Opening Address for Chapter Meeting June 10th 2016

President’s Opening Address

We need to be in the RED!

Robust, Effective and Disciplined! Fellow toastmasters as we cross over to the new term, we need to re-think and re-invent the way we do things. Einstein once said ‘madness is doing the same things over and over again but expecting a different result.”

We are definitely not mad, we are sane! Tonight my president’s opening address is not an inspirational speech, neither is it a motivational one. It is my brief introduction to how our club can achieve its membership growth targets using the 4 Disciplines of Execution by McChesney, Covey and Huling.

At the start of every new term, we get excited we set goals and we put in efforts to invite guests to our chapter meetings. Somehow, in our day to day busyness, we lose track of the importance of pipeline and process management, leaving our membership growth strategies, ineffective because of the missing link – execution.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution will ensure we conscientiously keep our eyes on our goals. Here are the 4 Disciplines in the context of membership growth.

1st Discipline – Focus on our WIG (Wildly Important Goal).

A wildly important goal is a goal that can make all the difference. This is one area where change will have the greatest impact. I have shared on a few occasions the importance of brining in new members and I shall not go into that. An example of recruitment goal would be – To recruit 10 new members by 31st December 2016.

2nd Discipline – Act on the Lead Measures.

What are lead measures? Lead measures tell us if we are likely to achieve our goal. Example, while you can’t control how often your car breaks down on the road (a lag measure) you can certainly control how often your car receives routine maintenance. (a lead measure). And the more you act on the lead measure, the more likely you are to avoid that roadside breakdown.

How does that apply to membership growth? Whilst we can’t control whether or not guests will join us eventually as members, what we can control are the number of guests who attend our chapter meetings and what stage are they at in the decision making process. Are they attending our meetings for the 1st or subsequent time? Has the benefits of membership been explained? Have their concerns been addressed? Manage and tick off each stage of the process.

In our discussions regarding membership growth, let us constantly engage one another on monitoring and measuring the lead measures.

3rd Discipline – Keep A Compelling Scoreboard.

We need to ensure everyone knows the score at all times. How close are we to our goal? Its important because people get engaged when they know the score! When team members themselves are keeping score, they truly understand the connection between their performance and reaching their goal, and this changes the level at which they play. When everyone on the team can see the score, the level of play rises, not only because they can see what’s working and what adjustments are needed, but also because they now want to win.

4th Discipline – Create a Cadence of Accountability

Disciplines 1,2 and 3 are to set up the game, but until you apply Discipline 4, your team isn’t in the game. This is the discipline that brings team members all together. It is recommended that the team meets at least weekly for the WIG session with a set agenda and establish a weekly rhythm of accountability. Here’s the 3 part agenda for a WIG session:

  • Account: Report on commitments

“I committed to inviting 5 friends to our chapter meetings. I did and this was what I learnt…”

  • Review the scoreboard: Learn from successes and failures

“Our lag measure is green, but we’ve got a challenge with one of our lead measures that just fell to yellow. Here’s what happened…”

  • Plan: Clear the path and make new commitments.

“I’ll meet with the 3 guest whom I have invited and address the concerns that they have”

To prepare for the meeting, every team member thinks about the same question: “What are the one or two most important things I can do this week to impact the lead measures?”

When everyone takes ownership towards his or her impact and contribution towards the lead measures, the probability of achieving the lag increases dramatically.

I hope we can adopt the 4 disciplines of execution as we cross over to the new term, because for things to change, we have to change and adopting a different approach will bring in the transformation for our club.

Back to you toastmasters of the evening.

Opening Address for Chapter Meeting May 13th 2016

President’s Opening Address

Our FUTURE – EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBLITY

An organisation is ONLY as good as the people in it. How many of you have heard of this saying? Can I have a show of hands to indicate that you have heard this statement?

Many of you have heard of this saying. Yes that’s right! SIM 1 Toastmasters Club has a long history, a tradition of excellence that is supported by a safe and supportive environment. Success is not by chance. It is our collective effort that has reinforced and strengthened the club’s culture of excellence.

I would like to enrol all of you to co-create with the ex-co, a future of continuity and we can only lay the foundation with everyone’s involvement. We need new members to join our club and sustain its growth, and inviting guests and influencing your friends and family members to join our club should be everyone’s shared responsibility.

To make us all realise how important this shared responsibility is, please allow me to share with you 5 important reasons why we need new members constantly.

  • New members bring new levels of enthusiasm and energy into chapter meetings and they strengthen the already electrifying atmosphere that we experience at every chapter meeting.
  • New members will infect their friends and families with the benefits that they have experienced after joining SIM 1 Toastmasters Club. They make excellent advocates and brand ambassadors for our club who will in turn influence the people whom they care about to join us!
  • New members form the batch of passionate and enthusiastic members who are eager to earn their competent communicator award and this supports the education related DCP points in every new term.
  • New members form the new batch of our club’s representatives in contests at the various levels. New members bring with them an eagerness to learn and hone their speaking skills as they gain exposure to other contestants’ strengths. By observing other contestants in action, they learn and bring back valuable lessons to our club.
  • New members bring fresh ideas as they form the ex-cos of the future. With their fresh ideas, they may well be the bridge for our club to leapfrog and achieve breakthrough results year after year.

 

Fellow toastmasters, I have shared with you 5 important reasons for us to constantly add new members and it is everyone’s responsibility to lay the foundation for succession planning and continuity.

It is not just the ex-co’s responsibility, it is EVERYONE’S responsibility.

It is not just the ex-co that runs the club, it is EVERYONE that runs the club.

And therefore I urge you, I invite you and I encourage you to start bringing in new members to the club TODAY!

 

Back to you toastmasters of the day.

 

Opening Address for Chapter Meeting April 22th 2016

 

President’s Opening Address

Reinvent yourself and your career

I am sure most of you here are still working on building your career. Besides those that have already retired, the rest of you including myself are still finding ways to be more successful.

Two days ago, 20th April 2016, I read a very interesting article that is being published in the straits time. The title of the article is Reinvent yourself and your career. Have anyone read that article?

Let me tell you why I find this article so interesting that made me want to share with you. This article talks about 10 focus areas on how to polish your image and wider your horizon for success. Out of the 10 focus areas, there are 3 that resonates with me.

First focus area is “Elocution and Writing”. This is about learning how to pronounce and use words correctly when we communicate. This applies to both written and verbal communication. In toastmasters, isn’t this one of the development objective for our speakers doing their projects?

Second focus area is “Public Speaking”. This is about speaking with confidence. And the article specifically mentioned about join a toastmasters club to learn and hone public speaking skills.

Third focus area is to “Find Good Topics for Conversations”. This is about expanding one’s general knowledge so as to be able to strike good and interesting conversation with anyone. Isn’t this a critical factor to be a good table topics speaker?

For my personal professional development, I have to say that I am very thankful to the toastmaster learning environment given to me through SIM 1 Toastmasters Club. Through doing project speeches for the past one year, I have now sharpen myself on the following-

  1. Elocution and writing
  2. Public Speaking
  3. Find Good Topics for Conversations

Few weeks ago, I did a project update presentation in my company. After the presentation, one of my peer approached me and said to me that he has observed a significant improvement to my presentation skill in the past months. He asked for advice on how he can make improvement as well.

So ladies and gentleman, can you guess what my advice was to him. Yes, join a toastmaster club and be a toastmaster!

 

Back to you toastmaster of the evening.

Opening Address for Chapter Meeting April 8th 2016

President’s Opening Address

Experiment & Experience in Communication and Leadership

10 minutes ago, the Vice President Education Roy asked if I could present the President’s Opening Address tonight. Wow, what an honour and privilege.  Although it seemed scary to speak without any preparation. 

The reason why I joined Toastmasters is because it is a very interesting journey. Toastmasters is about communication and leadership and that is what my speech is about tonight. It is also about experiments and experience in communication and leadership. It is about being here, to pluck up the courage to come forward to the front to present a speech, to experiment to speak in public, regardless of whether it is a prepared speech or not.  It is also an experience because after your experiment, it becomes an experience.

Today I am going to experiment giving an Opening Address without any preparation. And I am going to experience what it is like to speak off the cuff, the first time in my life, the Acting President’s Opening Address.

How many of you are afraid to come to the front to present a speech? I was really scared to come forward to speak 15 years ago and that is why I joined Toastmasters. But today, I am not so afraid as my nervousness has reduced significantly compared to 15 years ago. I continually improve to grow in my journey in public speaking.

The 2nd reason why I joined Toastmasters is because it provided a platform to experiment and experience being a leader.  I shun leadership because it is very difficult to manage people. I know leadership can be very easy because the process is easy. But when it comes to managing people, it can be very challenging and tricky. But Toastmasters provided me the platform to experiment my leadership skills and experience being a leader. I had the privilege to be in EXCO in various positions – as Sergeant at Arms, Vice President Public Relations, Vice President Education (twice), President and now the Immediate Past President. All this took place over a period of time.

Leading is not easy but I had a wonderful experience which money cannot buy. I went through a lot of challenges and trials. But without trials, there are no triumphs. Without challenges there are no victories. If you want victories and success, you need to experiment. You need to have the experience. You need to be in the game.

Leadership is not about processes, it is about connecting with people. It is about understanding what is in their heart and aligning everyone to be in unity and on the same page. Today I align you all on the same page, and encourage guests make a decision to join the club.

When you join the club, you will not jump into the sea not knowing what to do. You will not drown. We have an inventory of life jackets here ie members in the club who are very supportive, help point you in the right direction, encourage you when you stumble and give you valuable feedback. Be assured that when you join the club, you will be assigned a mentor. You will not be left alone. We will be here to guide you in your journey.

In conclusion, Toastmasters is about communication and leadership. It is about experiments and experience. It is a place where you can safely make mistakes before you go out to the real world. I can assure you, that whatever you learn in Toastmasters, you can apply them in your work place, family and in your social circle. This evening, I experimented and experienced presenting an unprepared Opening Address as the Acting President for the evening.

Come, join the club to experiment and experience your communication and leadership skills !!

 Ng Yee Hoon

 

 

Opening Address for Chapter Meeting March 18th 2016

President’s Opening Address

Honest and Earnest Hard Work

 “Ladies and Gentlemen, and the Champion of Table Topics Contest for Area B3 is….Liu Fook Thim”

There was thunderous applause, with loud cheers coming from SIM 1 Toastmasters Club members amongst the audience. Congratulations Liu you have done us proud and we wish you the good luck at the division contest.

Fellow toastmasters, have you ever wondered what does it take to win a table topics contest?

Well I took some time over last weekend to decipher our club’s distinctive winning formula , break it down into its 3 sub-components so that future generations of our representatives can benefit from this winning formula.

First component – the WHY was compelling. Liu had a desire to win and he knew he could not rest on his laurels just because he had won at our club level. He knew that winning in the contest is a significant milestone in his personal development journey to be a better communicator. He was intensely focused on the 2 P’s – Preparation and Practice to give him the competitive edge over the other contestants.

The second component was the HOW was practise, practise and practise. We have the following dedicated club members who took time off their busy schedule on 1st March evening to give constructive feedback to Liu in his practice session. Please give a round of applause to DTM Michael Ng, ACS Vera Chia, CC Wei Xian and Toastmaster Swee Ya. These members fired off a myriad of topics at Liu in an intense 2 hour session, and gave feedback to ensure Liu had a strong opening, a well-developed body and an impactful conclusion for every topic that he spoke on.  This was part of the mental conditioning and warmup. Liu on his part, diligently kept himself abreast with current affairs and also get himself familiar with an arsenal of quotations from famous people so that he could make cross references in his speech.  We combine the dedication from our contest trainers with the honest and earnest hard work of Liu and we get a formidable contestant.

And finally, we have the third component – the WHAT.  When you add a strong WHY and HOW you get a strong WHAT. We have a contestant who is cool, calm and composed.  During the contest, Liu was relaxed, confident and articulated his viewpoints to the topic “Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion” .  Everyone in the room was swayed to his viewpoint to say the least!

So fellow toastmasters, honest and earnest hard work will get rewarded.

Let us embrace it, endorse it and espouse it!

Back to you, toastmaster of the day.

Opening Address for Chapter Meeting 22 Jan 2016

 President’s Opening Address

Title : From Stage Fright to Stage PRIDE

 

Good evening fellow toastmasters, ladies and gentlemen!

You can progress from stage fright to stage PRIDE! How many of you can remember your first speech project 1 “The Ice Breaker” or the first time you stood in front of the audience to talk about a table topic? Did your mind go blank and did you have butterflies in your stomach? I’m sure these are some of the common sensations that you’ve experienced in the beginning of your toastmasters journey.

Over time, as we progressed from project to project, we grew in confidence and we became better with the constructive feedback given by our fellow toastmasters. In no time we progressed from having stage fright to facing our audience with PRIDE!

PRIDE provides us the necessary fuel to achieve breakthrough in our speaking standards and there’s no better way than to step forward and participate in contest at our club level for a start. Participating in club contest provides the 5 benefits that will spur our personal growth and now I will share them with you.

1) Break out of our comfort zone – we need to compete! Participating in contest fuels us with the mindset to win, and to win keeps us on our toes as we pay attention to every aspect of our speeches and bring us from being a good to a great speaker.

2) Motivation – when we made that critical decision to compete, we then practise, practise and practise until we perfect our speeches.

3) Learn from other contestants – there is a Chinese saying  which translates to “for every mountain there is an even higher mountain.” Step forward and compete, because being a contestant exposes us to learn from the strengths of other contestants. Contestants sharpen one another’s saw and learning from observing others has always been one of the most effective ways to learn!

4) Get into the spirit of winning – when we get into the spirit of winning, we have an uncompromising attitude towards our preparation and our contest performance.

5) PRIDE – when we compete we have an indescribable sense of pride for we took the courage to step forward and compete. When we win the contest, we can be even more proud of our performance for it is our dedication and commitment to performance excellence that has supported us to win the title!

Our contestants this evening have taken the courageous step to compete and I would like all of us to give them a thunderous round of applause as they progress from stage fright to stage PRIDE.

Back to you contest chair.

Opening Address for Chapter Meeting 27th Nov 2015

President’s Opening Address – The Toastmaster’s  I.M.A.G.E.

What is the Toastmaster’s IMAGE? Have you thought about it?

Fabulous Friday evening fellow toastmasters and guests!

2 Saturdays ago, I attended the workshop “Setting the stage for success with influential grooming” by image and fashion consultant Angeelia  where she shared about how dressing for success can create a first good impression and opens up opportunities for us in our fast paced and competitive society.

And that got me thinking, how do we as toastmasters project the I.M.A.G.E. that distinguishes us from others?  The answer can simply be explained using the acronym I.M.A.G.E.

First letter “I” – As toastmasters we differentiate ourselves and we stand out because each time we speak we will INFORM, INSTRUCT and INSPIRE our audience.

Second letter “M” – we MANAGE our audience’s takeaways. If we are delivering a humourous speech, we will entertain our audience. If we are presenting to our CEO, we will get his buy-in to support our initiatives and if we are motivating our audience we will always wrap up with a call to action.

Third letter “A” – now how many of you have heard of the phrase “you need to possess a can do attitude”?  As toastmasters we possess the “can speak” ATTITUDE. Think back at a time in your workplace – how many of your colleagues shun away from stepping up to the front to present to your senior management? How many times were you asked to do the presentation instead when your colleagues know that you are a toastmaster? And step up and speak up we will for we are ever ready, armed with the “can speak” ATTITUDE!

Fourth letter “G”As toastmasters we are always GIVING, and what we give to our audience is priceless it is called clarity. How many times have you heard someone say “the speech or presentation has just ended and I have no clue what the presenter’s key message was?”. We articulate key messages in our speeches and presentations. We grab our audience’s attention with a strong opening, develop our storyline or theme in the body of our speeches and conclude with a summary that reminds and reinforces our key messages.

Fifth letter “E” – As toastmasters we don’t just go through the motions when we speak, instead we ENGAGE and enthuse our audiences with purposeful key contact, hand gestures. We raise our voices and stress certain words or syllables when we emphasize important points and we can speak in a calm and composed manner to soothe the audience.

Let’s recall what I have just shared on I.M.A.G.E.

INFORM, INSTRUCT and INSPIRE

MANGE our audience’s takeaways

“Can Speak” ATTITUDE

GIVING

ENGAGE

So ladies and gentlemen, if dressing for success is important, then let’s also project the toastmaster’s I.M.A.G.E. to give us that added distinction!

Best Prepared Speech: Liu Fook Thim

Best Evaluator: Dexter Toh

Best Table Topics:  Angelia

Opening Address for Chapter Meeting 13th Nov 2015

 President’s Opening Address

Title : My 5 Fabulous Friends”

Who are the SIM 1 Toastmaster Club Members?

What do they do?

When do they meet?

Where do they meet?

How do they improve their communication skills?

 

These were the 5 questions that aroused my curiosity and that curiosity led me to visit SIM Toastmasters Club early of this year and guided my decision to join the club in March 2015.

 

Good evening fellow toastmasters, ladies and gentlemen and guests. I have 5 Fabulous Friends – friends whom I consult, confide in and also to seek confirmation that I have made the right decisions in my life, and they are WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and HOW.

 

All these years they have guided me and pointed me in the right direction and I am happy to share this with you – my 5 Fabulous Friends are NOT EXCLUSIVE to me, you will also have the 5 Fabulous Friends in your life.

 

It’s been only 8 months since I joined our club and these 5 Fabulous Friends continues to guide me in my toast masters journey. I can now answer my Fabulous Friends with clarity, confidence and coherence this time round.

 

Who are the SIM 1 Toastmaster Club Members?

We are a group of fun loving, passionate and committed individuals who are focused in improving our communication skills. We come from diverse backgrounds from both the public and private sectors.

 

What do we do?

We believe that the best way to learn is by doing. We deliver impromptu and prepared speeches in a safe learning environment.

 

When do we meet?

We meet every 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month. And to forge further bonds, we also have our social gatherings for fun and friendships.

 

Where do we meet?

We meet either at Singapore Management University or Singapore Institute of Management Namly Avenue.

 

How do we do it?

We embrace speaking excellence and this is created by a safe learning environment and members who give one another constructive feedback.

 

So ladies and gentlemen, my 5 Fabulous Friends have guided me since day 1 of my toastmasters journey I am sure your 5 Fabulous Friends can also guide you in your toastmasters journey too.

 

Our 5 Fabulous Friends are like our GPS, it informs, instructs and even at times inspire us to know the reason why we are doing what we are doing.

 

Our 5 Fabulous Friends are important reminders to us daily, because we can sometimes forget our purposes in life or the reason why we have embarked on certain things given the hustle and bustle of life in Singapore.

 

So what are some of the issues, challenges or decisions that you need to face? Have you consulted your 5 Fabulous Friends?

 

Do yourselves a favor today by consulting your 5 Fabulous Friends, get ready a pen and a piece of paper and your 5 Fabulous will be more than happy to answer your questions.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, we don’t have to travel life’s journey alone. We can invite our 5 Fabulous Friends to travel along with us, just like I have always gained CLARITY and CONFIRMATION from them.

 

Speak to your 5 Fabulous Friends TODAY!

 

 

Best Prepared Speech: Patarica Lim 

Best Evaluator: Wilson Ong

Best Table Topics: Oon Tik Lee 

 

 

 

Opening Address for Chapter Meeting 23rd Oct 2015

President’s Opening Address

 

Title : Emptying Your Cup

Good evening fellow toastmasters and guests, tonight I would like to share with you a story called “Emptying Your Cup” which I heard just last Saturday. When I heard the story, it immediately resonated with me and at that moment I told myself I must share this as my president’s opening address.

 

The story is about a Buddhist scholar and a Zen Master. The scholar had an extensive background in Buddhist Studies and was an expert on the Nirvana Sutra. He came to study with the master and after making the customary bows, asked him to teach him Zen. Then, he began to talk about his extensive doctrinal background and rambled on and on about the many sutras he had studied.

 

The master listened patiently and then began to make tea. When it was ready, she poured the tea into the scholar’s cup until it began to overflow and run all over the floor. The scholar saw what was happening and shouted, “Stop, stop! The cup is full; you can’t get anymore in.”

 

The master stopped pouring and said: “You are like this cup; you are full of ideas about Buddha’s Way. You come and ask for teaching, but your cup is full; I can’t put anything in. Before I can teach you, you’ll have to empty your cup.”

 

This story is an old one, but it continues to be played out in our lives day-by-day. We are so enamored of our own ideas and opinions and so trapped by our conditioning that we fill ourselves up to the brim and nothing can get in.

 

Here at toastmasters, we need to constantly remind ourselves to step into each chapter meeting with a curious mind and an attitude of open-ness because no matter how established we are in our speakers, there is always room for improvement. With a curious mind and attitude of open-ness, we observe the best practices of our fellow toastmasters, we also avoid the mistakes made by others. We can pour tea into one another’s cups, but before that let us empty our own cups to allow for new learning to take place.

 

Remember Steven Jobs’ famous words “stay hungry stay foolish” and I believe they are also applicable in our toastmasters journey. Let us always have that curiosity and the hunger to learn- like that of a beginner so that we can constantly renew our passion in learning. It is this constant hunger to improve that will drive us to pursue perfection relentlessly.

 

So fellow toastmasters and guests, I have emptied my cup before I stepped into this room and I invite you to empty your cups too!

 

I shall hand you over to the good hands of the Toastmasters of the Evening.

 

Best Prepared Speech:NIL 

Best Evaluator: NIL

Best Table Topics: Tan Chin Seng

 

Opening Address for Chapter Meeting 9th Oct 2015

President’s Opening Address

 

Title : The Toastmasters P.I.E.

 

Once upon a time there was a man who googled the word “toastmasters” and discovered there was a toastmasters club that held its meetings at Mandarin Hotel Orchard. He decided to visit the club and he was fascinated when he walked into a “world” of closely knitted individuals who had so much fun and laughter as they improved their communication skills.

 

It didn’t take much persuasion for this man to submit his application to join the club.

 

The man in the story is yours truly.

 

Joining toastmasters has been one of the best decisions that I have made in my life. Not only has my communication skills improved, I have made many friends within the club. And over the years, I have discovered the secret to longevity in the toastmasters journey. With your permission, I would like to humbly share the secret which can sustain and stick you to the path towards speaking excellence!

 

The secret lies in the toastmasters p.i.e.

 

The toastmasters p.i.e. has 3 important ingredients let me share them with you.

 

The first ingredient “P” is PARTICIPATE.

 

If you do not use it, you will lose it! Our speaking skills are like knives, we need to constantly sharpen them and the best way to do so is to participate in table topics. Table topics is an golden opportunity at every meeting to train up our impromptu speaking skills as we organise our ideas into a coherent structure and persuade the audience to our point of view. You can also participate by constantly delivering your project speeches. Let your audience rejoice and celebrate as they witness your days, weeks or even months of preparation bear fruit. Embrace the evaluation to bring your speeches to next level.

 

The second ingredient “I” is INVOLVE.

 

Step forward and get involved in chapter meetings by taking on an appointment. For example when you take on the role of a speech evaluator, you are applying the concept of “teach to learn”. When you evaluate speeches, you remind yourself of the ingredients that make a speech effective and you also remind yourself of the mistakes to avoid.

 

When you assume the role of “ah” counter, you sharpen your active listening skills and more importantly, you remind yourself not to pepper your sentences with “ah”, “um”, “you know” etc whenever you speak.

 

The third ingredient “E” is ENGAGE

 

Engage our guests and make them feel welcome. Enthuse and excite them and let them know that SIM 1 Toastmasters Club can be their second home, just like in the case of Christopher Foo and Chong Tian Choy where our club has been their second home for more than thirty years!

 

So there you have the secret to toastmasters longevity – P.I.E.

 

I have been eating the toastmasters P.I.E. and I hope you will eat your P.I.E. too!

 

Back to you, toastmasters of the evening.

Best Prepared Speech:NIL 

Best Evaluator: NIL

Best Table Topics: Trinicia Tan