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CCTMC Meeting Minutes November 13, 2014 - Once upon a time we were 5

What an exciting evening!

First, there wasthe ceremony in which our new members, JJ, Jannet, Fed and Felix who joined us in the past month gave solemn pledge to the club and spirit of Toastmasters We are so happy to have you with us! Congratulations!

After the ceremony Asanda kicked off the meeting with a beautiful introduction in which we were reminded to look back into ourselves and reclaim our inner child. Weshould remember to ask “Why” more often, to try to be more bold and confidentand to move with no hesitation to a new challenge and task. For her great performance, Asanda received the award for the Best Functional role.

One more time,Chiara saved the day, by jumping into taking the role of Ah Counter at the lastsecond, literary.

And what came after was an exciting meeting in which we had an opportunity to see our oldtime member Sue back on stage. She shared with us a story of her new life inBerlin. Our new member Fred made his first step towards achieving Competent Communicator Award with his Icebreaker World According to Fred. Jessica called us not to take life for granted and Ervlyn proved to us the power of repetitionon our mind and won the Best Speech Award.

Apart from speech presentation, Jessica who is an active member of Zhongguancun TM Clubalso finished the final part of the application CCTMC and in the final minutes of the meeting told us who she was in one minute introduction. We sure hope to see her more often.

As you can see,CCMC meetings are never boring. So, see you next week!

 CCTMC Meeting Minutes – November 31, 2014

Meeting Overview

Start Time:


End Time:


Members Attending:


Total Participants (guests included)



Once upon a time we were 5

Word of Day




General Evaluator:


Table Topics Master:


Table Topics Evaluator:








Ah Counter:


Table Topics

With her creative and interesting table topic session, Debbie took us back to the time when we were five.

Participants, Topics and Speech Sum-up

1.     Yann: We were told many lies when we were children. What was the biggest lie you were told when you were young?

I have two five year olds and I often use imaginary stories to make them do things. I use Santa Claus and similar stories to bribe them into doing things and sometimes I tell them stories about wolves to scare them into doing him. I am ashamed of it, but it is sometimes the easiest way.

2.     Chiara: You are given the opportunity to use a time machine. You are sent to the time when you were five years old. What would you do?

I am happy to announce, I am five years old. I am in this young body but have an old soul. I would challenge my parents with some stories they told me when I was a child. I can experience some things I never dared to do, like bungee jumping, or go to the happy valley. It is so good to be five again.

3.     Aurora: What did the world look like then you were five years old?

I can’t remember anything from that time, so I will imagine. Everything is colourful.  Every day is a new world. Every day is a new challenge, we meet new friend, ask many questions and watch cartoons.

4.     Julia: Imagine you have a child. he comes back from school looking unhappy. Teacher told him that he is not smart. What would you tell him to comfort him?

Julia: Why are you sad?

Guest from the audience: Teacher told me I was not smart.

Julia: You are clever. I think your teacher is wrong. You see, your father and mother are clever, so how can you be not smart. I will go to school and talk to the teacher. he cannot say that to a child. Now you are five and you do a lot of things that six year olds and seven year olds do. You are definitely smart.

5.     Waves: Today children have to go and take many different classes. What do you think of this kind of upbringing?

When I was young I had very little, I couldn’t go to any additional classes.

You are clever, even if you didn’t go to some special schools you will still do well in life. Look at Obama, Putin, Steve Jobs. They never took classes, but look where they are now! Don’t waste your money on classes you don’t like, go to the places where you want to go and polish your talents.

Prepared Speech #1

Speaker 1:




CC Project No. 1: Icebreaker

Speech Title: The World According to Fred

In his speech, Fred presented us his geographical and mental journey that brought him to the stage of CCTMC.

In the opening Fred shared some basic info about him. He is 32, he has been in China for 10 years now and he works in the British Embassy in Beijing. But how did he end up here, on this stage today. There were three turning points.

First, it was lust for travel. Fred grew up in a family that put a lot of emphasis on travel. They spent a lot of time in Middle East. In addition, Fred grew up in a small town that made him often dream about big travels. He was particularly infatuated by Indonesia and wanted to move there. In order to achieve that, Fred entered South East Asian Studies. He wasn’t the best student. and what he got was a “drinking degree”.

Second turning point happened when he went to see a career advisor who suggested him to go and teach English in China. He agreed, thinking that this could be his first stepping stone towards his future life in Indonesia. However, everything changed after he arrived to Chongqing. Fred fell in love in China. After 5 years of studying he ended up in Beijing.

Finally, the third turning point came one year ago. He was in bad shape, smoking and drinking a lot. He was eating badly. One day, he decided to go to gym, and he enjoyed it. He quit smoking and even ate a vegetable again. But healthy body wasn’t enough. he sat don’t and listed all his strengths and weaknesses and after some time he had a huge list in form of him. One of the things was public speaking. It was something that could open doors for new exciting things and het him to new places. He checked online and found some clubs. After attending meetings in few different clubs and participating in many Table Topic Sessions he finally ended up at our stage.

Prepared Speech #2

Speaker 2:




CC Project No.7: Research Your Topic

Speech Title: Play with Your Subconscious

If I show you a card with a letter P and ask you to shout out the first animal that you think of, which animal would it be? I have I have repeated this game 3 times and PIG is always the most common answer. What’s interesting is when this experiment is conducted repeatedly among different people in the US, the US psychologists get the same answer as well. 9 out of 10 people say “pig”.  

However, when researches asked 10 drivers to drive along a fast driveway on which there was a billboard commercial for brand of car called Panther and perform the test after that, the answer was different. 7 out of 10 people said ”panther”, instead of “pig”.

Even one time exposure to a particular message can have such a big influence on people subconsciously. Our mind is so strong that it absorbs a big amount of extra information beyond our knowledge. Imagine, what’s gonna happen, if the same message is repeated again and again?

My teammates and I did a simple study on this in January 2009. We stood in front of Wangfujing Bookstore, looking 30 people with 2 things in common: they watch international news programs or read world news regularly and they are not religious. When we show them the word Moslem and asked what was the first thing that came to their mint. We got various answers like: terrorists, wars, Iraq, Osama Bin Laden, most are negative words! Why don’t they come up with positive words like Prophet Mohammed, Koran or religion? The message squeezes into their subconscious without them even realizing it.

Some time ago I conducted the similar survey with my friends. There were 3 types of answers, Indonesia, my name or my last name. This is not surprising if you know that every time I introduce myself in this way: “Hello, I am Ervlyn from the Republic of Indonesia, an archipelago in the South East Asia, the biggest Moslem country in the world”.

Frequent repetition of the same words shapes our perception of reality in the subconscious, whether it is true or not.

Ladies and Gentlemen, now we know subconscious is undoubtedly powerful. Repetition is an undoubtedly effective strategy. But how could we use this invisible hand, to the benefit of CCTMC? How could we use the power of subconscious to advertise, to promote CCTCM? There are thousands of ways. This question is a takeaway for every member, think about it on your way home and once you come up with an idea, take action! 

Prepared Speech #3

Speaker 3:




CC Project No. 8: Get comfortable with Visual Aids

Speech Title: Never Take Life for Granted

I learned from the website TED talks during the national holiday week that a newborn named Derek came into this world three and a half months premature. As he got over the initial survival challenges he then faced being diagnosed with ‘autism’ and loss of sight due to a number of factors including the premature delivery.

However, his family never gave up, never took Dereck’s life for granted, from the day that he was born until present day. His father Nick employed a very kind nanny for Derek who though he could enjoy playing a keyboard. She dragged a little keyboard out of the loft, never thinking really that anything much would come of it. But Derek’s tiny hand treated the keyboard so roughly and not for its intended use of making music, he hit it and bashed it. After a few months of bashing and crashing, beautiful sounds were produced. You see when Derek’s family heard that big noise, nobody blamed him, quite the opposite; the family discovered that he was so closely linked to the piano naturally. And by the age of four, Derek could play “English Country Garden”.

Sensing that Derek had a talent, the family found a life-long tutor for Derek. It turned out that this blind and autistic child is extremely talented and deeply linked to the piano. He can play the note once he hears a sound or a chord. You give him a note, and he can play any piece of music based on that note. Now Derek is a famous musician and travels around the world to play the piano for audiences worldwide.

You should never take life for granted.

So ladies and gentlemen, maybe you’re already a parent, maybe you’ll be a parent one day. Please never shut the door on your child when he tries to do something that he is interested in. Interests are the best teacher. If your child wants to do something, he is linked to that thing naturally. Maybe it’s the will of nature. Don’t underestimate the power of nature. There must be a reason.

Let me show you a piece of Chinese brush calligraphy. Let me show you some photos of a man, a disabled man with missing arms and deep burn marks on his body. He is now making a living on Chinese brush calligraphy. I don’t use the word handwriting, because he has no arms, he just uses his mouth to finish his calligraphy. Although he is disabled, he deserves respect, for his persistent and self-reliant spirit.

 He never takes his life for granted.

People already know the story of Helen Keller, who was blind and deaf, later became a famous writer, went to Harvard, and got the presidential Medal of Freedom. Her teacher Anne Sullivan is long-remembered by the public as a result of her persistent efforts.

Anne never took Helen Keller’s life for granted.

Ladies and gentlemen, if a disabled person achieves this success, what can we able-bodied people not achieve? But before any person around you takes actions, do NOT block the way, do NOT shut the door, and do not implant those impossibilities into his or her mind.

Ladies and gentlemen, in this fiercely competitive world, the children, the teens, and even adults need enlightenment, encouragement, and the correct methods to inspire them. Everyone is unique and gifted in my mind, and each one has a reason to be proud of oneself. Do NOT shut the door on them. Do NOT take life for granted.

Prepared speech #4

Speaker 4:




CC Project: 0

Speech Title: Impressions of Berlin

After one year and four months I am back to CCTMC again. I used to be a member of CCTMC. Now I live in Berlin and as a wife of a diplomat I have a lot of opportunities to speak in front of people, so I often use skills learnt here to organize meetings.

Berlin is beautiful city. It is modest, practical, simple and cool. It is similar to Beijing. Firstly, their names sound similar. Secondly, while Beijing has Tiananmen gate, Berlin has its Brandenburg Gate. In front of it there is a large area covered in forest called Tiergarten. In WW2 the forest was cut for heating, but now it is being replanted.

Beijing has its Changan Avenue and Berlin has its under den Linden, a beautiful avenue with huge linden trees. When they are blooming, their fragrance pervades the whole city.

In Berlin, there are a lot of trees, and that is why the air is so good. In fact, Berlin air is a famous brand. Every year there is a concert in an pen theatre in a forest on which they play the song Berlin Air. The audience whistles along and dances along this famous melody.

Because the air so good. Berlin people love outdoor sports. Every year Berlin marathon attracts thousands of people to come and join. One year I saw a 85 year old lady join and i decided to register as well, but the selection was strict, and n the end i wasn’t selected.

This year is also 25th anniversary of demolition of Berlin Wall, the time when the separated worlds united into one.

If you come to Berlin, I will be your local guide free of charge.

Best Table Topics:


Best Speaker:


Best Evaluator:


Best Functional Role



Club Officials


Waves Zhang

VP Education:

Dana Lv

VP Membership:

Ervlyn Young

VP Public Relations:

Francesca  Geary


Una Miskovic


Jenny Gu


Qi Lu


Heather Wang


 Valerie Van Kerckhove


Yaxiong Zhang



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