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July 2013

11th Term, Issue 1

Yokogawa Toastmasters Club In this Issue  Meet the new EXCO team

 What is Toastmasters?  YTMC’s International and Table Topic

 Speech Contest  Division S’s Interna-

Meet the new EXCO team Welcome to the 11th Term 2013-2014 of Yokogawa Toastmaster Club. I had conducted a quick interview with the newly elected EXCO members. Let see what they have to tell us about themselves and Toastmasters.

tional and Table Topics Speech Contest  Reach for the Stars Annual Convention  Hall of Fame 12-13

Jhelyn Suan – President

Welcome on board!

A: The ultimate goal is to have fun-filled meetings with great speeches. I don’t feel much pressure because I strongly believe my team shares a common goal towards achieving Perfect 10 Distinguished Club Program.

New members  Prasanthi Polakala Gangadhara

 Sivakumar Paramasivam Thiyagarajan

 Karthik Raja Periasamy  Ganesh Thiagarajan  Nally Li XiaoMu Coming Events  Installation Ceremony on 12th July

Q: Please share the ultimate goals of the club this year? Do you have pressure to match the achievements in the previous term?

Anthony Lim – Immediate Past President Q: What advice would you like to give the new EXCO team? A: Enjoy your journey as a leader, work hard together, participate in Toastmasters activities, practice your speaking skill and promote our club, whenever you visit other clubs, at the same time meeting the club goals. Sivakumar Gopalan – Vice President Education Q: What is your plan to motivate members to deliver speeches?

Executive Committee 2013-2014

President Jhelyn Suan Immediate Past President Anthony Lim VP Education Sivakumar Gopalan Sushant Pandita VP Membership Patrick Chan VP Public Relations Amber Nguyen Chen Zhenkang Secretary Aruna Kasoju Treasurer Prasanthi Polakala Gangadhara Sergeant At Arms Ganesh Thiagarajan Karthik Raja Periasamy Nally Li Xiao Mu Club Advisors Dr. Amit Thakare Promod Ponkshe Marco Jose Mari Rubi-Cruz

A: My Plan is to continuously mentor and guide new members to deliver their speeches. For the experienced speakers, it is a matter of reminding them to sharpen their skills. I will visit other clubs to listen to other speakers and motivate our members. We also plan to record all the chapter meetings to help the speakers look back on their performances later. Sushant Pandita – Vice President Education Q: Your impression after attending the annual ‘Reach for the Star’ Convention? A: Attending Reach for the stars convention was a very enriching experience. All the guest speakers were inspiring and motivating. Listening to the prepared and table topics speeches from the Division champions sparks confidence and yearn for Yokogawa Toastmasters win at District and International Level. Patrick Chan – Vice President Membership Q: Despite your tight schedule with lots of travelling, you are still very active in TMC. What motivates you? A: I have joined Yokogawa Toastmaster about two and a half years ago. Having participated in the club meeting regularly, I began to appreciate spontaneous response to others during conversations. I have realised that been a TMD does helps me in this area. It is also fun listening to others speak, especially on different experiences beyond my imaginations.

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Amber Nguyen – Vice President Public Relations Q: Since you’ve been VP-PR for more than one term, what do you like most about your role? - asked by Jhelyn. A: I like both writing and designing so I have more to offer in this role than any others. My personal goal is to come up with nice posters and interesting newsletters to attract more new members to join our clubs. However, I would also like to take up new challenges in a new role, perhaps during next term if I have the chance to serve the club as an Exco member again. Chen Zhen Kang – Vice President Public Relations Q: Your speeches are very entertaining. Do you plan to take part in the Club’s Humorous Contest this year? A: I only knew about Toastmasters when I am introduced to our club. By presenting my speeches there, I feel that I was forced to take up challenges which I did not enjoy at first. However, I appreciate it now because the process of preparing and the fact of standing up to an audience and delivering the speech benefit me a lot in improving my confidence. Humorous contest shall be a good opportunity to learn and I would like to participate in it. Prasanthi Polakala Gangadhara – Treasurer Q: You were very shy to speak at first. How attending meetings and hearing others’ speeches inspire you to deliver your projects? A: Initially due to nervousness and the lack of confidence to speak in front of a group, I use to keep silent. But listening to the speeches boosted up the confidence in me and I questioned myself as “Why can’t I be benefited from this platform”. This is the reason why I have joined the Toastmasters family. And I am working to improve both my communication and the leadership skills. Aruna Kasoju – Secretary Q: You achieved a Competent Communicator title during last term. What are your new goals? A: My new goals are completing the Competent Leader (CL) and the Advanced Communicator Bronze (ACB) projects. I have already received the manual for ACB so I will start to work on those projects and at the same time do CL simultaneously. Ganesh Thiagarajan – Sergeant At Arms Q: What do you benefit from joining Toastmasters? A: I believe Toastmasters will be a good platform to sharpen my skills and help me achieve my career goals. My wife, also a Toastmaster, gave me motivation and inspiration to join Toastmasters Club. Karthik Raja Periasamy – Sergeant At Arms

Nally Li Xiao Mu– Sergeant At Arms

Dr. Amit Thakare, Pramod Ponkshe, and Marco Jose Mari Rubi-Cruz – Club Advisor Q: Some might think that joining Toastmasters takes time and affect their work. What do you have to tell to them? A: Our fast-paced environment is filled with noise. The ability to reduce noise to avoid uncertainty on a topic at hand is a critical skill in the toolbox of working professionals and even the man on the street. If we value this ability, we need to invest time and work on this skill at a personal level - from within ourselves. That’s where Toastmasters come into the picture. Toastmasters gives us a platform to sharpen our communication skills, slice away the clutter, make mistakes at times, and experiment. There is no oth er platform that gives you a similar chance. The aim of Toastmasters is to make effective communication a global reality. Yokogawa is among the few companies in the world that supports this initiative fully. It is up to the individual to make this a commitment for his own benefit. And for those who do, we make sure that we help each other become an inch better one meeting at a time. 2 2|July 2013|11th Term

What is Toastmasters? by Ms. Naoko Ehara, Global HR Director Honestly I never knew about Toastmasters. My best guess, which I soon found totally wrong, was something related to ‘bread’. No to ‘yum yum’ as it turned out to be a very professional (but not stiff or serious) organization. As many of you know that Toastmasters is a prestigious historical club that was founded in 1924 in USA,, currently headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, and it has more than 280,000 memberships in 13,500 clubs in 116 countries, out of which 36 members (as of June 30 th, 2013) are from our Yokogawa family. 36 may be a small number out of 280,000 but it is bigger than an average member per club of 20. And our club has gone over the decades and won awards, medals and recognition around the world. Yokogawa Toastmasters has, indeed, made every one of us proud. I would like to tell you my personal experiences with the members whom I had met more than a few times at their meetings. They are afraid of speaking but they still get up and deliver. It is a frightening experience when you have to go up in front of an audience and speak in a structural manner. Every time there is an impromptu speaking part at a meeting, I am totally frightened it may come to me. But my fear is such a low level thing, as there are always people who raise their hands within three seconds and volunteer to do it. When they speak, I can tell that they are so nervous and stiff that I wonder why they would do it. Their hands shake, voices tremble and feet rumble. Yet, they deliver. And the moment they complete the speech, they become a new person. They feel victorious (and I feel like I am a coward). It is amazing to see how one person can change within a super short period of time of just sixty seconds. Toastmaster Club is a competition but this competition begins within us. They get up and speak not because they want to speak but they want to overcome fear. It is a competition between you and yourself. And if you win, no one can take away the victorious feeling from you. (Continued on next page)

“Their hands shake… Yet they deliver.”

“...the moment they complete the speech, they become a new person.”

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Public speaking is great but leadership is even greater. It is a tough truth but let’s face that if you want to be a leader, public speaking is one of the most critical skills you must have. Leaders often inspire people by telling a story. The members certainly have genuine interest in wanting to speak better in public but their goals are beyond that. They learn about the world’s great leaders who inspire them. What they learn at the club is not only speaking techniques but also how they can live their life in a more fulfilling way. Here is the thing. Everyone has a motivation switch. This motivation can be switched ‘on’ by various factors, like weather, new clothes, a new pair of shoes, your boyfriend sends you flowers, or your girlfriend says she likes your tie etc. However, the motivation switch is usually ‘off’, simply because your everyday is a routine and we all know that is life. ‘Switch off’ is a very normal state for us (we just do not want to be demotivated!). But we also know when we realize we can do things better than yesterday, and it is recognized by the others, we feel best motivated and want to do more and even better. Self-development and receiving recognition by feedback build a strong foundation for leadership. So if you are looking for a place where to turn on your motivation switch, Toastmasters is certainly that place. My dear Toastmasters friends, you are admiring. The leadership baton has been passed from Anthony to Jhelyn, and I wish you and your journey continue to a brighter future at Yokogawa Toastmasters Club. After note: They can also check your grammar, spelling, phrases, and they can even show you where you can get the best writing tips! Thanks Amber!

Editor’s note: Ehara-san is Yokogawa’s Global HR Director. She has shown interest and support to Yokogawa Toastmasters Club ever since the first visit. On June 27th, she attended a special Toastmasters meeting—the last chapter meeting of 10th Term. We greatly appreciate her contribution to our newsletter with this amazing article. We look forward to seeing her in our coming meetings. And perhaps by then she will volunteer to speak for the impromptu speeches.

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Yokogawa Toastmasters Club’s International and Table Topics Speech Contest 2013 By Lwin Lwin Tun, CC Thank you YTMC for giving me an opportunity to exercise Organization and Delegation Skills at our International and Table Topics Speech contest on 2nd April, 2013. This is definitely the most memorable moment of my Toastmasters journey.

Champion : Pramod Ponkshe “Happy Happy We Shall Be!”

I would like to express my deepest appreciation to all the contestants who have delivered inspirational speeches and grabbed the Champion : Jose Mari Rubiopportunity to participate in impromptu Cruz speech. All contestants were very impressive and eloquent. Heartiest Congratulations to Pramod who has also emerged as the Champion for the competition in Area S with his awe-inspiring speech “Happy Happy We Shall Be!” We are very proud of his achievement.

1st Runner-up : Harry Wong “The Golden Rule”

This contest would not be successful with the effort of our role-players and supporters. Henry Fort quoted that “Coming together is a st beginning; keeping together is progress; 1 Runner-up : Sivakumar working together is success”. Without the Venkataraman team work, we wouldn’t have executed this contest successfully. Appreciation extended to all hardworking role-players. Contest Chair : Sivakumar Gopalan Timers

: Amber & Maricel


: Aruna & Devendra

Tally Counters : Nitar & Kay from Bedok TMC 2nd Runner-up : Jhelyn Suan “Happiness”

Very special thanks to Chief Judge, Chia Choon Kiat and Area S6 Governor Mansur for nd gracing this event, making it lively and mean- 2 Runner-up : Anthony Lim ingful!

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Division S’s International and Table Topics Speech Contest by Anthony Lim ACS, ALB

On 12 May 2013, that is Mother’s Day, several members like Lwin Lwin Tun, Devendra Rahangdale, Sivakumar Gopalan, Jhelyn Mabelin Suan, Amber Nguyen. Harry Wong, Marco and me attended the Division S contest held at the Old Parliament House to support one of Yokogawa Toastmasters Club’s member named Pramod Ponkshe who has performed very well, being the Areas S6 Champion, to progress and to compete in this Division S International speech contest. He gave a very inspiring speech titled “Happy Happy We Shall Be”.

Several guests of this event took this opportunity to take a seats for a short while on seats where past ministers sat in past parliamentary sessions, for example the seat that was formerly taken by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew was popular. The organizers honored the Toastmasters mothers who participated as guests, as organizers or as contestants. The organizers also paid tribute to the late Dr. Diana Young, the Charter President of Entrepreneur Toastmasters Club, a Singapore entrepreneur as well as the founder and former chief executive of aviation company Mil-Com Aerospace. She died on 21 September 2004 in a car accident in China.

Although Pramod was not placed, it was already a great milestone for our club to have reached the Division S Contest. My dreams for this club is that it will continue to inspire more members to be groomed to become a District 80 speech champions or perhaps one day, a future and promising world champion in public speaking.

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Reach for the Stars Annual Convention Day 1 by Sivakumar Gopalan 24th and 25th May 2013 held an important event for all District 80 Toastmasters. It was the 2013 District 80 Annual Convention, a grand event with amazing workshops, gala dinner and the glitterati, taken place at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Singapore. It was a fabulous job of the organizing team to organise and bring to reality such a wonderful event. The entire convention was well received from the toastmaster fraternity, each one of them taking some goodies and great experiences back home. On 24th May, a grand opening ceremony was conducted. Flag Parade and the marching-in of dignitaries, including outgoing District Governor Patrick Oei, DTM, District Governor - elect Pradeep Kumar, DTM, and other senior toastmaster members, kick-started the proceeding. Dist Governor Patrick Oei gave an inspirational address to the audience which was followed by the address by Guest of Honour Ms. Denise Phua La Peng, a Member of Parliament for Moulmein -Kallang GRC. The keynote speaker of the day was Kevin Shepherdson, a mind-set and transformation expert, master practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Program (NLP) and Neuro Semantics, Hypnotherapist and also an excellent speaker. His topic mainly focussed on the theme, “Do not watch Horror Movies” which mainly emphasised on how to train your mind to be more positive and also make your children feel more positive about themselves. At one moment, as a hypnotherapist, he was holding the whole audience under his control, by his ability of being hypnotherapist. There were lot of valuable and inspirational points to take from his speech. Then the event continued with the plenary address by Sharon Connolly, who is an image consultant. She gave an emotional and soothing speech on the different facets of life, taking examples from her own personal failures and successes.

The afternoon session was even more interesting and intriguing. There were workshops conducted by three professional speakers, who captivated the audience’s attention and made them glued to their seats. The first in line was David Lim, the leader of Mount Everest expedition from Singapore and a certified speaking professional. He gave an inspiring, enthralling yet motivating speech on Leadership and Team Building from his own lifechallenging experiences while ascending the tallest peak in the world, the Mount Everest. The topic was ‘Lessons from Everest : Leading yourself and others’. Lawrence on the topic ‘Be a Runaway Success – How to go the full distance in your race of life’ continued to awe the audience. Thaddeus is a speaker, trainer, author and founder of Runaway Practices. His speech was about the individual’s ability to go that extra mile and achieving things that are wanted. His ability of brining in humour at the required junctures made the speech an interesting and entertaining one. The third and last in the workshop series was conducted by Nishant Kasibhatla, yet another certified speaking professional. He is popular for being the only grandmaster of memory in Singapore and a Guinness record holder for remembering numbers and sequences. From his speech “ How to develop a razor sharp focus”, the audience was totally satisfied with the tips they collected.

The evening session included the gala dinner followed by the Installation night of officers for District 80, for the term 2013~2014 and awards presentation. Yokogawa Toastmasters Club was honoured the title of President’s Distinguished Club and the Outstanding Lunch break followed, provided the opportunity to EXCO award. And representing the club, club presibuild network and interaction with toastmasters from dent Anthony Lim, ACS, ALB, received the pins on our different clubs. behalf. 7 7|July 2013|11th Term

Yokogawa Toastmasters Club was honoured the title he visited his mother in law in Mongolia, he found the of President’s Distinperfect jam when he tasted the breakfast the mother guished Club and the in law prepared for him, simple bread with jam. He Outstanding EXCO immediately went to market and bought many jam award. And reprejars to bring back to Bangkok. During breakfast the senting the club, club next day he tried the jam but to his dismay, it didn’t president Anthony taste as good as he had it in Mongolia. He wondered Lim, ACS, ALB, rewhat the problem was. Then he tried all the jars and ceived the pins on our they were all not perfect. One day his mother in law behalf. visited him in Bangkok and he discovered the secret Every Year, two days of this annual convention are of the perfect jam. It was not the jam but the bread. most eagerly awaited by the toastmaster fraternity His mother in law used rye bread instead of wheat and this event too satisfied the expectations of all the bread. The lesson learnt was oftentimes we overlook toastmasters. Now all of them are again eagerly the actual problem and keep searching for the soluwaiting for the semi-annual convention coming later tion of the wrong problem. this year.

Day 2

by Aruna Kasoju

It was the second day of convention, time for the division champions to compete in District 80 – Singapore and Thailand’s International and Table Topics Speech Contest. Contestants flew from Bangkok and contestants from Singapore were very excited and enthusiastic to take the stage. The audience was also equally energetic on an early Sunday morning to applaud and enjoy the show. International Speech Contest

All the speeches were dramatic and slowly gave us a bigger picture - how we are not brave enough to try something new, fight our fears, look for solutions for the wrong problems, etc. Table Topics Speech Contest The topic was “Nobody can hurt me without my permission”. For me it seemed more of a spiritual topic. I was excited to hear the responses from the contestants when they had no time to prepare but to bring their own guts and their true personalities to the speech.

There were lots of great stories and the audience loved them all. One contestant talked about how to fight your fears using his simple experience with his kids on a trip to Disneyland. He feared of silly things in life and because of his kids he was forced to try a roller coaster ride and finally conquered his fears. What impressed me most was the sincerity of the content, a bit of humor here and there, and how the contestant made use of expressive gestures to convey their message to the audience. This story touched me in all ways as in real life many of us are not ready to take that extra step to fight our fears. What we may lose is nothing much, but if we are able to get rid of that fear, what we certainly will win is a big step of self-improvement.

They all had different perspectives. Some agreed with the statement, some did not. Some thought that selfesteem can set the boundaries, forming a protective barrier for yourself. Some took history as an example that people like Nelson Mandela, who stayed with his goals and did not let his spirits down even after staying for 27 years in prison. Some were more down to earth and realistic. They said we got hurt all the time by others even if we didn’t want to. What we could do was to pull ourselves together after getting rather than shielding us from getting hurt. The contestant gave his own example of having been fired by his former employer. He was hurt and depressed, and there was nothing he could do about it. But he fought that and rose with more will and power and he finally became successful and achieved new heights in career.

I remembered there was a speech about jam, delivered by the Toastmaster from Bangkok. He described his love towards jam, his collection of different types of jam, yet somehow there was no perfect jam which suited his taste. There was something missing. When

I personally agree that we all are normal human beings - we are not Mahatma’s, Gurus or Spiritual leaders. We take life as it is, not need to make it so complicated, so much trained, we are not robots to have no feelings. 8

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Hall of Fame 2012-2013 by Anthony Lim ACS, ALB Yokogawa Toastmasters Club became a President’s Distinguished Club as of April 2013. We congratulated four members who achieved their Competent Communicator Awards and they are Bhavani Bhaskar, Cromwell Arriesgado, Aruna Kasoju and Sivakumar Gopalan. Remarkably, Bhavani achieved her Competent Communicator Award within 5 months 19 day, holding the second fastest record to achieve it in our club history, after Neha. Besides being congratulated for achieving the Advanced Communicator Silver Award on 21 March 2013, I was delighted and felt that in coming back to attempt the Advanced Communicator (Silver) projects, it has markedly improved my story-telling skills to entertain the audience. On 26 July 2013 and 29 November 2013, we congratulated Mathivanan Sundaram and Jhelyn Mabelin Suan respectively for attaining their Advanced Leader (Bronze) awards. Four Competent Communicators

Bhavani Bhaska

Cromwell Arriesgado

Aruna Kasoju

One Advanced Communicator Silver

Sivakumar Gopalan

Two Advanced Leaders Bronze

Anthony Lim

Mathivanan Sundaram

Jhelyn Suan


:Toastmasters International


:Yokogawa Toastmasters Club affiliated to TI


:Toastmaster, an individual who is member of the club

CC :Competent Communicator, an International recognition of individual who completes 10 speech projects under Communication Program. ACB :Advanced Communicator-Bronze, an International recognition of individual who is CTM & completes 10 ADVANCED speech projects. ACS :Advanced Comminicator-Silver, an International recognition of individual who is ACB & completes another 10 ADVANCED speech projects. ACG :Advanced Communicator-Gold, an International recognition of individual who is ACS & completes another 10 ADVANCED speech projects. CL

:Competent Leader - Lead meetings in various roles.


:Advanced Leader Bronze - CL and Club Officer.


: Advanced Leader Silver - ALB and District Officer.

DTM :Distinguished Toastmaster, highest achievement and international recognition for individual who is ACG and ALS. DCP

:Distinguished Club Program

For more details on Toastmasters International Recognition and minimum requirements, please refer Toastmasters Documentation or

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(cont.) We gave our heartiest congratulations to the 8 primary Executive Committee members serving for the term 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, for being awarded as District 80 Outstanding Club Officers We were awarded pins for being the committee member in helping the club in achieving the President’s Distinguished Club in a short time, before 30 April 2013. The 8 District 80’s Outstanding Executive Committtee members are from the 10 th Exco team and they are:        

10th Club President Immediate Past President Vice President Education-1 Vice President Membership Vice President Public Relations Secretary Treasurer Sergeant-At-Arms-1

: : : : : : : :

Mr. Anthony Lim Mr. Sivakumar Venkataraman Mr. Patrick Chan Ms. Jhelyn Mabelin Suan Ms. Amber Nguyen Ms. Lwin Lwin Tun Ms. Aruna Kasoju Ms. Win Nitar Swe

During the term 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, the club also achieved the following membership building awards for recruiting 5 new members during the specified periods of two months and they are Smedley Award (1 August 2012 to 30 Sep 2012) Talk Up Toastmasters Award (1 February 2013 to 31 March 2013) Beat The Clock Award (1 May 2013 to 30 June 2013) The following members from our club also won the 1-plus-1 contests pins for bringing in guests who later became members. They are Sivakumar Gopalan, Jhelyn Mabelin Suan, Aruna Kasoju and myself Anthony Lim. Two tireless members were recognised for their dedication and hard work in serving the club in the 10 th term’s Exco team are Sivakumar Gopalan, awarded Toastmaster of The Year, and Win Nitar Swe, awarded the Excellent Service Award. It has been a very successful term as together we have achieved the prestigious title President’s Distinguished Club. I hope all members will keep promoting the club, practising their speeches and participating, by proactively taking up meeting roles or becoming a committee member, to make Yokogawa Toastmasters Club a President’s Distinguished Club every term from now on. I give my best wishes to the incoming EXCO to achieve higher goals and be better communicators and leaders.

Register now! Yokogawa Toastmasters Club Please contact Vice President Membership Patrick Chan at 98240597, Our meetings are held on every second and fourth Thursday of the month, from 11:45 am -1:00 pm. Yokogawa Engineering Asia Pte Ltd 5 Bedok South Road Singapore 469270 Tel: (65) 62419933 10 10|July 2013|11th Term

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