Harikrishnan Muthusamy DTM
Program Quality Director’s Incentives
(until 31 December 2017)
The District 80 2nd District Executive Committee Meeting and 1st District Council Meeting was held on 04 November 2017, Saturday, at Singapore Institute of Management, 41 Namely Ave Singapore 267616, Lecture Theatre 3.04. Here are some of the highlights and actions.
From left to right: Jacqueline Ang (Administration Manager), Lee Chay Buay (Finance Manager), Pradeep Kumar DTM (Club Growth Director), Tay Tiam Teang DTM (District 80 Director), Poh Kim Siong DTM PID (Parliamentarian), Harikrishnan Muthusamy DTM (Program Quality Director), Wee Chee Sian (Public Relations Manager)
Certification of Quorum by District Credentials Chair Tay Yiang Ping DTM.
Report by Division A Director Sue Fong Sok Nee
Report by Division D Director Gerald Ong
Report by Division T Director Yeo Chai Tun DTM
Report by Division U Director Edwin Goh
Report by Division V Director Lim Sor Lin
A minute of silence observed for the late Past District Governor, Aziz Mustajab DTM and Past Territorial Council Chairman, Gerald Green DTM, AS
The report for District 80 Term 2017-2018 2nd District Executive Committee Meeting and 1st District Council Meeting on 04 November 2017 can be downloaded from the following link:
AT LAST, we witnessed the birth of the Humorous Speech and Evaluations Champions at our illustrious District 80 2017 HSE Contest at the Rock of Ages Auditorium on 28 October 2017! Here are the results:
Humorous Speech Contest
Champion: Ng Cher Khim
1st Runner Up: Glenn Lim
2nd Runner Up: Lim Yen Wei
D80 Humorous Speech Contest Winners
From Left to Right:
District Director Tay Tiam Teang, 1st Runner Up Glenn Lim, Champion Ng Cher Khim, 2nd Runner Up Lim Yen Wei, Program Quality Director Harikrishnan Muthusamy
Champion: Benjamin Leow
1st Runner Up: Tan Kwan Hong
2nd Runner Up: Aaron Ong
D80 Evaluations Contest Winners
From Left to Right:
District Director Tay Tiam Teang, 2nd Runner Up Aaron Ong, Champion Benjamin Leow, 1st Runner Up Tan Kwan Hong, Program Quality Director Harikrishnan Muthusamy
District Director Tay Tiam Tiang and Program Quality Director Harikrishnan Muthusamy presided over the Evaluations Contest and Humorous Speech Contest respectively. Both contests were judged by a panel of 15 judges led by Chief Judge Edward Ma, while veteran Toastmaster Richard Sng was the Test Speaker at the Evaluations Contest.
Beside the annual Hall of Fame to celebrate the achievements of Toastmasters in District 80, World Champion of Public Speaking 2016 Darren Tay and HSE Dual Champion for Humorous Speech and Evaluations 2016 Clement Chio graced the occasion with their special appearances and gems of wisdom.
With support from a contingent of 25 volunteers, Hall of Fame Organiser, Immediate Past District Director Patricia Lum, along with HSE Contest’s Organising Chairs Bhanu Prakash and Suzanne Loh, conducted the District 80 HSE Contest 2017 and Hall of Fame 2016-2017 to resounding success.
Our organising team: The driving force behind the District 80 HSE Contest 2017 and Hall of Fame 2016/2017
District 80 Humorous Speech & Evaluations Contest 2017 and Hall of Fame 2016/2017
Program Quality Director’s Office
Three things happened on the evening of 07 October 2017. First, it was raining. The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system broke down, right at Newton Station; where it’s the nearest station to Cairnhill Community Club (CC), was the second. It was later known there’s flooding in the tunnel between Bishan and Braddell station that resulted in 20 hours inoperable, longest in the system’s history.
Toastmasters International President, Balraj Arunasalam, DTM, presenting the Distinguished District and Excellence In Leadership awards to Immediate Past District Director, Patricia Lum, DTM, at Cairnhill Community Club
These two did not deter about 70 enthusiastic District 80 Toastmasters from attending the event held at Cairnhill CC, the third thing, where District 80 hosted Toastmasters International President, Balraj Arunasalam, DTM, to a meeting and a question and answer session.
DTM Balraj Arunasalam complimented Cairnhill CC for supporting and housing 9 Toastmasters Clubs. This, in his opinion, is worthy of a write-up in a Toastmaster Magazine. In his opening speech, he cited examples from events such as the 2007/8 Financial Crisis and the United States fire department during and after the 9/11 attack to highlight the importance of leadership – by keeping “people-first”.
Group photo at Cairnhill Community Club
Learning it the hard way (change everyone except himself), he came to realize changing for the better can only come from within oneself. This is the reason “people-first” is the philosophy he abides by. He described two examples of adopting this philosophy in his personal life and the result that follow; how he influenced his daughter to become a youth delegate in the United Nations representing Sri Lanka, and no loss of staff at his workplace for 10 years. He encouraged all Toastmasters present at the event to start adopting “people-first” philosophy at their own home Clubs, believing charity begins at home, realize Club mission and begin to change lives everyday.
During the question and answer, this people oriented philosophy by the International President (IP) is reverberated throughout the entire session. Beside assurances of Toastmasters International’s (TI) continued support to the old program after the introduction of Pathways, Toastmasters’ new education program (can consider doing both if Toastmasters had already received the old program’s new member kit, which ceased for Toastmasters who joined after 25 July 2017), members are encouraged to go thru the Navigation where you will learn everything about Pathways. Speaking from experience, IP has spent 4 hours on it. Pathways will continue to evolve, exploring areas unexplored, including translation to more languages whilst placing importance on the value that can be brought to the members.
Visiting SIM Mandarin Toastmasters
Impressed with IP’s Clubs creation records, Toastmasters on the floor asked for IP’s advises and thoughts on topics ranging from membership growth and retention, starting new Clubs, optimal size of Clubs and resolving conflicts. IP went on to relate how he did not lose a single Club for 9 years – that is by concentrating on strengthening the existing Clubs instead of starting Clubs for the sake of. Giving an example, if a Club is too large, it would be wise to split the Club – speaking demand is the litmus test to decide this.
A wonderful lunch session with District 80 Division Directors
Taking care of the old, young as well as the physically challenged, IP remarked Toastmasters activities keep mental activeness, a point to consider when thinking about how to keep aged Toastmasters. Works are also in progress by TI on growth of Gavel Clubs – focusing on youth leadership, a personal passion of IP too. As for the difficulties faced by the physically challenged on taking up projects in the Competent Leadership manual, IP will take this to the TI board to address. On selling Toastmasters to non-Toastmasters, IP encouraged Clubs in CCs to sit down with the CC authority to find out how to give back. Hence it will promote the organization as – not just about public speaking, but more on effective communication. In fact, some Toastmasters leave because there is no opportunity to give back. It is the giving that keeps them. Therefore it is part of effort to retain members too. And finally, to resolve conflicts, agree to disagree. 80% of problems are resolved by listening. Listening is important.
After the Division Z Humorous Speech & Evaluation Contests
Gerald Green, Toastmasters International’s first and only accredited speaker outside the United States and Canada since 1994, has passed on to the afterlife on 17th September, 2017 at the age of 78.
Distinguished Toastmaster Gerald Green, Accredited Speaker, Past Territorial Council Chairman, was the man who brought Toastmasters to, and initiated the first Toastmasters Club in Malaysia in 1978. During the early days, he travelled to Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore to form the Pan-Southeast Asia Territorial Council that merged the Toastmasters Clubs from these three countries together with Malaysia to form District 51 (Southeast Asia District). He was then its first chairman. He was not only the pillar of District 51, furthering on to District 80, 87, 97P and 102.
He was affectionately known as Papa (Daddy) Gerald Green in the Toastmasters fraternity in this region.
A loving husband, and father of three, he authored three books, titled The Magic of Public Speaking, My Pocket Speaker’s Brief, and Speak Like A True Leader. His life revolved around writing and speaking.
Being an outstanding Toastmaster, his passion lies in the never-ending journey to help other people improve themselves. This is resonated in his own words, “I don’t have to be first anymore, I just have to be available.” At the District 80 Annual Convention in year 2012, Papa Gerald Green reiterated the need to take good care of members’ growth whilst going after membership growth in his speech delivery. “Please think of the Toastmaster individual who needs proper development” he said. Papa Gerald Green then went on to remind members, while he can tell, all of us have to do it ourselves, by sharing his favorite poem.
You can love me, but I must make me happy.
You can teach me, but I must do the learning.
You can guide me, but I will have to walk that path.
You can coach me, but I must win that game.
You can promote me, but I must be successful.
You can even pity me, but I will have to bear the sorrow.
For the gift of love is not the food that feeds me;
Its the sunshine that nourishes for I must finally harvest for myself.
So if you love me, don’t just sing me a song;
Teach me to sing, for when I am alone, I will need the melody.
RIP our friend, we here in District 80 will miss you dearly. Your words and sage advice will remain in our hearts.
Achievements (source from www.toastmasters.org):
- Presidential Citation in 1993 (Toronto) for merging Toastmasters from Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, eventually becoming District 51 – largest & No.1 District for five consecutive years.
- Featured Speaker – 1997 Convention New Orleans.
- Delivered Inspiration at Opening Ceremony and was chief judge for the Accredited Speaker Program at 2014 Convention in Kuala Lumpur.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – By Theodore Roosevelt
The beginning of a new program year is always filled with so many exciting activities that time seems to have slipped away so quietly without us realizing it. Two months have passed and perhaps it’s time for us to review what we have done, what we have achieved, and what lies ahead of us.
District Executive Committee (DEC) Meeting
The 1st DEC meeting was held on 1 July 2017, the very first day of the new term. The focus of the meeting was to plan and strategize for achievement of District 80’s key performance indicators, namely new club growth, membership payment growth and Distinguished Club Program (DCP) growth.
Club Growth Director Pradeep Kumar DTM has published the “necessities” (i.e. incentives) for new club growth and membership payment growth for program year 2017-2018.
District 80 Mobile App Launch
We launched District 80’s first ever mobile app on 1 July 2017. The mobile app was primarily designed to replace the printed copy of our district directory, which the district has been printing in the past. The mobile app offers advantages such as lower costs, ease of use, real time updates and richer content formats.
It took a while for the directory information to be made available on the mobile app due to the fact that the information was only released by Toastmasters International towards end July, and time taken after that to seek listing consent from our members for compliance with Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). Most of the information, if not all, is available on the app now.
The mobile app will continue to be a work in progress as we continue to add new features to the app.
District Officers Training (DOT)
A DOT was conducted immediately after the DEC meeting on 1 July 2017, and a make-up DOT was subsequently held on 3 Sep 2017. 92% of district officers were trained.
Club Officers Training (COT)
COT sessions were organized by the respective divisions as follows:
- Division A on 15 July 2017
- Division B on 15 July 2017
- Division D on 15 July 2017
- Division E on 8 July 2017
- Division G on 29 July 2017
- Division L on 8 July 2017
- Division S on 29 July 2017
- Division T on 16 July 2017
- Division U on 15 July 2017
- Division V on 24 Jun 2017
- Division Z on 22 July 2017
A make-up COT was held on 27 Aug 2017. A breakdown of COT attendance is as follows (the number of active club base is 241):
- 194 clubs (80.5% of active club base) with 4 or more than 4 club officers trained
- 6 clubs (2.5% of active club base) with 3 club officers trained
- 5 clubs (2.0% of active club base) with 2 club officers trained
- 8 clubs (3.0% of active club base) with 1 club officer trained
- 29 clubs (12.0% of active club base) with 0 club officer trained
District Leaders Training (DLT)
District trio attended DLT on 21-22 Aug 2017 in Vancouver. In addition to a better and more in depth understanding of Toastmasters International (TI) operations, changes in TI policies and procedures, as well as roles and responsibilities of the district trio, exchanges of experience and ideas with other district leaders from across the world were particularly valuable.
86th Toastmasters International Convention
District trio attended the international convention held on 23-26 Aug 2017 in Vancouver.
The following important announcements which would directly affect District 80 were made during the Board of Directors Briefing:
- Pathways rolled out in Region 14 on 26 Jul 2017.
- From 2018-2019 program year onward,
- district speech contests to be held only during the district annual conference. International speech contest quarterfinals are to be held at region level, possibly on video, before the semifinals and final at the international convention,
- only one physical District Council Meeting (DCM) is required to be held, the other DCM may be held virtually.
- District 80 will be realigned to Region 13. Current Region 14 will be split.
Congratulations to Manoj Vasudevan for winning the World Championship of Public Speaking 2017 with his speech titled “Pull Less, Bend More”. This is the second consecutive year that a representative from District 80 winning the championship.
All in all, the international convention was very well organized. A couple of technical glitches, mainly due to email communication failures, resulted in some confusions during the international convention, e.g.:
- convention event registration
- assignment of national flag bearers for the convention opening ceremony.
It was unfortunate that the technical glitches, together with some human errors, resulted in 44 club proxies (i.e. 18.26% of potential district proxy returns) not picked up to vote during the annual business meeting. Feedback has been given to TI in their survey.
Pathways was officially launched in Region 14, the very first region to roll out Pathways in TI’s global phased approach in launching the new education system, on 26 Jul 2017. District 80 achieved more than 70% of its clubs trained in the new system before the launch, thanks to the dedication and effort of Pathways Guides, who also helped train our members during the COTs. The launch was a huge success judging by the enthusiastic response from our members.
A couple of teething issues surfaced during the initial period after the launch, almost all the issues were technical in nature and were quickly resolved by TI when they were notified of the glitches. We are also aware of the challenges faced by some of our members, particularly members who are less technology savvy and members who are constraint by their preferred use of languages. The district conducted Pathways education workshops for these members so as to alleviate some of their difficulties and ease their adoption of Pathways.
New Club Growth
One club has been officially chartered, i.e. GE Aviation Toastmasters (6637897) under Division E Area E5.
There are two prospective clubs, i.e. Toastmasters @ Courts (6627295) under Division A Area A4, and S&P Global Toastmasters Club (6642836) under Division S Area S5. Both prospective clubs have submitted their charter papers and awaiting their official charter pending confirmation of payments.
Club Growth Director Pradeep Kumar DTM and his team, together with some division directors are working very hard on a number of very promising leads. We are confidently optimistic that these leads will be materialized soon.
However, we expect a number of clubs to close come September dues payment. It is highly likely that we will see a dip in terms of the number of active clubs in October before we build more new clubs.
Outlook and Plan for Achievement of Distinguished District Status
The outlook will remain very challenging given the health of the district as inherited, with a couple of clubs initiated their closure in early July, when the new term just began.
We set our goal to be at least a Distinguished District by end of the term, and we stress the importance of achieving our goal by doing the right things right, upholding the core values of Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence. We may have to go through a stage of consolidation to build a strong and solid foundation for the district to scale new heights and achieve even more.
The main focus will be on building more new corporate clubs, and Pathways has proven to be a very useful tool in attracting corporate clubs to sign on. The steady recovery of the macro economic conditions should also be a boon to us in building more new corporate clubs.
For clubs facing challenges in terms of their membership strength, “necessities” provided by CGD’s incentive schemes, as well as district support provided through division and area directors, should empower these clubs to strive and recruit new members. CGD and I will be attending separate division council meetings in September, and will work directly with division and area directors in this regard.
We have plans to attract more millennials into our fold. We will announce more details once they have been worked out. Developing a District 80 mobile app is the initial part of the plan. Once the district directory features of the mobile app have stabilized, we will start adding marketing features to the app, and make it an easy and convenient tool for club building and membership recruitment. There are plans to include Pathways resources in the app to facilitate member adoption of Pathways.
District 80 Rocks!
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – By Theodore Roosevelt
And what we have is a team of very dedicated and enthusiastic Toastmasters, who are willing and able to make District 80 great again. Kudos to our District Administration Manager, District Public Relations Manager, District Finance Manager, all our Division Directors and Area Directors, and not forgetting the various committee members, council members and members of the Toastmasters community, who put in so much time and effort for the past two months. Well done!