Plateau Toastmasters Club e-Newsletter Issue #4 – July 2020


  1. Words from the President
  2. Figures of Speech by TM Ishrat
  3. The Five Points of an Effective Evaluation (the Successful Club Series)
  4. Power of Pause by TM Vyshalee
  5. Recording and completing a project on Pathways by TM Azra
  6. My First Day at a Toastmasters Meeting – Final part by TM Subhiraj
  7. Achievements of Members
  8. Proverbs and Idioms by TM Divya
  9. Plateau Toastmasters Club (when members share their views)
  10. Club Activities (April - June 2020)
  11. New Mandate
Words from the President

The Pandemic - a necessary evil..

We have zoomed online every week since the lockdown was announced. We have virtually elected the new ExCo ! Some members have had the opportunity to surpass themselves with opportunities worldwide as speakers, evaluators and role players ! On the whole, the pandemic was a necessary evil for us all to reflect on how much we came to gain out of Toastmasters online!

The last quarter of this current mandate restricted our movements at a Toastmasters Club and even our capability to innovate further but our themes online got more creative, with funny hats, colourful clothes, but most importantly, the delightful presence of our members online at all the sessions ! ! WE HAVE CROSSED THE MIN. of 8 GOALS on Toastmasters Club Success Plan and we're, for the 10th year in a row, President's Distinguished Award and a Gold Award as per TI new standards.

Thank you for propounding the Club to what it is today. #weareplateau!

Do you Know your Figures of Speech?

Language is truly an art form! People, in general, use various ways to express meaning, with a common goal: to communicate. One of them involves figures of speech.

A figure of speech is a rhetorical device that achieves a special effect by using words in a distinctive way. In simpler terms, it is a word or phrase that possesses a different meaning from its literal sense. Figurative language uses words or expressions that appeal to one or more of the five senses and creates pictures in the mind of the reader or the listener. These in turn help convey the meaning faster and more vividly than words alone.

Figures of speech are an integral part of the English language, making it more creative, more expressive and just more interesting! Here are a few of the most commonly used ones:

SIMILE: Compares two objects that are dissimilar, often using the words like or as. Example: Your backpack is as light as a feather / Life is like a box of chocolates.

METAPHOR: Compares two objects without using the words like or as. Example: You are my sunshine / She is dirt poor.

PERSONIFICATION: To give human characteristics to an object, animal or idea. Example: The sand ticked my toes / The camera loves me

IDIOMS: An expression or saying known to a particular group of people that cannot be taken literally. Example: It’s raining cats and dogs / I’m on cloud nine!

ONOMATOPOEIA: Use of a word or group of words that mimics a sound. Example: Splish! Splash! Splish! / Ding-dong!

HYPERBOLE: An exaggerated statement to emphasize a point or for a heightened effect. Example: I told you a thousand times / I am so hungry I could eat a horse!

ALLITERATION: Repeated use of the same consonant sound in a string of words. Example: Betty bought some bitter butter / She sells seashells.

ASSONANCE: Repeated use of the same vowel sound in a string of words. The sounds do not have to be at the beginning of the word. Example: How now brown cow! / The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain

OXYMORON: Using words that have an opposite definition in the same phrase or sentence. Example: She was pretty ugly / There was a deafening silence in the room.

ANAPHORA: The repetition of the same word or phrases at the beginning of successive clauses or verses. Example: I came, I saw, I conquered - My life is my purpose, my life is my inspiration, my life is my goal.

Consider the two texts below. How can you make them extraordinary? A. The trees did not move : The trees stood still like giant statues B. The train whistle blew : The train whistle blew long and slow like a sad, sad song...

Five Basic Points - Successful Club Series 'Evaluate to Motivate' - Effective Evaluation
  1. The process of evaluation starts before the speech - know the objective/purpose of the project and the evaluation criteria.
  2. Your interest in the speech as an evaluator must be visible - adopt good practices to show that you are interested in the speech and the speaker's ability to grow. For example do not off your video on zoom session when the speaker is speaking.
  3. Personalise your language - it is YOUR opinion which is being shared not that of the audience. The famous mantra is very helpful here : ''What I saw.. What I heard.. What i Felt..''
  4. The speech is being evaluated, NOT the person - the main objective is to encourage the speaker, evaluate what he does in the speech, not who he is..
  5. Promote Self-Esteem - be nurturing, encourage and inspire the speaker with honest praise, laying positive emphasis when improvement happens and always ending with a high and positive note..
Power of Pause

1. Open on a Positive Note - Once on stage, take a brief moment to pause, make eye contact and smile before beginning the speech. This shows the speaker’s confidence and allows him/her to compose his/her thoughts.

2. The Paragraph Break - Pauses help in breaking up sections of a speech. A speaker should pause longer between the main sections: the introduction, the body and the conclusion. This creates natural and helpful transitions between the main segments and makes it easy for an audience to follow. Along with that, the speaker can use this moment to physically move from one spot to another.

3. Emphasize a Word or Phrase - Pausing while speaking does the same tasks as cues such as bold, italics, and all caps to emphasize important words and phrases. Pause should be long enough to build suspense and eye contact should be maintained so that the audience knows that this pause is intentional.

4. Convey Emotion and Humour - A pause conveys emotion. For example, moving from a light part of the speech to something more serious or dramatic, will necessitate longer pause to indicate the change in emotions. It is said that comedians are masters of the pause. While using humour in speech, the timing of pause is crucial. The pause needs to be long enough to allow the audience to think about the punch line. If speakers move too quickly, the audience doesn’t have enough time to process and then laugh. Pauses keep the audience engaged and help them enjoy the experience while creating pictures in their minds.

5. Get Back on Track - Pauses help to deal with the unexpected. Speakers can calm their nerves. If ever there is a blank out, a pause can help to reiterate the previous point and also help in moving on to the next one you remember.

PAUSE my fellow speakers and YOU will be saved from the (i) evaluator saying 'you should make use of pauses' and (ii) Ah-Counter's list of victims as pauses also eliminate the dreaded ''ums'' and ''ers''...


TM Subhiraj's First Day at a Toasmasters meeting (final part)

.... DTM and TM - I noted that all members were being called 'TM', i.e. Toastmasters. A lady was nevertheless called DTM, prompting me to think that may be she was a 'Deputy Toastmaster' and that she was replacing some other TM. I thought she was of a lower hierarchy compared to the other TMs, which is why she was only being referred to as 'DTM'. I could not understand why she was being praised so much despite being a 'Deputy'.

That evening, I was further addressed as 'Distinguished Guest' and was invited to register myself to become a full-fledged Toastmaster. I was very happy and proud because I got the impression that, despite being new to the Club, I was to become a Toastmaster while that lady would remain Deputy Toastmaster. Unfortunately, I came to know, at a later stage, the real meaning of DTM and realised the various paths I would have to embark myself upon to take me from a Distinguished Guest status to that of a Distinguished Toastmaster!

Table Topic Questions - At a given point in time, someone tagged as the Table Topic Master came proudly in front of the lectern and started shooting questions at those not looking at him. I too got a question despite staring at him. I recall the question being “For Valentine Night, would you prefer to dine with your wife or with friends watching football?''

As a novice, I simply replied saying that such question seemed to be a “bed topic question” rather than table topic question and that football is like a wife sometimes she makes you happy when you score goals but sometime you miss the goal. I also added I would prefer to watch football with the wives of my friends.

Full stop at Red lights – While speaking, my time was controlled by the Timer with Green, Amber and Red lights. But once the red light was on, I stopped talking immediately as I thought the traffic lights in the meeting were similar to those on roads and that I had to stop immediately once the RED was on. Later I got to know that 30 seconds are allowed after the Red lights …….just like on roads, when you get the red signal yet you keep driving but a bit faster to be able to go through at the brink of time! However, in the meeting, if your exceeded the 30 seconds, the Timer would ring his temple-like bell, while on the road they use horns and those beautiful words!!..

“Break ke baad” – After the Break -Soon came the most awaited moment - the refreshment time. It was the only occasion that I was not disappointed, I could enjoy to my full as all snacks and drinks were offered for free!!

I was fasting that day and could only have veg foods but in front of such delicious non-veg foods, how could I resist..? I simply made a quick prayer asking for God’s merciful forgiveness and quickly reached for the non-veg food. I even hid some in my small carry bag to take home and I had already decided to bring a bigger bag next time..

I also recalled what the Toastmaster of the day said to me during the introductory session, ‘Dear Guest Subhiraj, welcome to the Toastmasters club. If you want to enjoy yourself this is the right place to be” and I felt that he could not have been more right.

Time for Serious Business Matters - On reaching the Business Session, I was disappointed when the President announced that to become member I would have to pay for the membership fee within 1 week and in the blink of an eye, all my hopes for free snacks and drinks got shattered.

At the end of the meeting, I went back home fully disappointed while thinking of finding some alternate full time activities for the Sundays.

Perseverance - Nevertheless, two weeks later I found myself eager to go back to the meeting and this lead to repeated meetings after meetings. Finally, I was happy to realise that my initial disappointments were completely frivolous. I also realised that coming to a Toastmasters club-meeting opened the doors to many opportunities including delivering speeches, being role players, and participate in club contests.

Today I am still disappointed for joining Toastmasters quite late and to note that the word “Public” means some twenty persons whose faces you see almost every two weeks and who are no more like the general public but are like familiar family members. Consequently, you don’t feel the fear of talking in front of them. This is a bit discouraging because you want to overcome the fear of speaking in public but the fear itself does not come anymore.

Nevertheless, thanks to Toastmasters:- 1. I can now speak confidently in front of such a big audience. 2. I am able to bring originality & humour in my speeches. 3. And most importantly, not impotently, I am now a SPEAKER, a LEADER, a MENTOR, but not a MINISTER!

Motivation & Inspiration - Henry Ward Beecher once said that “One’s best success comes after their greatest disappointments”. That is why, as a Toastmaster, when you fall down with disappointments: Never Give Up, Stand Up, And Keep It Up. Only Then, Success will follow you, Everywhere, Up to here.

This is how, leaders are made, this is where leaders are made!

Members Achievements

Awards during April - June 2020
  • Vyankoj S. Mulloo, DL3 (Dynamic Leadership) - April 2020
  • Krishn Ramchurn, Leadership Excellence - May 2020
  • Farhan Mungralee - Advanced Leadership Bronze - June 2020
  • - Krishn Ramchurn - Advanced Communicator Gold - June 2020
Triple Crown as at 30 June 2020 - members achieving three education awards in a single program year
  • Krishn Ramchurn - 9 awards
  • Ridwaan Jaulim - 4 awards
  • Abdool Sariff Mungralee - 4 awards
  • Vyankoj Mulloo - 3 awards
  • Souvendra Papiah - 3 awards
  • Roshan Nothoo - 3 awards
  • Azra Muslun - 3 awards
Are you ready to be the next one on this list? Contact the VPE and grab your speaking roles ...

ready to guess the idioms and proverbs beautifully prepared for us by TM Divya?

1. Toastmasters Sariff and Farhan - L_ _ _ F_ _ _ _r L_ _ _ S_ _.

2. Toastmaster Subhiraj, the Mr ‘Idioms’ who never fails to make b_ _ _ _ l_ _ _ _ _ out of us.

3. Toastmaster Roshan Nothoo, our Ring Masterrrr who got e_ _ _ l_ _ _ a h_ _ _ and notices each and every detail of a session!

4. Toastmaster Ishrat, our s_ _ _ _ _ b_ _ _ _ _ _ _y and among the best Grammarians of our club.

5. Toastmaster Krishn, the best ‘DJ’ for our After-Party sessions - He is the l_ _ _ and s_ _ _ o_ t_ _ p_ _ _y!

6. Toastmaster Vyankoj, someone who always thinks out of the box and d_ _ _ to e_ _ _ _ with realistic expectations!

7. Toastmaster Faizal, an e_ _ _ _ b_ _ _ _ _! Great Mentor to many!

8. Toastmaster Uma, when she wants something, she just goes and gets it. A r_ _ _ go-g_ _ _ _ _!

9. Toastmaster Ravin, a b_ _ c_ _ _ _ _ in the coaching field!

10. Toastmaster Azra, our s_ _ _ _ c_ _ _ _ _! Always trying to adjust her speech to fit her audience.

Members' views on our club - Plateau toastmasters CLUB

Club Activities (April - June 2020)

The last quarter at Plateau was one of its kind... Amidst Covid-19, we had online sessions in full swing... not 6 of them, but 12 in all (http://plateautoastmasters.club/csr.html) and :

'Easy Speak' was launched at Plateau in April 2020 and is now used to update the agenda for each session..

Easy speak is the software allowing Toastmaster clubs in having automated agenda and can also help in tracking and supporting members' development. How to use it? Watch: youtube.com/watch?v=iVz7AH5cdI0

Inter club and inter island exchange was promoted in May 2020 at Plateau..

We were blessed to have joint sessions - two in a row and in a single week - where we got to virtually meet our toastmasters friends from Port Louis Toastmasters Club, Financial Toastmasters Club and even those from Reunion Island, namely the Ozekoze Toastmasters Club.. Beautiful exchanges indeed!

After-Party ONLINE after club session was introduced in May 2020 by TM Krishn..it goes on for hours and hours...

In the words of TM Subhiraj: 'The after party was like a 'chawtari' party where some invitees went out and came back to continue enjoying and they were not willing to leave....finally the host even started singing bhojpuri songs in English!'

Plateau first ever online Speechcraft launched in June 2020 with 9 wonderful participants and advisors..

The Speechcraft program allows experienced Toastmasters to present the fundamentals of public speaking to non-members as a means of encouraging membership and eventually forming new clubs..

April 2020 - 4 Sessions

Mother Nature is Healing - 07 April 2020

TME TM Divya rocked the session with a theme which could not be more appropriate than that..

"Zonked", which means exhausted, was the Word of the Day.

Laughter is the best medicine - 14 April 2020

14 April 2020 was the International Moment of Laughter day and the Club session was crafted accordingly under the TME-ship of TM Azra.

''Euphoria'', meaning a state of intense happiness and self-confidence, was chosen as the Word of the Day.

'I am euphoric that you chose euphoria as the word and I can feel your euphoria of sharing it well in advance so that euphoric members can euphorically include it and use it in their speeches for an euphoric online evening meeting' (TM Subhiraj to the Grammarian)

Election Day - 21 April 2020

An important day for Plateau - the Election Day for Mandate 2020/21, TMEd to the point by TM Uma.

''Hubris'', which means excessive pride or self confidence, arrogance, was the Word of the Day.

TM Subhiraj: Thanks to our grammarian for not being hubris in sharing the word 'hubris' well in advance. Indeed, the Best Gift in today's world is to show modesty and not hubris..

Wonderland - 28 April 2020

A 'Wonderful' theme by our 'Wonderful' TME TM Pooja who came up with the mesmerising dress up idea, loved by all our members...

''Effulgent'' was the Word of the Day. Its meaning is glowing; shining forth brilliantly; radiant.

'Such unfamiliar word 'Effulgent' must be effulgently shinning in the effulgently-working mind of the Grammarian while it is unbrilliantly absent in mine ...but now updated & upgraded😀. Hopefully, effulgent will be effulgently present and brightly shinning in our meeting where our Wonderful Wonder-Woman & TME, effulgently dressed in her sparkling gown, will be landing in our wonderland online-Bhawan'(TM Subhiraj)

May 2020 - 5 sessions

National Cartoonists Day - 05 May 2020

TME TM Shivani reminded us of the 'brighter side of life' throughout the session.... ''Deft'' was the Word of the Day and it means demonstrating skill and cleverness and our deft member Subhiraj, while thanking the grammarian wrote beautifully:

..Thanks for showing such deftness in sending your deftly selected WoE DEFT at a deftly selected time 05:31, just to remind us that May, the 5th month has 31 days, because with confinement, many of us has deftly 'perdi notion' of days & time. Fortunately with our weekly meeting, we deftly keep track of our Tuesdays' meetings wherein Toastmasters deftly use their hands, similar to Allison's deftness in using his hands, to clap at the deft performances of role players. And it is amazing to note the deftness of many Mauritians in finding ways to leave their home during curfew but the same people will deftly look for reasons not to go out to work after confinement. Many others will have to be deft in finding funds for financing their accumulated debts (utilities). Finally, from the depths of my heart, I hope our deft members will show their deftness in deftly using the word deft..

The Ring - 12 May 2020

The first ever online debate at Plateaua concept totally customised and wonderfully 'refereed' by our Ring Master none other than TM Roshan. For TM Subhiraj, the word ring has a lot of significance. Let's find why?

..By the date of '12th', many members will have already joined the RING of office work. Many of us will join office ring as Sumo fighters after die-eating rather than dieting for past 6 weeks. The Ring of our mobile alarm in the morning will again become distracting but a necessary evil; past 6 weeks we have been ignoring them so joyfully. Those travelling by bus will have to ring their bell (sonne/sonnette) themselves; there won't be any passenger sitting next to you. Resuming work may save your wedding ring because living too long & too close to spouse at home is killing; too much of anything is always disastrous ..less is more. The ring of school bell will remain muted but many kids will be happy that parents office bell/ring has resumed. This ring will make them free from teachers and free from parents, hence they will be Ring Masters at home.

Joint Session with Port Louis Toastmasters Club - 19 May 2020

An online partnership uniting almost 54 participants locally and abroad, with a theme which could not be more appropriate: 'Creativity in Crisis'. Even in this Crisis, TM Subhiraj showed his creativity penning the following:

  • During this crisis, some actors (like vegetable & grocery sellers) enjoyed creating new opportunities to face the crisis, while others (hotels & aviation) face a crisis to create new opportunities. Buyers showed their creativity in excessive & panic buying while sellers created fake shortages.
  • This crisis creates obligations for both criminals & victims to hide their face. In office, you need to be creative to distinguish your colleagues via voice recognition since all faces are masked.
  • This crisis suddenly created many more new self-employed to benefit from Self Employed Assistance Scheme.
  • The crisis increased creativity of fake news, memes, videos & posts on social media. What were previously accused of creating family distancing has now created opportunities to combat social distancing.
  • The crisis created opportunities for Toastmasters worldwide to travel across the globe to attend online meetings. Joint meetings also got created , creating increased interclub friendship.
  • All these quick win creativities are, nevertheless, shadowed by our intentional or real inability of creating a vaccin so far against the creator & root cause of this crisis, i.e. the new Corona, which may keep its name despite growing old !
Inter island Club session - 21 May 2020

And yes!! Two days after our inter island exchange, we were blessed with a wonderful trip to Reunion Island. Plateau Toastmasters Club, Financial Toastmasters Club & Ozekoze from Reunion Island had a first bilingual inter island session...

Eid Celebrations at Plateau - 26 May 2020

Eid was celebrated with great pomp and show orchestrated beautifully by the beautiful lady TM Jyeshtha, who said: 'I am green with enthusiasm to see you this evening at 7 pm!! Do not forget to be dressed in Green and espouse a Green mindset'☺️ ''Green'' was the Word of the Day.

TM Uma: Whenever TM Subhiraj comes out with a long comment using the word of the session in all possible usage, I feel like I am too green in usage of words and I always turn green with envy..

TM Subhiraj: The green (colour) has become the fashion for this week’s meeting wherein our TME has given us the green light to wear green (colour) dresses. It is interesting to note that our club environment has a green (political) policy in giving new, green (not experienced) members as well as fully grown (seasoned) Toastmasters equal opportunities to be role players so that nobody becomes green with envy. Consequently, members of all age groups are greening (verb) the club membership. On the other hand, unfortunately, the situation is still green (not ready) for us to return to our onsite location - Maharashtra Bhawan- which is usually surrounded with green plants all around..While talking of green, let us not forget that worldwide lockdown has automatically resulted in less pollution and made the world look greener!

June - 3 Sessions

Parents Day - 02 June 2020

''Parents are the ones who show unconditional love. They play the biggest role in our development and help us in every step of our life''..TME TM Divya

TM Shivani rightly said 'quick-witted TM Subhiraj has a PRODIGIOUS talent in the manipulation of words and always uses the Word of the Day PRODIGIOUSLY.

Let us hope that our prodigious (extraordinary) members would grasp prodigious (enormous) opportunities to use the word to prove how prodigious (phenomenal) they are in a prodigious (wonderful) meeting of a prodigious (marvellous) club.. (TM Subhiraj)

Themeless session by TME Subhiraj - 16 June 2020

..The theme is “Themeless” but the meeting is not themeless. No, I have not gone crazy and there is no social distancing between my mind, brain and head, all are working all together. Thus I mean what I mean, it is themeless but you will not speak less. Just try to rack your brain on how you can add spice to this theme and get your brain warmed up to avoid it getting frozen during these extreme cold days..

''Cheery'', meaning having or showing a good mood or disposition, was chosen to be the Word of the Day.

TM Subhiraj: 'I am cheery (optimistic) that our cheery (unworried) members and speakers will feel cheery (euphoric) in using this word while being cheery (untroubled) enriching their vocabulary and that at the end of this meeting they will leave completely cheery (exultant & optimistic)'

Installation Ceremony - 30 June 2020

Wonderfully TMEd by DTM Faizal and Installation Officer DTM Sariff for the new mandate 2020/21. It was a time to welcome the new mandate of the club while saying BIG BIG thank you to outgoing mandate for the outstanding job. ''Pioneer'' was the word of the day which means develop, create, launch, establish.

New Mandate 2020/21

Words from DTM Faizal Jaulim

I can’t believe that I stayed with this club for 16 years. During those years I had the privilege to rub shoulders with great leaders. For the benefits of new members and readers let me share the names of the past presidents of this wonderful club since it was chartered:-

Past Presidents of Plateau Toastmasters Club

Each one of these leaders has brought their personal touch to mould this club into what it is today. December 2018 was a milestone in the history of the club. We celebrated the 15th anniversary of the club. On that occasion President Sariff gathered all the past presidents (except Ibrahim Sheik Yousouf) under one roof for their testimonies and achievements during their mandate. Those who were abroad gave their testimony through video conference. That was an emotional moment when we all pay tribute to late Ibrahim Sheik Yousouf who was no longer among us.

Toastmaster Vyankoj Mulloo took over as President as from July 2019. He brought his knowledge of IT to enliven the club and bring it to new heights. When Corona Virus hit the world in 2020, the club was proactive by going online even before lock down.

On the 30th June 2020, Toastmaster Ishrut Bundhun was installed as new president of the club for mandate starting 1st July 2020. The expectation is that President Ishrat will bring her touch of glamour to the club. For sure, the destiny of the club is in good hands with this new team and we wish them well in their new endeavour to bring the club to even greater heights.

Plateau has always been in the forefront. Long live plateau Toastmasters club!

The Newly Elected Members to serve of the Executive Committee for 2020/21

  • President : TM Ishrat Bundhun
  • Vice President Education : TM Farhan Mungralee
  • Vice President Membership : TM Azra Muslun
  • Vice President Public Relations : TM Subhiraj Gajadhur
  • Secretary : TM Vyshalee Bundhoo
  • Treasurer : TM Sorjen Mooneearn Soobramaney
  • Sergeant at Arms : TM Jyeshtha Ramduny

Answers of Proverbs and Idiom

  • Like Father Like Son
  • belly laughs
  • eyes like a hawk
  • social butterfly
  • life and soul of the party
  • down to earth
  • eager beaver
  • A real go-getter
  • big cheese
  • smart cookie

Upcoming activities

  • 2nd Speechcraft program
  • Educational sessions
  • Speakathon on 15 September 2020
  • Interclub contest on 11 October 2020 (more details to follow)

Editorial Team

TM Vyankoj, TM Divya, TM Ishrat, TM Vyshalee, TM Subhiraj, TM Azra