Author Archives: kris


Kris Tay

It was 11 years ago that I joined the Toastmasters Club in Singapore. I was comfortable chatting with friends and even giving presentations for projects in school. Little did I know that when I had to give a speech to strangers, I froze. I startled and my heart thumped so hard that I thought I would die of a heart attack.

Many adults fear public speaking and even after delivering the speech, we are our worst critic. This fear could definitely be overcome with practice and skills. How I wished I had learnt the skills of public speaking when I was young.

Hence, I started giving workshops on public speaking and presentation skills targetting at children. Children learn best when they have FUN! It’s not about the grammar, neither is it about the vocabulary. It’s about communication and whether the other party or parties understand you, whether they caught your message, and whether they will act upon your call.

My first workshop, “Electrify or Electrocute Your Audience”, was well received by the children. It was loaded with activities that build their confidence and the children had a whale of good time. I discovered that our children learn in schools how to handle oral examinations and very often, there were templates for them to follow. When it comes to extemporaneous speeches, they were lost. For example, when I gave them a “blue” giraffe and asked them to give a speech about that, the children all started describing the giraffe. “This is a blue giraffe. It has spots on its body…” I’m not saying that this is bad, but if we want to interest our audience, we have to be more creative, we have to be able to “spin” tales and draw our audience in with our speeches.

Recently, I ran a workshop on public speaking and storytelling in a Primary School. The final session is a speech contest and all these students were so excited when I arrived. They showed me their scripts and asked if they could refer to their notes when they deliver their speeches. Their speeches were well written but when it comes to their delivery, they need more encouragement and practice. It’s heartwarming to see their excited faces, their eagerness to deliver their speeches, and their courage to overcome their nervousness.

My personal conviction is that our children do not need lessons on how to speak. They do not need templates on good speeches. They need our encouragement. They need coaching. They need to build their confidence, knowing that they can deliver speeches that are sincere, speeches that can impact others, and speeches that make a difference.

Adults, parents, teachers, coaches, can play key roles to identify the strengths of our children, suggest ways to make their speeches more impactful, and help launch them on this wonderful journey of public speaking.

Update 9 May 2013
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Toastmaster of the Year Award

Hi all,

Jamie asked me on Monday if I would like to nominate anyone from our Club for the Toastmaster of the Year Award. Without any hesitation, I told him that I’ll be nominating Eskay for this Award.

I’m sure you’ll all agree that he had put in so much for the Club and recognition is due to him. Chai Tun is tasked to do a write-up for his nomination.


Lanie’s email

I’ve checked with Lanie and she has agreed that I may post this on the Blog. Like to share her email to me. Her email really touched me. Though she may be a new member, her confidence in our Club is unwavering. Hear what Terence had to say!

Her email…..

Hi Kris,

I am so proud to be competing next to you at the Area Level. I informed my boss and he is very supportive on this endeavor.

Honestly, you pushed me to do the best that I can be by just simply smiling in the corner and silently cheering for me….I can feel it!

The Area Level Contest would be another opportunity for us to bring our club to the next level (District Level).
Let us give it all we’ve got! We are strong enough! 🙂

As Terence Tan said to me during the warm-up session, we must show respect to the audience who will spend their time to watch…and we owe them a good performance.

best regards,

Membership fees


Yes, we will increase our 6-month membership fees from $60 to $75 because of the increase in TI dues. For new members, the 1st time fees (including CC membership and TI 6-month fees)will be $150.

Toastmasters for Children

Got a call from Shirley Lau who was searching the web for toastmasters clubs in Singapore. Called my handphone to enquire about toastmasters training for her Sec 1 daughter.

Interested if we were to run the “classes” in June. She’s staying in Toa Payoh.

Those who are interested in joining forces with Chai Tun and me to organise this, please let me know. If June is not possible, then Dec (school holidays).

We’re going to be “BUSY” but I’m so happy!!

Update 3 Jun 2013

For a list of Gavel Club in Singapore, go to public speaking for the teens

For enquiries on public speaking courses, workshops for children in Singapore, go to Contact public speaking for children

Club Contest – 7 Mar 2005


To date, the confirmed contestants are :

Table Topics
Sam Ang
Angela Oh
Seah Soon Huat (if he’s in S’pore)
David Goh
Henry Teoh
Khim Song
Poh Pian
Willy Tan
Terence Tan

Int’l Speech
Felicia Chan
David Goh
Henry Teoh
Khim Song
Poh Pian
Willy Tan
E Yong

Organising Chair person : Suzanne Cheong
Contest Chair : Yeo Chai Tun

To set an example, I’m taking part in both the contests. Let’s look forward to an exciting event!