Thursday, October 19, 2006

Excerpts from the BnT Fortnight, Oct. 12

BnT Club Officers Attend a Simply Amazing Conference

Toastmasters all over the country gathered in one weekend of fun and learning last October 7 and 8 at the picturesque site of Meralco Management Development & Leadership Center (MMDLC), Antipolo City. The mid-year conference, a tradition that started four years ago, proved to be another successful event in the history of Philippine Toastmasters.

One of the highlights of the conference was the Quartethlon Speech Contest, a competition where a contestant competes in four categories – singing, speech evaluation, impromptu speech and prepared speech (focus on gestures). Our Division’s representative, CTM RJ Laguardia, emerged as the 1st runner up winner in the overall Quartethlon Speech Contest. He won the champion trophy in the speech evaluation contest and placed 1st runner-up both in the impromptu speech and singing contests. ATM-S Jonathan Yogawin from Pines Toastmasters Club (Division G) is the overall champion while CTM Leandro Ilagan of Davao Noontime Toastmasters Club (Division E) achieved the 2nd runner up award.

Another highlight of the conference was the President’s night, which honored International President DTM Johnny Pawe Uy. It was an entertaining night of roasting and toasting, which culminated with an inspiring speech from the International President.

Not to be missed were the educational sessions facilitated by DTM Gina Mapua and TM Louie Banta.

The first session is a judging seminar that featured several international champions in public speaking. DTM Gina Mapua discussed the strengths or the winning factor of each speaker in terms of content, organization and delivery.

The second session is a leadership talk entitled, “Making the L.E.A.P. to Leadership”. The facilitator, TM Louie Banta, talked about leadership in terms of Learning, Exposure, Ability to Make a Mark, and Personal Development.

BnT Officers Jazz Encarnacion, Ed Ebreo, Mar Sy, and Gege Sugue attended the event and found it to be a great learning experience.

Other highlights of the conference are the spectacular venue, good food and the warm friendship and camaraderie shared with the other Toastmasters. The event concluded with a community singing of the Toastmasters version of the song “Pinoy Ako”. It’s definitely a simply amazing conference!
- by Jazz Encarnacion, ATMS, CL

Club Milestones

Two goals down! 8 to go.
Achieving Distinguished Club standing contributes to providing members an environment for learning and gaining confidence. In desiring to provide this kind of environment to its members, BnT is aiming to accomplish 9 or all of 10 goals, which will earn us a President’s Distinguished Club Award.

By attending the educational session at the Mid-Year Conference, and the Officers’ Training last July, we have just accomplished Goal # 9, which requires that a minimum of four club members be trained during each of two training periods.

We have also recently accomplished Goal # 10, which involves the timely submission of membership and officer list reports.

Way to go, Toasties! Our dedication to excellence will drive us to work together to meet the other goals.

Chill, It's Only A Speech
When I arrived at the meeting last week, I was amused and amazed to see one of the speakers for the evening casually sprawled on the chair, looking like all is well in his world. “What’s wrong with him? Why is he not a bundle of nerves, the way I tend to be just before delivering a speech project? Doesn’t he realize that he is just about to get in front and take the risk of making a fool of himself?”

As it turned out, Ed Ebreo did a great job of playing the fool. And that was even part of his speech. He poked fun at the zombies and weirdos who attend training workshops in a condition he calls, “Dead on Arrival”. By demonstrating character sketches and using humor to engage the audience, he drove his message well. And he showed me that one need not arrive dead with dread to deliver a great speech.

So, how do we keep our cool before a speech? First, is to recognize that your fear does not make you a freak. Author and Communication trainer Raju Mandhyan explains that the fear of public speaking is normal. There’s this part in our brain called the amygdala, which is ruled not by logic but by irrational emotions like passion, fear, and rage. (Yes, girls, that’s also the part of our brain that drives us to starve so we can buy that fabulous bag from Rustans.) The amygdala triggers a “fight or flight” mechanism that causes sweaty palms, increased heartbeat, dry mouth, and knocking knees. Not the kind of symptoms you want your evaluator to notice.

There are helpful techniques we can use to keep cool before and during a speech. Raju’s prescription involves the 3 P’s: planning, preparing, and practicing. Other public speakers recommend deep breathing, hydration, prayer, meditation, visualization, and sometimes just faking the confidence by standing tall and smiling.

As for Ed, he keeps his cool by dispelling any expectations of perfection. Come to think of it, perfection is an impossible goal for anyone and so it sets us up for failure. Even for the best speakers, there is always room for improvement. Ed’s mindset is one focused on doing one’s best and learning from mistakes. He thinks to himself, “If I fail in this speech, what’s the worst that could happen? I will get a bad review; I will learn and do better next time.” Funny, that his approach to public speaking cooldom is in itself an act of courage – the courage to face falling short of perfection.
As we prepare for our next speech, obsessing how to make it perfect, let’s remember all the wise advice above. Preparation, practice, a glass of water, and setting reasonable self expectations are great ingredients for keeping your cool and confidence in public speaking.

- by Gege Sugue

You can also visit Ed Ebreo’s blog at:
Check out Raju Mandhyan’s articles at:

Business Matters:
Yes, it’s fun attending the meetings and we really enjoy your company. We love it when you rave about the food we serve. And you did really great in that last speech you delivered and the last role you played. But do those things make you an official club member? Does staying in the garage turn you into a car?

We answer “No” to both questions. But, being a member is easier than becoming magically converted into a flashy sedan. All it takes is paying up the semestral fees of P2,226.00, which we all agree is a great investment with simply amazing returns. Your name stays on the official roster, you continue receiving those super helpful magazines, and you get credit for the projects you deliver. Plus you help keep our Treasurer’s life stress-free. Now, isn’t that a good deal?

The response to our call for submitting your personal meeting schedule was so …what’s the word…underwhelming! Come on, guys! Let’s show more bravura! Let’s exhibit that BnT zeal for learning and excelling!

Please submit the Meeting Schedule form sent out by VP Ed Gege Sugue by email. This will help us schedule your speeches, and will serve as reminder to prepare for your .future speeches.


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