October 23, 2017 icefire906 No comments exist

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





October 15, 2017 icefire906 No comments exist

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.
September 8, 2017 icefire906 No comments exist

“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 Rollout

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!

September 3, 2017 icefire906 No comments exist

Dear District 80 Toastmasters,


This week, with sadness, we had lost a stalwart and a pillar of our District. Past District Governor (2010-2011), Distinguished Toastmaster Aziz Mustajab, had left us on 28 August 2017.



DTM Aziz, affectionately known as the “Rocker” in District 80, joined the organization in May 1992. And, as with most who signed up to become a member, two of the main reasons he cited are: to further develop his public speaking skills; and hone his effective listening and quick thinking abilities. Over time, aside from having achieved his goals, he observed that his membership has given him not only greater self-confidence but a much heightened stage presence as well. He reached the zenith of the leadership ladder at District 80 when he became the District Governor in 2010-2011. After his stint, he continued to be visible at District events and still held positions at various levels too. He said that he will definitely recommend membership to Toastmasters to anyone who aspires to be an effective public speaker because he or she can never find a better training ground to develop those skills than with this well-established, non-profit organization called Toastmasters International. He further asserts that the real awards and benefits he received from the group are worth their weight in gold and they are: be a life-long Toastmaster, be a life-long benefactor.


DTM Aziz will be sadly missed by us all in District 80.


Appointments Held:

Term 2011/2012 – Immediate Past District Governor

Term 2010/2011 – District Governor (DG)

Term 2009/2010 – Lieutenant Governor Education & Training (LGET)

Term 2008/2009 – Lieutenant Governor Marketing (LGM)

Term 2007/2008 – Division Z Governor



Toastmasters International Excellence in Marketing Award (2008-2009)

Toastmasters International Excellence in Education and Training Award (2009-2010)


Fondly remembered by friends in District 80…….


You always hear that in death, the Dearly Departed, has gone to a better place.  My Friend and Brother Abdul Aziz Bin Mustajab DTM, District 80 PDG, made life a better place for himself and all those who were acquainted with him.

Abang Aziz never had a harsh word for anyone and he would laugh away any trouble or problems that came his way.  He was devoted to bring joy and fun wherever he went, even in time of sickness, and that was how he established himself as a District 80 Senior District Officer from 2008 to 2012.  His service to the District was all about having a wonderful time and spreading the fun around.

Aziz is sadly missed by all, Friends, Toastmasters and acquaintances.  I miss him greatly because he taught me that life is about enjoying the time we have, nothing is more important than making it fruitful and spreading the joy. I always said that my Friend would have a long and stressful life and how much I envied him.  But now he is gone, he has left behind a void in my life which is going to be very trying to refill.

My Friend and Brother, I don’t know if you are in a better place but I know that you have left me with a wish to find out and see you when it is time for me to join you.  Is it a Better Place Abang?

Adios, Abang Aziz, berjumpa-lagi, until we meet again.

Mike Rodrigues

District 80 Past District Governor (2010-2011)


Shortly after I joined Toastmasters in 1994, DTM Aziz became the first Division B Governor when Singapore split from 1 Division to 3 Divisions.

We were involved in organizing many activities. He has no airs in him.

DTM Aziz was a soft spoken guy with a lot of friendly naughty zest in him. Always enjoyed his jokes.

A nice leader who I will miss. Take care Aziz.

Patrick Oei

Past International Director, Region 14 (2014-2016)


DTM Aziz was the pivotal influence behind the setting up of Jauhari Bilingual Toastmasters. He initiated the project in 2013. We finally found the club in June 2014, with him being one of its charter members. He was made the club patron in 2015.

Mohamad Hijazi

District 80 Public Relations Manager (2016-2017)


Aziz was a nice and jovial person. Whenever he was around, you wouldn’t feel bored.

Edward Ma

District 80 Past District Governor (2009-2010)

August 13, 2017 icefire906 No comments exist

“If you are an experienced member, Speechcraft is a great opportunity for you to present the fundamentals of public speaking to non-members. It can be offered as an integral part of your club meeting or as a seminar style program presented outside your club. The content can be delivered in four, six or eight sessions.”

Speechcraft is also beneficial to club growth:

  • When you present speechcraft inside the club setting, its easier for particpants to become members.
  • If you present it outside the club setting, the sessions can lead to the formation of new Toastmasters club”

Toastmasters International

Speechcraft can also be deemed as an extended workshop on both Communication and Leadership. All participants will be supported by a team of very able presentors, mentors and a coordinator. Speechcraft allows our seasoned members who have sharpened their saws many times over to not only present the fundamentals but also share their vast experience with new members and most importantly potential new members. Its a show case of what Toastmasters is all about and all the good it can do if you join as a member.

Speechcraft is essentially designed for non-Toastmasters in mind. It has the following added benefits:-

  • It will help the butterflies fly in formation
  • It will assist you to organize your thoughts in a structured manner
  • It will teach you how to write a speech
  • It will help you communicate better with your audience

By conducting a speechcraft session, there are real benefits to be gained if done correctly:-

  • Membership Growth
  • New and prospective members will learn about the meeting roles
  • Share the benefits of Toastmasters with the Community.

In most instances, participants who sign up for speechcraft will be your prospective new members provided they are impressed and can see the benefits of the program throughout the speechcraft session.

Finally, why not combine speechcraft graduation with new members induction ceremony.

If you have already started preparing for speechcraft or seriously contemplating of doing so immediately, please contact your Area Director or Division Director for further details.

Each club which has planned and will execute a speechcraft program will be given 8 original Participants Workbooks free of cost to kick start the session. As stocks are limited and due to the overwhelming demand this term, the books will be distributed on a first come first served basis and subject to certain teams and conditions.

Hurry! Contact your Area Director or Division Director for further details. They will assist you with the request process for the workbooks whilst stocks last.


Best Wishes Speechcrafters!

July 30, 2017 icefire906 No comments exist

Dear District 80 Toastmasters,


Ever wondered what are the incentives for chalking up Club Goals and for Newly Chartered Clubs? At a glance……


The district is inviting all clubs to join the challenge. Please refer to the below for more details.



Plus, District 80 Pathways launch was a big bang! Our members are so well prepared for the launch, that many have presented their Level 1 Ice Breaker projects on the very first day of the launch. Some clubs even have their whole chapter meetings dedicated only to members presenting their Level 1 Ice Breaker. Well done!


The District would encourage more members to embark on Pathways with the District 80 Special Pathways Awards shown below.



Senior District Officers 2017-2018
District 80

July 29, 2017 icefire906 No comments exist

Dear District 80 Toastmasters,


5 things for $5. Come and join us for 5 hours and hear Celebrated Speakers talk about Power of Networking.


➕ How well do those in your network know you?
➕ How much do they trust you?
➕ How much they gain by having you in their network?
➕ How frequent do you communicate with them?
➕ How many other powerful people are there in your network?


They will also cover topics on Networking pathways, Achnowledge the interest of others to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships, understanding the benefits of collaboration and many more.


Don’t miss this one-off opportunity to improve your networking skills. Hurry buy your tickets online before end August 2017 to get the early bird price of $5. From September 2017 onward prices will increase to $10.


Please make payment FIRST (bank transfer) only to UOB 207-306-734-2 with Ref “TM” BEFORE registering.


Registration can be done via the following link http://bit.ly/NetworkingPower
For more information, please visit our website https://sctatmc.wixsite.com/powerofnetworking


Date : 16 September 2017
Time : 9am -1.30pm
Venue : Singapore Ceylon Tamils’ Association Level 2 (Wedding Hall)
Address : 19, Ceylon Road, Singapore 429613


Pradeep Kumar, DTM
Club Growth Director 2017-2018
Past District Governor (2012-2013)
District 80