How the club began...
Good communication skills allow effective transfer of signal, message, viewpoint, information and emotion from a sender to a receiver. The mechanism allows the sender and the receiver to enjoy a relationship that fuels today’s economy and society.
The founder of the club, Winnie L.B. Toh, a freelance English teacher discovered that children and even adults in Malaysia have poor communication skills especially in English. As a teacher, it is indeed a daunting task to get the students to converse in English as such, this challenge provides an opportunity to invent a game based on 70% output method to motivate the students to speak.
“Conversation Master Board Game” is an innovative board game which makes learning English fun and easy. Through years of research and development, this product has undergone many prototypes in the making and continuous improvement before it is finally being manufactured in 2009.
Subsequently through the publishing of her board game in May 2009, Winnie established the Conversation Master Club along with two co-founders - Peter Eoh; owner of PenangCenter.com and Doreen Khor from One Stop Study Club in June 2009 to provide training support to the members on how to play the game.
Today, we are promoting the club as an extra-curricular activity and holiday programme for the kids. As for the adults, this club provides a window of opportunity for networking and building friendship amongst the players.
Our Mission Statement
Vision: We are committed to train members to build up their confidence in speaking within a group of supportive friends.
Goal Congruence of team members: To prepare the Millennial Generation (Y) with better communication skills compared to that of Generation X
Our Raison d'Etre
The reason we exist (raison d’Etre) is to facilitate members and provide them the opportunity to learn more especially those who do not know how to play the game or unable to find players to play the game.
In the past, we have done research on two different groups of people. First is a group of beginners learning to speak English. In this initial stages of the learning curve, they portray low confidence in speaking within a group of players. They converse in the lowest tone and are intimidated to play the game but after a few rounds of playing, the confidence starts to grow as they are more open and eager to express themselves. On the other hand, when the game is conducted on players who are good in conversing English, they laugh, joke and freely express themselves during the game. Thus from this observation, it is without a shadow of a doubt that this game is enjoyable and brings out the confidence in the players through constant playing. We help members to foster ties amongst others as well as to establish networking with the players. As a result, the players can expand their friendship contacts and potential business partners all through the fun of playing this game.
The reason why we exist (raison d’etre) is that there are many people who speak in broken English without being corrected in everyday life. We train players to speak in proper sentences and give players to chance to correct one another’s grammatical errors in speech. By the same token, we train players to respond to impromptu questions given in the cards. These questions are far easier than those impromptu speeches given in assigned topics by the well-known Toastmasters Club. When one has nothing to comment on a certain topic, there is a need to look into the weakness. The problem is not about the game, it is about whether one is competent in playing the game.
When we first conducted our test market of the game, we discovered that a ten year-old kid who stayed as an observer of the game played by four adult players started to talk in English. Although we could not understand most of his sentence structures, we can tell that this game can stimulate people who are tongue-tied to speak up. This is one of the reasons why we are here today i.e. to continuously research and develop the board game. With our new invention and training, the next Generation Y will be able to communicate well starting from the age of nine.
We have tested the board game on a few groups of kids at the age of nine. In our finding, the ratio of those who are outstanding and can speak impressively is only one out of a group of players. And we are in search of that one person who is a Conversation Master. Our concept is that we are filtering out that one person who, in everybody’s opinion, is a good communicator. One of the effective ways on how we can improve our communication skills is learning from the expert. We study the style of how the expert communicates with others, the charisma, and emulate the good styles and make our own. Our training is based on board game approach which is conducive to friendly learning environment for the beginners.
As for networking purpose, this club is suitable for adults inviting potential business partners to play the games and to meet different people in the regular meetings. We can create a fun-filled sessions by having finger foods and drinks while schmoozing with friends in assigned topics in the game.
By setting up this board game club, we are creating opportunity for players to meet others with different background. Board game clubs are very popular in some countries but in Malaysia, it is still very new. We are here to build up a new trend in socializing and learning via Conversation Master board game club in Malaysia.
We believe our continuous development and contribution will invariably bring value to the society.