Anyway x 5
I was pronounced guilty of 5 Anyways (amidst other “uhs” and a “basically”) by the Ah-Counter in my room. This somehow tickled me so much that I doodled it down on the Agenda paper. Isn’t it interesting how something like that slips past our ears as we speak? Especially how many times we repeat a word when we were certain the last time we said it was last speech, last week, last month, maybe last year. “Definitely didn’t use this in the last sentence, let’s naturally say it now!” I’m exaggerating but it is from these little things pointed out by the attentive Ah-Counters that we learn and notice our small quirks. Anyway, I for one seem to love the word ‘anyway’ so in a salute to that, here are 5 anyways from the night.
1. “Anyway, table topics aren’t meant to be serious.” I admit that as table topics master I might have pushed my questions a little further and some proved to be an unconventional challenge (sorry guys!) but the enthusiastic response certainly turned it around. Serious quotes were questioned (“The author says that dreams are a maze – I think he got confused in his own and wrote this quote!”), weird scenarios were realized (in response to being ruler of a new land – “Welcome to Pug Land!”) and direct questions were answered (“My dream holiday plan is to fly somewhere (anywhere) and communicate with people.”). We laughed, we talked and we listened. Table topics are something different and each speaker seized the chance to speak and have fun, “stressful” as it may appear.
2. “Who’s nervous anyway?” Our prepared speakers were simply natural on stage. They exuded confidence and divulged us in a wide range of topics – from Halloween to Nature, Friendship to Phone Culture. Needless to say, we left with a better understanding of each area, and each speaker.
3. “But anyway, do take note of this.” After a casual break, we returned to the room for Evaluation Reports. We heard concise and effective criticism from the evaluators, each providing feedback and advice for their respective speaker and collectively, for everyone. Strengths were recognized and suggestions were given. Like the Ah-Counter, the small things pointed out are helpful to any speaker and a step towards better communication and presentation.
4. “Here are the reports anyway.” Ah, the moment of truth. At the end of the meeting, the Timer and Ah-Counter are invited to report the timings of the speakers and the “counted-ahs”. As a senior mentioned, the timers keep us on track and the Ah-counters keep us aware. Yours truly was one of the “heavy offenders” whilst someone was reported to have the high score of “0” (something we all strive for, perhaps?)
5. And in closing, “Contribute in any way you want.” Educational Awards were presented and announcements of recruitment for each committee were made. This was a reminder of how each member can contribute to our community and club. Be it speeches, holding appointments or even just being present, everyone is integral to the club. Truly, we can all contribute in any way we want.
I have hereby brought my grand total of “Anyways” to 10 at this point but overall, the true 10 should be given to the chapter meeting for being another wonderful one. At every meeting, we leave with new discoveries and new ideas – this one was no exception.
Here’s to minimizing my “Anyways” and maybe writing less words but basically – be a Toastmaster anyway, any way and of course, your way.
Contributed by : Alicia Lim