D'UTAMA EVENING TEA SERIES
Get to Know the President
Chan Yew Choong, CC, ACB, first visited a Toastmasters Club back in 2005. Fast forward 11 years later, he is now the President of a stellar 31 year old club of D'Utama Toastmasters Club.
D'Utama spoke to Yew Choong to get to know him better as well as his understanding his future plans and direction for the club.
Tell us about yourself.
I have been helping people to save for rainy days via insurance and retirement planning for more than 12 years. I have been a Toastmasters since May 2012.
I was an ordinary member for a month or two before being roped into becoming part of the executive committee (exco) as the Secretary. I was then the Treasurer the following term before becoming the Vice-President of Membership, Vice-President of Education, and now, the President.
What made you join Toastmasters?
I joined Toastmasters because I wanted to learn about public speaking. I am required to communicate with people from all walks of life in my full-time profession. Other than this, I enjoy attending meetings. I find it rather relaxing whilst at the same time be entertained by the speeches delivered after a hard day's work. Also, I enjoy meeting new people at the meeting and learn a thing or two from them about life.
What makes you passionate about Toastmaster?
Having realised how much my overall communication skills have improved just after being in the club for just a year, I knew then that there are many more things to gain from the Toastmasters experience. Furthermore, by playing different roles at each meeting, I am better able to practice my listening and evaluating skills as well as how to express my points within a stipulated time via time management.
By being part of the club's exco, I am able to see from the inside what it takes to run a Toastmasters club. Further more, by becoming taking up different roles in the exco, I am able to learn the function of each exco and apply it in my daily life. For example, I learned how to do book keeping when I was the treasurer and learned how to keep records when I was the secretary.
The warmth and friendliness of the members in welcoming you at the meeting makes every meeting a meeting to look forward to. I have benefited from the ever-readiness and sincerity of the members in sharing how I can be better at delivering my speeches. This makes me want to do the same for the other members. The merry and positive environment at each meeting helps me to recharge after a hard day's work.
D'Utama TM has seen many years, boasting over 30 years of exemplary Toastmastership. How do you see D'Utama moving forward?
The club is what it is today because of its members. The members, having benefited from the Toastmasters program, are dedicated in ensuring that each meeting is a meeting of quality. When each meeting is a quality meeting, the chances of a guest becoming a club member is higher. When this happens, the drive for better meetings continues due to the sincere energy contributed by the members. This is a cycle, and the cycle is what has kept the club the way it is for the past 30 years. I aim to continue, and wherever possible, better this cycle.
Any messages for new members and about-to-be members about Toastmasters?
Like life, Toastmasters is a journey. There are members who have been with the club for more than 20 years and they still have the passion to be part of it because they know that this journey has and will continue to help them grow. Ask what you want to learn and achieve from Toastmasters and tell it to the other members or the excos. You can be assured that you will be provided with the most appropriate assistance there is. Remember to come to the meeting whether you are playing a role or not. You also learn by being part of the audience. If you ever feel reluctant to participate in meetings, just remember why you wanted to join Toastmasters in the first place and you'll definitely rediscover the passion.
"Ignite that passion. Ignite your passion, and shine."