Perry Chia, ACB, ALB, a member of NUS Toastmasters—a club for students, alumni and staff of the National University of Singapore—handles his employer’s enterprise risk management and business continuity management portfolios. He’s been mentoring Lim Tong Lee, CC, since Tong Lee joined the NUS club in 2016.
Tong Lee attends National University and works in IT support in the education industry. He joined Toastmasters for the supportive learning environment and the structured, self-paced learning programs.
How do you describe Perry’s role in your Toastmasters journey?
Perry has been with me every step of the way, from my first speech project to my first area-level speech contest. He is friendly, approachable, helpful and willing to share his public-speaking expertise. Despite my incessant questions and late-night messages, no question is too small for him; he has always responded with deliberation and insight.
What have you learned from Perry?
I remember stumbling during my Ice Breaker and becoming hesitant about making future speeches. Perry encouraged me to learn from my mistakes rather than mope over them. He offered useful tips, like watching out for filler words, and using pauses to gather my thoughts or recall my ideas.
What have you accomplished in Toastmasters?
I have become a better speaker, leader and thinker. Perry’s positive influence motivated me to reach my Competent Communicator award within six months and serve as vice president education of our club. I’ve learned to face my fear of public speaking by taking part in my first speech contest.
How has your life changed because of Toastmasters?
I’m now more confident and vocal. I communicate more clearly and coherently. In project meetings I speak up more often and more actively lead, facilitate and participate in group discussions. This makes me feel excited about my academic and profesSional work. And Perry has become a close friend and confidant.
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Mary Nesfield is associate editor for Toastmaster magazine. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.