More than 200 Toastmasters from various parts of Malaysia attended the District 102 Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contests that was organised by UNMC Toastmasters Club last Saturday.

This is the highest level one can go for this contest season. To qualify and earn a spot at the District Stage, a member must win at Club Level, proceeding to Area Level and then to Division Level. Seven Division Champions put their best foot forward to be named as the District Champion for Humorous Speech Contest and Evaluation Contest.

The contest started with the Sergeant-At-Arms calling the contest to order and making the announcements on house rules and what they should and should not do throughout the contest. The floor was then passed to the Toastmaster of the Day who was the emcee for this event, Division C Director Danny Bong.

Audience having a good laugh during the competition

After a quick roll call, Danny passed the stage to the Humorous Speech Contest Toastmaster to commence the Contest. The speaking order for the contest was picked at random and was displayed on the screen for everyone’s reference.

An interesting aspect to be noted at this contest was the fact that the judges were anonymous. No one except the Chief Judge knows the identity of the voting judges who will determine the winners for this contest. The Chief Judge for this contest was the District’s Program Quality Director, Distinguished Toastmaster William Lau.

After an intense competition, the results was announced in reverse order. Our homeboy, Boey Jin Huey from UNMC Toastmasters Club bagged home the third-place prize. His speech that was titled “A Pain In My Neck” was mainly about his funny encounters with his mother. His speech did not only make people laugh but it also resonated with many who were present on that day. His message to the audience was that we should always appreciate our mothers without complaining much because one day, they will not be there to ‘annoy’ us anymore. Boey’s victory was not only meaningful to members of UNMC Toastmasters Club but it was also a pleasant surprise to many as Boey was still very young and new to the Toastmasters World.

Homeboy, Boey Jin Huey!

When asked about his feelings, he said:

Of course I was nervous when the results were being announced but I had no expectations coming into this contest except for the main purpose of entertaining the audience and especially my mum who is the main subject of the speech (who is also listening to it for the first time). It felt great but I knew the journey does not stop here, as my high school principal, Mr. Wong Chee Kheon once said “Excellence is a journey, but not a destination”.

The second place for Humorous Speech Contest went to Tay Vui Kit from Puchong English Toastmasters Club. The District stage is not something strange for Vui Kit as he was the 2nd runner up in the District Evaluation Contest last term. His speech with the title “Fake It Till You Make It” was all about how in life we need to be confident in handling difficult situations. Vui Kit did not only have a clear and well-structured speech but he also had beautiful body language throughout his speech. He was able to connect with the audience and demonstrate his key message by using his effective body language.

Tay Vui Kit on “Fake It Till You Make It”

Mirosha Somasundram from KPMG Toastmasters Club emerged as the Champion for Humorous Speech Contest this term. Her speech “Charlie Chaplin” was mainly about her Indian Grandparents and how funny they are. Mirosha was also the Champion for Asian English Olympics’ Speech Contest last year. Her speech was both entertaining and humorous as she explained how funny her grandparents are in real life. Mirosha ended her speech to a roaring applause from the audience. She ended her speech with the line

You either go to heaven, which is good. Orrr you go to hell which is also alright, cause your grandfather will already be there to pick you up!

When asked about her victory, she explained:

Three years ago during my first time, this would have felt like a dream, but life has its funny ways of gifting you with your greatest desires at the most unexpected times.

Mirosha Somasundram, emerging as Champion for Humorous Speech Contest  

The Evaluation Contest was next. The evaluation contest was indeed an interesting one. Contestants were required to evaluate a test speech that was presented by the test speaker. Judges would judge the evaluations by marking them on Analytical Quality of the Evaluations, Recommendations given by the contestants, the contestants’ Technique and how the contestant Summarised their evaluation.

The evaluation contest results was quite shocking to many when the Contest Toastmaster announced that there were three-time disqualifications. Any contestant who spoke for less than 1 minute 30 seconds or more than 3 minutes 30 seconds would have been time disqualified.

The third place for this contest went to Soosai from T Systems Toastmasters Club. Zarina from Shah Alam Toastmasters Club came in second, while Benedict Leong, a student from Sunway Toastmasters Club bagged home the title of District Evaluation Contest Champion. It is important to note that Benedict was the Champion of District 102 Humorous Speech Contest last year. According to Benedict:

I feel relieved. The pressure kept building as I kept progressing in the contest. I could finally breathe when my name was announced.

Benedict Leong smiling on his win in the recent Toastmasters competition

All in all, all 14 contestants for both the contests gave a tough fight. It was a memorable night as audience were able to enjoy incredibly funny speeches and listen to very effective evaluations. IGNITE would like to congratulate all the winners and wish them all the best in their next journey.


Written by Dinesh Jayabalan

"They say that great minds think alike, but also fools seldom differ"

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