14Talks2: #BornThisWay

If you have last minute fashion emergency, Zalora might be just the perfect savior.
But if you are lacking of self assurance and encouragement, 14Talks is definitely the answer!

14Talks is an interesting initiative by the APAcS Toastmasters members with the purpose to provide a platform for the 14 students to grow their confidence in public speaking. The first talk organized was a great success. Due to popular demand, 14Talks2 was organized in a form of a speech competition! So let’s take a look on what APTC has to offer this time around! 

“Hey, now, you’re an All Star, get your game on, go play”

The fear of being judged has led few people grown to be very indifferent in almost everything. Wild assumptions and perceptions that are uncontrollable within our power made us become a worrywart. That is the turning point for Nabihah to start making greater changes for greater benefits by choosing Born This Way as the theme of the talk.

As the Project Director of the event, she was full with enthusiasm to spread the positivity with the rest of us. So here are few tips from her on how to overcome the fear of expressing yourself in public:

  • Practice makes perfect

There is a saying which goes: repetition is the mother of knowledge. Being perfect won’t actually happen overnight, but if you keep practicing every single day, it will happen eventually! Therefore, rather than regretting what could have been, you should make a concrete effort to take a step further daily! If you ever feel shy and nervous, that is okay. Chin up and live the moment. What matters the most is you choose to make progression in life.

  • Surround yourself with positive people

Positive people will actually shape you to challenge yourself towards advancement and won’t make you feel inferior about your own weaknesses. Of course everybody has their own flaws and vulnerable moments. However, if you keep supporting each other rather than pulling them down, having confidence won’t be the most dreadful thing in life. Negativity on the other hand is extremely contagious. If this vibe tries to sink its teeth into you, count yourself out and drag yourself away from it.
Aim to improve, that way you won’t need to transform yourself completely and at the same time you can always be yourself.

This event was also joined by Yeon, an exchange student from Korea!

There were four guests from the external of Toastmasters clubs who came to evaluate the contestants and also responsible to be the judges of the 14Talks2 speech competition. We have Competent Communicator (CC) and Competent Leader (CL) Yean Yi from Sunway Toastmasters, winner of 2016 Humorous Speech Contest and also Competent Communicator (CC) Benedict from Sunway Toastmasters, Division B Director Advanced Communicator Bronze (ACB) and Advanced Leader Bronze (ALB) Zahir Ahmad and Advanced Communicator Bronze (ACB) and Advanced Leader Bronze (ALB) Chooi Kum Ying from D’Utama Toastmasters.

Constructive comments were given by the judges on every contestant’s performance so that they know where did things went wrong and they can improve them in the future. The judges highlighted the area of weaknesses of presentation but at the same time they did applaud on the good quality of their speech.

The sheer confidence and numerous talents possessed by all contestants and participants of table topics were admired by the judges of the day. One thing these external guests and the students in Level 14 have in common is to hope that this kind of event will be organized annually.

All seven contestants looking resplendent!

The first contestant of 14Talks 2 was the sunshine of Level 14; Amalia! She began her speech by sharing the idea of dismay and sorrow by reflecting through her own personal experience when she was a kid. She chose to share her own struggle in handling frustration doing ACCA, a topic that is solid to our hearts.

As the path becomes rough and the destination seems too far to reach, darkness began to cloud her mind but not for long. In the end, she earned the motivation by her own lecturer’s way of reaching out to the students who have failed the examination, leading her to finally believe in herself again.
Push yourself and keep moving forward. Amalia made us realize that all it takes to be successful in life is courage. Be it just the baby steps for starters, one day as you turn around, you will find yourself at milestones away.

Second contestant of the day, the Chairman of 14 Care, Fazrul, talked about…well, Chairs.

As we all know, there are varieties of chairs to choose from, some might go for the design, and some go for the comfort. But at the end of the day, all these chairs serve the same purpose.
However, the chairs being used to dine-in are not always the same chairs we use to watch TV. Just like humans, we act differently when we’re being put in different environments.
We can’t have the same attitude as students when we evolve in the working world sooner or later, our personality derives from desire, and as humans, we often have desire to be the best version of ourselves in different environments.
Fazrul also made a refreshing point by stating that our environments and personalities are not limitations for us to evolve and change for the better!

No better plan than God’s plan. The third contestant, Aizat wrapped his talk up with such beautiful quote based on his own experience of encountering difficulties only later to find that the sky is going to clear.

Sometimes, the most disappointing experience can lead to a light bulb moment. Optimism, humor, acceptance and moving on are the three key things that Aizat underlined in order to neutralize such experience. So next time you are having a bad day, search for optimism in the qualm, laugh it off because laughter is certainly the best medicine, don’t dwell, just live with it and keep going!

Got game?

It was then time to blow some steam off. Everyone, including the judges, was divided into 8 groups to play an interesting game! Each group consists of 7 to 9 people and every team was given a quote.
1 minute was given to memorize the quote, and every member has to repeat at least one word from the quote given.
Memorizing and team working skills were then being put to the test. And surprisingly, all 8 teams did it right on the first attempt!
Bear in mind that it was on a Sunday Morning! Not bad, eh?

Aisyah was once being put into a situation where she was forced to push herself out of her comfort zone.

The sixth speaker then believes that our limits can’t be determined until it’s being put to a test. For life is full of uncertainties, and the only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them!
Aisyah encouraged the audience to not hold themselves back, in fact, everyone should stop letting the voices in their own heads to get the best of them.
Getting out of our own comfort zone may be terrifying, but once you’ve stepped out of it, you could unleash your true potentials!

Jack had his Rose, Romeo doting on Juliet, and Harry met Sally, Muzakkir

Syafiq, the fifth contestant shared with the audience on how he has been head
over heels about his so-called soul mate; the Stock Market.
Every relationship has its own rough patch, Muzakkir had his doomsday when he was being deceived on the stock market scam and he knew that he couldn’t chance it for another second. He eventually rises to the occasion when he finally gained a deep understanding on how the stock market operates. You know what they say: sometimes you have to fall before you fly!
He then relates the learning process of the stock market to the daily relationship with everyone especially our partner. Rule of thumb is to checking up on one another thus putting less constraint on the relationship!

One of the judges, Benedict, was actually the first person to volunteer for the Table Topics!

Before proceeding with the last two speakers, it was the audience’s turn to conquer their fear in Public Speaking through the infamous Table Topic Session! All five volunteers had only 2 minutes each to express their thoughts, and they were then rewarded by a Chocopie. Oh, success has never tasted so sweet!

If we fail to plan, we plan to fail, right? The sixth contestant, our own Head of Deloitte ambassador, Hasmirul highlighted the right way of setting goals and how to stick to it. It’s true that we can’t control everything in the future, but the best we could do is to plan.

Hasmirul pointed out that albeit having goals is vital for all individuals, far too often, we tend to set unrealistic goals, especially when we’re feeling extra inspired, these goals are then neglected once our motivation wears off.
Therefore, it is important to know what WE want, and set attainable goals that are best for us.
One of his tips on sticking to goals is to read out what we’ve written for at least 8 times per day! It may sound like a lot, but anything can happen if we really put our minds to it!

“Football is life.” The final contestant relates everything in her life to football.

Her?! Yup, you read that right! She is one of, if not, the most familiar face of level 14, Aina Syaza. Aina’s genuine enthusiasm and passion towards football scored everyone’s attention, she even wore all red in honor of her favorite football team, none other than The Red Devils! Aina believes that football matches and life are of the same, as there will always be ups and downs. Nonetheless, a true champion is the one who never gives up!
After showing a video of a bicycle kick goal made by Wayne Rooney, she then emphasized on seizing every opportunity that life offers. Just like Rooney’s perfect goal, she concluded that good things will come when the time is right, provided that we’ve put in our best efforts into making it happen.
Although Aina made a lot of good points through her engaging speech, what stood out the most was her ability to look at things in such an interesting manner. Indeed, everything is a lesson if you look at it the right way!

Tokens of appreciation were given to all judges by APTC’s President, Fahmi Ismail!

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Even our favourite TV series has its season finale. 14Talks2 ended off with the long-awaited prize giving ceremony:
Drumrolls please!
Muzakkir’s love towards Stock Trading left the judges in awe. And with that, he was rewarded with third place!
Aizat‘s speech on silver lining landed him second place. See? It doesn’t hurt to be optimistic!
Glory glory Aina Syaza! Aina, who has utmost passion towards football scored the first place!

All in all, 14Talks2 was a huge success! Being in a room filled with supportive crowd, experienced panel of judges, astonishing contestants, and not to forget the free flow of Teh Tarik, it was definitely worth every minute of everyone’s Sunday Morning. Kudos to APAcS Toastmasters Club and everyone who put this event together!

Such a fun and amazing crowd! Guess everyone was #bornthisway 😉

You could also check this short video out made by Siti Aishah to have a grasp on the whole event: