In Conversation with the Division Humorous Speech Champs…

“A sense of humor… is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.”

– Hugh Sidey

Any person who has sat down with a pen and a piece of paper to write a humorous speech knows knows how daunting a task it is. But to a blessed few it is an art they have already mastered. District 92 has a few such people who can make anyone burst into fits of laughter with their indisputable wit and sense of humor. Among then, our division humorous champions are certainly the crème de la crème.

The district PR team spoke to them and tried to decipher the secret behind their humor. Here is what they have to say.

Division A – K V M Kishore

KVM_Kishore_Eval_DivE

He has done it before and he did it again. At the division A semi-annual conference TM Kishore from Banjara Toastmasters Club blew away everyone’s minds with his hilarious speech titled “Kharma”.

1. Who is your mentor and how did he/she help you prepare for the contest?

Dirish Mohan is my mentor. Starting from structuring the content to making an impactful delivery I had his inputs all the way. We sat for several discussions on the script and even more number of discussions for the delivery. His constant feedback, motivation and belief in me has helped me a lot.

2. One person in the Toastmasters fraternity that makes you laugh the most!

T. K. Ramesh. TK sir needs no introduction. On stage, off stage and even back stage he is a jovial gentleman with an impeccable sense of humor. His spontaneity and one-liners are just more than awesome.

3. What is the one lesson you learnt during this contest season that you believe will help you the most during your future contests?

Well that is the biggest lesson I learnt… Generally during all my previous contests, I get very jittery and stay outside the hall practicing till the last minute. I generally prefer not to watch my fellow contestants because that adds to the pressure. This time I learnt to relax, breathe and sat through all the speeches. This helped me a lot to enjoy the contest and perform better for I was looking forward to perform on the stage and not really bothered about the contest.

4. What is the one message you would like to give other Toastmasters who aspire to be humorous speakers?

Humor is like Bengali sweets. Some times the juice could be outside like Jamoon or sometimes the juice could be with in like Rasgulla but at the end of the day it’s juice that matters. Sorry! All I want to say is it isn’t humor that makes a speech humorous but the speech that makes it humorous. If you have a captivating funny story that is 75% of juice, I mean success.

5. There are many ways of instigating humor in a speech, self-deprecating humor being the most popular. What other techniques do you believe in?

To me metaphors and similes are the most powerful instruments of speech. I have focused on them a lot in all my speeches and I think if a speaker is able to bring out that he would be remembered for those lines for years to come. To mention a few examples my previous speeches:

  • Masala Dreams – I was as happy as if I were appointed as the ladies tailor for kingfisher airlines
  • Hero – She is like a butterfly on a flower; you are like a buffalo in a river
  • Kharma – If marriage is like football kids are like goals. The sooner you make them lesser the pressure.

Division B – Prasad Brahmanandam

 

prasad

 

TM Prasad from Beechi Toastmasters club was certainly a pleasant surprise during the division B semi-annual conference. With his speech titled “Appearance Vs   Character” TM Prasad not only gave us an insightful thought to ponder upon but also tickled our funny bone like no one else could and emerged victorious.

1. What made you join toastmasters?

Last year, I happened to meet DTM Kumaran Pethi at a business conference. That encounter was sufficient to convert me from B. Prasad to TM Prasad.

2. Who is your mentor and how did he/she help you prepare for the contest?

DTM TK Ramesh is my mentor. I might not be an ideal ‘Arjuna’, but he certainly is a true ‘Dronacharya’. DTM Satyanarayana Raju is a good friend and guide. He held my hand, took me to the roots to make me understand what public speaking is all about. TM ArfathSaleem from Sri Lanka has also helped me a lot during this journey.
3. What is the one lesson you learnt during this contest season that you believe will help you the most during your future contests?

I realized the importance of maintaining a positive mental attitude.
4. What is the one message you would like to give other Toastmasters who aspire to be humorous speakers?

I don’t have any message of my own to share. If I may borrow one… “Always be light – hearted if you want to be a humorous speaker.” These words of my mentor DTM TK Ramesh helped me a lot.

Also, two days before my division contest TM Ram Sirupurapufrom my club sent me an e-mail. He said “Mr Prasad, enjoy the fact that you are going on stage there. It is perfectly fine not to win it. But it is absolutely not fine to not have enjoyed yourself on the stage”. How true!

 

Division C – Aravind Kashyap

 

Aravind - Passport

 

TM Aravind of Brigade Talkys club is only 7 months old in toastmasters. But when it came to humor he proved that he was the one to beat during the division C semi-annual conference with his speech titled “Blessed”.

1. What made you join toastmasters?

The acceptance. I attended a session by a guest speaker, who was a district level contestant and then immediately witnessed an ice-breaker. What impressed me more than the speeches was the acceptance of the two different ranges in speaking, by the members present. I instantly knew that I had to be a part of this learning- teaching-learning process.

2. How did you prepare for the humorous speech contest?

More than preparation, the conceptualization was itself funny. My club wanted a mock run of the evaluation contest and needed a test speaker. My VP-Ed gave me a 10 minute notice for the speech. I came up with a pilot of the humorous speech which lasted for just over four and half minutes. Realizing from there on, I built on the speech and it has been an overwhelming experience to see people rolling with laughter.

3. What is the one lesson you learnt during this contest season that you believe will help you the most during your future contests?

STOP @ RED, or even just before. It made so much sense hearing Kevin speaking about this immediately after my speech, where I had clocked just above 7.20+. I would definitely want to stop when I see the red, even when it is a traffic light.

4. What is the one message you would like to give other Toastmasters who aspire to be humorous speakers?

Be bold& let loose.

Bold, because humorous speech needs a lot of courage, driven by the fact that you get an instant feedback from the audience. You should be ready for the worse tragedy of your life after every line of yours i.e. the audience not laughing.

Let loose, even though you might feel you would look like a joker doing something strange up there on the podium, do that. After all you are there to get the audience to laugh.

5. There are many ways of instigating humor in a speech, self-deprecating humor being the most popular. What other techniques do you believe in?

Any speech for me, humorous or otherwise is incomplete if the speaker is unable leave a message. I am working on a positive parody currently and I feel this technique can bring a lot of humor on to the stage and gives an opportunity for the speaker to leave a message to the audience. The advantage with parody is that you can pick subjects and instances which can connect with a wide audience.

6. How did your club members help you out during this contest journey?

By not laughing at something which was not laughable. On a serious note, it was the honest feedback & critical evaluation that worked for me. Of course their ability to laugh over and over again at the same jokes to keep me going was really commendable.

7. How has toastmasters added value to your life?

TM has provided a forum to do what I love to do the most, talking. This along with an opportunity to better you every time doubles up the value. The network what I can build on, am sure is going to add up lot of value to my life.

 

Division D – Jayachandran Narayan

 

jai

TM Jayachandran of Smedley Speakers Society is an inspiration to many within the fraternity and outside. We see him often on stage as a contestant. But what we admire the most about him is that he’s always enjoying himself to the fullest while he takes to the stage. With his speech titled ‘I love your body’, he thoroughly entertained the audience and was a clear favorite for the win.

1. What made you join Toastmasters?

My wife was already a Toastmaster in Malaysia and she encouraged me to join here as well.

2. How did you prepare for the humorous speech contest?

By practicing in the shower.

3. One person in the Toastmasters fraternity that inspires you the most! And why?

Gauri Seshadri – a fellow Smedlian who has served well and risen through the ranks to be District Director against all odds.

4. What is the one lesson you learnt during this contest season that you believe will help you the most during your future contests?

To never give up… having fun!

5. What is the one message you would like to give other Toastmasters who aspire to be humorous speakers?

First learn to laugh at yourself.

6. There are many ways of instigating humor in a speech. What techniques do you believe in?

I believe word play and innuendo helps.

7. How has Toastmasters added value to your life?

It’s made me a much better listener and communicator and helped me meet many inspiring people.

 

Division E – Abhishek Srivastava

 

Abhishek_Srivatsava_Humor_DivE

TM Abhishek  from Kormangala Toastmasters club stood testimony to the fact that being brutally honest always wins the heart of your audience. With his speech titled “Aarti – My Love”, he walked away with the title of the divisions humorous champion with much ease.

 

1. One person in the Toastmasters fraternity that inspires you the most! And why?

TM Pramod S Nittor inspires me the most as he has changed his career from a software professional to communication professional by using the platform of toastmaster.

2. What is the one lesson you learnt during this contest season that you believe will help you the most during your future contests?

How to remain precise and to the point. Compete against yourself instead of competing against others. Set a new benchmark against your previous performance and reach it.

3. How did your club members help you out during this contest journey?

My club members gave me feedback on each stage so that I can improve my speech.

4. How has toastmasters added value to your life?

It has been giving my confidence back to me which I lost due to poor communication skills.

 

Division F – Sridhar Kamath

IMG_8180 (1280x853)

 

TM Sridhar from Manipal Udupi Tastmasters club has been a part of the fraternity for a hear and a half now. This chartered accountant used his trait to provoke the loudest laughter and walk away with the division championship with his speech titled “The Toastmaster Chartered Accountant”.

1. Who is your mentor and how did he/she help you prepare for the contest?

My wife is my greatest mentor when I prepare a speech for the contest.

2. One person in the Toastmasters fraternity that has inspired you The Most! And why?

I get inspired by almost everybody in Toastmasters. People join Toastmasters with some basic objectives in mind. And to see them use this platform in achieving those objectives is inspiring. TM Shashikanth, a founding member of our club and our former Area Director was the one who inspired me to join Toastmasters and also to take active part in contests

3. Among the many advices and suggestions you received during this contest season, which one advice helped you the most?

From the humorous speech contests, I have learnt the importance of ‘pauses’ in one’s speech. To get the pause at the right time and then continue the speech is a challenge when one is on stage giving the speech.

4. What is the one message you would like to give other Toastmasters who aspire to be Humorous speakers?

Self-deprecating humour is one very good way of excelling in Toastmasters. Also, as you climb up the ladder from Club level to Area level to Division and then District, it is important to have Punching lines very often in the speech so that the audience is on a jolly good mood throughout the 7 minutes you are on stage.

5. How did your club members help you out during this contest journey?

All the club members led by our President TM Tanuja have been keeping a close tab on the contests and keep boosting my confidence with encouraging words.

Division G – Shyjini Kunniyil

Who says women can’t be funny?! TM Shyjini from Jwala Toastmasters Club has broken the myth with her speech titled “Wine Glass”. With her charm, poise, wit and of source undeniable sense of humor TM Shyjini walked away with the title of the most humorous speaker of division G.

1. What made you join toastmasters?

The fear to speak in front of audience

2. How did you prepare for your humorous speech contest?

I had taken some incidents in my personal life regarding height and converted into a script which is suitable for a humorous speech.

3. One person in toastmasters fraternity that has inspired you the most and why.

TM Narayanan M in the Jwala Toastmasters Club.  He is a great motivator and helps all the time in my all my endeavours.

4. What is the one lesson you learnt during this contest season that you believe will help you the most during future contests?

Keep in our mind that all incidents happened in our life whether it is good or bad is for a good reason.

5. What is the one message you would like to give other toastmasters who aspire to be humorous speakers.

Nothing is impossible. Everybody can present good humorous speeches with little bit of effort.

6. What techniques of instigating humor do you believe in?

Funny anecdotes of oneself as well as loved and near ones; the principle of laughing at life.

 

Division H – Sajad T K

 

sajad t k

 

TM Sajad from Calicut Toastmasters is the new Humorous Speech Champion of division H. He says that his speech was mainly inspired by his own life. He practiced the speech in front of his club members and also the mirror and now his efforts have paid off as he swept that title away with his speech “What matters most is inside, not outside”.

1. During the division level humorous speech contest,  which one contestant inspired you the most?
TM Shijini, she used  props to convey the message. Secondly, she was deprecating herself which added more humor. Third, she ended the speech with a message.

 2. What is the one lesson you learnt during this contest season that you believe will help you the most during future contests:

It was full of learning experience I must say. One lesson I learned was the importance of pauses as and when required will give a great impact to the speech.

3. What is the one message you would like to give other toastmasters who aspire to be humorous speakers?
Give the audience a message at the end of the speech even if you are ending on a funny note.

4. There are many ways of instigating humor in a speech,  self deprecating humor being the most popular.  What other techniques do you believe in?
To take original and real humorous situations from our own life experience and exaggerate it by focusing on the humorous aspect of it.

5. How did your club members help you out during this contest journey?
By organizing special meetings only to evaluate my speech
6. How has toastmasters added value to your life?
Now at least I can go up to the dais without fear and speak in front of people. Since am a lions club secretary and toastmasters helped a lot.

 

Division I – Aurobindo Kiriyakere

12239751_10207618465401558_9065689748236601508_n

 

The reining district humorous champion is back! What we love about this man that he is a complete entertainer. TM Aurobindo from Mecon Communication Club with his speech titled “Gastronomy” has once again clinched the opportunity to represent his division at the district and repeat history.

1. How did you prepare for the humorous speech contest?

Just like I would do for any other normal speech. I had written the draft of this humorous speech couple of months ago. Been practicing it. Couple of very experienced Toastmasters did mentor this speech and offered their valuable and timely inputs – in terms of content, delivery and spacing the speech. DTM T K Ramesh, DTM Arjun Raj Urs and Dr Vijayashree Ravi (from MCC). They also encouraged and offered tips on how to be myself on stage and go with the flow.

2. One person in the Toastmasters fraternity that inspires you the most! And why?

I would quote several names for this question: DTM TK Ramesh, DTM Kumaran Pethi, DTM A K Prabhakara, DTM Nagaraja Rao, DTM Arjun Raj Urs, DTM Suhas Kumar, TM Ajay Chitharanjan. They all have something unique to offer for the Toastmaster fraternity. They are so humble, approachable and knowledgeable. The beauty of it all is, they are willing to share it whole heatedly.

3. What is the one message you would like to give other Toastmasters who aspire to be humorous speakers?

“Don’t give a speech. Be the speech. Let the audience feel the smell, touch and sound in your speech”

4. How did your club members help you out during this contest journey?

They helped me a lot with their inputs, support and encouragement. Rooting for me to go all the way out and deliver my speech. There was a huge presence of our club members in the Area and Division contests – boosting my confidence to give my best.

5. How has toastmasters added value to your life?

It has added a lot of value to me personally and professionally. I am able to communicate for maximum impact in my professional setup. With the economized usage of English words – like using Triads, metaphors etc., I am able to drive across my point of view more thoroughly. Without the usage of crutch words and ‘Ah’ and other para language words, I come across as more precise, concise and confident when I make a statement. This has tremendously added to my leadership abilities and people do seek and listen to my opinions / inputs. I couldn’t thank Toastmasters fraternity more for adding so much value to my life.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s