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What is Table Topics?

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Original Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash
If you are searching for this, chances are, you've been invited to speak at a Table Topics session and you wonder what it is. Table Topics is the impromptu speaking part of a Toastmaster's club's meeting. In this blog post, we are going to talk about what to expect during a Table Topics session, how to answer a given topic and what are the benefits of participating. What to expect? According to the official Toastmasters club meeting agenda templates, the Table Topic session is conducted after the prepared speech session where speakers come prepared with their speech. There are clubs that put the Table Topic session before the prepared speech session to better manage their meeting flow. During the Table Topics session, there will be a Table Topicsmaster (Yes, that's how Toastmasters spells that role) who will read out the topics. After that, one of the three following scenarios will happen. The room will be full of raised h…

How to Auto Convert Malaysian IC Number to Birthdays Using Excel (Updated to Support Millennials)

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
I wrote this an article about how to automatically convert Malaysian IC Number to Birthdays five years ago. I was surprised that people recently commented that it didn't support those born after the year 2000. I'm responsible of putting the original information online so I'm obliged to update it if it didn't work. So here I am giving you the updated version.

You can play with the excel sheet here to see how it works.

The excel formulas that I used above are as below.

YYYY-MM-DD Format

=CONCATENATE(IF(LEFT(A1,2)<RIGHT(YEAR(TODAY()),2),"20","19"),LEFT(A1,2),"-",MID(A1,3,2),"-",MID(A1,5,2))

DD-MM-YYYY Format

=CONCATENATE(MID(A1,5,2),"-",MID(A1,3,2),"-",IF(LEFT(A1,2)<RIGHT(YEAR(TODAY()),2),"20","19"),LEFT(A1,2))

There are two parts to the formula. Depending on the format, the sequence will be different. Generally, I extract the month, day and year. I put a l…

5 Reasons Why Manoj Vasudevan Won in 2017 and not in 2015?

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When ACS, CL Manoj Vasudevan became the Champion of the 2017 Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking, it generated a big buzz on the internet and social media platforms. Some people admired how well he spoke and how great his message is. Yet there are some that expressed doubts about the standard of Toastmasters. They wondered how could he won using a similar speech to the one he used in the finals of 2015 World Championship of Public Speaking? Curious about how true the allegation is and what I could learn from this spectacular win, I spent some time analyzing both speeches. With my limited knowledge, I speculated 5 reasons why he won the 2017 Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking and not the one in 2015. If you haven't watch the speeches, I highly encourage you to watch them below before reading the five points below.



1. Title  The first and most obvious difference is the title. He titled his speech as "We Can Fix It" during his 2015 speech and…

The New and The Good 2nd September 2017

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The New : Sugahut's Coconut Milk Plus DurianWhen I went to 7-Eleven today, I saw a very interesting new drink on the shelf. 

It is a coconut milk + durian drink. Intrigued, I bought one can home. After trying it, I deem that it is not my cup of tea. If you are a person who likes durian flavored soy milk, this might be the drink for you. Or if you are craving for something sweet after your meal, this might be for you too. 


The Good : Speaker Leader Champion by Jeremy Donovan and Ryan Avery
If you have been following Startupth or my YouTube Channel, you'll remember that I went on a shopping spree and bought 38 books from Big Bad Wolf and did an analysis on how they sell books at such a cheap price. It turns out that one of the books that I bought was a very useful book for public speaking. It is a book named Speaker Leader Champion written by Jeremy Donovan and Ryan Avery. It is a book that will complement your Toastmasters education or it'll be a book illuminating your path in…

The New and The Good 1st September 2017

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The New : Feature Creep and What to Do About it.I've read this article from Intercom about feature creep. It is about over cluttered UI and what to do about it. I highly suggest you to read it. If you don't want to read it? Feel free to watch the video above. 
The Good : Pull Marketing Done RightIntercom.com did a great job in pulling me to their website and subtly giving me the hint that their communication solution could help me with my communication with customers. It gave me real value. This is why I'm sharing about it now. I think they did well linking their product to a problem faced by their target customers. Bravo! Intercom.

The New and The Good 31st August 2017

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The New The new thing that I've learnt today is the medical breakthrough that enables doctors to reprogram one type of cell into another type. The procedure takes a very short amount of time and is relatively safe and risk free. We are truly living in an age of advancements. For more information, check out the video below!


The Good
It is good to see the person that you coach grow. I have been coaching my boss's kid for years and it's very good to see him grow from someone who needs a lot of pacing to someone who can persevere and find the solutions himself. It reminds us that we need to keep learning so that we won't be left behind.

The Good and The New 30th August 2017

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The Good
I've finally produced a vlog reflecting the good things and the new things that I've experienced today. Before this, I had a lot of excuses on why I won't do this. Maybe it's because I'm tired or I don't have time to setup the green screen. The key here is that I'm able to reflect on what I've done. Thus I find that the good of the day is that I'm able to do what I want instead of perfect it. If you wait for perfection, you'll wait forever. The New The new thing that I've experienced is the a cup of sea salt caramel latte from Not Just Another Cup. I was very excited when I found this coffee because I never thought it existed. I've learnt the existence of this coffee in a story of a couple that's on the verge of divorcing. The wife asked the husband why does he always put salt in her coffee? The husband said because you've always drank it and it's what I like. The wife said, I hated it I only drink it because it's…