[custom_frame_left][/custom_frame_left] On Thursday, October 25th, our very own Tim Kwan was presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal by The Honorable Dr. Asha Seth (Canada’s First Indo-Canadian Female Senator) and by local MPP Soo Wong (representing Scarborough-Agincourt). The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal was created to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Accession to the Thorne as Queen of Canada. This medal recognizes Canadians who, like the Queen, have devoted themselves to the well-being of family, community and country.
Tim received this award for his tireless volunteer work as chair and president of the Mon Sheong foundation. The foundation is dedicated to the promotion of Chinese culture, heritage, language and philosophy through caring for the elderly, encouraging the young and providing programs and services in response to the needs of communities. I had a chance to speak to Tim on what this award meant to him and how Toastmasters has impacted his work throughout the organization.
Q: What are the requirements to achieve Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee Award?
A: You have to do a minimum of 10 years of voluntary service, good results etc. As well you have to be nominated and selected by others.
Q: How did you handle the presentation of the award?
A: There were 25 recipients of the award and I was asked to deliver an acceptance speech on behalf of the recipients. So using my Toastmaster skills, I delivered a 5-7 minute speech which was perfect timing to deliver the message properly.
Q: How has the skills you learned through Toastmasters helped you serve your organization?
A: Prior to joining Podium two and half years ago, I already did speeches. It really was just about delivering the message. The content was never a problem but the delivery of my speeches needed work. So I joined and Podium has helped me build my confidence and learn various speaking techniques.
Q: What would you like to improve and learn through Toastmasters to help you even more outside of the club?
A: The comments that I’m getting from members is that my delivery is getting better and better. Within our Foundation, I can better deliver messages, from 30 to more than 1,000. I find that the larger the group I present to, the harder it is to connect with the audience. For instance when we had a Charity Run and Walk and I walked up on stage, there was a thousand people standing in the field. It was hard to make eye contact because I was up on
stage and people are down below. So the challenge is: How do you connect with an audience of this size in less than 5 minutes? The participants wanted to get going as soon as possible because they’re cold just standing outside.
I’d also like to learn how to present my views better with a hostile audience. Sometimes I can face resistance when our foundation is proposing something and the community doesn’t agree with our proposal. But Toastmasters has helped me to remain calm and confident in such situations.
Q: How do you think the quality of life improved around with those you work with?
Those who work with me (sometimes) are inspired. The seniors we serve generally have better lives because of this (preventative measures e.g. taking the proper medications, dietary, social support etc.) Their families do not worry about their day-to-day activities. They can live on their own, take care of their own children, and then can spend quality time with them when they visit.
Thank you time for your time with this interview and we look forward to seeing you continue to improve within Toastmasters and hearing about your future successes within your organization!