Good outing: (From left) Diana Spencer, Barclay and Md Ariff Azahari from the Azam Toastmasters Club receiving the President’s Distinguished Club Award.
KUCHING: A contingent from Kuching’s various Toastmaster Clubs attended the Toastmasters International District 87 annual convention in Surabaya, Indonesia, bringing back awards and a trophy.
District 87 comprises Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei and Indonesia. Over 200 delegates from the region participated in the convention themed “Cheer Up and Speak Up” early this month.
Speakers from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore inspired the delegates with their speaking prowess.
They included Stephen Fernando, a comedian and Toastmaster from Peninsular Malaysia who conducted an educational session on making speeches more humorous, while Md Ariff Azahari, a trainer from here, spoke on finding passion in one’s work.
During the convention dinner, Dr Charlie Dudang, a member of the Hornbill City and Connections Toastmasters Clubs, received his Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) Award.
Clubs from here who had met their educational and leadership targets also received awards.
Meanwhile, Donna Barclay from the Azam Toastmasters Club took first prize in the Table Topics Contest, which involves impromptu speaking for one to two minutes.
“It was nerve-wracking, waiting outside until I was called in. Then as I walked onto the stage I could see the audience of about 200 people.
“I had to compose myself very quickly and listen carefully to the topic. I am really proud to have won the trophy for my club and for our division,” she said of her experience.
Adrian Chung from the Chief Minister’s Department Toastmasters Club participated in the International Speech Contest with a piece on the fear of public speaking.
Although he did not place in the top three, he enjoyed competing at this level.
“This was my first district-level competition. I took part because I know competition is the best form of training. It was really more about growth, exposure and experience than winning. “The experience was rewarding in many ways and I’ve learned a great deal about myself, the contest, the audience and I will be more prepared the next round,” he said.