Happy Festive and Happy New Year

President Opening Address
Joint Meeting with MIM Toastmasters Club of Johor Bahru and Sacred Heart Toastmasters Club
8 Days Hotel, Permas Jaya

Good evening.

Sergeant at Arms, Mr Area Governor, Madam Presidents of MIM Toastmasters Club and Sacred Heart Toastmasters Club, fellow Toastmasters and honored guests, I used to dream everything in my life. I dreamed my exam results and I got them. I dreamed of becoming a commander “Hormat kanan, hormat kanan, hormat” and I won the marching band competition. I dreamed of small small things in life and God fulfilled them. And I drew my dreams.

When I was in school, when the class gets too unbearably boring, I doodled. My dream car. My dream house. Pictures of random people that came to my imagination. When I was sixteen, I drew this from scratch. Pure imagination. And put it behind this textbook where it remains till now. The best part was when I was 19, one day, when I was walking towards UTM library, I met a guy who looked exactly like my imagination when I drew this. The resemblance was so uncanny that I turned back, walk faster than him, and pretended like I forgotten something and turn around again. I think I stared at him and I think he pretended not to notice. The reality took a few seconds more to sink in that I forgot to ask to take picture with him.

Few weeks ago, I was reminded of this when I found it among my books in my parents’ house. It suddenly dawned on me that I’ve forgotten how to dream. My imagination was not as vivid as it used to be. I cannot draw as good as this anymore. Somehow, along the years, I’ve unconsciously unlearned my dreaming skills. So now, I’m taking up drawing once again to polish up my rusty hands.

Speaking of dreams, I’m reminded of new year resolutions. Christmas, a special time for our Christians friends have something in common with all other festivals in Malaysia, which is holiday. Christmas holiday is the best time to refresh our mind and body before kick-starting the new year with new resolutions because it falls at year end. The best time to do self-evaluation, celebrate our achievements and set up new goals for the coming year. Fellow Toastmasters, ladies and gentlemen, no matter how old you are, how much you’ve grown up, never forget the dreamer child in you and fill your life with beautiful dreams and colorful wishes. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, a refreshing holiday, an exciting new year and an enjoyable meeting tonight.

With that note, I would like to invite our meeting host tonight, the Charter President of MIM Toastmasters Club of JB. Please help me to welcome the Toastmaster of the evening ———-.


In Facing Adversities

President Opening Speech
308th Regular Meeting

11.12.13 How special this date is to you? To me, This date is more than special because 57 years ago, on this date, the number one person on my list was born. She is my mother.

Fellow Toastmasters, ladies and gentlemen,

That reminds me of the two mothers I met last weekend. I was in Kuantan, participating in an infamous flood relief team. As we were arranging pampers, cloths, blankets and some other things to be distributed to the flood victims, a young mother approached me. She asked for pampers of size M and S and some blankets. The thing was we didn’t distribute the goods randomly. We make sure the small amounts of blankets only goes to babies and kids. This mother was almost begging us for three blankets when we wanted to give only one. She said, “Please. I have five children. All kids.”

The other mother, I met her when we went from room to room to distribute donated goods. One of her kids was wearing only long pants. She told us they only have one pair of clothes for him and she just washed the shirt, so her child wolud have to sleep shirtless that night. What I mean to say is it is so amazing what parents can do for their children and how they put their children’s needs before themselves.

On the other hand, I also got to meet people with big hearts and strong will. One of my friends there took some orphans into her house when the orphanage was swept by the flood. Later when her house was also flooded, she took them together to the shelter centre. She also helped us in distributing the donated items from centre to centre. Another flood victim I got to speak to volunteered to cook for the officers and volunteers on duty. To me, it was irony that the person we’re helping was helping us too.

Fellow Toastmasters and friends,

In the face of adversities, we can be among two groups of people: The group of people who break down and weep, or the group of people who are larger than their problems and inspire people around them. The choice is ours.

With that note, I’d like to invite our Toastmaster of the Evening, a sweet, charming, gentle and the most important of all her characteristics, dedicated, lady. Let’s help me welcome her to take control of the meeting, TM Mazlah Awang.


President Opening Speech
306th Regular Meeting

When my sister and I went to beaches, we usually went strolling very early in the morning to watch sunrise. Then, we would sit on the rock by the beach, heads on our knees, humming to the sound of the waves. What do you think we talk about between the two of us? Most of the time, it was nothing. Because that’s our idea of doing something together – enjoying each other’s company in silence.

I used to feel guilty about not being able to start conversation with strangers, or making the conversation longer. Some people join sales and marketing because they like talking or the prospects of unlimited income. But in my case, it is simply to force myself into being comfortable about talking to strangers.

A few months ago, I chanced upon a book with the title Quiet, written by Susan Cain. Susan Cain writes about introverts. She said that it is ok to be quiet. It is ok to be absorbed in a book. It is ok to not like participating in group discussion. That doesn’t mean one hates human company. One might prefer to listen than talk. And some people proved to be more creative and powerful when left alone.

When I first join Toastmasters, I thought communication is majorly about speaking, talking and commenting. I mean, I know that 60% of our communication happens non-verbally. But I’ve never really imagined it Toastmasters way. How can one be so confident when giving feedback, speaking before an audience, and voicing opinion, yet the same person is so humble when listening to junior Toastmasters, accepting feedback and casual conversation? Then, I made the decision that that is the kind of person I want to be. So I stayed in Toastmasters and had surprised myself so many times during the last few years.

My fellow friends,

Plot your own journey in Toastmasters. As you continue walking, or running, or maybe climbing, you might surprised yourself too of how much you can achieve and break your own mental barriers.

Goals, Reminders and Evaluation

Goals, reminders and evaluation.

Area Governor, CC Avtar Singh, fellow Toastmasters and guests. Good evening.

What do goal, reminder and evaluation have in common? They are tools for success. They are tools to make daily lives meaningful. They are tools for a team like us to succeed.

As a Muslim, I’m grateful that at least five times a day, I’m programmed to do all these three. In the morning prayer, I reset goals for the day. In the three consecutive prayers, I remind myself, ‘Why am I doing this? Why am I doing this?’ And in the night prayer, I contemplate the course of my day, “Was it meaningful? In what way can I improve?’

I believe, regardless of your religion, you have ways to keep yourself on track in moving towards your goals. Meditation, prayers, writing them down and so on.

As a Toastmasters club, we have Club Success Plan, Distinguished Club Programme and awards that help us in constructing our goals. We have club officers and district officers who give reminders from time to time to make sure we are on track. We also give and receive feedback to evaluate performance and improve. In fact, the presence of Area Governor today with us also helps us in staying on track towards our goals.

As a President, I’ve set that one of my goal is to align the club goals to members’ needs. One way of doing it is by constantly communicating with members to speak about your personal goals. Thus, fellow Toastmasters, help me by providing feedback and letting me understand your goals. Your success is the club’s success.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our Area Governor for his official visit to our club today. And let us all except Siew Peng stand up and applaud Siew Peng for winning the first runner up in Area A4 Humorous Speech Contest. I believe Siew Peng has benefit a lot from that experience.

I will now hand the control of the lectern to our star of the evening.

Join me to welcome TM Shirley Kang.

Devil’s Trill

This is my speech as Johor Jaya Toastmasters Club’s President in our recent Installation Night on August 24. It was a Joint Installation for three clubs including Sacred Heart Toastmasters Club and MIM Toastmasters Club of Johor Bahru.

Installation Night Montage

Area A4 Governor, CC Avtar Singh, Division A Governor, DTM Go Hwi Kueh, Immediate Past Division Governor, CC Ong Hong Siong, fellow club officers, ladies and gentleman. Good evening.

ACS Yvonne thanked her club members and friends in her speech just now. Whereas ACS Yasotha said she thinks that she isn’t up to the par but is grateful for the support from her club members. In my case, I don’t know any of that.

All I know is when I gave my first opening speech in the club meeting, I couldn’t help but noticed the unreservedly happy face of CC Terrence, our Immediate Past President, because his term was over. And I can’t wait to be as happy as he is.

<audience laughed>      <———-couldn’t help remembering this

But then, in the same opening speech, I introduced my fellow club officers and I realized that I am not alone in this. I have a great team by my side. I am more convinced that I have great people in my executive committee team when at the beginning of the term, CC Perkash and CC QJ laid out their personal plans for the term for their respective roles; CC Ain, my friend, agreed to become our Vice President of Public Relations even though she is also the President of UTM Toastmasters Club; and the first time club officers, Hui Shyan, Suraizah and Farhana are enthusiastic about learning their roles and confidently set out to complete the tasks assigned to them.

<initiated applause for my executive committee team>

Ladies and gentlemen,

Does anyone recognized the song or composition played in the montage background?

<nobody got the correct answer>

The composition is called Devil’s Trill. It was played by Vanessa Mae and composed by Giuseppe Tartini. It is considered as quite possibly the most difficult violinist solo ever composed in history.

As an analogy; if all us here were musicians and I was the violinist to play Devil’s Trill, I’d like to have the people I’d mentioned just now as my accompanying musicians.


With that, thank you for being with us tonight and I look forward for an amazing term with all of you. Back to the host, CC Hidayati.

Devil’s Trill by Vanessa Mae


President’s opening speech on August 14th.

I am the first born in my family. My brother and I are three years apart. My sister and I are seven years apart. Yet, when we hang out, people always assume I am the youngest among three of us.

Fellow Toastmasters, ladies and gentlemen,

Today I’m going to share with you my opinions about bias perception, misconception and miscommunication.

Firstly, allow me to give you an example about perception bias. Apparently, changing a little bit of clothing articles will get people to have a certain perspective on what we are. This is what I usually wear when I’m going out for shopping alone. People will come to me and ask, “Adik, which year in university are you studying in?” A couple of years back, some even ask whether I’m still in high school. To me, this is practical. The jacket kept my headscarf safe from wind when I’m riding my motorbike and cinemas are usually over air-conditioned. The colors keep me in shadows and the attire looks cheap, thus make me less vulnerable to bad people. And because I look younger, I don’t feel guilty staring at the same bookshelf for two hours in MPH. And now, the transformation. Sling bag to hand bag. No jacket. Different head scarf style and colour. Flat shoes to heels. I washed this so don’t worry. Bigger brooch with blink-blink. And people starts calling me “Miss” How may I help you? You see, it is so easy to make people perceive you differently.

It is interesting to note that children are incapable of being bias in many areas, because they are pure and their knowledge about life is insufficient to make such mistake. For example, to many people, I’m in the lowest range of pay grade in the country because I ride motorcycle, but to my ten year old student, ‘Teacher, you ride motorbike coming here? Wow, you are incredibly super cool! Can I get a ride one round?”

Humans make hundreds of assumptions daily. Most of the assumptions might be made of wrong perceptions, leading to misconception. But being humans, interestingly, we are capable of making ourselves believe our assumptions are correct by repeating it to ourselves. And we tend to make assumptions based on things that stand out than things that are absent. I had these two friends in my first year. Let’s call them ‘he’ and ‘she’. He keeps telling us about how bad things are between him and his father. So, we assumed his relationship with his father is bad and it turned out correct. She never spoke about her father, so we assumed their relationship is okay. That’s what we’ve been assuming since we knew her that we believe it. Until one day, in a team building camp, we are required to tell others about our family and friends are allowed to ask any question. We were surprised, because she said, her parents are divorced for a long time and she’s been living with her mother ever since. To make matters worse, she cried right after telling that. We were so surprised that our assumption which has turned to belief is actually a misconception.

The trickiest part about a concept is to communicate it out of our mind. Or rather, the decisions whether we should keep it shut or tell it. This is the most crucial part of our communication or human interaction. For example, a man and a lady have been friends quite long. One day, this lady decided to tell her friend that she is falling for him by a letter. This man decided to keep quiet and act as if he didn’t receive the letter so they can remain friends. And they remain friends – happy ending. But take an instance, a husband and wife who disagree about something and they refuse to talk about it. They are mad at each other for longer they can remember. The kids got older and they can never understand what happened. It goes long back that they can’t even remember the actual cause. Wrong assumptions to wrong assumptions, miscommunication toward miscommunication, it became irreversible. Things might not be so, if long ago, one of them had cared to ask, “When I said this last time, I noticed your face changed. Did I say something you don’t like?” Or, the other party could have just say, “You know, that time when you said this and that, I felt sad. Please don’t say that again.”

Fellow Toastmasters, ladies and gentlemen,

Another thing that I learned from kids this Hari Raya is when you need to communicate something, say it clearly. “Assalamualaikum. Kami datang nak raya.” When you don’t have to say anything important, keep it. When my brother asked the kids jokingly, “Are you all here for money packets or food?”, they just smiled. They taught me that a smile means ‘I’m not telling anything to you but you are my friend.’



Johor Jaya Toastmasters Club President’s inaugural speech in the first meeting of term 2012/2013, the 300th meeting.

Fellow Toastmasters, ladies and gentlemen,

Today I’m grateful. I’m grateful because I’m surrounded by great people and friends. I’m grateful that you trusted me to become your President. I’m grateful that Terrence’s words had came true – I have a team of exco whom are beautiful or handsome, young and energetic.

There are great people, wise leaders and noble friends in my team of executive committees. There is no other way to feel about them but love. Today, I’m going to introduce them to all of you.

Our VPE is a guy who joined Toastmasters at the same time with me. Someone who never boasts about his good qualities, which you can only see when you are close enough to him. I’m happy that he started the term with the spirit and enthusiasm that I salute. He changed his day off to Wednesday and willing to take up this role even though he was just promoted at work, which means larger amounts of works and responsibilities. Let’s welcome, CC Perkash Loganathan.

The new VPM is a great speaker who had just received the CC award. His voice, which he is so proud of, reminds me of my late grandfather, strict yet assuring. He likes to describe himself as the opposite of what he truly is, for example, the villain, the Casanova and the narcissist. One way to prove it is by complementing him and doing that for a few minutes, his face will turn red. I mean, a Casanova can’t be that shy. Let’s welcome, CC QJ Tan.

Our VPPR is a dear friend of mine. I was her mentor. I am her mentor since she said, “You must be my mentor forever.” She told me a few times, “You’re the man. If you’re a guy, I am definitely marrying you.” That sounds pretty weird but that was meant to be adorable. I’m so proud of her because she’s taking the role even when she is also the President of UTM Toastmasters, to which she said, “Now, you are also my president mentor. You cannot escape me.” But in truth, she’s so independent I feel I didn’t do much as a mentor. Let’s welcome, CC Nor Ain Husein.

My secretary. Our secretary is a beautiful, young lady. She’s so humble till some people thought she’s naïve and child-like. Maybe it’s also because she always looks nervous and panic. But these people who thought so must have never seen her in action outside Toastmasters. When I asked her to take up this role, her answer was simple, “Afzan, if you need me, I’m ok.” To me, this is a sign of a noble friend. I’m proud of her willingness to help me. Let’s welcome, TM Tea Hui Shyan.

Our Treasurer is supposed to be Hian Siew. But I’m sad to inform that Hian Siew cannot be in the exco team due to sudden changes in her study schedule. She attended the first exco meeting. Even for only two weeks, I’m proud to have her in the team, all the same. Thus, the Treasurer seat is still vacant.

Finally, our Sergeant-At-Arms. She is a very new member to the club, yet I salute her because among some new members I asked to take up this role, she was the only one who said, “I’ll think about it.” To me, this means that she is confident with her leadership skills, but observant enough to still ask for time to consider this new environment she is in. She has the air of calmness and humility around her, despite her age – the signs of a great leader. Let’s welcome, TM Nur Farhana Mohd Isa.

Fellow Toastmasters, these are the people who will serve you throughout the term. I am proud of them. In my acceptance speech last term, I said that good leadership binds friendship. When at the end of the term, after all the trials and tribulations, our friendship strengthens, that means we have successfully practice good leadership. I’m looking forward to working with these great friends. Thank you. You may be seated.