Just back from Furama Riverfront Hotel, a place where the Convention was held.
It was a great one.
The Toastmaster District 80 includes 9 divisions in 4 countries and areas.
Singaore: 6 divisions
Hong Kong & Macau: 2 divisions
Thailand: 1 divisions
8 persons participated in the Table Topics Speech Contest. The topic was “Who do you love most in the world?” Although the topic was the same to every contestant, each contestant got to know the topic until s/he went onto the stage. S/he was required to think on their feet and have 2 minutes to deliver the speech.
These were very smart speakers. Within seconds, they could get the idea and start making speech. I was surprised that, though there were 8 responses, none of them was the same.
Champion: Benjamin Cheng
1st run-up: Ng Seng Chuan
2nd run-up: Laksha Metha
All were from Singapore.
In the International Speech Contest, Ramesh Muthusamy from division U Singapore beat the other 8 contestants and won the champion. His speech topic is Expectation. He cited his personal experiences and advised people to maintain a high expectation in their life.
It was an impressive speech. His speech skills were powerful and nature. People near me all believed he would go into at least top 3.
1st run-up: Donald Yee from Hong Kong
2nd run-up: Pradeep Kumar from Singapore
In fact, it did not need much training to tell who was a better speaker. So the results were not much surprise to the audient.
I heard some comments that a few contestants were over-prepared or overacted. Yes, I agree that the content and sincerity are the most important things to a speech. However, since most of them actually were talking about the same topics, so those exaggerated actions did capture my attention and help me sit through the event.
Interestingly, the most exciting moment to me was not from the contest.
Hong Kong is the host for the District’s 2007 annual convention. There was a marketing pitch for the Hong Kong event at the end of the convention. All Toastmasters from Hong Kong, over 60 people, went on the stage, waving the Bauhinia flag with the Chinese National Anthem reverberating across the hall. It really turned me on. It was the first time I heard this melody in a public place of Singapore.
The connection with homeland is hard to break, even for a cosmopolitan.