Archive for September, 2008

Effective Public Speaking

September 10, 2008

“When a speech can be understood without much effort, it generally means that great effort has gone into its writing and delivery”


President’s Message

September 10, 2008

Written by Hondy Hung

Fellow Toastmasters and most welcomed guests.

Do you know anyone that was born with the ability to ride a bike? 

Me neither. 

Do you know anyone that can ride a bike? 

I know lots too. 

So how does one pick up a skill in which they aren’t born with?  Simple – through observing, learning, and doing.

The above concept is intuitive to most people, and can be extended to public speaking as well.  Often, people are hesitant about speaking in public because they feel that they were not born with the talent. It is
perceived that only extroverts will have the ability to control the stage.  Fortunately, it’s just a misperception.

Just like riding a bike, public speaking can be acquired through observing, learning, and doing.  Toastmasters provide the environment to help make it happen.  Every club meeting, members and guests get to watch prepared speeches, absorb evaluation suggestions, and speak in front of an audience.  We are a supportive club with people helping people, year after year.  I learned a lot from Toastmasters and as
President this year, my pledge is to return it back.  My goal is to help you grow because as Dale Carnegie put it, “Great speakers are not born, they’re trained.”

Contests Galore!

September 10, 2008

Competitors Wanted!

Table Topics Contest
September 18th
Humorous Speech Contest
October 2nd
12-1 @ CC North 7th Floor

Thamay Receives CTM

September 10, 2008

Written by Victoria Barclay

Toast of CIBC applauds its first Competent Toastmaster awardee, Thamay Chellathurai, for fiscal year 2008-09! 

Thamay joined us in November 2005 and delivered her Icebreaker a scant two weeks later.  She was so enthusiastic that her speech manual had not yet arrived.  As she recalls, “My whole speech was about the mathematician in the movie A Beautiful Mind because I did not even know the first speech was supposed to be more about myself and background.”

In a way, though, Thamay had introduced herself, because mathematics is near and dear to her heart, and she had begun the first of a series of highly informative speeches.  As Club members listened to Thamay’s speeches over the succeeding months, we realized this was someone with a true passion to educate.  Cloning, hedging, GM foods, globalization—even the benefits of garlic—are among the topics Thamay has chosen.  “I try to cover the goals for each speech in the series, she says, “and go one step more by choosing a topic the audience might not know much about.”

She recalls the comments given by her first assigned evaluator, Michael Wang.  “I was good at sharing technical information, but he recommended that I work on the stories and narrative side.”  She took the advice to heart, winding up her CTM with inspirational speeches on perseverance (CC-9) and Terry Fox (CC-10).  At Toastmasters we observe time and again how a personal story can breathe life into factual material.  “It was a challenge for me, not just because of the language barrier, but there I was, up at the front with no Powerpoint slides or engineering diagrams.”  She remembers how encouraging the applause felt that first time. 

The most difficult speech to do, she recalls, was on globalization.  “Heavy research,” she says, noting that one of the goals of CC-4 was to communicate ideas vividly without jargon.  The most interesting topics, she reports, were cloning (CC-6)  and hedging (CC-7).  “But the speech that challenged me most as a speaker was on the power of perseverance.”  That speech, at the CC-9 level, requires the speaker to “persuade with power.”

 Thamay’s skills have deepened, not just in delivering prepared speeches.  She has been a stalwart contributor to the Club, fulfilling all meeting roles at one time or another, including head Toastmaster, General Evaluator, and Chief Judge.  She has not been afraid to stretch herself, either.  Who can forget her hilarious “marriage proposal” to Bill during one inspired Table Topics session? 

Thamay will be furthering her education as Toastmaster as she embarks on the Advanced Communicator Leadership (ACL) program, beginning with delivery of a keynote address.  She also believes in giving back to the Club, and this year was voted in as AVP Education where she will be doing a lot of scheduling and otherwise helping other members to achieve their goals.  At the moment, she is organizing the Humorous Speech Contest in October.  Won’t you join in the applause?

Become a Mentor or Mentee

September 2, 2008

Written by Alick Siu

In Greek Mythology when Odysseus left for the Trojan war, he asked Mentor to take care of his son Telemachus.  When goddess Athena visited Telemachus, she disguised herself as Mentor and encouraged Telemachus to stand up and go abroad to learn more about his father Odysseus.

In Toastmasters, a mentor is essentially a friendly and experienced member who will pair up with a new or less experienced member to offer advice about the Toastmasters program. A mentor’s duty usually covers the following:

  • Orientate new member mentee regarding Toastmaster meeting activities such as prepared speeches, table topics, evaluation, meeting roles and responsibilities.
  • Brief new member mentee about various Toastmaster program such as Competent Communicator, Competent Leader, Bronze, Silver and Gold program.
  • Ensure that the new member mentee is aware of the process for signing up for meeting roles and speeches and loaning resource from the club library.
  • Help mentee in preparing speech and providing positive feedback.
  • Encourage mentee to take leadership role in the club meeting, club executive, participating in speech contest, regional conference.  This can also be leveraged with the competent leadership program.

For those who are interested in becoming a mentor or a mentee, please contact VP education at