Thursday, January 15, 2009

An Awesome BnT Toastmasters Club Year Starter

by Jun Roy

Anything but boring. Wacky and fun. That’s how guests usually describe BNT meetings. BNT’s first meeting in 2009 last January 8 was no different. And if there’s another way to describe it, Ed’s fave word that night could have easily ended up as a runaway winner. Yes, it was awesome!

It was a full house with 15 members and 9 guests who attended the meeting. Three committed to join the club and pay the membership dues. With a theme, I Find Ways, the program, ably hosted by CC Boom San Agustin, started with the members and guests taking turns in introducing themselves. To add a little twist, Boom also asked us to also complete the phrase I Find Ways to say something about ourselves. Short, simple yet creative – a dish of BnT’s brand of creativity, served ala carte.

Then there’s the prepared speech portion. Three able speakers with three riveting topics that kept the audience glued to their seats.

The first speaker, Alvin Abrantes, delivered his Ice Breaker speech. Being a Trainer by profession, Alvin is obviously not a novice in public speaking. The title of his speech, I Can, aptly described his message. He shared a defining moment in his life when he was diagnosed with a rare disease called Guillain Barre Syndrome, a non-communicable disease which paralyzed him from neck down. His I Can speech eloquently conveyed his ordeal and arduous but inspiring journey from his paralysis to his full recovery - a triumph of both body and spirit.

How can an old notebook shape one’s future? How can some pieces of cardboard help one to think of bigger and bolder dreams? Fuzzy as they sound, the questions posed by TM Judith Jarabello in her introduction captured our attention. As she went on delivering her speech, the message became clearer. It’s not about notebooks and cardboards, after all. It’s about taking charge of one’s future. Yet, as Judith passionately shared, her notebook and cardboards helped her concretize her dreams for her future. Writing one’s goals, according to Judith, is a powerful symbol of commitment. And even if the title of her speech, You Want A Bright Future? Set Your Goals Now, doesn’t say it, “Write Your Goals” seems to be what she always wanted to add.

The title itself, Awesomeness, is, well, awesome. Being a TM can be awesome, ACB Ed Ebreo repeatedly said. He undoubtedly hit his mark – that is, to uplift our spirit with his awesome speech. He shared with us fours ways to become an Awesome Toastmaster: 1.) Be hungry for learning; 2.) Be brave; 3.) Be a leader; and 4.) Be here. His speech was an exhortation, but it was effective for he was able to connect to us. Despite the seriousness of his speech, Ed he managed to create some HahaHa moments with his good humor. “Don’t aim for becoming an Advanced TM of PM Gold, or Advanced Timer, or Distinguished Ah Counter.” Ed’s words resonated well with the audience with their humorous yet striking effect.

Instead of the usual Table Topics portion, BnT found a way to make the session a little different. DTM Michelle Lim, the club’s Charter President, facilitated a special segment with a topic, Moments of Truth. As she clarified it, the segment wasn’t a speech, but more like a workshop. And it was. The audience was divided into six groups. Each group was asked to rate the level of satisfaction for each key touch point in the life of a member and then to come up with suggestions on how to improve each touch point. True to its title, it was a highly engaging, productive, and yes, a special, segment.

With the fun, learning, and a number of guests who committed to join the club, the future seems to augur well for BNT. Definitely, BnT will again find ways to make its next meeting a worthwhile one.


Owen Cruz said...

Wow, 9 guests and 3 new members! Are you sure we'll still fit in at the MSE penthouse room?
I felt the energy and excitement just by reading Jun Roy's blog! Too bad I missed the meeting. Hirap maging PROMDI! ;)
BnT rocks!

Ed Ebreo said...

\ˌek-ˌsȯr-ˈtā-shən, -sər-; ˌeg-ˌzȯr-, -zər-\
Function: noun
Date: 14th century

1 : an act or instance of exhorting 2 : language intended to incite and encourage



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