Saturday, December 15, 2018

345th Meeting: Celebrate

It's the most joyous season of the year, and Filcom opted for the merry way to memorialize 2018 - decorating Tafawoq Hall with all things joyful for its 345th meeting and yearend celebration! Surrounded by holiday ornaments, lanterns, and balloons, SAA Hisham set everyone to festive mood before giving the floor to Leo who officially opened the meeting and led the group in singing Qatar's National Anthem in celebration of Qatar National Day. TMOD Diana then introduced the meeting theme, "Celebrate!" with matching confetti poppers! 🎉

At Filcom, we celebrate not just events, but also the many inspiring stories each member shares. Five spectacular speakers celebrated and shared their experiences through prepared speeches. Azhar for his ice breaker speech "Hero Behind Me", delivered a very touching piece giving honor to his father. Satish, with his ice breaker speech "Vantage Point" introduced himself to the club through anecdotes from his childhood and his adventures leading to his life as an IT professional. Lotfy on the other hand, once again led everyone to reconnecting with our roots to start our forgiveness journey, in his speech "Heal The Path". Tag, meanwhile shared her tips on tapping into our real happiness through her speech "Happy New You." Leo, used his technical expertise by using visual aids and the Internet in his speech "Getting into the Technicalities of Pathways".

No matter how organized our plans are, surprises are constant in life. Even in predicaments that may not cause us to be ecstatic, there are always reasons to celebrate life for if we can see the beauty behind these uncertainties. TTM Ginalyn who introduced an interesting twist to the segment grouped the table topics volunteers into two teams, each with three members. Mehdi, Guest Ayman, Dennis, Dr. Farooq, Tag, and Rashed were the ones who braved the exciting uncertainties of the segment.

Our life experiences, no matter what package they come in, successes or failures, joys or pains, positive or negative, are simply opportunities for growth. In Toastmasters, we value growth, and we celebrate it in the Evaluation segment. Obaid led the third part of the meeting and called on Evaluators CJ, Jessie, Shyam, Fouad, and Nadim who gave their salient feedbacks on their respective speech assignments. Rashed as Grammarian, Manij as Ah Counter, and Tenny as Timer, rendered their corresponding reports before Obaid delivered his General Evaluation.

The Business Section was made special by our guests from The Voice of Nepal who performed a soulful song rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine". DTM Dr. Farooq also delighted everyone, announcing the great news worthy of celebration - Filcom achieving the President Distinguished Club status.

Truly, it was a night of celebrating every thing life has offered us in 2018. Filcomites' grateful hearts made it possible to find beauty in every circumstance.

"We don't need to wait for a special event to rejoice. Every day, find something you are grateful for, and celebrate. Celebrate the glories and triumphs, the challenges and struggles, and everything that life is teaching us. Most importantly, and this we often forget. Celebrate YOU." 🤗🎈🎉
-       Diana Tangente, TMOD
345th Meeting, Celebrate

Best Speaker: Lotfy and Tag
Best Table Topic Speaker: DTM Dr. Farooq, Tag, and Rashed
Best Evaluator: Shyam
Best Segment Host: Diana

Saturday, December 8, 2018

344th Meeting: “Inside A Speaker's Mind: Tools for Effective Communication”

Filcom International TMC 344th Meeting
Qatar Toastmasters TMC 483rd Meeting
Joint Meeting Summary
“Inside A Speaker's Mind: Tools for Effective Communication”
08 Dec 2018

All attention were focused on the lady onstage, Ginalyn, the stand-in Sergeant-at-Arms as she welcomed everyone diffusing an energetic vibe and called the meeting to order by 7pm, right on the dot. She then briefly narrated her fair share of shyness which later on she overcame little by little as she joined Toastmasters. Meeting and security protocols and standards were made known then she introduced the dynamic Club Presidents Leo Ortega (Filcom) and Azees Mohammed (Qatar TMC) who then officially declared the meeting open and addressed the members and guests present.

“Inside A Speaker's Mind: Tools for Effective Communication” is but a timely theme as contest season kicked-off where Toastmaster of the Day Joseph articulately shared and expounded it with a story of a thirsty crow and how did it manage to drink water from a deep bucket by placing pebbles until the water rose to the point it can reach. This gave in a life lesson: “that regardless of our profession, we need the right tools to do our job or achieve our goals.” As speakers, we use strategies to convey a message and what better way to do this than to unravel what’s inside a speaker’s mind – the tools for effective communication. Throughout the session, he unlocked some of these tools. Afterwhich he introduced the role players which were fulfilled by Shiban as Grammarian, Ganesh as Ah Counter and Tenny as Timer.

Prior to the prepared speeches session, Joseph shared Tool No. 1: Fear Buster. He explained further that we can’t get away from fear but we can manage it by viewing a speech as a conversation than a performance, being in the present, and being honest of who we are. In the session proper, four prepared speeches from Pathways were delivered. With his speech entitled “How Are You”, Anas highlighted the most common question we ask yet we do not really pay attention to which he realized when his son answered him truthfully which most of us adults would just shy away with the expected standard phrases: “I’m good”, “All is well”, “Fine”. Speaker No. 2 was Afajal, who researched on the “educational system” which would be the best option for everyone. The highlight includes having less stress and more time for personal development which was suggested through a scrutiny of the Finnish educational system. Another research topic on “Sugar vs Cigarette” was presented by Nevine who did not only rely on secondary research materials but also conducted an actual survey on which is more harmful: smoking cigarettes or consuming more chocolates (sugar). Finally, the session was capped with Diana’s “Be That Mentor” with her sharing her experiences being mentored at work by her colleague - Heidi and in toastmasters by his assigned mentor – Josh. She highlighted the benefits of mentoring and how she would love to share the same dedication to other people regardless of a free coffee.

Tool No. 2 is Structure which is very apt in impromptu speaking. Structure formats like Point Reason Example Point, Cause and Effect, and the Story-Message-Gain were some of the techniques shared which increase fluency by 40% and helps message retention among the audience. Topicsmaster Hafeez took the lead on the session starting with having the audience aware of the rules of the game. Several questions related to the theme were courageously hurdled and given justice by four bravehearts. Sahar expounded on the use of effective communication for personal and professional growth; Obaid challenged the question on what are the challenges to effective communication; Dr. Farooq not only spoke on the importance of communication at the workplace but also in different facets like family and relationships among others; Saad shared his definition of FEAR (false expectation appearing real) which is one major setback to communication.

Halftime break ensued for ten minutes afterwhich the Evaluation Session romped up as another tool was unleashed: speaking to give a gift that is useful and helpful to the recipient. The ever enthusiastic and always ready Division D Director, Rajesh VC, DTM spearheaded the session. During this time, DTM Rajesh introduced the audience to the benefits of giving a responsible feedback to each and every speaker which is the soul of toastmasters. Instant feedbacks which in turn motivates the person to go further. The speech evaluating team who looked into the knitty-gritty of all the prepared speeches and table topics was composed of five dashing evaluators: Lotfy, Shareef, Rashed, Tamer and Leo. They all highlighted the strengths of the speakers and opened their minds into some things to ponder in their next speeches whether a 5-7 minutes prepared speech or a 1-2 minutes impromptu. Towards the end of the session, the technical evaluating team (Grammarian Shiban, Ah Counter Ganesh, Timer Teny) delivered their reports on the good usage and some mistakes we commit in grammar, the crutch words and unnecessary filler sounds which we are mostly unaware of and how we managed the time wisely with respect to standard allotments which are all connotations of effective and good listening prowess.

During the Business Session, Presidents from both clubs extended their gratitude to each and everyone of the members and guests for making the joint meeting a success. In the end, awards for the best of the bests were given to the following:
Best Speakers – Diana May Tangente and Anas Zyoud

Best Evaluator – Rashed Al Nasa’a
Best Table Topics Speaker – Saad Ghosn
Best Segment Host – Joseph Amande

The joint meeting opened new doors to explore in the realm of public speaking and we unraveled some tools which we might already have but are not be aware of. At the end of the day, “we shape tools and afterwards, the tools shape us.” 😊🗣