Monday, December 18, 2017

Year-End Frolic: Filcom's 2nd Social Event

After the colorful, fun-filled & inspiring 321st meeting, the celebration continued at Beverly Hills Tower inside a cozy apartment, candle lit and with a spread of mouth-watering food & indulging drinks for everyone to partake.
In the sofa, a huge television greeted us with 2 microphones and a songbook. I saw our songbird, Arjay, grabbing the mic first, rather than a cold drink. After a few minutes, the room was filled with happy flo...ating notes from karaoke as they were hit perfectly, but in other cases, like when Joseph belted Britney's Baby One More Time, I saw the notes flying out of the window, to think that there was no window! 😜
Thankfully, someone thought of playing disco & all of a sudden, the spacious living room turned into a dance floor. The colorful dresses of Rechell, Tag and Jessie spinned as they made some twists and turns during a swing. And to make up for his vocally-challenged singing, Joseph led a zumba routine to the tune of Despacito & boy can he dance! But the funniest part was when Leo and Tag introduced their prepared games. The marshmallow relay was epic as well as the stacking of plastic cups! All of these would not have been possible without our most benevolent & loving host, Nadim, who shared his place, time & effort. We can't thank you enough. Thanks also to your team, Zoila and friends, for an impeccable hospitality. You guys made our 2nd Social Event a huge success!

321st Meeting: Share A Grab or Grab A Share

"Did you notice that the meeting no. 321st perfectly corresponds to countdown 3,2,1? That's because we are not just celebrating 1, 2, 3 but 5 momentous occasions!"

Joseph, the Toastmaster of the Evening, then asked everyone to stand up with a colored paper on their hands. As he mentioned each occasion (thanking 2017, welcoming 2018, Qatar National Day, Christmas), they tore the paper in half & it went on until the 5th occasion (launching of the 1st issue of the newsletter for this term) & the paper became small pieces. Along with a real confetti popper, they threw the torn paper in the air which filled the room with a big bang, glitters and colors! Festive, indeed. It was followed by introducing the role players: Grammarian (Ganesh), Timer (Kavitha) & Ah Counter (Arjay). He also guided everyone as to how the meeting would flow, from Prepared Speeches, Table Topics, Break, Exchange Gifts to Evaluation Session.
Joseph did not start the first session, Prepared Speeches, without explaining the theme: Share A Grab or Grab A Share. He pointed out that sharing a grab is a an act of kindness that goes a long way not only to the person who receives it, but moreso to the person who gives it. He gave a vivid example how sharing his grab of knowledge with his students/trainees as a teacher/trainer makes him happy in life. In this "fragment" (word of the day), 3 speakers shared their grab of wisdom that made us all inspired. Jessie talked about her meaningful trip in Santorini, Dennis persuaded us the value of time & relationships & Kynah (returning toastmaster) introduced Fil & Com and a broken bucket which inspired us to appreciate our weaknesses & turn them into strengths.
In the 2nd segment, Table Topics, Joseph introduced it by explaining the other half of the theme, Grab A Share, the other side of the coin that many people usually frown upon. He said that if sharing a grab is an act of kindness, grabbing a share is an act of humility. By grabbing a share, we allow those who share a grab to go back to our innate capacity to love & in this session, the audience grabbed a share from 4 Table Topics speakers. Leo, the TT master, inflated 6 colorful balloons that the speakers had to pop to know the question hidden inside. Kit, Ganesh, Tag and a guest, Divya, showcased their on-the-spot speaking abilities.
After the Table Topics, everybody enjoyed a delicious array of sandwiches, juices, tea and coffee, all the while socializing with guests and catching up with members. 15 minutes later, Joseph called everyone to form a circle in the middle in front of their respective gifts. Soon as the song Jingle Bells played in the background, they danced, clapped and sang around the circle & when the music stopped, the gift in front of them was the gift they'd take home. It was fun!
Finally, in the Evaluation session, 3rd segment, Joseph introduced the equation of life which is an Act of Kindness (sharing a grab) + an Act of Humility (grabbing a share) equals the Act of Humanity (to love and be loved). What a perfect segue for Tag, General Evaluator, when she said that it is love that gathered us that night & it is love when we evaluate to motivate. Tag then called the 3 speech evaluators, Noor, DTM Luis and Nadim, to give their due evaluations as well as the role players to give their reports before she gave her final remarks. Tag said that time after time, Filcom only gets better and better & it is because of the positive, friendly environment that we foster.
The meeting did not end without the business session where Joseph, VP-PR, presented the Volume 3 Issue 1 of The Edge, official newsletter. Here, the awards were also given to:
1. Best Speaker - Dennis
2. Best Table Topics Speaker - Tag
3. Best Evaluator - Rasheed (evaluator for Table Topics)
And of course, the obligatory group photo was taken! - End

Wishing you all a Happy Qatar Day, Merry Christmas & Blessed 2018!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

320 Meeting: Stress Management

As the year 2017 comes to an end, for some of us it means a number of deadlines to meet and some year-end auditing/evaluations at work; whereas, for others, it means hectic preparations for the holiday season or for the upcoming new year. All of these can be very stressful. Luckily, Dr. Farooq aptly chose the theme, Stress Management, for the 320th Meeting of Filcom International Toastmasters Club last Dec. 9, 2017 where he shared physical and mental tips to cope with stress.
The role players for this meeting were Dennis (Sgt. At Arms), Jan (Grammarian), Philip (Timer) & Noor (Ah Counter).

For the 1st part of the meeting, 3 speakers delivered prepared speeches from the Competent Communication Manual. Kit delivered his 2nd Ice Breaker Speech after completing his Advanced Communication Gold last meeting. In his speech, Kit revealed a lot of interesting information about his Toastmasters Journey, something that he had not shared with us before. Anil, on the other hand, gave a light-hearted speech on “Laughter – Importance in Life” & thirdly, Tag persuaded with such power on the subject of “Perspective.” Tag was declared as Best Speaker.

In the Table Topics Session, 2nd part, Rechelle Mejoc served as the Topics Master and she came up with some titillating topics to talk about. 5 volunteers had a battle of wit, but in the end, it was Diana (a guest) who emerged victorious.

After the break, Joseph conducted an engaging educational module on Evaluate to Motivate using only a pen and flipchart & not the usual PowerPoint. He tailored it in such a way that it seemed like an inspirational speech which was commended by the General Evaluator.

And speaking of General Evaluator, DTM Luis perfectly played the role with new and great inputs to improve the quality of meetings. Among his 3 speech evaluators, Nadim, Shyam & Kit, Shyam gave what was called by DTM Luis as a winning evaluation if it were a contest. This was followed by the role players’ reports and DTM Luis’ overall evaluation of the meeting.