December 2016 Meetings Presidential Speech Speak Up Speeches

154th Meeting : Presidential Closing Speech – Pain Past Is Pleasure



Three years ago, I came across a slogan to change our society, change our country, for the better.

The slogan was called Ubah, that is change. I’m not going to talk about that Ubah, but the big Ubah

inspired a small Ubah in me. I wanted to change myself. Because people say, first change ourselves

before we change others. Because people say, be the change we want to see in the world.


I used to be very shy, very quiet person. You better believe me, because even today I’m still quite

shy, quite quiet. I needed to change. Then, I met a business friend who wanted to form a

Toastmasters club in his company. Immediately I signed up. But the club took a very long, long

time to form. I was very impatient. So I decided to start my own speech projects. I challenged

myself to complete 8 Table Topics speeches in 8 different clubs within one month.


I did. It was November 2014. I went to 8 clubs. 3 out of 8 times, I even won the Best Table Topics

award. Not because I spoke well, but maybe because they wanted me to join. Thanks to the

encouragement, I went on doing more speeches. The rest was history. Even today, you can still see

me speaking almost every week.


My fellow Toastmasters. My friends. Many people see my speech photos on Facebook. But not

many people see the pain, the hardship, the criticisms I suffered in these 2 years. I remember giving

CC3 speech as a new member, but I received very, very hard evaluation. I remember I was

unprepared for another speech, and I was “scolded” by the evaluator for 8 minutes. But she won the

best evaluator award. I remember people accused me for showing off speeches on Facebook, but the

fact is, I never posted any best speaker award. I remember someone high up even came down and

told me off, “Ricky, what are you trying to get? Thou shalt not try to climb so fast.”


Luckily, I knew what I wanted. Luckily, I didn’t give up. Luckily, I was rebellious enough to keep

on doing mad things in mad places at mad times. Today, there are people who see I have ubah-ed,

and transformed to become a better speaker. Today, there are people who used to look down on me,

but now look me up as a potential leader.


Pain past is pleasure. Now I learned this new slogan from our exco member, Wing Ng. It means it’s

OK to go through pain, because at the end of the tunnel, there will be pleasure. It means it’s OK to

sow in tears, because at the end of our journey, we will reap in joy. The key is to know what we

want, persevere and keep on taking actions until we achieve our goal. On that day, you and I will

rejoice. On that day, we will celebrate our fruits of labor together. Thank you.

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