Imagination, Freewill and Change is as good as the rest

Trang, the President of the club, rarely talks about it but she made an exception this evening. To her, football is all about preparation, talent development and teamwork. It’s similar to being at a toastmaster club. For preparation, members put lots of effort in practicing speeches, then do functionaries in between and at the end of meetings, they go to the bar for dieting. For finding their talents, initially people come to toastmasters to improve their presentation skills and their confidence. However, other the time, they develop their own unique styles and keep coming back to the club to master it. In addition, a meeting wouldn’t happen if there were only one person. At Phoenix speakers, members learn by practicing their speeches as well as helping each other out by providing constructive feedback.

Mike, the Toastmaster of the meeting, obviously chose Sport as the theme of the evening.

During the 1st half of the meeting, Rupert, first time Table Topic Master, asked the audience a series of funny or thought-provoking questions. If Grant was stranded on an island, he wished to be with Stephen Fry who would give plenty of anecdotes about British QI. If Robert’s house was on fire, and he could only bring one thing with him, he would not know what to choose as he considered himself forgetful. Anna, a guest, would like her friends to remember her as a generous person who built a successful business after she’s died. The best table topic award, however, went to Jorge, who answered the question: Who would you like to be in five-year time. He would like to be alive, it was so simple, so profound.

In the 2nd half of the meeting, Jeremy opened with a fascinating speech titled Free will. He challenged the common perception in the audience on the idea of free will: Is it really true? He then went on to explore the rationale behind our decisions, why people do what they do, the people they meet and the environment they are in. He concluded that it was an illusion which people felt very uncomfortable with. Josh, ended the evening with his Ice Breaker titled: Change is as good as the rest. He told his life stories in terms of the places and the journey he’s made. Currently living in London, he was originally from Liverpool then grew up in Cork. He concluded the speech with a wonderful quotation from Terry Pratchett:

Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

Finally, the GE of the evening, SuiChin delivered a superb evaluation for the club and all the functionaries without any note. What a way to close the meeting!

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