Saturday, August 24, 2019

Speakers Summit 2019-2020

What appeared to be a bad omen of a heavy downpour in the morning proved to be good luck for the Speakers Summit 2019-2020. After the heavy rain, it rained registrants at the lobby of Fluor Daniel Building as we had more than a hundred Toastmasters and non-Toastmasters attending!

Shown below are the six speakers that saw action in today's Speakers Summit 2019-2020: Tzarina Saldana, Raul dela Vega, me, Ed Ramirez, Ralph Lim and Neb Perez.

(photo credits: Toto Gustilo for Div.H)


Speakers of the Summit


This year's Speakers Summit was organized by Division H's Director Anne Macalintal. Discussions for this year's Speakers Summit started more than 2 months ago with the hope of replicating, if not surpassing, the success of last year's Speakers Summit (2018-2020) also hosted by Division H.

Shown below is one of the promotional materials for the summit. I was one of the a returning speakers from last year's Speaker Summit, the other being, DTM Raul dela Vega. My topic for this year was "Rockstar Speaking for Introverts" and was the last of the morning learning sessions.



For breakfast in today's Speakers Summit, attendees had a choice of Tuna or Cheese Sandwich. There was free-flowing coffee throughout the day.



Early Registration


As early as 7:30 am, guests have started lining up to register. Shown below are the members of the Metro South Alabang Toastmasters Club (MSATC) manning the registration table.

That's Pastor Toto Gustilo also from MSATC with his camera, partially shown. He was responsible for most of the nice photos taken from the event. All photos included in this post are from Toto unless otherwise noted.


Shown below is Tess Siapno from MSATC, the Division H Council Treasurer, displaying some Toastmasters-related merchandise for sale.


In another table was the information booth with some other giveaway flyers and stuff. Manning this table were the members from the Alabang Community Toastmasters Club (ACT), Trixie Uson-Curay and Joy Timbol.


Later in the morning, a couple of members of my club (BF Community TMC), Cristina Yung and Alvin Panghulan (in blue) took over the information booth. Shown below inquiring at the booth are Angel Pojol, Weng Lee and Justine Go.


The two speakers that started off in the morning were Tzarina and Raul. While waiting for their turns, the other speakers were in a waiting area (aka the "Green Room") to review their presentations. Shown below (L-R): Ed Ramirez, Ralph Lim and me. My session was also in the morning, just before lunch.


Below is a "stolen shot" (do people still use that phrase?, haha) taken of me. While the other speakers had laptops to edit and review their powerpoint presentation, I only had mine printed on sheets of paper.

This is the same manner of script reviewing I did for last years Speakers Summit. It's old-school, handy, and works for me!


Just before my presentation, I gave instructions to my ever-dependable co-members Cristina and Alvin for the lights. The information booth they were manning were near the light switches.




Fortunately, I was able to ask a couple of technicians where the lights were. I was able to test the lights, switching the right ones off, so that the video clips in my presentation may be better viewed. Switches to turn off and on were on the second switch plate on the top row of the wall. Check!



The "Rockstar Speaking for Introverts" Talk


(Note: A pdf copy of my slide presentation may be seen here.)

Shown below is the cover slide I made for my presentation. I really liked it. I particularly liked the Freddie Mercury image icon to form the "A" of the word Rockstar. Although long and tedious, I loved making the slides and video clips of my powerpoint presentation.


On with the show! Since there is no real definition of a Rockstar speaker, I asked the audience to describe what the phrase "Rockstar Speaker" meant to them. The replies were quite interesting: "dynamic", "entertaining", "engaging", and more.


During a Division H Council meeting one and half months ago, a different topic was initially assigned to me for the Speakers Summit. It was "Elevating Evaluation".

It's a nice play of words for a stylized type of evaluation. The topic somehow just didn't resonate with me, at least not as much as what I had in mind. What I had in mind was something for beginning speakers to combat shyness.

After explaining my proposal, Anne loved the concept. Even better, she loved the title! With the go signal from Anne, it was full steam ahead for me and I was so excited to draft the materials - all from scratch.


In my previous Table Topic talk at the Speechcraft in Vivere, I was able to engage to audience by interacting with them and the best way for me to do that was to leave the main speaking area and approach the audience.

It's the same technique that I did here. I went down the stage to ask the audience. There were times when I had a serious intense look like the one below.


But there were light moments too which I really liked. Most of the enthusiastic interaction I received from the audience was when I was on the floor rather than on stage.


Nonetheless, I was able to get the audience to participate more simply because I was there "with them".


At the far right below, Nerlisa Elyza from ACT raises her hand to offer an answer in my brief Q&A with the audience. This was a reply to my question, "how do you describe a rockstar speaker?"

One thing I failed to do though was to validate the response - like a follow through to tell the person what I thought of the answer. From what happened, it appeared that I just listened and gathered replies.


After the brief Q&A, it's back up the stage to give a formal intro to the talk. Below, I discussed how the topic came about and how I decided to focus on introverts.


(photo credits: Leslie Ann Saban)

Giving an introduction as I did below was for the purpose of telling the audience that these were not the "be-all and end-all" solutions. But rather, these are what I learned over the years as a Toastmaster and have worked for me to improve my speaking skills.

This part of the talk also allowed me to discuss briefly the video clips I prepared, a disclaimer, and why I was showing them.


I then moved on to discuss how the presentation was partitioned. This made everyone aware of the sequence of sub-topics they will be seeing in the presentation.



Introverts and Extroverts


The slide I showed in the photo below was the last slide I incorporated in the powerpoint file. It turned out to be quite effective in pointing out differences in the personality types. It's colorful and easy to understand.


(photo credits: James Juganas)

One of the highlights of my presentation was this spiel about Dananjaya Hetiarrachchi. All the toastmasters in the audience naturally recognized him immediately.


Part of my interaction with the audience was to ask a few to read certain paragraphs that were shown on my slides - a technique I learned from DTM Raul. Below, I asked one lady at the front row to read what Dananjaya had to say about introverts.


I thought all the toastmasters were glued to what I had to say about Dananjaya. And why not. Dananjaya was our guest Toastmaster speaker at the District Convention 2018 in Cebu where he became an instant hit among all the speakers.


A sharp contrast from my powerpoint slides last year was my use of images and animation in my slides this year. Below, I'm showing the animated slide of the "Illusion of a Spotlight" metaphor.



Death by Powerpoint


Many of those in the audience have delivered presentations before or even conducted talks themselves. So they were able to relate with the slide I referred to as "Death by Powerpoint" shown below.


In my career as an IT professional, I've had 5 technical papers published and presented in various symposia. And so I was able to mention how engineers presented their technical papers, at least during my time. It was, simply, death by powerpoint. We were ALL bad!


(photo credits: Duchess Munsayac)

Even the first Summit Speaker, Tzarina, fully agreed that it is a poor technique that presenters need to get rid off. Tzarina was an HR Professional and can keenly discern a bad presentation technique.


Although it was just a single slide, I particularly liked this "Death by Powerpoint" slide because many in the audience saw and realized what a boring presentation looked like. From the reactions, I discovered that some in the audience were guilty of this technique as well!



Stage Persona


An interesting component of my presentation was the use of video clips. Below, I discussed the value of adopting a stage persona. Thereafter, I showed a video clip.


I had the lights all figured out for the videos. Unfortunately, the sound or audio component of the video wasn't up to par. I suspect that the technicians lowered the console volume of the sound system after the national anthem.

Since it was only my presentation that made use of video clips, nobody else noticed that the sound coming from the laptop was lowered down.


In total, I had four video clips in my presentation.

Another disappointment of mine was the laptop that was used. Although I tested the videos right before the summit started, I only tested them for just a few seconds. To test, I should've played them in their entirety.




I learned on the presentation itself that there was a lag time in the display of the animation and videos. It must have been a buffering delay. The animation and videos simply paused midway. I'm guessing that either the laptop's processor wasn't fast enough or the memory was inadequate or both.


At this point in my presentation shown below, I was discussing the importance of a "Quiet Time" or an "Alone Time" for an introvert. Again, I played another video clip to show how this occurs prior to a well-known rockstar's performance.


After I present a sub-topic in my talk, I show a summary slide that lists all those that were discussed in each of the sub-topics. This is a good way to keep the audience informed on what were taken up as a wrap-up before proceeding to the next.



Mistakes Happen


This is the part where I discussed what could occur during the presentation. And during a presentation, mistakes can and will happen.

Below, I asked Justine from the audience to read aloud the text on a slide.


Here, below, are some of the extra-wide or panoramic shots taken by Division H Public Relations Manager Toto.



(photo credits: Toto Gustilo)



Question and Answer Portion


All talks in this Speakers Summit had a Q & A portion. That's one of the reasons many speakers went overtime, mine included.


Below, Nerlisa of ACT, mentioned that her son had similar introvert "problems" that I had when I was growing up and so she asked how his son can break out from that shell.


Another member of ACT, Jun "Nonoy" Valencia, even went up on stage to give his comments and "evaluation" of me. Much of it was positive though and so, okay - much appreciated!



Awarding of Plaque and Token


All six of the featured speakers for this year's Speakers Summit received a plaque and a token of appreciation from Division Director Anne Macalintal.

Below, she joked that, as the third speaker, it was no longer a surprise for me.


My successor as Area 73 Director, AD Ching Bognot, assisted Anne in giving the token. Area Director Ching was today's event host and she did a splendid job.


Here's a photo with Division H Director, Anne "Miss Gorgeous" Macalintal.



Lunch Break


Right after my talk, we had lunch at the same venue. Below, everyone stood up and started queuing. That's Jan Peter Dichoso, Charles Villena and Brian dela Cruz from QSI Toastmasters Club, one of the clubs I had in Area 73.


Here's a big delegation from Omega Toastmasters Club over lunch with Anne. They too were in my area last term.


The biggest delegation at the summit was from the Alabang Community Toastmasters Club headed by Pres. Nelson Salazar.


(photo credits: Nelson Salazar)

Thank you, guys, for the fantastic support to the Speakers Summit!


Raffle Time and Photo-Ops


This year's summit was also a bit different because the division raffled off some prizes. Below left, a notebook and pen items from TI was raffled off to the audience.

Below right, a book entitled, "No Limits" was raffled off. A co-club member, Glendy, was the lucky winner.


Below is the requisite photo with the whole group that attended the Speakers Summit. There were 124 who attended the summit.


Of course, there's a group photo with the BF Community Toastmasters Club members (L-R): Front row: Carlo Jabat, Alvin Panghulan, Rema Manzano, Cristina Yung, Loise Banez, Ching Bognot, Ellen de Guzman, Ed Ramirez and Leah Catapia. Back row: Richard Balang, Glendy Artes, Pam Patacsil, Marlyn Malinao, Chloe de Guzman, me, Jude Ola, Duchess Munsayac and Jeffrey Ganaba.


(photo credits: Duchess Munsayac)

Here's a photo with some members of the Alabang Community Toastmasters Club (ACT). ACT was also one of the clubs in my area last term. From L-R: Raul, Ed, me, Nerlisa Elyza Rivera, Cielo Enriquez, Joy Timbol and Amina Timbol.


(photo credits: Cielo Enriquez)


(photo credits: Cielo Enriquez)

With four of the six speakers together.


Another shot with the BFComm Club.


(photo credits: Jude Ola)

Finally, the "Go, BF!" pose with co-club members.


Here's the lanyard with the ID that was given me. Note the summit program at the back.


And that's... a wrap! See you all again next year!