Advanced Toastmasters Club. Because of that, it was honor when President Lee Wei Seong graciously invited me to speak at the club. There is a reason why his club is deemed advance though. Only toastmasters who are achieved the level of Competent Communicator is allowed to join as members. The current D'Utama Advanced members are a constellation of veteran speakers who have achieved many titles in the toastmaster’s universe.

Although both D’Utama and D’Utama Advanced share the same meeting room, due to renovation, the venue was changed to a big hall down the corridor. The room was different but the familiar toastmaster camaraderie was ever present.

From Joint Meeting...
I think what most toastmasters will find unique about the way the meeting is conducted in the Advanced club is that a lot of emphasis is placed on evaluations. Speeches are still important but you will not find the familiar humor, table topics or even the “Tarik for the Soul” sessions which are corner stones of D’Utama meetings.

On the other hand, instead of table topics, another form of open speeches are facilitated – Open Evaluations. During this session, speakers are evaluated from anyone in the meeting… It is an interesting session for us speakers as we are able to immediately gauge the response of the audience. At the end of the session, speakers are then given an opportunity to “defend” their speeches. I place the word defend in inverted comma because the real purpose is to provide a feedback to the evaluators thus completing a circle of valuable reflections.

There were 3 speeches from different advance manuals on that night. I was the last one and to say it was a daunting experience will be an understatement. After spending more than 5 years in D’Utama, I can safely say I know most of the people in the crowd by name. But here, I am faced with an audience of competent speakers who have practically witnessed and experienced every form of speeches there are out there. Even more, I have a feeling that they are not only there to enjoy the speech but are secretly evaluating every move I make. All in all it was a stressful experience.
From Joint Meeting...
Which is why I will probably recommend speaking on such a daunting stage to all speakers who have completed the Competency manuals. It will help you break a plateau or even accelerate your improvements that much faster.

I was evaluated by a very capable and funny speaker – Toastmaster Denise Wee. His evaluation was delivered with such panache and humor; it made me wish my speech was as funny as his evaluation of it. His points of improvement were spot on and something I can definitely use for my next speech. But what really impressed me was his mastery of humor. It was almost nonchalantly delivered cracking the audience with each punctuation mark… Wonderful stuff!

From Joint Meeting...
During the second half of the meeting, we had the charismatic Sheila Wong with her 20 minutes long about using scarves. Considering that scarves are usually associated with the fairer members of our species, it was with a sense of polite dread I sat there waiting for this mysteriously stylish lady to take center stage. And take the stage she did.

Her presentation was amazing. A powerful speaker who is able to take the dullest of topics (it was to me anyway) and make it exciting and keeps you glued to your seat deserves high praise. I was riveted by not only her presentation skills but the way she commanded the crowd and drew our attention to the subject matter.
From Joint Meeting...
Sheila Wong is an obvious master at the art of presentation and I was thanking my lucky stars that I was able to witness her in action.

The meeting pattered off after Sheila Wong and as usual the president took control to facilitate the familiar business session. Shortly after we said our good byes and closed another night of laughter and performance of the most advance order.

By, Vijay Balasegaram

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Invitation to DU Advance on 13 December 2007 (Thursday)

Dear D'Utama Members,

The President of DU Advance, ACG CL Lee Wei Seong has graciously extended an invitation to all D'Utama members to visit his club this 13 December 2007 (Thursday).

The venue and meeting time is the same as D'Utama's (Room 1.08 @ 7.30pm).

I will encourage all members to visit DU Advance to witness and learn from the dynamic team of people there !!!

Cheers !
Johnson Yike ACB ALB
Vice President - Membership
D'Utama Toastmasters Club.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

CL7: Let’s Make The World A Better Place To Live In


This is speech no 7 in the Competent and Leadership manual. It is about researching your topic and producing a piece full of specific facts to appear convincing. Toastmaster Teoh did an excellent job and here is his finished product.

Actual Speech:

Thank you TME. Good evening Acting President, fellow Toastmasters and guests.

Before I start, can I have a show of hands, how many of you threw rubbish today? Wokeh Nancy, would you mind sharing with us how much rubbish did you throw today? What about you Vijay?

Have you all ever thought where does the trash that we all throw everyday go? Yes, the garbage trucks collect the garbage from our houses every other day and send them to the landfills. There are currently about 230 landfills in our country, each about the size of 20 to 150 hectares.

Thing is, the capacity of our landfills are now very limited. Each time a landfill is full, another new one needs to be opened. The Government spends lots of money to open new landfills year after year. Not only that, there are also pollution and health related issues.

According to statistics by the Housing and Local Government Ministry, Malaysians averagely throw about 0.7kg of trash a day. Multiply that with the population of our country, we are all throwing

15 000 tonnes of rubbish a day. Not sure how much trash is that? It’s about 750 full container loads. Scary huh?

Well, is there anything we can do about it? Certainly YES. It’s the 3R’s. Nope, I’m not talking about the 3R TV programme on TV3. The 3R’s I meant is actually short for reduce, reuse and recycle.

The First R – Reduce. We must reduce the amount of plastic bags we use. It is a common sight that we see customers asking for more plastic bags at the payment counters in supermarkets. That is NOT the right thing to do. In fact, we should have brought our own bags when we go shopping just like what the westerners do. Plastics are not biodegradable. Using lots of plastic bags unnecessarily will harm our mother earth.

The Second R – Reuse. We should always reuse the products that are still durable. For example, we can always use the reverse side of the paper, both at home and in the office. Do you all know that to produce a tonne of paper, we need to fell a total of 17 trees?? Reusing paper can certainly help save the forests.

The Third R – Recycle. We should recycle our trash. Most of our daily items can be recycled. The items are among others newspapers, magazines, papers, glasses, aluminum tin cans and even plastic!! Not only we can save the environment by recycling these products, we can also earn some money. So think before you throw!!!

For the convenience of the public, the Housing and Local Government Ministry has prepared some 15 000 recycling bins in over 700 recycling centres nationwide. Most of these recycling bins are usually located at the schools, petrol stations, shopping centres, residential areas and government offices.

So instead of throwing away our daily items, find out which of the items can be recycled. Clean and sort them and put them into the recycling bins accordingly.

Now you may ask, why must we go though all this hassle of recycling when we can just throw the garbage away? After all, we’re not even paying for the rubbish to be thrown away.

The reason is simple. Recycling brings us lots of benefits. We can preserve the environment by recycling. We can leave behind a good environment for our children and the descendants to come. There’s this headline in the recent edition of The Edge that reads ‘What we leave for our children is how we will be remembered’.

Secondly, recycling helps us save money. We can save on the transportation charges to transport the garbage to the landfills. We can also reduce the cost of maintaining the landfills. And like I said just now, we can earn some money if we sell our used items like old newspapers, bottles, etc to the collectors.

Not only that, recycling also saves energy. Do you know that the energy saved by recycling an aluminum tin can can be used to turn the television on for three hours?

So, ladies and gentlemen, start recycling today!!!

Before I end my speech, let me repeat the 3R’s to make the world a better place to live in. Reduce what is unnecessary, reuse the products that are still durable and recycle our trash. We are all part of the environment. What we do to the environment, we do to ourselves.

Back to you, Toastmasters of the Evening.

By, Teoh Chun Ming


December 6th, evening, Room 1.08, KDU...

It was a rainy day, but the rain could not stop 37 brave hearts from flocking to KDU for the end-of-the-year meeting. Yes, we have a big turnout despite the rain: 25 D’Utama members, 2 guest-Toasmasters and no less than 10 guests gathered in Room 1.08, KDU for our first and only regular meeting in the month of December 2007.

The D’Utama members present were: Club President Jack Leong, CTM; VPE Calvin Lim, ACB; VPM Johnson Yike, ACB, ALB; Club Treasurer Marcus Loi; SAA Teoh Chun Ming; Exco members Vijay, CC; Jatson; and Goh Sheen Yee, CC; Immediate Past President Nancy Liew, ACB, CL; Past Presidents Siva, DTM; Allen Kam, ATMB, CL; and yours truly; as well as (in no particular order) Henry Fu, CC; Jason Chew; Leong Hoe Wah, CC; Tan Kooi Ching; Joanne Tham; Asylynna Lee; Karine Koh; Lim Bing Yee, ATMB; Soh Fong Wai, ACG, ALB; Ooi Hun Beng, CTM; Eugene Ng, CTM; Joanne Tan; and Julene Haw.

We have lots of guests last night too – Two of them guest-Toastmasters, i.e. Azrai from IEM Toastmasters Club and May Yin from SJMC Toastmasters Club. The other guests include Asylynna’s mother, husband Azmi and son; Karine’s guest Andrews; another Andrew; and Yvonne (both Bing’s guests from the MNS); Ken; Joanne Tan’s guest Yee; and two others.

Thanks to all the role players, we managed to start the meeting on time … but as usual, no matter how we tried we just couldn’t end the meeting at ten o’clock sharp. But none of us was complaining – we just loves the fun and the energy. I was particularly pleased as all the role players turned out in full force, and that makes my job as the TME so much easier as I didn’t need to do any last minute re-shuffling of role players. In my years of Toastmasters experience and many TME roles, this is indeed one of the few occasions where role players are all totally committed to “JUST DO IT!”. Thank you, every one of you, my team of role players.

I must commend on the four first timers who not only took up the challenge to play their roles for the first time, and did a fantastic job! Toastmaster Jason Chew started the ball rolling as the ASA2, and he had to lead the singing of our National Anthem (Negara Ku) as we were without the tape recorder last night! Competent Communicator Leong Hoe Wah gave a good two-minute invocation speech to inspire all of us to “just do it”. And Toastmaster Joanne Tham showed us that beneath her serious outlook, she can be humorous too as the Humour Master. Best of all, she actually took the humour material from her personal experience rather than stringing up some internet jokes – well done, Joanne. To top it all, our ice breaker Toastmaster Asylynna was voted by the audience as the Best Assignment Speech Speaker for her maiden speech!

Up till Wednesday, I was still short of one very important role player, The ASA1, whereas all the other roles were already filled. But in D’Utama’s true spirit, help is only a phone call away – one phone call to Henry Fu, CC, and the problem was solved. Thank you, Henry.

Toastmaster Tan Kooi Ching chose potentially sensitive topics, “If you were the Minister of...”, and managed to get three “ministers” to speak: Toastmaster Marcus Loi as the Minister of Transportation; guest Andrew (from MNS) as the Minister of Environment; and G Siva, DTM, as the Minister of Health. These three speakers demonstrated their array of public speaking skills to give a good account of their ministry, while avoiding controversial without touching on the sensitive issues of politics. And all the three Ministers have good humour, quite unlike the seriousness of the real Ministers. The Minister of Environment Andrew was chosen by the audience as the Best Table Topic Speech Speaker, once again proven to us some guests could speak as good as, if not better, than us Toastmasters.

Besides Asylynna, the other four speakers too mesmerized us with their speeches. Karine Koh spoke about “Fear Factor”; Jatson told us his “Toastmasters journey”; Teoh Chun Ming taught us to love our Mother Earth and to make it a better place to live in; while Competent Communicator Vijay was also in his element yesterday, to give a speech on “got astro-or-not?”

We have a very well-balanced and experience team of evaluators last night, ably led by the General Evaluator, Johnson Yike, ACB, ALB. Our Language Evaluator, Nancy Liew, ACB, CL, dangled a carrot in front of us and got almost everyone to use the Word of the Day, “mesmerize”. (The prize was won by Johnson for using the word most times.) Table Topic Evaluator Goh Sheen Yee, CC, could afford to be more thorough last night as she only had three speakers to comment on. The five speech evaluators, Lim Bing Yee, ATMB; Soh Fong Wai, ACG, ALB; Marcus Loi; Ooi Hun Beng, CTM; and Allen Kam, ATMB, CL, certainly gave the speakers very good feedbacks in the true spirit of Toastmasters evaluation. Allen Kam won the Best Evaluator’s ribbon.

Special mentions must be given to our Ah Counter and Time Keeper: Calvin Lim, VPE, the Ah Counter, did not just count the ahs – he pointed out to the speakers what the common ahs they each have, and I thought that was very good – it can make us more aware and hence lead to improvement. Time Keeper Eugene Ng, CTM, too did not just report the time and the fact that we were behind time, but actually pointed out why we were behind time – the time taken for our “commercial”; the transition time between speakers, etc, were the main time-stealer. I think that is food for thought for future TME – to factor in all the “unaccounted” timing, so that our programme sheet would be more accurate, time-wise. I would certainly do that the next time I take the job again.

At the end of the meeting, I was very pleased that everything had gone smoothly, and all’s well end well. I believed all the Toastmasters were equally charged up and I could see there was a rush to sign up for roles in future meetings, everything else come secondary – our poor SAA and ASAs had to do all the packing and keeping of stuffs by themselves. I felt that this is something that we as members of the club should take note – we should help our SAA and ASAs to tidy up the place after meeting.

Despite having played the role of TME so many times, every time I do it, it is a new experience altogether. Especially so this time, as I was playing the TME again after more than a year, it is kind of de javou. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and the experience. I must thank all the role players for all your help extended. Last but not least, my sincere appreciation goes to everyone in the audience (both members and guests), for your participation makes it possible. Like the old adage, “You can’t learn how to swim without getting wet” – so, members and guests, keep coming back, continue to engage and participate, remember yourself as successful, and the space is the limit... (after all, a Malaysian has already went to space...)

With that, I end my report of the D’Utama regular meeting held on 6th December 2007. Here is an early Christmas and New Year wish to every one: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May you be well and happy throughout the year 2008 and beyond.

TME Gan Teong Hock signing off...
6th December 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007

Regular Meeting on 6th December 2007

Thank you for all your support of the First Meeting for December 2007, which falls on 6th December 2007 (Thursday). The complete line-up below:

Theme of Meeting: "Just Do It"
Toastmaster of the Evening (TME): Gan Teong Hock , CTM, CL
Assistant SAA #1 (Registration Counter) (ASA1): Nil
Assistant SAA #2 (Announcement) (ASA2): Jason Chew

Invocation Speaker ("Teh Tarik of the Soul") (TTS) : Leong Hoe Wah, CC
Table Topic Master (TTM): Tan Kooi Ching
Table Topic Evaluator (TTE): Goh Sheen Yee, CC
Humour Master: Joanne Tham

(1) Asylynna Lee [Basic Manual Project #1 - Ice Breaker]
(2) Karine Koh [Basic Manual Project #2 - Organize Your Speech]
(3) Jatson Ho [Basic Manual Project #5 - Your Body Speaks]
(4) Teoh Chun Ming [Basic Manual Project #7 - Research Your Topic]

Evaluation Team:
General Evaluator (GE): Marcus Loi
Language Evaluator (LE): Nancy Liew, ACB, CL
Ah Counter: Calvin Lim, ACB
Time Keeper (TK): Eugene Ng, CTM

Speech Evaluators:
Speech Evaluator for Asylynna: Lim Bing Yee, ATMB
Speech Evaluator for Karine: Soh Fong Wai, ACG, ALB
Speech Evaluator for Jatson: Johnson Yike, ACB
Speech Evaluator for Chun Ming: Ooi Hun Beng, CTM

Assignment Speakers (Asylynna, Karine, Jatson, Chun Ming and Li Ann) - Please indicate the Manual Project (Number and objective) that you will be attempting. In addition, please also email to me your bio-data and speech title so that I am able to introduce you appropriately - you may write your own "Introduction script" and email to me, if you so wish.

Gan Teong Hock
Mobile number: 017-351 7033
(Please reply to or

Sunday, December 2, 2007

YLP Dec 2007

It's all started about 3 months ago when our Club Vice President of Education, Calvin, called me and asked me whether I am interested to be the Chief Coordinator for Youth Leadership Programme (YLP). At that moment, I have a little hesitation but finally I agreed to take up the challenge. Although this programme has been long discussed in the Exco meeting and the date and venue already been fixed since early of the term, I was lucky that no one has pick up the role yet. Otherwise, I will miss this wonderful learning opportunity.

The preparation work for the programme was tremendous. At first, I was a bit lost as I don't know where to start with. Luckily, Calvin, who is also the advisor of the programme has discussed several times with me on some aspects of the marketing, budget and flow of the programme.

Before the YLP, I felt anxious and cannot really have a good sleep especially when the programme is approaching. There are so many things that I am afraid to miss since this is my first time as Chief Coordinator. It's a great help from Kooi Ching to get 8 participants for the programme and Wei Seong to arrange the venue and food for the 2-day programme. Not to forget, Hun Beng for lending his own projector to be used during the 2-day programme. The programme will not be a success without their generous and altruistic concerns.

On the first day, I felt more comfortable and relaxing as everything was already in place. Anyway, it was already too late to pull out. Once I reached Mutiara Bangsar and stepped out from my car, I already saw the Table Topic Master, Ian, and Test Speaker, Karine. I was released. All participants arrived very early before 8.45 am except one. There were 14 participants in total and they were Chia Zheng, Jean-Nie, Javin, Gavin, Jia-Yun, Guan Hong, Po Hong, Jia Yi, Wen Yi, Hafidz, Yee Tong, Zhe Min, Pin Hern and Yen In. As for the mentors and facilitators, we had Ian, Karine, Julene, Tien Sheng (Julene's son), Kooi Ching, Jack, Christopher, Siew Peng, Wei Seong, Johnson, Eugene and Calvin. The participants were also amused with the educational presentation. We had Ian with a short presentation on Impromtu Speaking, followed by an ice breaking demostration by Karine. Right before the lunch break, Johnson presented an animated session on Organising Your Speech with his SpongeBob and followed by Eugene on Listening / Evaluation with his 3K method (Kiss-Kick-Kiss). The last presentation for the first day is on Introducing the Speaker by Christopher. As for the atmosphere, it was a little quiet in the morning but the participants got into the fun and exciting mood towards the end of the day. Overall, first day was a success.

On the second day, the atmosphere was very positive and exciting. All the participants were taking on a proactive role and I saw that they were unleashing their true potential in speaking before the audience. I assumed that the first day programme was very interesting as we had full attendance. As for the mentors and facilitators, we had Hun Beng, Nancy, Calvin, Siew Peng, Vijay, Julene and Tien Sheng. Both Hun Beng and Nancy had given a lively presentation on Gesture in Speaking and Voice & Vacabulary respectively. Of course, the most interesting part of the programme is awards. Following are the list of awards and recipients.

Best Impromptu Speaker: Javin
Best Assignment 1 Speaker: Jean-Nie
Best Assignment 2 Speaker: Javin
Best Assignment 3 Speaker: Gavin
Best Evaluator for Assignment 2: Hafidz
Best Evaluator for Assignment 3: Gavin
Overall Most Improved Speaker: Yee Tong

Before the end of the programme, we had a short sharing session with the participants. Majority of them said that they enjoyed themselves very much throughout the 2-day programme and learned many new things in a fun way. The only comment for improvement was the food. They demanded for a better caterer.

After the programme, I felt relax and released. My shoulder suddenly became lighter and left with me an unforgetable experience in my toastmaster journey. The programme will not be a success without the participants and roleplayers. Hence, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the roleplayers for lending their valuable time and experience in making this programme a success. If I have another chance to carry this programme, I will volunteer myself much earlier without any hesitation. My 2 cents for the future chief coordinator: "Believe you and me, it is a wonderful and exciting learning experience not to be missed." With that, I wish all the best to the next chief coordinator and once again, thank you to all the roleplayers for your generousity and supports.

Yours truly,
Marcus Loi
Chief Coordinator
Youth Leadership Programme
1-2 December 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

CL10: Walk the Dream


This is speech no 10 in the Competent and Leadership manual. Not only about inspiring people, it is also about challenging them to change. It won speech of the day and marked Toastmaster Joanne's entry to Competent Communication.

Actual Speech:

Good evening fellow toastmasters, ladies and gentlemen, when I first sat down this afternoon to think about what to talk about tonight. I thought it will be good to share with you about my dream. Everyone has his own dream. The dream may change from time to time, or even from a smaller one to bigger one. The one without a dream must has been dead!

Let me begin to by telling you about myself. As a child, I love drawing. I could draw crazily and continuously until I had finished using one rim of paper. The drawing I did was mostly cartoon characters like animal, people, houses and scenary.

When I was 7 years old, I saw my sister sketch of a famous Hong Kong movie actress. It was so beautiful and I was deeply inspired, immediately I follow her to do my first sketch of another movie actress! It took me around 3 to 4 hours to complete the sketch. To my amaze, it really turnout to be beautiful! Since then, I started to sketch many portraits and I dream to be an artist when I grown up.

Somehow it does not happen, later on, after completing my secondary school studies. I did not pursue the dream by enrolling myself into art and design course; instead I have enrolled a diploma course on computing science, with the thought that it will assure me better income in future. After graduated from diploma in computing course, I started to work in IT industry for another 10 years. Anyhow, I wish to explore a different role in my career. I found myself insufficient, besides doing programming and some other technical work; I am seriously lack of good communication skills on reading, writing and thinking! And worst still, I don’t have knowledge about the business world. It is the real business world which demands and drive the advancement of IT and technology.

I have come to a life junction. In order to make a decision on which path to continue for my next career move, I need to first equip myself with the right skill, so I decided to pursue MBA( major in ecommerce)which is a distance learning program with Charles Sturt University. The course is very expensive. In order to pay the course fee and to manage other living expenses like house and car installment. I have sold my car. I spent a lot of time to study, attend classes on weekend, stop going out for parties and other social activities. After completing the study, I have changed my job to work for a call center. It is an IT Hub for Standard Chartered Bank in Asia Pacific region. Meanwhile, I have continued to explore other job opportunities. The head hunter (job agent) found me a job which required business administration skill. Without any prior experience, I was lucky enough to offer the job and I took the challenge joining this Telecommunication Company as business support manager. The working life with this corporate is truly exciting; it opens up my mind to a competitive commercial world. Again, it challenge me a lot of my communication and management skills. I need to liaise with various stakeholders within and outside of the company. At times, I also need to do lots of arm wrestling with the vendors and people within the corporate. The supply chain management cycle of this company has undergone a lot of changes due to merger, staff movement and demand from business and market. It is a very tough and exhaustive task, I have to work for long hours and even over the weekend but I manage to hang on for two years. During the two years, I have gained good exposure. I am happy to have a short tour to Netherland and meeting up with colleagues at operations and finance department. At the end of 2006, my new boss decided to handover my task to finance department, and I need to report to a new lady boss. After working with her for 1 month, I gave a deep thought over and over again. I am not happy at all, if I continue my job it will be a crisis and no longer a career growth with the company. I don’t think I am suitable for the job so I decided to quit the company after losing my freedom for 2 years. At that time, I am at the bottleneck again. I need to ask “WHAT IS NEXT?” I have managed a career shift from IT industry into Telecommunication industry with totally different role, should I take a break? But sad to say, the situation does not allow me to do so. So I continue to make a lot of contacts to agent and friends, finally a friend responded and she recommended me the job with IBM. That is how I end up working for IBM. IBM is a well organized corporate, it offers a lot of learning opportunities and career growth on different areas. Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe every crisis has an opportunity. If not because of leaving the Telco company I will not found my new love, a good place to work with IBM. If not because of taking up MBA studies I will not make the shift and widen my career path. Many times, we may want to ask what have we achieve so far, are we on the right path or should we give up on what we are doing now for our dream? If you have this frequent thoughts, please read Steve Job’s speech, it is truly inspiring!!

Everyone knows Steve Job is the founder of Apple computer, NexT and Pixar. He has never graduate successfully from the college. He has dropped out from the college after six months, during his free time, he pick up the interesting calligraphy class, which is now becomes the wonderful typography in personal computer. He started Apple in his 20s, but was fired by the man he hired when turning 30s. For the next 5 years, he started Next and Pixar. Pixar has created the world most first animated computer animated feature film, Toy Story which is now the most successful animation studio in the world. Apple bought Next, and it is at the heart of Apple’s current reanaissance.

Please let me share with you his speech:

He said: If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it.

Ladies and gentlemen, just like Steve Job, let us connect the dots and walk our dream step by step together.

By, Joanne Tan

AC3: The All Rounded Sport (Evaluation Included)


Toastmaster Johnson Yike shows us how to swim with this speech from the Advanced Manual (Speaking to Inform). Informative and fun. It also won the speech of the day on Speaker's Night (29th November 2007). Evaluation of the speech was done by Vijay Balasegaram and coincidentally, the evaluation was also voted the best evaluation of the night.


Points of review given by Vijay Balasegaram.

AC1: ?

Toastmaster Leong Hoe Wah sure knows how to warm up the audience. This was a funny speech done on Speaker's Night of 29th November 2007. It is also part of the Advanced Communication Manual (Humorously Speaking). Enjoy!