Monday, October 31, 2011

Tips for Humorous Speech from Past District Champion

24th September 2011 @ Taylor's University Lakeside campus, I had the opportunity to witness and partake in the Division B (Term 2011/12) Humorous Speech Contest. The contest presented a truly impressive lineup of speakers, who were hilarious, dynamic and motivating.

After the conclusion of the humorous speech contest, there was a special event featuring Stephen Fernando, a four-time Humorous Speech Champion of Toastmasters District 51. In 2004, Stephen Fernando, was placed second in the international, Inter-district Toastmasters Speech Contest that was held in Reno, USA. Stephen shares the secrets to using humour and how it can be incorporated into our speeches and contest.

Special Feature: "Tips from Past District Champion" by Stephen Fernando

(video posted with permission of the speaker)

Featured Speech: "Innocent Miscommunication" by Stephen Fernando

Reference Speech: "I am a COWARD !!!" by Stephen Fernando

(video posted with permission of the speaker)

Enjoy !!

Update #1, 31 October 2011: 'Reference Speech' added and changed published date of 2011-09-27 to 2011-10-31.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Time Travel

Today we have our fellow club member and speaker (refer to 'Thumb Driving') from Phoenix Toastmasters Club again sharing his 3rd Competent Communicator speech project, Organize Your Speech.

In this particular speech you'll get to witness the speaker's creative mind as he share about what he will do if he had a time machine. The speaker continues to use his gift of humor to tickle the funny bones of the audience, as well as continuously keep us engaged by relating the speech to the audience and asking questions.

20110613 Phoenix Toastmasters: Time Travel

(video posted with the Speaker's permission)

Observations / Suggestions for Improvement

  • The natural / comfortable position of this speaker's hands are 'clamps' position and the pacing of the speaker can be a bit distracting. It is recommended for speakers to keep their hands to the sides so that it can be easily deployed for purposeful gestures. 
  • In any case, these skills / requirements will only be needed and be the focus of the Competent Communicator project #5: Your Body Speaks.

This speaker has great potential and just wait till you see his forth project. :-)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Stuttering King

I personally believe that the Interpretive Reading advanced manual is the most challenging manual. I had the pleasure to witness a project from this manual during a recent Toastmasters meeting on 18 October 2011. The speaker is from Speaker's Dream Toastmasters club and he was presenting project #4, 'The Play'.

20111018 The Stuttering King

(video posted with the Speaker's permission)

The following is the script of the play that was provided by the speaker;

The King’s Speech

(at the Westminister Abbey, rehearsals for the King’s Coronation)
(King George enters the cathedral, with Archbishop greeting the King in front of the throne)

BERTIE : Archbishop.
ARCHBISHOP : Welcome, your majesty. What a glorious transformation, sir. I hope you forgive us if we continue our preparations. Now er well, allow me to guide you through the ceremony.

(They begin to walk together, Lionel a few paces behind)
ARCHBISHOP : We begin of course at the west door, into the naïve.
LIONEL : I see your pronouncements are to be broadcast, Archbishop.
ARCHBISHOP : Ah yes wireless, it is indeed a Pandora’s box. But I’m afraid I also have to
permit the news reel cameras, the product of which I shall personally edit.
LIONEL : Without momentary hesitations.
BERTIE : This is Doctor Lionel Logue of Harley Street. He’s… my speech therapist.
LIONEL : Grace.
ARCHBISHOP : Specialist?! Had I known that your Majesty is seeking assistance; I would
have made my own recommendations.
BERTIE : Dr Loge would be attending the coronation.
ARCHBISHOP : Well of course I would have to speak to the Dean, but it would be
extremely difficult.
BERTIE : I should like to… Doctor to be seated in the… King’s box.
ARCHBISHOP : But members of your family will be seated there, sir.
BERTIE : That is why it is suitable.
LIONEL : And now if you don’t mind, your Grace, we would need the premises.
ARCHBISHOP : My dear Fellow, this is Westminister Abbey. The church must prepare his
LIONEL : My preparations are equally as important.
ARCHBISHOP : (pause)
LIONEL : With complete privacy, if, if you don’t mind.
BERTIE : Those are my wishes, Your Grace.
ARCHBISHOP : I will… empty the Abbey at your Majesty’s disposal this evening. Your

(Scene Two)

(Logan enters the empty Westminister Abbey, meeting King George alone.)
LIONEL : I can’t believe I’m walking on Chaucer and Handel and Dickens. Everything alright? Let’s get cracking.
(Bertie, seated on a ceremonial chair, does not rise.)

BERTIE : I’m not here to rehearse, Doctor Logue.
Pause-(CONT’D) True, you never called yourself ‘Doctor’. I did that to you. No diploma, no training, no qualifications. Just a great deal of nerve.
LIONEL : Ah, the star chamber inquisition, is it?
BERTIE : You asked for trust and total equality.
LIONEL : Bertie, I heard you at Wembley, I was there. I heard you. My son Laurie said “Do you think you could help that poor man?” I replied “If I had the chance”.
BERTIE : What, as a failed actor?!
LIONEL : It’s true, I’m not a doctor, and yes I acted a bit, recited in pubs and taught elocution in schools. When the Great War came, our boys were pouring back from the front, shell-shocked and unable to speak and somebody said, “Lionel, you’re very good at all this speech stuff. Do you think you could possibly help these poor buggers”. I did muscle therapy, exercise, relaxation, but I knew I had to go deeper. Those poor young blokes had cried out in fear, and no-one was listening to them. My job was to give them faith in their voice and let them know that a friend was listening. That must ring a few bells with you, Bertie.
BERTIE : You give a very noble account of yourself.
LIONEL : Make inquiries. It’s all true.
BERTIE : Inquiries have been made! You have no idea who I have breathing down my neck. I vouched for you and you have no credentials.
LIONEL : But lots of success! I can’t show you a certificate – there was no training then. All I know I know by experience, and that war was some experience. My plaque says, “L. Logue, Speech Defects. No Dr., no letters after y name.
(with mock seriousness)
Lock me in the Tower.
BERTIE : I would if I could!
LIONEL : On what charge?
BERTIE : Fraud! With war looming, you’ve saddle this nation with a voiceless King. Destroyed the happiness of my family… all for the sake of ensnaring a star patient you knew you couldn’t possibly assist!
(His desperation spills out. He pulls himself out the chair, striding past Lionel.)
BERTIE : It’ll be like mad King George the Third, there’ll be Mad King George the Stammerer, who let his people down so badly in their hour of need!
(Lionel sits down on the chair of Edward the Confessor)
BERTIE : What’re you doing? Get up! You can’t sit there!
LIONEL : Why not? It’s a chair.
BERTIE : No, it’s not, that is Saint Edward’s Chair –
LIONEL : People have carved their initials into it!
BERTIE : That chair is the seat on which every King and Queen-
LIONEL : It’s held in place by a large rock!
BERTIE : That is the Stone of Scone, you are trivializing everything –
LIONEL : I don’t care. I don’t care how many Royal arses have sat in this chair –
BERTIE : Listen to me…!
LIONEL : Listen to you?! By what right?
BERTIE : Divine right, if you must! I’m your King! ! !
LIONEL : Nooo you’re not! Told me so yourself. Said you didn’t want it. So why should I waste my time listening to you?
BERTIE : Because I have a right to be heard!
LIONEL : Heard as what ? !
BERTIE : A man! I HAVE A VOICE ! ! !
LIONEL : (quietly) Yes you do. You have such perseverance, Bertie, you’re the bravest man I know. And you’ll make a bloody good king.
(Bertie stares at him.)
(A familiar voice is heard from the shadows.)
VOICE : What on earth’s going on, Sir?
BERTIE : It’s all right, Archbishop.
ARCHBISHOP: Mr Logue, you should know that I have found a replacement English specialist with impeccable credentials. Hence, your services will no longer be required.
BERTIE : I’m sorry?
ARCHBISHOP : Your Majesty’s function is to consult and be advised. You didn’t consult, but you’ve just been advised.
BERTIE : Now I advise you: in this personal matter I will make my own decision.
ARCHBISHOP: My concern is for the head upon which I must place the crown.
BERTIE : I appreciate that Archbishop, but it’s my head!
ARCHBISHOP: Your humble servant.
(Bishop turns on his heel and is gone, leaving Bertie shaken, with both anger and fear.)
LIONEL : Thank you Bertie. Shall we rehearse?
(Bertie sits in the ceremonial chair once more.)
LIONEL : As soon as you and Elizabeth enter the West door, you’ll be greeted with the hymn “I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me.” You won’t actually be that glad, because they sing it for a great long time. Then your friend the Archbishop will pounce up and say, “Sir, is Your Majesty willing to take The Oath?” You say . . .
BERTIE : “I am willing”.
LIONEL : Course you are! I’ll see what it sounds like from the cheap seats so even your old nanny can hear. “Will you govern your peoples of Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand according to their lands and customs?”
BERTIE : I solemnly promise so do so.
LIONEL : LOUDER! I can’t hear you up the back.
LIONEL : Very good! “Will you to your power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgments?”
BERTIE : “I will.” “I WILL!”
LIONEL : Then a long bit about upholding the faith, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish. To which you finally say . . .
BERTIE : “These things which I have herebefore promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God.”
LIONEL : That’s all you have to say. Four short responses, kiss the book and sign the oath. There you are: You’re King! Easy.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Ah Culture

Speech Title: The 'Ah' Culture
Contestant from Toastmasters District 51, Division G Humorous Speech Contest.
Date: 8 October 2011

(video posted with the Speaker's permission)

A Humorous Speech from Division G Humorous Speech Contest. I really enjoy this piece as the speaker was able to command the stage and kept the audience entertained throughout the speech.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Thumb Driving

(video posted with the Speaker's permission)

This is a humorous piece where the speaker shares about the different ways he drives. The humor is enhanced by the descriptive manner and body gestures that the speaker has employed. While it is a humorous speech, the speaker has an important message to share in the end.

The speaker is a relatively new member of Phoenix Toastmasters Club and he is on his journey to completing his Competent Communicator (CC) manual. At this point of him joining the club-level Humorous Speech Contest, he has just completed three of his CC speeches. Personally, I believe this Toastmasters member shows great potential and with humor as part of his arsenal, he can be a great communicator.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Titles We Bare

(video posted with the Speaker's permission)

When we were born, we were bare, naked and without possessions. Then we were given our first gift, a Title, our names.

Point #1: Among family and friends

Positions in the family can be term as titles. As the first born and a son, I was the ‘Pride of the Family’, … till my two brothers came along.

Who among you are the eldest siblings? {Raise your hands}

How many of you receive this instruction from your parents before?

“You are the eldest in the family, so you need to set a good example to your brothers and sisters!”

I heard that a lot of times from my parents, but every time I heard that, I’ll be wondering; “Who’s my example?”

Sometimes my parents would exclaim exasperated in “Aiyah … Don’t know where he learn to do that !?!??” I in my head I’ll be shouting “Aiyah … from you loh” … obviously I won’t be saying out loud unless I want to receive a ‘five finger wave’ (slapping action) … so parents, be careful of what you say and do in front of your kids.

The Titles We Bare in family positions can come great responsibilities and sometimes great pain.

Point #2: In our Working Lives

I started working more than 10 years ago. That’s when I was expose to Organizational Titles; Junior Executives, Senior Executives, Managers, President and so forth.

Fame, Money and Power, are some of the driving forces for us to gain titles, do you agree?

The greater, higher, and more glamorous sounding titles, the great the perceived remunerations.

Not only the remunerations but the kind of treatment we receive. For example

When I do something without being told,
I am trying to be smart,
When my manager does the same,
he takes the initiative,

When I am sick, on Medical Leave,
I am always sick.
When my manager is a day off sick,
He must be very ill.

When my manager applies for leave,
it's because he's overworked
When I apply for leave,
I must be going for an interview.

Point #3: In Toastmasters

Let’s bring this topic closer to home. In September 2005, I stepped into my first Toastmasters Club, D’Utama Toastmasters Club.

As I sat through the meeting the acronym & titles started flying around, CTM, ACB, GE, and DTM – to name a few. Needless to say that I’d joined the club later found out that those were the titles we earn as we go through the communication and leadership education program.

CTM – Competent Toastmasters,

It was in 2006 I heard that Toastmasters International was going to change the for the Communication track award titles, ‘Toastmasters’ was going to be changed to ‘Communicator’ to be more specific to which track the award is for.

When I heard this and found out what the new abbreviation was, I was filled with fear … WHY? Because the new title will begins with ‘CC’ …

What’s wrong with ‘CC’ you ask?” Well it sounds like ‘sis-sy’ … and the meaning of the title does not do justice because ‘sis-sy’ means ‘timid or cowardly person’ … unlike ‘Competent Toastmasters’ …

Which one sounds better ‘Johnson Yike CTM’ or ‘Johnson Yike, CC’?

I rest my case and decided to work very hard to complete my 10 basic speeches and gain my Competent Toastmasters award.

Throughout my journey, I meet many confidence, compose and charismatic Toastmasters. They were humble and shared their experience, knowledge and wisdom freely. Unfortunately there were some who were just in it for the glory, and demands respect. They confused the corporate world with the ‘sharing and caring’ environment.

Some when they gained their Advanced Communicator Bronze, ACB … they perceived it as ‘Alright Can Boast’ … “what title are you ah? Oh, CC only ah … I ACB wor (I better)” It’s when they come face-to-face with a DTM then they keep quiet. Then they will scramble to rush through the program to get their DTM to feed their ego again.

The Titles We Bare in results may affect the Treatment we receive.


Personally for me, do agree that titles plays an important role … it helps is to gauge our progress in whatever we do. However, those titles are given by people and it could also be easily taken away. What is important is true meaning behind the title and how it helps you to reflect in your heart.

At the end of it all, all of us will receive the same title. R.I.P. .

Steven Covey teaches us to ‘Begin with the End in Mind’.

Generally it means ‘Rest In Peace’ but sometime even when one is gone, there is no peace because of the legacy that was left behind. So ladies and gentlemen, let us not be so caught up with titles and continue to do what is good for the betterment of all. Be a good son/daughter, be a good employee/manager, be a GREAT Toastmaster.

The Titles We Bare affects our legacy.

So that when we go, we will be according this unofficial title, ‘Remembered In Praise’.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Exclusive Invitation to Malaysia Scrum User Gathering - 24 Oct 2011‏

Promotion received via Email regarding "Malaysia Scrum User Group":

Malaysia SCRUM User Group Gathering banner


VENUE : PKNS Seminar & Conference Centre, PJ

Dear Agile Practitioner's,

We have good news for all of you, Microsoft and I-Enterprise On-line have come forward to sponsor this event and if you have received this email from us; you should ACT now.

If you're keen to know more about this event, please click on the URL below for more details (to download the flyer) and proceed to register ON-LINE:

The closing date for Registration is 15 October 2011 and since we are limiting the number of seats to 50 participants; we hope that only those that are very sure they will come will register.


Thank you and let's make this a huge turnout for the Malaysia Scrum User Gathering.

Kindest regards,
EK How
Organizing Chairman for MSUG

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Art of Effective Evaluation

The Art of Effective Evaluation cover
On 5th October 2011, under the invitation of the Toastmasters District 51, Division B Area B5 Governor, a workshop entitled "The Art of Effective Evaluation" was conducted for the clubs in Area B5 which includes
The Art of Effective Evaluation guide cover
"The Art of Effective Evaluation" is a valuable tool from Toastmasters International which can be purchased by the members. Part of the Success/Communication Series. This workshop will give club members the knowledge, motivation and skills they need to become more effective evaluators.


It was truly an enjoyable, engaging and interesting experience.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sambal without Anchovies

With reference to the Toastmasters 'Specialty Speeches' advanced manual, I believe that some of the speech projects within poses as teasers or a launching pad to other advanced manuals. For example;

During a trip to Taiping, Perak, a dear friend of mine did a reading of a short story entitled "Sambal without Anchovies" from a collection of short stories which was written by a local author, Chua Kok Yee. The presentation was to achieve the objectives from the Toastmasters advanced manual, Specialty Speeches project #4: Read Out Loud.

The reading entitled "Sambal without Anchovies" was as follows;

(video posted with the Speaker's permission)

I must confessed that I am not one that reads a lot, and I am the kind who will rather wait for the movie version to reading the actual book. However as I was the speech evaluator for the above, I was provided the Text beforehand, and I found the story extremely touching, heart-moving, and motivating. I wanted to attempt the same story myself, and see what my interpretation of the text was.

As I have attempted the 'Specialty Speeches' advanced manual before (with the reading of John F. Kennedy's speech entitled "We are going to the Moon"), I decided to attempt this story for a different speech project of similar nature, Interpretive Reading project #1: Read A Story. During the course of my preparation, I read through the full text and it took me 20 minutes at a comfortable rate. Since this project only allows me 8 - 10 minutes, tasteful editing was required.

The reading entitled "Love Letters" was as follows;

(video posted with the Speaker's permission)

I even had made arrangements for my friend to be my speech evaluation in-turn (the evaluation session is included in the video above).

Via my observation of my friend's reading and from my own, I deduced the following of the speech projects' details;

The Similarities;

  • Narration and interpretation of the author's message
  • Emphasis on Vocal Variety and emotional appeal 
  • The need to identify and lead to a climax

    The Differences are;

    ElementsSpecialty Speeches (Project #4) Interpretive Reading (Project #1)
    Duration13 - 15 minutes 8 - 10 minutes
    Use of Body Gesturesminimal
    (not to overdo it till it is an act)
    minimal to 'not required'
    (eye contact still required)
    Area of FocusThe author's style The author's message and emotions of message

    Suggestions when attempting either of these manuals and projects:

    • Selecting the appropriate text is important as while tasteful editing is allowed, too much of it still will result in different meaning and interpretation of the original text. 
    • Make sure the story selected has a climax to begin with.
    • Make arrangement with the Toastmaster of the Day/Evening (TME) to provide the introduction and your own summarize interpretation of the story. This may provide the audience a gist of the story and what the speaker is trying to convey.

    Overall it was a truly valuable learning experience and when the opportunity arrives, I will attempt these speech projects again.