VP Public Relations

42nd Birthday – Chadstone Oaks Toastmasters

Wow! Look at the great achievement of our magnanimous club.

Last Week, we have celebrated 42nd birthday of our club. Coincidentally it was our 900th meeting as well. Our President Mr. Beng Tan cut the cake. Members, visitors and guest speaker have joined the celebrations and grace the occasions.

Thanks Folks, your presents made it sensational.

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Contest Results 2016

Contest Results 2016

Tremendous effort from Chadstone Oaks team on 2016 Toastmasters contest. Excellent engagement and support from neighborhood clubs. Special Thanks to all those who helped us throughout this process.

The exciting results are available below and please scroll down to see our Participants and Winners.

Participants 2016 – Table Topics Contest


Winners 2016 – Table Topics Contest

First Place– Beng Tan, Second Place- Maria Rivera & Third PlaceVenka Jayarangan

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Winners 2016 – Humorous Contest

First Place– Beng Tan, Second Place- Maria Rivera



Participants 2016 – International Speech Contest


Winners 2016 – International Speech Contest

First PlaceHelen Bolger Harris, Second Place- Wasu Sooksomsod

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Participants 2016 – Evaluation Contest


Winners 2016 – Evaluation Contest

First PlaceHelen Bolger Harris, Second Place- Maria Rivera & Third PlaceEunice Shao


Contests 2016

The most awaited and an exciting contests are here now. Please note down these dates and plan to be in to win it.

Contest schedules:

Table Topics and Humorous contests

Date: 03-Aug-2016, Time: 7.30PM.

Venue: Chadstone Oaks Toastmasters club, Malvern East.


Evaluation and International speech contests

Date: 07-Sep-2016, Time: 7.30PM.

Venue: Chadstone Oaks Toastmasters club, Malvern East.


To participate please contact:

President: Beng Tan, email:b_c_tan@yahoo.com

VP-Education: Ansuman Roy, email:ansumanspeaks@gmail.com

Entry: Free, please come with your friends.

Chadstone Oaks and Hawthorn TM Joint Meeting


Manage Your Online Personal Brand – Forbes

Social Media

Are you new to social media and unclear how to get started? Do you want to use social media to build or extend your presence online but don’t know how? Do you need help defining your goals, identifying the right channels and how to position yourself? Or is your job to help an executive build a presence online?


If the answer to any of these questions is yes, this article is for you.


Don’t be intimidated. In the end, the recipe to your success comes down to three key ingredients: clear objectives, good content, and consistency. As Woody Allen said, “80% of success is showing up”, and don’t forget to listen first before engaging!

Start thinking of yourself as a brand

What do you wish for people to associate with you when they think of your name? Is there a certain subject matter in which you want to be perceived as an expert or are there general qualities you want linked to your brand? Once you understand how you wish your brand to be perceived, you can start to be much more strategic about your personal brand. This doesn’t mean you can’t be human. On the contrary, as Michael Simmons writes, authenticity is key in the digital age. A strong personal brand can yield tremendous ROI whether you are working with an organization or leading one. Here are some examples of individuals who have built up authentic and powerful personal brands: Michael PortJohn BatesMike MichalowiczDave KerpenDavid Meerman ScottJohn JantschDave Carroll, and Barry Moltz.

Audit your online presence

You can’t mold perception without first understanding the current status. In other words, Google yourself and setup alerts for your name on a regular basis. Have a fairly common name? Consider using your middle initial or middle name to differentiate. Cultivating a strong personal brand is just as much about being responsive to what is being said as it is about creating intellectual property.

Secure a personal website

Having a personal website for yourself is one of the best ways to rank for your name on the search engines. It doesn’t need to be robust. It can be a simple two to three page site with your resume, link to your social platforms, and a brief bio. You can always expand on the website with time.

Find ways to produce value

We’ve all been there. Someone in your network posts something utterly mundane or ridiculous, and you wonder what compelled them to do so? A medium is not a substitute for a message. Find ways to add value to your audience by creating or curating content that’s in line with your brand.

Be purposeful in what you share

Every tweet you send, every status update you make, every picture you share, contributes to your personal brand. It is an amalgamation of multiple daily actions. Once you understand how you wish your brand to be perceived, you can start to be much more strategic about your personal brand.

Associate with other strong brands

Your personal brand is strengthened or weakened by your connection to other brands. Find and leverage strong brands which can elevate your own personal brand. Start with the three C’s: company, college, colleagues. Which school did you attend? Are there groups you can join? An alumni newsletter you can contribute to? What hidden opportunities are available within your company which you have yet to tap? Consider submitting a guest post to the company blog or look at other digital assets you can connect to your brand.


A strong personal brand is dependent on a strong narrative. In other words, what’s your story? Take a second to think of celebrities you know who have a strong personal brand. Mark. Martha Stewart. Richard Branson. They are all have a very clear story and a consistent brand. If you have multiple passions or areas of interest, a narrative becomes even more crucial so there can be unified theme. If you need help defining your story, I highly recommend reading Reinventing You by Dorie Clark.

Most importantly, remember that a strong personal brand should be ubiquitous and ever evolving.

2015 Humorous and Table Topics Club Contest


Table Topics Contest Winners

First Place – Helen Bolger-Harris

Second Place – Beng Tan

Third Place – Daniel Brami

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Humorous Contest

First Place – Beng

Second Place – Ansuman

Third Place – Daniel



2015 International and Evaluation Club Contest


International Contest Winners

 First Place – Ansuman Roy

Second Place – Eunice Shao


Evaluation Contest Winners

 First Place – Beng Tan

Second Place – Helen Bolger-Harris

Third Place – Ansuman Roy


What is Mindfulness? – Rekha Patadiya

What is Mindfulness?Mindfulness

  • Our attention is hijacked by our thoughts and emotions, by our concerns, by our worries for the future, and our regrets and memories of the past.
  • Mindfulness is awareness of the present moment. It is about learning to pay attention, in the present moment, and without judgment.
  • It can be trained like a muscle – training attention to be where you want it to be.
  • Be director of your life: mindfulness reduces your tendency to react on autopilot, it is about allowing you to choose how you respond.

Why care?

In a complex, fast moving environment it becomes more and more important to consciously navigate yourself and your teams. Mindfulness builds the core emotional intelligence skills needed to increase well-being and become an effective self-leader as well as a leader of others.

It‘s scientifically validated that practicing mindfulness has various beneficial effects on our well-being, e.g.:

  • Increased emotional intelligence
  • Regulated emotions, reduced stress
  • Act and react adequately to situations
  • Increased focus and attention

Get started with Mindfulness

To get started, watch this short video.

Benefits with Toastmasters – Eunice Shao

Initially, I joined Toastmasters for work purposes.  At the time, I needed to chair a meeting for senior management.  It was very intimidating because I lacked the experience of speaking in front of group of people.  I was also a junior team leader at the time and I felt I lacked the connection with the team.  So I had two big questions; 1. Can I be a good leader? 2. How do I communicate effectively with the company’s executives?  I came to Toastmasters seeking for solutions.

I initially joined two clubs, Monash Toastmasters and Chadstone Oaks Toastmasters.  They are both great clubs. However, due to time constraints, I could only remain in Chadstone Oaks. You see, despite being a new member at the time, I was given the chance to be a part of Chadstone Oak’s executive committee and I took it with both hands! This shows you that in Chadstone Oaks, anyone can take up leadership positions, regardless of experience.

What I have learnt so far?

Confidence to talk in front of people. It applies to both work and personal life.

Connections with the audience. They say that to be a good speaker, you also need to be a good listener. I started to notice that since joining Toastmasters, I have become a good listener.  I give credit to the Hark master and Evaluator roles that I have been participating.  Being a good listener also makes conversations with friends/colleagues more enjoyable!

Good with time in all occasions.  I started to be better at estimating time when approaching someone for a conversation; it is not hard to estimate how the long conversations have gone on for when I have prepared so many speeches!

Read more/gain knowledge since I have to collect topics for the next speech. I noticed that I started to collect news items and things that happens to me on a day-to-day basis. I then try to compose them into little stories in a structured way. In addition to that, I tend to read more these days as I need more materials for my speeches.  When reading, I started to pay attention to how the writer picked the title for the article in order to grab the reader’s attention.

Improved management/organizational skills.  As one of the committee members, I have improved so much in my management skills. It is down on me that if I attend an event these days, I will start to notice things like: do they have people there to greet the guests, is the MC doing a good job, do they have good presentations on display etc.  In addition to that, by participating as one of the committee members, it empowers you to be the best of what you can be without the stress of being judged by your peers (which is what I feel all the time at my workplace!). You cannot find anywhere else that will provide you with a stress-free environment for you to practice your management skills.

Self-awareness Start to be more aware of my own behaviors.  It really helps to learn how you behave when you are in a certain mood (e.g. Happy, excited, upset, and angry).  That is because previously, when I was stressed, I tend to make others feel like they have become my personal punching bag, even when I don’t intend to make them feel that way. However, now that I’m more self-aware, I don’t do that anymore. Toastmasters has helped stop me unintentionally passing on misleading messages to others.

In summary, Toastmaster is a great place for you to unlock your speaking potential and to improve your management/organizing skills, with positive support.  I have never looked back since I joined Toastmasters nearly 3 years ago.




Speech Contests 2015

Speech Contest

Save the dates: September 2 and September 19 2015

Why do we have competitions?

Every year, Toastmasters International (TMI) advises clubs to have competitions at the Club Level, Area Level, Division Level, District Level and International Level. This gives the speakers a chance to showcase their talents and an opportunity to win and move ahead and represent the club, area, division or district at a broader level.


At our club, contests are held generally in the month of August/September. Unlike club speeches, the most fun part is you are not evaluated during those speeches. Some contestants find it a good way to push through their CC manual speech projects, and later get the evaluation after the contests.



What are they?


International Contest is an inspirational speech of 5-7 mins. The speech should be something inspirational/motivational. Contestants are judged on the criteria defined in the contest rule book. This contest is the only contest that prescribes the contestant to have 6 projects completed from the Competent Communicator Manual.

Table Topics

This is our Impromptu Speech Contest. However, unlike club’s Table Topics, here contestants are given one question and they have to give a 2-3 speech on that topic. There is no prior eligibility to this contest.


Typically Contestants are guided to a secluded room away from the contest area and called one-by-one and asked to give a speech.


Humorous Speech Contest is the most fun part of the contest. Here the contestants main aim is to add humour to their speeches. This is a 5-7 min speech and there is no prior eligibility.


In the Evaluation Contest, we have a guest speaker who speaks for 5-7 minutes and all the contestants then provide evaluation to the guest speaker. Like the Table Topics, the contestants are guided away into a room after the guest speaker finishes her speech and then given a 2-3 minutes to write their evaluation points.


They then provide evaluation to the guest speaker. The best evaluator is chosen by the judges based on the criteria as mentioned in the Contest Rulebook.

Why do I participate?

To learn

Contests are a tremendous opportunity to learn. You can also learn by being the audience, however, the participation in itself and the preparation would make you a different person. You learn so much about making a speech and just by observing the speeches of the other contestants, you get to take away so many key points.

To overcome fear

You might have joined Toastmasters to overcome the fear of Public Speaking, or be confident. In my view, fear can be removed only by desensitising. Contests provide you the ideal opportunity to remove the fear by giving the speeches and getting more stage time. Ultimately I promise you would be a different individual.

To win

Well, if you don’t participate how are you going to win. By participating in competitions, this is the logical way of winning. If not this time, but this experience gives you valuable life lessons you take it up for next time. But ultimately its a “win-win” situation if you participate.

To have fun

Contests are absolutely fun. You would be roaring with laughter just not at the humorous contests, but every other contest. This is really fun.



How do I prepare?


I won’t take much time. Look at project 9 and Project 10 of your CC manual. Build your speech loosely on those objectives of inspiration and persuasion. Add a bit of humour and practice each speech 3 times, refining your speech each time. Practice in front of an audience not the mirror. At the club we would be running Speechathons (8 speech meetings, No Table Topics) to help the contestants practice.

Table Topics

Read the daily newspapers, magazines. Read anything and everything. I read readers digest and that provides me a plethora of information. Look at simple quick win formulas to think quickly. Try the past-present-future formula, the then-now-then formula, the he-she-they formula for the Table Topics preparation. I generally try answering my 6 year old’s questions promptly. Its all about spontaneity.


This is a toughie. I would suggest use personal stories and incidents where you have met with unexpected results which are humours. Look around there is a lot of information in your life which we foresee. Now try to exaggerate, add colour, add smell, add “Gross yucky things” and you have a story. If no idea, watch Sienfield, Jim Carey and ask yourself, why did I just laugh. Just remember not to use any inappropriate words like most standup comedians do.


Get to other clubs. participate in their meetings and evaluate. Look into our website, I had put a brilliant article on Effective Evaluations. Read about it and do more of evaluation.

Where from here?

Finally, I urge you to sign in for contests. Don’t worry if you fail, because failure is just the stepping stone to success. As Darren Lacroix said in his international speech “Ouch” , “lets fail forward”. Contact me at vpeducation@chadstoneoaks.org.au. We the committee are all here to help and answer your questions.


Darren Lacroix’s Speech Video on Youtube:




2015 Contest Rule Book :



TMI Contest Resources:



Meeting Details

When do we meet?

1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month at 19:30
Where do we meet?

Conference Room,
Phoneix Park Community Centre,
22 Rob Roy Road,
Malvern East 3145
(Entry via Children Play Area)