| Danial Norjidi |
TOASTMASTERS International held a joint executive committee installation ceremony for three of its clubs yesterday, including newly chartered Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Toastmasters Club yesterday.
Held at the Jeruton Hotel in Jerudong, the event saw the attendance of Associate Professor Dr Azman bin Ahmad, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UBD as the guest of honour.
The first installation to be held was for the Oil Town Talkers (OTTERS) Toastmasters Club from Seria, followed by the Brunei Advanced Speakers’ Club (BASC), the first Toastmasters club in Brunei, which has been around for 16 years.
The event then proceeded with the induction of the joint executive committee for the newly chartered UBD Toastmasters Club.
Speaking to the Bulletin, the BASC’s Shawn Cassidy Narcis said that the ceremony was held to appoint the newly elected joint executive committee members for the three respective clubs, sharing that every year Toastmasters International allows a new executive committee to come in.
As he went on to explain, yesterday also marked the first time that the UBD Toastmasters Club has had a joint executive committee, following its being chartered for the first time two months ago, thus making them the youngest Toastmasters club in Brunei.
Asked what this new chartered UBD club means for Toastmasters, Shawn said, “It gives the students in Brunei the opportunity to learn and develop their skills, especially in communication, presentations and individual skills. We’ve noticed that there is a lack in communication skills, so we have worked to give them a platform that is a safe environment where they can practice.
“When they do a presentation or whatever, we give them an evaluation on what they have done well, and touch on how they can improve to do it better. The Toastmasters programme is about giving every member the opportunity to improve themselves, because we have members who are already professionals, and some members who are new, and we train them. Each member has his/her uniqueness.”
Shawn also added that with UBD Toastmasters Club now being officially affiliated with Toastmasters International, it means that its members will be recognised for whatever educational programmes they go through.
The guest of honour, Associate Professor Dr Azman also spoke to the Bulletin, sharing his thoughts on the UBD Toastmasters Club.
“I feel this is very important for UBD simply because under GenNEXT degrees we are trying to develop individuals, ie students who have the abilities and qualities that we aspire them to have. We want them to have the ability to think, to critically analyse and to have reasoning skills, but on top of that they should be able to communicate, and of course develop their leadership skills as well.
Speaking on Toastmasters International’s involvement with UBD, he said, “This is something that we feel will help us towards building this kind of students in the university.
“Of course, we have the GenNEXT programme which tries to inculcate academic and necessary soft skills,” he added.
“At the same time we feel that for the students to be developed holistically, co-curricular activities such as the involvement with Toastmasters International will be helpful in developing students of the kind of quality that we are looking for.”