Reminder: It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It

One of the larger projects I'm working on this year is as the main trainer of a collaboration between the Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) and the National Cadet Corps (NCC) of different schools in Singapore.

This is an initiative to have NCC cadets become ambassadors for a smoke-free lifestyle in their respective schools. To push this initiative forward, the Singapore Cancer Society has come up with a talk with a series of activities and projects aimed at getting these cadets ready to take on their roles.

Since different schools have different cultures and different behavioural norms, I found it important to change my delivery each time I presented the talk and run the activities. It doesn't always go smoothly at the start, but, by the end, the NCC cadets are engaged, enthusiastic and ready for the next step.

Of course, there will be a small minority that are smokers (all under the radar, of course) and these individuals will pose some challenges.

I have found that the key is to integrate them into the whole rather than make them feel ostracised by the message. To do this, I found it necessary to change my delivery of the information and steer the flow of the discussions towards a 'softer', more emotion-based engagement. The key information remains the same, of course.

This has been yet another reminder of a philosophy I stand strongly by:

It's not what you say, it's how you say it.

July Week Of Many Events

In the coming week, I will be meeting with a business developer friend for one of the training companies I work with.

I will be discussing the possibility of introducing new programmes involving some other trainers I met and myself. Thus far, I have not seen any programmes in the Singapore education industry that are similar in scope. Well, pioneering a niche is always a good experience. Whether it succeeds or not, we will learn something from it.

I am also working on helping a couple get their wedding bands made. Their wedding date is coming up and it's all quite a rush, but I have a very reliable designer and smith who is able to do it. Now, it's all up to the couple, whether they are willing to go ahead with the project. Their alternative is to simply buy ready-made bands from one of the many jewellery shops / chains in Singapore.

My other suggestion was for them to visit the upcoming Gem & Jewellery Fair at Marina Bay Convention Centre and look for a suitable pair of rings there. It's a little hard to believe that the event is almost here, meaning that a year has passed so quickly.

There'll also be a network / training session on Wednesday evening this week. It'll be good to catch up with some familiar faces. I must say that I'm glad to have expanded my network of like-minded people in the past couple of years. Before, I wondered if I was the only person doing what I do. Now, I know that there are actually many others who are similar to me in my work life and style.

I'll also be attending a housewarming party by a couple who recently got married. I haven't seen them in a while, so that'll be a good chance to see how they are. 

All in all, it's going to be event after event this week. Let's get productive!




I spent much of the last week on a programme for a few schools. It's the same programme, but the company I'm working with has rolled it out into numerous different schools. It's F1 in schools.

Of course, the students don't get to race an actual car. Instead, they race car models that they sand down (from the rough form) and paint  after they design it. Of course, there is a fair bit of theory and explanations, which isn't nearly as engaging as getting their hands dirty.

The difficulty comes when there is a little too much time allocated to theory and not enough activities to do. Of course, I could easily come up with a whole slew of stuff to engage them, but I can't assume that the school will be fine with me deviating from the main subject, which is to bring the F1 in schools programme to the students.

All in all, it's pretty clear that hands-on activities are far more popular than theory and even designing. Now, if only there's a way to get more of them.

I've always felt that the education system lacks emphasis on physical skills. Yes, there is woodworking and plastic molding in Design & Technology (D&T), but it's not quite the same, is it? What about day-to-day needed knowledge like changing a light bulb, fixing a leaky tap or sewing a fallen button?

Sure, they seem mundane and unglamorous, but these are useful skills. As much as doctors, lawyers and engineers are important, so are mechanics, repair workers and electricians. Daily life isn't about glamour and glitz, as much as the media may try to say otherwise. It's about having the know-how and applying it properly.

Here's to hoping for a better-skilled future, where people know how to build, cook and create!