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Joint Area K1 and Area K4 International Speech
And Table Topics Contests
- 25 February 2005

By Azlina Abdul Jalil, CTM, CL

The Joint Area K1 and Area K4 International Speech and Table Topics Contests were held at the Beverley Hotel on Friday, 25 February 2005. It was a night filled with inspirational messages, fellowship and laughter.

The event kicked off with an opening address by the Organising Chairperson, Melody Chong, (who admitted that she actually did nothing in preparation of this contest). Judging by the turn out and success of the event, I believe that she did a wonderful job of “doing nothing,” as she says. In her opening address, Melody acknowledged and thanked committee members for their efforts in the organisation of this contest and presented everyone with a certificate of appreciation.

Area K4 Governor, Alice Kunjan then addressed the audience and introduced the objectives of the contest.

The International Speech Contest then commenced with Caroline Chin as the Contest Chair. There were 3 contestants from Area K1 and 4 contestants from Area K4. First up were contestants from Area K1.

Kevin Lim got the ball rolling with his speech "The Chicken and I," detailing the intricacies of his transformation from a kampung chicken to the urban chicken that he is today. I believe that in different ways, the chicken does live within us and Kevin's speech brought about the realisation that we can either stay in that same coop for as long as we want or go out and do something to try to slaughter that chicken forever. Very “nice and good,” Kevin.

We were then brought into a "Colourful Life" with Andrew Thien. Andrew talked about the different colours that we can use to symbolise our lives. Some days might be black or blue and others might be a cheerful yellow or red. Ultimately, it is our choice of what colours we bring into our lives.

The last contestant for Area K1 was Zakaria Ahmad. In his speech entitled "I Believe That," Zakaria shared with the audience some of his strong beliefs about life, what he has learnt from them and how it has changed him. Zakaria's speech was filled with emotion and conviction that I think I didn't blink even once during those seven minutes (well maybe, once.)

Next it was the contestants from Area K4. First up was Annie Cheng and her “Journey of Life.” Annie spoke of how life is a journey and we ourselves determine how it all ends up. What are the things that we can control and what are the ingredients that we choose to put into our lives. Say Annie, what ever happen to those sandwiches? - I know everyone groaned with hunger as Annie held up 3 sandwiches to illustrate her point on what ingredients to put into our sandwiches...err I mean life.

"I Have a Dream" was the title and opening line of the next contestant's speech - Jirom Dony. Jirom spoke of how we all have unfinished dreams and how we would never be satisfied until we achieve them. Jirom spoke with such a clear and confident tone, one would have thought that he was a regular in speech contests.

"I Have a Dream". No, you are not seeing double. This was also the opening line for the next speaker, Amran Aliamat. Amran, a seasoned Toastmaster and a veteran in Speech Contests spoke about his dream to win in his speech entitled "My Trophy, My Father". Amran spoke with a calm exterior and effectively used pauses to add impact to his speech.

Last but not least, the final contestant for Area K4 was Francis "Pele" Tham. Francis got the entire audience of the edge of their seats with his powerful and attention-grabbing opener. The audience was with him all the way - excited, tense, inspired as he shared his story to "Take The Penalty Kick". Listening to his speech, I was in tears....tears of laughter as the speech was sprinkled with a wonderful dose of humour.

After a 30 minutes break, the Table Topics Contest was up next. The Contest Chair was TJ Chong and again, there were 3 contestants for Area K1: Stanley Joibi, Amran Aliamat and Andrew Thien, and 4 contestants for Area K4: Nicholas Lim, Soo Yuen Mee, Jirom Dony and Cecilia Matuya.

And the million dollar (well, how much do those trophies cost?) question for the night was.."Spare the rod, spoil the child. Please comment on this statement." Not an easy one, I might say. Well done to all the speakers who managed to answer the table topics question with poise and confidence, in their own ways. Stanley spoke with such a strong and commanding voice. Amran, Andrew and Yuen Mee reflected on their experience with their children. Jirom again displayed wonderful confidence. Nicholas brought laughter to the floor and Cecilia introduced the concept of bargaining with your children.

As both contests concluded and the anticipation and excitement built, the audience then enjoyed a hearty interview session with the contestants, conducted by the respective contest chairs of the night.

Finally, came the moment that everyone was waiting for. The results. Announcing the results, it was the Chief Judge of the Contests, none other than TC Lim.

The winners were as follows:

International Speech Contest - Area K1

Champion: Kevin Lim
1st Runner Up: Zakaria Ahmad

International Speech Contest - Area K4

Champion: Francis Tham
1st Runner Up: Amran Aliamat

Table Topics Contest - Area K1

Champion: Stanley Joibi
1st Runner Up: Andrew Thien

Table Topics Contest - Area K4

Champion: Nicholas Lim
1st Runner Up: Jirom Dony

Area K1 Governor, Yee That Hian then delivered his closing address and expressed his hope to see everyone at the Division Convention, which will be held from 19 to 20 March in Promenade Hotel.

What a wonderful night! Congratulations to all the winners! It was an especially memorable night for IEM(S) Toastmasters Club as both of the club representatives emerged as champions! (Hurrahhh!)

All the best to the contest champions, who will now be contesting in the Division level in March.

(Click on image to view Larger image)

Contestants Annie, Cecelia,
Yuen Mee and Andrew prepare
to do battle

The turnout at the event

Winners posing with
their trophies

A job well done by the
Organising Committee

Pictures by TM Constantine Chong

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