This is speech no 2 in the Advanced manual. Its part of the humor manual and Toastmaster Leong Hoe Wah does funny very well. Enjoy the script!
Two meetings ago, Calvin came over and asked me. Hey Leong, will you be the TME for the next meeting?
Sure. I thought i lost my mind. I answered him yes, without even thinking. That was the most chaotic meeting i've ever been to, stepping over everybody's lines.
But i learn one thing. Before i was the TME, i did not have the capability because i've only been here for..1 year.
and after being a TME, i am SURE that i don't have the capability.
If you think the role of a TME is easy, well it's not easy. It's not as if you come up here, speak for a while and then go back and sit down. it's not like that.
and i remember one quote from my teacher, which is why i thought that's the reason why i agreed with Calvin to become the TME. he said "Leong, in every crisis there's always an opportunity...to make it worse"
now, put yourself in my shoe, and see what is the actual responsibility of a TME.
First, you will get an agenda from somebody. Then you have to crack your head to come up with a good Theme of the Day.
Next, you have to find the details of all the speakers.
To do that you have to call them up to find out their speech title, objectives, the manual they are doing and what are their ranks.
And Oh my God! You’ve got so many ranks in Toastmasters.
You’ve got CC, ATM, ATMB, ATMS. I thought we’re sponsored by TMNet.
And then you have the Advanced Leader, AL, ALS, ALG..i couldn’t even remember them all but I think ABS is one of them.
If somebody were to get all these titles together, their name must be longer than Agong’s.
And after you’ve got that all down.
Next we go on to the Role Players.
And of course, it’s not easy to get Role Players. It’s not as if you pay them to be there. Then you have to start the whole cycle again. You have to call them, trick them, treat them, threaten them.
After you’ve gotten the Role Players. You’ve got to get the backup just in case they didn’t appear. And you’ve got to find the backup for the backups just in case the backups didn’t appear!.
I was making so many phone calls and sent out so many SMSes and the replies came back all within an hour. We almost have a concert right over there. Ring! Ring! Ring!
My boss came over and asked me, “Hey Leong, your side business doing good, huh?
One person at the corner, he said “One Cornetto please”.
You’ve got everything down.
Now, you’ve got the Theme down.
You’ve got all the speakers and their details in place.
You’ve got the role players.
Being the TME, I was very early for that day.
I was so early, I saw the caterer putting the food on the table, that’s how early it was!
And then I was helping Marcus to put up the table clothes.
And it’s not easy to put that up. The moment you put up one corner the other one drops down.
After having everything setup.
Next you move on to meeting proper. Which I have sang so much, I’ve almost forgotten how to sing it.
That was followed by the Word of the Day.
Then yours truly came up and the “kelam kabut” started.
I was stepping over everybody’s line.
I was reading the evaluator’s note to the evaluator.
In fact, I almost did the President’s opening speech!.
That was how bad it was.
And then I was lucky, I’ve got a very experienced Table Topics Master, Calvin Lim. He is very wise, not only because he leads the way but also because he’s my evaluator for the day!.
And then you have Allen Kam, he’s not here. He did very well.
Everything went well...to my standard.
And then there’s the President’s closing speech.
I learnt one very important lesson that day.
Somebody once told me that, “we’re like teabags, we’ll never know our true strength, until we put ourselves in hot water”
Don’t think you’re not capable to take up a challenging role or responsibility.
Because until you take it up, you’ll never know how strong you are.
After all, the pain that doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger.
Have the courage and go forward towards bigger and bigger roles.
Back to you, TME.
By, Leong Hoe Wah