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Archive for 13/10/2014


Allen shines in Division K

Written by Rano Iskandar. Posted in News


Red Hot Allen 

Allen Ang produced another masterful performance as he was crowned champion of the Humourous Speech Division K contest. He received the trophy from Division Governor Joanna Liew. He also came 2nd in the Speech Evaluation Contest yesterday.

Allen Ang with his wife HuiFen Kong

Allen Ang did three steps better. First he won on Club Level for OTTERS Club a few weeks ago. Then he went on to beat six other contestants on Area Level (against two top other club winners) for Brunei Darussalam two weeks ago. He competed in both Humourous Speech and Speech Evaluation Contests. Of course, the bigger of the two was the Humourous Contest. I can tell you that it’s not an easy feat to prepare for a humourous speech because of all the preparation and of course, the punchlines and the funny moments that must be receptive among the audience.

After winning on club level, he was given a ticket to compete on a bigger stage which known as Division Level, consisting of 7 Area K. I know it’s a bit confusing to understand when it comes to Toastmasters territories because they don’t go by states or countries but instead they use terms such as Club, Area, Division and District. The District Level is the highest accolade you can go for Humourous Speech and Speech Evaluation. This also goes for Table Topics contest.

So our friend from Brunei, Allen Ang, who represented three clubs (OTTERS, Brunei Speakers’ Club and Brunei Advanced Speakers Club), reached District Level after winning Division K Level in the Humourous Speech Contest yesterday at Menara Petronas SBO, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. He almost did a double but settled for second in the Speech Evaluation Contest and I have to say his competitor Laurence Dumling was simply outstanding in her evaluation of the Test Speaker Gopi Murandi who presented an interesting topic entitled “Bluff About It”.

I’m kinda glad that Allen Ang did the honours of retaining the Division Title to Brunei where Stuart Lee from Brunei was the previous winner. It was such an irony to see Stuart Lee packing and unpacking the Division Trophy for the next competition only for the trophy to return back to Brunei Darussalam. The priceless moment was when the 1st runner-up name was announced and Stuart (Allen’s mentor) was already celebrating because it wasn’t Allen’s name and he was certain that Allen was a clear winner even prior to the winner’s announcement.

Allen shared his experiences and he had been practising his speech over and over and it was being refined numerous times to give the delivery more impact with the help of his mentors. He shared that not being placed (top three) especially in Humourous will be a disappointment but little did he know he was deservedly crowned the Division Humourous Champion. He was also glad that he was the first speaker for evaluation so he could learn more from the other evaluators. He was so impressed with Laurence’s evaluation (the winner) and he learnt many things to improve on to reach that District Level of evaluation. He dedicated his win to his wife and his mentors as well to those who flew all the way to KK to support him.

Now his next step is District Level, the highest accolade that one can achieve for Humourous and Speech Evaluation. The competition will take place in Miri on the 8th and 9th November which sadly I will miss because of my trip to Bali *boohoo* So good luck to Allen for the upcoming competition and just enjoy the ride for now. It has been a fruitful journey indeed.

Overall, the Division K contest held at Menara Petronas SBO, Kota Kinabalu, was pretty good and well organised. I’m glad I made that trip to KK despite having to sacrifice one night of WWE in Kuala Lumpur (See, Allen, I’m your bro :D) and it was good to catch up with some of my toastmasters friends from KK. Also a great job to the organising committee and the Organising Chairperson Georginni Labadin. It was also the first time that I saw co-Contest Chairs – Aaron George and Wynnie Jong and I have to say both their chemistry worked and Aaron, you are one funny guy with all your well executed humour especially during the interviews of the contestants.

Winners for Evalutation Speech Division K

1. Laurence Dumling

2. Allen Ang

3. Jamie Chieng

Winners for Humourous Speech Division K

1. Allen Ang

2. Kamilia Kamaruzaman

3. IR Azmer Shamsuddin



The top three winners of the Humourous Speech (Division K)

The top three winners of the Speech Evaluation Contest (Division K)

All fingers pointing to the champ

The toastmasters from Brunei Speakers’ Club posing with the Humourous Champion

Emylia Marianne Philip opening up the contest as SAA

The audience yesterday

The group photo after the contest. Click to enlarge.

Allen being interviewed by the Contest Chair Wynnie Jong

Kamalia with her toastmasters from her Area K

A heartfelt moment when both husband and wife hugged each other before he received his championship trophy

Humourous Division Contest: Of course, Allen focused more on the Humourous Contest and he had great mentors Stuart Lee (current District Humourous Champion) and Zainal Bostaman (1st Runner up Humourous District Level) to guide him to the top of Division Level. I wasn’t aware of the level of the other Area champion speakers and I rather not know their skills and experience prior to the competition which gives more excitement and unpredictability of the contest. Below are just my own evaluation and interpretation of the humourous contestants and not from the ballots of the judges.

The first speaker Jamie Chieng shared her experiences about superstition and I could relate to her stories because we were always being advised by the elders on taboo things to avoid superstition. She’s a great story teller but the content who have been tighter because such superstitions have many opportunities to entertain the audience and there were a few missed opportunities for better punchlines. She has the confidence (I admire her confidence) as a speaker and definitely more room for improvement especially with her content. It wasn’t a bad start to the Humourous Competition. Humourous Level: 6.5 (No placing)

The second speaker was hilarious to the max. Kamailia Kamaruzaman was so flamboyant and colourful in her delivery. Her experience was about fitting into the right clothes and not being judged. Again, another relatable topic especially for the ladies. She reminds me of my friend Huwaida actually – bubbly and cheerful and it’s good to see Kamalia’s persona being displayed during her delivery. Oh she also reminds me of my bubbly friend Lai Ling Ling who is just simply hilarious to begin with. I was already nervous about Allen Ang when the audience reacting with laughters and giggles through the seven minutes. The only letdown I felt was the underlying message that could have been more effective and impactful and also the structure of her speech. It was a close call between Allen and Kamilia. Humourous Level: 8.5 (2nd place)

Next up was IR Azmer Shamsuddin who was also quite humourous and animated. He shared about how “Life Begins at 40” and I could feel the pressure because I’m not far off that mark *lol* I believe he was the only one that made full use of the stage and he was simply enjoying himself with nothing to lose. His punchline about having difficulties to hug your loved ones is hilarious and even to this moment, it is still fresh in my mind. He actually inspired me to be just a confident with no-holds-bar speaker and the way he speaks, he doesn’t even look in his 40s. Kudos to his courage and humour but sadly, the usage of English needs a bit more polishing and the structure could have been better. Humourous Level: 7.5 (No placing)

The fourth speaker was our very own Allen Ang and I have heard his speech twice and that makes it three times including yesterday’s. His speech title was “Confession of a Married Toastmaster”. However, it doesn’t mean that I won’t have a good time because of the spoiler alerts but his segment reminds me so much of stand up comedies where we will be entertained over and over again by replaying their gigs. The same applies here and Allen Ang doesn’t look like someone who can pull off laughs in general and in person but don’t be deceived my friends. His delivery was quite impactful because of not just the laughters but also of the underlying message. I was a bit worried when the giggles appeared more often than the laughs in the beginning but wooww, Allen raised the momentum and had a strong finishing with laughter and claps. I’m proud of where he is and his mentors have done well to groom him up. The humour were spot on and great body structure. Definitely District level material. Humourous Level: 8.5 (Champion)

The fifth speaker was Saverinus P. Kitingan who shared about the idea of being “confused” which became part of the theme in the later session of the contest. He was quite entertaining as well and it’s always wonderful if the topic can be relate to our daily lives. He shared his experiences with his wife when it comes to decision making and he will be caught in this web of confusion whenever his wife argues. There were many small laughs and giggles along the way but he managed to pull off one punchline that stole the show about “being fat” and it was the best execution of a punchline among all the speeches. There were some things I felt that could have improved on because I felt his content was all over the place. This potentially could have been a winner if the laughs were more than the giggles with a better structured delivery. Humourous Level: 7.5

The final speaker was Munyaradzi Chigiga and her topic was about accidents. The great thing about Munya is her confidence and voice projection. She hails from Zimbabwe (Africa) and she was considered a dark horse as many of the toastmaster members in Division K level haven’t seen her perform. She shared a vivid account of her car accident but there weren’t many subplots to support her story. Yes, she’s a great storyteller but there weren’t many punchlines to begin with and she had used many jargons which reduced the quality of her speech. They weren’t much laughs to carry the momentum of her delivery. The plus points from her speech was her body language and facial expression. It was such a pity that her content was lacking the ingredients of a humourous speech. With more experience and practice, she can give all the contestants a run for their money. Humourous Level: 5.5 (No placing)


The handing over of Division Trophy from former champion Stuart Lee to new champion Allen Ang

The emotional hug after Allen was officially announced the winner

Stuart Lee holding a boxed Division K trophy before heading for the contest

The gang in high mode prior to the contest

Zainal Bostaman getting ready for the event yesterday. His best achievement was being 1st runner up in Humourous Speech competition in Division K back in 2010. He missed out on Area K6 Level and he is glad to mentor Allen Ang in refining his speech and delivery. Awesome toastmastership from Zainal!!

By the way, Donna and I will be emceeing for this dinner event this coming Saturday. Tickets are available and I’ve got some friends to come along too. It’s open for public and it’s a good avenue to learn more about toastmasters 😀



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