Constructing charisma and confidence through toastmasters competitions

2nd Place in Humorous Speech Contest

Ng and the certificate she won

It was a well-deserved winning when UTAR alumna Ng Pey Jiann was announced as the 2nd Place winner of the Division E Humorous Speech Contest 2020/2021. Prior to that, Ng also won the 2nd Place in  Humorous Speech Contest and 3rd Place in Evaluation Contest at the District 102 Area E2 Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contests.

While the achievements reflect Ng’s charisma and confidence in public speaking, she was not born with the talent to speak in front of audiences, let alone being fluent in English when she first stepped into the field of public speaking.

“I did not feel comfortable to talk in English as it was not my first language and I used to translate from Mandarin to English before I speak. Obviously, it was not a proper way to communicate as I always spend time to come up with the vocabulary first, which delayed my conversation,” Ng recalled.

Realising the need to improve her English and speaking skills, she joined the toastmasters club in UTAR Sungai Long Campus. “I have been part of the club since October 2018. My intention of joining the UTAR Sungai Long Toastmasters Club was to improve my English communication skills. Public speaking was out of the question for me at that time,” Ng said while adding that she never thought she would reach the milestone that she has now.

The accounting graduate had her time well spent in the club as she had a lot of opportunities to speak and practice. “I have taken part as the speaker, evaluator and I have taken many other roles in the usual meetings. I also volunteered myself to be a role player in other toastmasters clubs in order to speak to more people in English. Practice makes perfect. I made myself comfortable to speak in English and from there I was able to develop my confidence,” said Ng.

With the newly gained skills and confidence, she went to competitions to put them to test. She started with UTAR Sungai Long Toastmasters Club Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest 2020/2021 and won 1st place in the evaluation contest and 2nd place in the humorous speech contest. Ng then further competed with Kajang Toastmasters Club, Damansara Toastmasters Club, Puchong English Toastmasters Club and Masterjaya Toastmasters Club in District 102 Area E2 Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest 2020/2021 and won 2nd place in the humorous speech contest and 3rd place in the evaluation contest. As the 2nd Place winner in the Humorous Speech Contest for District 102 Area E2, she got to compete in the Division E Humorous Speech & Evaluation Contests 2020/2021. The participants were required to present a humorous speech for five to seven minutes and she finally won 2nd Place in the Humorous Speech Contest.

Ng showing her trophies from UTAR Sungai Long Toastmasters Club Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest 2020/2021

Ng (fifth from left) at the UTAR Sungai Long Toastmasters Club Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest 2020/2021 held at Prime International & Cambridge Asia in Puchong (photo was taken on 12 September 2020)

Ng (middle row, left) with other participants of Division E Humorous Speech & Evaluation Contests 2020/2021 which was held via Zoom due to the Covid-19 pandemic

With the great achievements gained, Ng said that she will always feel gratitude to those who had helped her throughout her journey, “I really want to extend my gratitude to all UTAR Sungai Long Toastmasters Club members and also a few of our ‘sisters’ club members from Masterjaya Toastmasters Club and My Puchong Toastmasters Club. They constantly gave me positive support and constructive feedback in order for me to improve. I would have not had the courage to take part in the contest without their support and encouragement.”

As a person who had gone through the journey of self-improving, she has words of advice to offer, “Public speaking starts when you practise it in daily conversations. If English is not your first language, speak every day and make yourself comfortable with it. When you are comfortable speaking in the language, it will automatically erase all the fear of speaking in English. If you want to speak in public confidently, find a platform to practice. Make yourself comfortable to speak in the crowd and you will be surprised that the confidence just develops without you even realising.”

The journey for Ng in public speaking is yet to end and she is currently attending toastmasters club meetings and events to further develop her social, communication and leadership skills.

For more information and updates, please visit the UTAR Sungai Long Toastmasters Club’s Facebook page: or contact Club Vice President Membership, Chang Hong Pin - or Email:

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