Two Brunei toastmasters to compete against M’sian counterparts

National 2 minutes, 25 seconds


TWO toastmasters from Brunei will be competing against their Malaysian counterparts in upcoming speech contests in Kota Kinabalu on October 8.

The two toastmasters — Allen Ang and Pooja Shivanand — will represent Brunei and compete with the best toastmasters from Labuan and Sabah for the title of Division Champion, the best among 31 different toastmaster clubs.

They were selected after emerging as champions among representatives from the four toastmasters clubs in Brunei in a speech contest that was held on September 25 at the iCentre.

The contest in Kota Kinabalu consists of two categories — the Humorous Speech Contest where contestants are given five to seven minutes to deliver a funny speech and the Evaluation Contest where contestants are given three to five minutes to give a helpful and motivating feedback on a speech presented by a test speaker.

Pooja championed the Evaluation contest category in Brunei when she complimented the test speaker on the use of humour and rhetorical devices, while offering constructive recommendations on purposeful body gestures and setting a specific purpose in the speech.

Meanwhile, Allen Ang took first place for the Humorous Speech category in Brunei with his winning speech titled “The Salesman” where he shared how everyone is born a salesman.

In separate phone interviews, both toastmasters expressed their happiness for their victory and are working to prepare themselves for the upcoming contest.

Pooja attributed her success to the amount of time she spent making preparations and practising prior to every round of contest.

“The lesson I have learnt is to keep doing more constructive evaluation. When we provide feedback and help others grow, we help ourselves even more,” said Pooja.

“I feel happy and equipped to take on the next responsibility, (the Division Contest). I am grateful for the continued support and motivation provided by the Brunei Speakers’ Club. It has provided me with a platform to develop my reading, analytical and time management skills.”

Meanwhile, Allen Ang said that it felt good to compete for the second time in the Humorous Speech category, adding that he first competed in the category in 2014.

He attributed his victory to hard work and the mentality of challenging himself to become a better speaker.

“(My victory) was due to hard work and finding time to practise on stage. (I went in with) the mentality that contest doesn’t define me as a speaker, but how far I’ve come since I joined. (Other than that) it was the luck of the draw,” said Allen.

In a press statement, the Brunei Speakers’ Club said Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organisation that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations.

Brunei comprises three community clubs and one university club in Bandar Seri Begawan and Seria. They are the Brunei Speakers’ Club, Brunei Advanced Speakers’ Club, Oil Town Talkers Toastmasters Club and Universiti Brunei Darussalam Toastmasters Club.

The Brunei Times