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Division K International Speech and Table Topics Speech Contests
- 20 March 2005

By Azlina Abdul Jalil, CTM

The Division K International Speech and Table Topics Speech Contests were held on 20 March 2005. The contests were the highlight of the convention, in which each area was represented by the best of the best, going head to head, to showcase their finest speakers. There was excitement in the air - it was bound to be a great, great morning.

The audience was informed that this is the first time that all Areas in Division K are represented in both contests.

Table Topics Speech Contest

The Table Topics Speech Contest was up first, chaired by Ridwan Sedgwick, CTM. The contestants were: Arief Putera Sharipudin, Lee Le Min, Nicholas Lim, Nico Liew and Stanley Joibi. The chosen question or table topic of the day:

“Being kind is more important than being right. Do you agree?”

We had wonderful responses from the 5 contestants. Arief talked about being kind in the workplace, Lee talked about the importance of being kind, while Nicholas reminisced on his childhood days. Nico told the audience of his many multiracial friends and Malay girlfriends and last but not least, Stanley responded in his usual confident tone talking about attitude, beliefs and commitment.

What wonderful insights from just a total of 10 minutes for all contestants. Being relieved of their Table Topics thinking caps, the contestants now had the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the next contest.

International Speech Contest

The International Speech contest was chaired by the most glamorous, Christine Yap, DTM. The contestants were Geoff Andrew, Roselind Gan, Leong Shar Cheong, Lee Le Min, Kevin Lim and Francis Tham.

The first contestant was Geoff Andrew who spoke of how we should all “Stand Up and Be Counted!” Geoff, an honorary Asian and a Bumi Putih shared his insight on patriotism and his experience in conquering the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro in a bid to make his nation proud.

He was followed by Roselind Gan with her speech entitled “Choices, Challenges, Changes.” Being the sole lady contestant in this years contest, Roselind indeed took Geoff’s challenge to stand up and be counted for. Roselind spoke on how we have to make choices in life, how we can prepare for the challenges and how we can adopt an attitude change. Roselind’s speech included a very interesting “news reading” segment, which flowed beautifully with the rest of her speech.

Next up, it was Leong Shar Cheong, speaking on the topic of “Obstacles.” Leong mentioned that in life we is always concerned with success or failure, winning or losing, and this concern usually turns into fear. Leong suggested that we get rid of these obstacles and said that “If you feel it is right, do it! Have self-belief, if others believe in you, then why don’t you?”

As I continued to ponder on this question posed by Leong, the spotlight turned to the fourth contestant, Lee Le Min. Lee brought the audience on a journey to “Live and Learn.” Lee talked about the survival instincts of animals and how we too can take this to heart. As humans, our one advantage over animals is that we have the will and power to learn. Most of this learning actually takes place after we have finished school and should be a life long process or CANEI. Continuous and Never Ending Improvement!

The next dear young friend, Kevin Lim. Kevin and his chicken were back! Yes, I must say this. That was the third time that I listened to Kevin deliver his speech “The Chicken & I.” And yet, I was amazed at how it felt as though I were listening to it for the first time. Kevin delivered a powerful speech on leaving your comfort zone, facing your fears and exploring your potential. After listening to Kevin deliver this speech at his club level and then at the Area level, I believe that Kevin’s strength lies in evaluating himself each time and then going back and incorporating improvements for the next level. Bravo Kevin!

The final contestant for the morning was Francis Tham. I listened to Francis deliver this speech entitled “Take That Penalty Kick” at the Area level contest and I was captivated. I was expecting the same that time round. And Francis delivered. His speech involved such emotion and charm that you could not help but root for him to score that penalty shot! Francis reminded us all to say yes to facing challenges, for the rewards at the end far outweigh any fear or uncertainties you might face at the beginning. My three words to describe this speech – soooo, soooo good!

And so, the contests ended on a high note. An interview with all the contestants was then conducted by Ridwan Sedgwick, CTM. Ridwan interrogated the contestants on how their various hobbies and interests are related to Toastmasters. Television and Toastmasters. F1 and Toastmasters. Golf and Toastmasters… Simple questions, which drew very entertaining responses from the contestants.

And The Winner Is…

Finally, the moment everyone was waiting for…the results!

Winners were announced as follows:

Division K Table Topics Speech Contest:
Champion – Stanley Joibi (Kota Kinabalu/Area K1)
1st Runner Up – Arief Putera Sharipudin (Labuan/Area K6)
2nd Runner Up – Lee Li Min (Tawau Mandarin/Area K5)

Division K International Speech Contest:
Champion – Francis Tham (IEM Sabah/Area K4)
1st Runner Up – Roselind Gan (Tawau/Area K2)
2nd Runner Up – Kevin Lim (Kota Kinabalu/Area K1)

District 51 Governor, Dr A Arulnathan, DTM then addressed the audience followed by a closing address by the Division K Governor, Richard A Gontusan, DTM. The Organising Chairman, Andrew Thien, ATM-G, thanked the audience for their support and cooperation in rendering the convention a success.

In closing, President John Liew, ATM-B acknowledged the comments made by the General Evaluator and the Area K1 Governor, and thanked those present for their support.

(Click on image to view Larger image)

Datuk Adeline Leong presents
the Championship Trophy to
the Winner of the Division K
International Speech Contest,
Francis Tham

Winners of the Contests

Congratulations to all
winners of the Division K
International Speech
and Table Topics Contests

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