Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My Life as an Emcee in NYP

My life as an emcee in NYP is an interesting one indeed. We, the members of the club, meet up regularly to plan for upcoming events, have lunch together as a team, and decide how to work together to improve our club. We also dine with our friends from other clubs, which results in us forming close, unshakable bonds. It is this habit that has helped the club grow and I’m proud to be a member of the Emcee Club.

The Emcee Club started in 2009 with just 30 members and since then, our membership has grown to 58 members, especially when interest in public speaking increased. The Club hosts events such as the yearly NYP Open House and Club Crawl, and helps other clubs with their hosting needs. It has hosted various NYP concerts and events.  The Club’s first major gig was hosting the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in NYP. We also had the opportunity to work with two world class establishments - Gardens by the Bay, and Esplanade - in the past two years.

The Club also has experience in stage management and is able to work as a stage team. We also provides training in public speaking and facilitation. These events tested the abilities of our emcees in many ways as we had the opportunity to learn another language or dialect, and plan activities that would be suitable for all ages.

As a business student, I would like to use a business term called Critical Success Factors to describe what made the Club successful today. Firstly, our senior emcees come back to advise and coach our juniors. This works well as the seniors have more experience and know what works and what does not.  Advice and feedback is also essential for our emcees to improve and become better speakers. Secondly, the Club has strong support from the Student Affairs Office (SAO). Without our club adviser, the Club would not be a success today.

Finally, no man is an island and the friendships we have formed with other clubs have helped us to realise our dreams. I would like to specially thank the Ambassadorial Team for introducing the Club to events planning and management. These events gave the Emcee club many opportunities to learn and as a result, we grew confident in creating and planning our own events. Our thanks also go to the Community Service Club, Geo Council, NYAA Student Club, Mentoring Club and many other clubs who have, in one way or another, contributed to the success of the Emcee Club.

My Personal Experience
I accidentally joined the Emcee Club in my first year in NYP! I intended to join another club, but my SAO officer urged me to try out for the Emcee Club during my interview. When I was invited to join the club a week later, I was excited and could not wait to see what the Emcee Club had to offer. I was not disappointed; even though the training was tiring and demanding at times, it was a great experience.

When I hosted my first event, NYP Open House 2013, I was a bundle of nerves. Thankfully, the Club's policy ensured that I was paired up with a senior who was able to guide me through my first event in a friendly manner. With guidance from my senior, I was able to pick out flaws in the way I spoke and improve myself.

NYP has given me many opportunities to learn, both academically and non-academically. I was chosen to be a facilitator for the Poly Forum 2013 and to be part of the team that planned and executed the Poly Forum. I am thankful to NYP for this experience. I was also sent to Outward Bound Singapore for a leadership course with other potential club leaders. The skills I picked up were simply invaluable. I would strongly encourage all students to get involved in our various CCAs.

I was given opportunities to host shows at Gardens by the Bay and Esplanade. It was a life-changing and eye-opening experience for me.

At the Gardens, I hosted a concert for the NYP Symphony Orchestra.  The music was beautiful and we were having a wonderful evening. When the intermission approached, I mistook my cue and stepped out into the spotlight too early, announcing the end of the set when there was one piece remaining. To my embarrassment, the orchestra tried to alert me to my mistake. I finally got the hint and I walked off stage, embarrassed. After the event, I apologized to the conductor for messing up the sequence. He was very kind and he did not seem displeased. He encouraged me to forget it and to keep trying my best. Ms Leong Cheng Yee, Assistant Director of Programming at Gardens by the Bay, also thought we were very professional and pleasant to work with.

At the Esplanade, I was astounded by the size of the stage and impressed by the professionalism and experience of the stage crew working with us. I enjoy watching plays and have come to appreciate the hard work of the backstage crew. Esplanade was also where I hosted my biggest event, with a crowd of over 1000 people. I can vividly remember messing up a single line on stage and the tense seconds that passed as I tried to rally myself together. Thankfully, with the training I had, and with the support of the audience, I recovered and the show proceeded without a hitch.

In July 2013, the Emcee Club and the Ambassadorial Team (A-Team) came together to organise the Olivia Ong Campus Concert. It was the Emcee Club’s first time organising an event and we were excited and nervous to work with the A-Team, who are very experienced in event management. With the co-operation of both our clubs, the event was a success. After the event, I remembered the President of the A-Team asked us if we would like to work with them on another event. From then, the A-Team and the Emcee Club developed a firm working relationship.

The Club has also organized community events. During Thankfulness 2013, we brought families out for a day at Gardens by the Bay. In 2014, we brought senior citizens to the National Museum of Singapore. We learnt the value of giving back to the community and being thankful for what we have.

The Club also worked together with the Mentoring Club to conduct a segment on public speaking during its Leadership Skills Development Camp. We have also worked together with Geo Council on the Stomp Out Dengue campaign, an event that aims to educate the public on the measures it can take to prevent the spread of dengue. We also organised Camp Nexus, a leadership camp involving potential leaders from 10 clubs. The camp was difficult to organise and it was a challenge in many ways but it was all worth it when we saw the participants come together as a team.

I was given leadership roles within the club executive committee, first as the External Liaison and President a year later. In my role as President, I hope to create a family of members who support each other onstage and offstage.

All these experiences showed me that NYP supports and nurtures its students. There are many, many opportunities here at NYP and I am very grateful to the school, SAO and our external clients for all the opportunities they have provided me. The Emcee Club has been a core component of my life here at NYP. It has given me love, laughter, tears and valuable memories. Thank you, NYP.

By Adnan Salim Khanali (above in picture, extreme right), President of Emcee Club, Diploma in Business Management.

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