In 1990, my friend Ms.Tan invited me to join them – a group of insurance friends to form a club. She told me the minimum requirement to be a member of this club was to be able to communicate in simple English. I told her my English was very poor but she reassured me as I can understand English. I was curious and at the same time eager to find out what is it all about. After all, I am keen to learn and most of my friends also there to participate.
The club was Darul Aman Toastmasters Club. Mr. Khaja Mohideen was elected as Protem President and Mr. Peter Balan was the first President. Since joining Darul Aman Toastmasters Club, I got to know many friends from difference professions. I also learnt a lot from the President Mr. Peter Balan. He corrected my English language usage and grammar every time when we gathered. That was the first time I had a chance to shake hands with the Raja Muda of Kedah during the Chartered and Installation night.
In 1993, a changed in my career stopped me from joining the club. I went to Penang but never stop looking for club that nearby to my working area.
One day in 1996. I saw an advertisement in Kwong Wah Yit Poh that Bayan Baru is forming a club. I contacted Ms. Margaret Chan and attended the first meeting at Bayan Baru Residential Association. I volunteered to take up the role as Treasurer. Mr. Adrian Ung was the Chartered President of Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club.
I was timid, shy and scared because there were many great speakers in the club like Mr. Adrian, Mr. Joachim Xavier, DTM TK Mah, Ms. Janet, DTM Margaret Chan, DTM S.L.Liew, Mr. Chor, Mr. Michael, Ms. Mary Phuah and so on. The other member whom I like to mix with was the friendly and always smiling Ms.Rosalind Chan.
I was encouraged to act in the script as Ms. Suzie Mah during our Chartered and Installation night where Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye was our VIP who represented our Chief Minister at Bukit Jambul Country Club.
I seldom do assignments because I felt embarrass to deliver my speech in front of a crowd of good speakers. I was involved in the committee most of the time. When we decided to sponsor Bayan Baru Mandarin Club, I was told to be one of the mentors of Bayan Baru Mandarin Club. I completed my fourth assignment and stopped for more than five years. I continued my project till I achieved CTM during Rosalind Chan’s term as President. That year was the first time our club achieved President Distinguished Club status.
In 2004-2005 was the turning point of my Toastmasters journey. I was elected as the 9th Club President of Bayan Baru Toastmasters Club. I had never envisaged since I joined Toastmasters that one day I will lead a club of more than fifty members. I stood and delivered my first President speech in front of an audience of two hundred. It was my dream to stand in front of a crowd to deliver my speech like successful speakers have done. I fulfilled my theme “Turning Dreams Into Reality” during my term and achieved another term for President Distinguished Club. I have improved a lot in my speeches. I have also learned a lot of leadership skills in achieving my goals, handling club issues, overcome obstacles and conflict during my term. Thanks to all the senior members who had guided me along the way.
In 2006-2007, my Toastmasters journey elevated to another level. I served as Area N2 Governor. I got to know many friends from PDC Toastmasters Club, Intel Toastmasters Club, Intel Speak-Up Toastmasters Club and Mas Tanjong Toastmasters Club. I learnt a lot from them and built up good relationships with them. At the same time, I developed confidence in Public Speaking and Leadership Skill. With the help of District Governor DTM Sivaganam, I achieved President Distinguished Area during my term served as N2 Area Governor.
Toastmasters programme is a fantastic programme. It has transformed me into a different person. All these years, I learned as much as possible from experienced Toastmasters like DTM Margaret Chan, DTM SL Liew, DTM T K Mah. DTM Rosalind Chan. Past President Dr. Janet Lim, Dr. K.J. Tan, Poh Seng Chuan, Koay Kah Hin. The Champion Speakers TM Michael Xavier, TM Ong Swee Keat, TM Saw Chin Bin. I also learned a lot from the new, young and energetic Toastmasters. I know that through persistence, I can achieve what they have achieved one day.
At the same time, I wish to thank those who have helped and supported me throughout my Toastmasters journey. I also like to advice those who are already members to take full opportunity to learn as much as you can. You never try you never know. Take up difference roles and learn as much as you can. To those who are not a Toastmasters member, it is still not too late for you to join now.
You Never Try You Never Know!!!!!!