Judges Training Program & Emergence – 2015

To prep us up for the up coming contest season the District organised the Judges Training Program and Emergence all across Karnataka & Kerala. The events were held at Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore and Kochi. The district PR team brings to you the happenings at each of these events. Read all about it below… 

Bangalore – August 9th

The cloudy Sunday on the 9th of August saw a flurry of activity at the usually quiet Netapp building at Embassy Golf Links Business Park, Domlur, Bangalore. Many Toastmasters gathered in for the District-92 Judges Training Program, eager to be trained as judges for the upcoming contest season.

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The Program started on time, with our very own District Chief Judge, DTM Suhas Kumar driving the training session. He launched the first session on ‘Contest Management’ that outlined the responsibilities of the Contest Chair, the Contest Master and the Chief Judge in deep detail. Our Chief Judge took special care to explain why the contests have to be managed well, even at the club level; from the ballots to ensuring a conducive venue is selected for contests. He further got into the details of contest management – like the reason to maintain at least 3 Sergeants-at-Arms, the duties of the tie-breaking judge, the role of the two timers and the tally counters.

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The reason to maintain confidentiality of the judges was stressed during his session. He provided insights and answered several questions on the issues that could arise in case of protests, ties, etc. This was followed by an healthy discussion on the eligibility of contestants, clubs and judges for the upcoming contests.

The session concluded with a refreshing tea-break post which, the Master of the Ceremony TM Amulya Kulkarni opened ‘The Judges Training Program’. The session covered the responsibilities of being a judge, the process of judging, eligibility criteria for judges, clubs and contestants, and the Judges’ code of ethics.

An interactive group discussion was conducted of the various criteria on which the judges could score the contestants of the Humorous Speech contest.

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Judging is a subjective process, but should always have its basis in objectivity. Copies of the judges ballot sheets were provided to all. To train the prospective judges, DTM Suhas divided them into six groups, with an objective to build an understanding of every criteria that are weighted for a speech contestant. These criteria have scores associated with them in the judge’s ballot sheet. The six criteria chosen were Speech Value, Delivery, Voice, Manner, Appropriateness, Speech Effectiveness, and Speech Development which hold key significance in communication skills.

Each group was assigned with one of these items. The groups discussed on their understanding of the criteria assigned to them. Thereafter, a representative from each group took the podium to elaborate on their understandings.

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Next up, was a mock-evaluation. The demo speaker TM Chetana Patricia Lobo swayed the audience with her speech titled “The Bollywood Train”.  Three volunteers – TM Thilakavathi, TM Akash and TM Ganesh took the stage to deliver their evaluation as effectively as they could within the given time-frame. The trainees judged their evaluation and scored them on the ballots provided.

DTM Suhas collected all the ballot sheets and selected a few at random to demonstrate how the scores are tallied and the winners are chosen. Clear flaws that some judges could make came to light with this session and were immediately clarified.
The Program concluded with this highly engaging session that left everyone feeling confidently invested for the upcoming contest season.

Bangalore – August 23rd

Emergence – a series of education sessions were organised by District 92 on the 23rd of August at Oracle, J P Nagar, Bangalore with the objective of providing a wholesome training and exposure to its members to help prepare for the upcoming contest season. Enthusiastic toastmasters from all across the city gathered in good numbers to be a part of the event.

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Our hosts, IBC Titans Toatsmasters were well equipped and geared up to put on phenomenal show. The preparation was apparent. The MC for the day TM Sreeja Pillai called the session to order and made the customary SAA announcements. The president of IBC Titans, TM Nimish Joseph welcomed the gathering and declared the event open.

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The MC introduced the first speaker for the day and handed over the stage to the charismatic TM Mayokun Aduwo for her session titled ‘Educate, Elucidate, Evaluate’. She explained the proceedings of an evaluation contest in detail and the criteria on which the contestants are judged. As a former district level evaluation contestant herself, she shared her experiences and learning. Having a well structured evaluation is the key, she said. What determines and sets apart the winner are his analytical skills. She also reminded the audience to always conclude their evaluation by summarizing the key points of their evaluation.

Up next, was a demo speech – a poetic rendition of a speech titled ‘Point B’ by TM Kavya Gowda.

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TM Mayo then divided the audience into five groups and asked them to discuss their opinions on the demo speech. One representative from each group was called forward to present their evaluation. After each speaker, TM Mayo enunciated what she liked and found unique in each evaluation and also gave them tips on how they could be more observant and put forth their views in an effective manner.

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The second speaker for the day was TM Mala Mary Martina who very efficiently showed us how each individual is born unique with their own characteristics, strengths and weaknesses with her session titled ‘The Animal Kingdom – The New Age Battle’. She effectively used scenarios from the wild to give us a mind boggling thought to ponder upon which is, at times, individual contribution matters more than team work. She also illustrated that each one of us either inherits the characteristics of the elephant or the tiger and showed us how to identify which one we were. Both the tiger and elephants have their own strengths. Being able to identify those strengths by making wise choices is vital.

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What followed was a brief break conjunct with tea, coffee, hot samosas and a lot of networking.

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The third and final session of the day was truly a delight none had expected. TM Jayan Narayanan was the man responsible for the laughter riot during his session ‘Bring out the Humorist in You’. His secret he said was – expect to expect the unexpected. Humor according to him is not science, but an art. All we need to do is observe what makes us laugh in our day to day lives. He reminded us that its important to pause at the right places to let your audience digest the joke and laugh and also stressed on the importance of dramatics in humorous speeches.

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After a long, eventful Sunday filled with lots of learning and laughter we decided to call it a day until we met again during the upcoming contests.

Mangalore – August 23rd

Sundays are fun days and Toastmasters at Mangalore looked forward for all the fun in  the learnings at Emergence and JTP held at Infosys , Kottara.

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The Emcee for Emergence TM Thangamma from Infosys Managlore, SEZ made the opening remarks followed by the raising of the toast by Area F1 Director TM Vedanth Ravi. The Division Director DTM Malini Hebbar presided over the meeting. The District Chief Judge, DTM Suhas Kumar was present at the event.

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People management is supposedly the most tedious task and handling a contest along with the people will require a lot more than just hands. The first educational session on ‘Contest Management’ was delivered by TM M N Pai. He elaborated the roles of the Contest Chair and other role players. The educator touched base on the manner in which the contest has to be organised and stressed on how the eligibility of the contestants and judges plays a vital role for a successful contest.

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The next session was by DTM Niveditha Mirajkar from Mangalore Toastmasters club who showcased her take on Humorous Speeches stressed on the importance of taking the first step which is – to participate. Three toastmasters with widespread past experience as humorous speech contestants TM Sushil Kumar Gupta (Protact Toastmasters), TM Vidya Rao (Inspiron Toastmasters), TM Peyush (Tapmi Toastmasters) took to the stage and shared their experiences. They emphasized the importance of suspense and finding humor in personal tragedy which was illustrated using examples of Tom and Jerry, marriage ceremonies, etc.

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The third educational session on ‘Audience Perspective’ was delivered by TM Divyashree Gatti from Inspiron Toastmasters. She began her session by emphasizing on the role the audience plays in creating a strong outcome for a well prepared speech. She stated that the audiences reaction encourages the speaker by making him feel comfortable helping him to deliver his speech in a better manner. The audience always has expectations, the trick she said is to surprise the audience and connect with their emotions rather than just speak your views.

After a quick snack break the Judges Training Program was kick-started by the Area F3 Director TM Poorvi Varma. District Chief Judge, DTM Suhas Kumar took over the session and illustrated the duties of the chief judge, judges, parameters of judging and the various unexpected scenarios that could arise during a contest.

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Post the elaborate training a Mock Evaluation Contest was conducted by DTM Malini Hebbar . TM Radhika (Winners club), TM Pradeep (Surathkal toastmasters) and TM Shashikanth (Winners club) were the contestants.

The vote of thanks was delivered by the Area F2 Director TM Savita Salian and mementos were distributed for the educational speakers. The day was concluded with a sumptuous lunch.

Mysore – August 30th

With the theme “It’s time to Transform” Emergence and JTP was set in motion at Myra, Mysore, transforming a usual Sunday into an effective learning experience for over hundreds of Toastmasters across Mysore who took part in this spearheading event.

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Area F4 Director TM Poovendhiran kick started the program. TM Humaira anchored the event with her fervent enthusiasm.

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The first educational session on ‘Contest Management’ was delivered by TM Savitha Salian. She touched on the issues she had encountered during the past contests she had organized and also suggested effective solutions to the same.

DTM Malini Hebbar’s session on ‘Humorous Speeches’ was most intriguing which left a smile on our face and a spark in our minds.

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Three speakers TM Praveen, TM Sitara Shetty and TM Bala entertained the audience with their humorous speeches and audience thoroughly enjoyed the humor.

An education session on ‘Audience Perspective’ was conducted by TM Sushil Gupta which imparted a distinct view about the receiving end. This was followed by a much needed tea break.

After relishing on hot tea, chips and biscuits, we proceeded with the next education session by TM Poorvi Varma on the topic ‘Evaluation’ where we evaluated a fellow toastmaster to get a clear picture of an evaluation contest and its proceedings. TM Vedant was the demo speaker and TM Haris and TM Sagar evaluated him.

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This was followed by TM Shashikant’s interactive Judges Training Program enlightening us on the various aspects involved in judging contests.

The grand event came to a successful end with the closing remarks by TM Poovendhiran. What followed was a tasty lunch buffet but we were left hungry and eager for the upcoming contest season.

Kochi – September 6th

The Onam festivities had just settled down in Kerala and toastmasters were all set preparing for the upcoming contest season. On the 6th of September toastmasters of Kerala (both division G & H) gathered at KMA hall, Kochi for Emergence and the Judges Training Program.

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The MC for the day was TM Sindhu Franko who began the proceedings. District 92 Educom coordinator TM Vineeth R welcomed the gathering. This was followed by the address by the Division H Director, TM Jose V J in which he stressed on the need for humor not only in our speeches but also in daily life.

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The first session “The Tunnel – Connect with Connect” was by DTM Niveditha Mirajkar. She said that the tunnel is the connection a speaker establishes with his/her audience. She mainly focused on the four pillars of a good speech – ideation, imagination, language and the right amount of humor.

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The next session was by the District Administration Manager, TM Jaikumar C Pillai who dealt with the ‘Judges Training Program’ in detail. He clearly drew the line between judging and evaluation, the qualities of a good judge and the barriers that one might come across.

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Onam delicacies were served during the break that followed after which TM Anita Corderio took to the stage and invited the gathering to the district semi-annual conference Jamboree 2015 which is to be held in Mangalore later this year.

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What then followed was forty minutes of stomach wrenching laughter by TM Mathew Jacob‘s session titled ‘How to Add Humor to Your Speech’. He stressed on the importance of humor in ones speech, the anatomy of a joke and tips to make it more effective.

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The last session of the day was called ‘The Artful Evaluation’ by TM Solomon Mathews. To be a good speaker one must first be a good evaluator, he said. He inspired the audience with his tips for effective evaluation.

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Division G Director, TM Nagarajan P.A thanked all the role players and speakers. The toastmasters of Kerala well equipped with tips and tricks to face the contest season adjourned for the day.

Did you miss out on the JTP held in your city? Refer to the following Toastmasters International resources on Judges Training Program to know more:

Link 1: FAQs on Speech Contests
http://www.toastmasters.org/Footer/FAQ/Speech%20Contests

Link 2: Judges Rulebook 2015 (New Rules!)
http://www.toastmasters.org/~/media/3117F77BBF4D430B8A403ECECDD5F99F.ashx

Written by

Rachana Gupta   –   Flexon Fernandes   –   Divyashree Gatti   –   Chandana Srinivas   –   Neil Gonsalves