DivIIne 2016- Divine E and I Annual Conference

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

-Henry Ford

        The Start

30th April 2016- It was a bright Saturday morning when toastmasters of Division I and E, put on their best suits and gathered at the fancy hotel – The Courtyard of Marriot, Marathahalli. They were greeted at the Registration desk by happy faces of TM Anikesh Sasmal and TM Rajashekharan.

AUDIENCE

Further inside the hall, the sharp tongued and quick witted MoCs of the day,TM  Vanitha and TM Vaibhav welcomed the guests and commenced the conference. They entertained the audience by asking guests and dignitaries, amusing personal questions on the pretext of ‘getting to know them better’.

Addresses & Felicitations

pridarshini

No conference begins without a welcome address, so the Conference chair, TM Priyadarshini Karbar  formally welcomed all of us, and also put in a quote or two about leadership in her address.

DIVINE

Later , Division E director TM Sudhanshu Jha ascended the stage only to let us all know that he was going to get married in another 82 hours.

Then followed our District Director DTM Gauri Seshadri’s monologue and the Club growth director,  TM Pawas Chandra’s epilogue.

All the addresses were insightful, inspiring and contained excessive amounts of mutual adulations.

The Table Topics Contest- Division E

DIV E TT

The Contest Chair TM Preethi Jaypal called out her contestants to speak on the topic “A stitch in time saves nine”, and the contestants tried their best to stitch their thoughts together on the topic in their given little time.

TM Amogh George

TM Tanya Bagga

TM Aurobindo

TM Eshwar Subrahmanya

TM Vivek Tonapi

TM Nikhil Rao

TM KVM Kishore

TM Kaustubh Rajendran

However, there could be just 3 winners and here are they:

KISHORE

Winner: TM  KVM Kishore

First Runner up: TM Vivek Tonapi

Second Runner up: TM Amogh George

 

The Table Topics Contest- Division I

Div I TT

The young charming Contest Chair, TM Roshni Bajaj called for her contestants to speak on the topic “Goals Vs Dreams”. Some contestants said both meant the same, some said they were altogether different and some said one lead to the other.  I’m sure that by the end of the contest, the audience forgot all about their own goals.

Three people however, stood the test, and emerged winners:

CHETANA

Winner:  TM Chetana Patricia Lobo

First Runner up: TM  Aalap Mehta

Second Runner up: TM Shivalingesh Arani

The Sumptuous Buffet

Even before lunch time arrived, when the Division I Table Topics Speaker, TM  Harish had hinted about having seen hot Gulab Jamuns on the buffet table, the mouths of the audience had started watering, Moc Vanitha’s stomach grumbling & everyone’d started seeing visions of an alternate universe completely made of Gulab Jamuns.

So we had no choice but to break for lunch. And Oh, what a spread it was! Hot pulao, Indian breads, and delicious desserts. Apple Salad won the contest of being the best salad ever.

Chief Guest Time! RJ Darius Sonawala

RJ

Area I2 Director, TM Divya Kamath stepped on to the stage to reveal that meeting an RJ in flesh and blood was her biggest dream (or was that a goal..?One would never know after that contest, would they?) And thus, that dream of convenience was finally fulfilled, thanks to Toastmasters, because—wait for itRJ Darius Sonawala was in the house!

After that introduction and invitation, Darius came on to the stage and gave us a sneak peek into his farmhood er..I’m sorry, childhood! He also narrated hilariously, his journey to becoming an RJ.

Not just that he gave us tips on public speaking and answered questions on how it was different from Radio Jockeying. Basically, you suit-up for one and pajama-up for another.

 

International Speech Contest- Division I

DIV I IPSC

When the Contest Chair is TM Krishna Balaji, you can be rest assured that amusing moments are in store. And he kept up to his name.

The Chief Judge for the contest was TM Pawas Chandra

The speeches were thoughtful, motivating and inspiring. Some were even tests of our tear-holding-back abilities. But the winner took our breath away with an irrefutable slogan “Mend it like Manju… or move on!”

So the winners were:

UNKNOWN

Winner: TM Prathiba Shenoy

First Runner up:  TM Hareesh J

Second Runner up: TM Suresh Kalyanakrishnan

 

International Speech Contest- Division E

The Contest chair, the very energetic TM Chandramouli made sure the Contest was conducted in the best of manners. The Chief Judge for the contest was DTM Suhas Kumar . The contest was literally a war of words

DIV E IPSC

 

TM Kaustubh Rajendran
TM K V M Kishore
TM Pratim  Ghosh
TM Amogh George
TM Sonali Gupta
TM Mir Raza
TM  Agnel Worth
TM Vinay Kumar A N

The  3 winners that took home the glory were:

KISHORE SECOND

Winner: TM Agnel Worth

First Runner up:  TM KVM Kishore

Second Runner up: TM Sonali Gupta

The Final Address by the Division I Director

On the last leg of the conference, DTM Rajkumar Bansal ascended the stage to tell us that last-minute doers were actually more creative. I was very happy to hear that until he said that it did not  mean the non-procrastinators were that bad either.

I think the point was that both kinds were needed for a project’s success. So I guess that would excuse my delay in writing this opinionated report.

The Good Bye… until next time

yesh

It wasn’t a simple ‘Good Bye’. It was a ‘See you at coronation 2016’ , ‘Are you selling your ticket’ and  ‘Hey! Will you vote for me?’

And most of the Toastmasters kept up to their culture of “stay back to network until you get yourself overwhelmed”.

Written by Yeshwanthi Ramkumar

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We Are One- Division C and D Annual Conference

 “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Silence cannot drive out silence; only speaking can do that.”

24th April, 2016– An elegant group of people, a classy venue like Hyatt -Bangalore and engaging educational sessions coupled with exciting contests. When you have a mix of all these ingredients, you are bound to have a champion of an extravaganza. With an aim to embellish one’s speaking skills, varied speakers and their assorted speeches, lit up everyone’s moods.

The best welcome is one with vibrantly smiling faces and for this we had TM Naseera Razak, TM Pooja Kabra, TM Salomi M. and TM Deepak Y. N.Along with the pleasant smiles, all attendees to the meet received a cool freebie – a fridge magnet stating “a thank you for being there” and making the event memorable.

 

We were further welcomed by the vibrant and vivacious emcees TM Niti Kumar and TM Madri Mankad who ensured the audience members were glued to their seats, waiting with bated breaths for the next speaker.

With her energetic and charismatic personality, the Division D Chairperson TM Teja Priyanka Yadav kick-started the event with a welcome speech. She shed light on how the Toastmasters community exhibits unity irrespective of the uniqueness of each individual. Although we are distinct, we are one. The welcome address was followed by the felicitation of dignitaries. The stalwarts and who’s who of District 92 were in attendance.  After the felicitation, the attendees were in for a surprise with an e-address by Division D Director DTM Natasha Rajasheaker, all the way from South Africa. In her message, Natasha spoke  on how fortunate she has been to have worked with some very passionately dedicated people in her Division.

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Who could be better than the District Director, DTM Gauri Seshadri, to transit the audience back to the stage! DTM Gauri Seshadri in her address , encouraged people to be out of the box. The conference being held on a day when the iconic cricketer Sachin Tendulkar also shares his birthday, the elegant leader, drew reference to what an outlier was the great batsman. While Gauri by her own confession, does not  like cricket, yet she encouraged the participants of the contest to be outstandingly good to the extent that their opponents have their breaths taken away .

Isn’t it an unbelievable opportunity to be able to listen to the World #2 at the World Championship, live? Up next was the most awaited education session of the day “Dare to Dream” by the 1st Runner-up of the World Championship of Public Speaking 2015 – DTM Aditya Maheswaran. He recounted his 11 years as a toastmaster so far, to become the world champion of Public Speaking. His message was divided into  four basic paradigms. The first paradigm was that – “What is the role that you are playing on the stage? Are you chasing the applause,Are you creating an impact or Are you changing lives?” The second paradigm was “Are you anchoring yourself on the rules or Are you anchoring yourself on the principles?” The third paradigm said “Is your speech a revelation or a reiteration of what has already been said earlier” and last but not the least, the fourth paradigm was the most important one- “Coherence and Personality”. TM  Maheshwaran ended his session, with a short anecdote on how toastmasters as a forum is as vast as an ocean and what you learn from it as only as much as the capacity of the vessel you carry to the ocean to fill it.

10Further,we had  DTM Arjun Raj Urs address the audience. He lauded the commitment and determination of Divisions C and D Directors, Pearl Fernandes and Natasha Rajasheker, respectively.  The incumbent Program Quality Director, also emphasised on the essence of competing with yourself and aiming on nailing every project they attempt one at a time.

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How could a mention of the District Conference Coronation 2016 be missed at such a sprightly event? DTM Suhas Kumar briefed the audience about the upcoming District 92 Conference “Coronation 2016” and encouraged them to register with attractive offers. As he mentioned rightly, it is not just an event to attend but an opportunity to network and learn from each other.

A quick break was followed after an array of talks. The organizers and volunteers were on their toes and made sure all attendees had a good time. Toastmasters were seen networking on some hot tea with delicious cookies. Meanwhile the contestants were briefed about the order of their speech and the rules of contest.

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Change is the only constant and that’s what keeps people engaged. The District 92 Club Growth Director – TM Pawas Chandra addressed the audience about essence of new ideas to keep engaging and entertaining members in clubs. Leaders don’t just do different things but they do things differently  and that’s exactly what TM Pawas Chandra did. He spoke about doing new things and doing things in new ways, to keep people motivated and stay innovative. Highlighting on the Nonagon award. “What is amusing and interesting is that no one cared about membership retention last year, but once we announced the Nonagon award, 3 clubs in one division had 100% membership renewals!”

When we talk of motivation, we know the best form of motivation is self-motivation and what is a better source for self-motivation than love for oneself? A young lady entrepreneur, Rohini Mundra, who has been a winner of the top 30 entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs. Rohini ,spoke eloquently on how we all must love the most important person in our lives – Ourselves !!! The entire session which lasted for more than 30 minutes was highly energetic and left each one of us on a high for the contest.The session not just emphasised on loving oneself but also expressing it too, in the same manner we often express to our loved ones. The session was extremely interactive, thoroughly enjoyed and  left behind a lot of energy.

Now the audience was ready for the most critical part of the event, the heart throbbing speeches. Divisions C and D were separated by a sliding wall and the hall was divided into two. The contests for both the divisions began simultaneously. Audiences were free to choose which division they wanted to be a part of.

Division C:

The contest was divided into 2 segments – Table Topics Contest and International Speech Contest. The Contest Chair for the Table Topics Contest was TM Divya Rajvanshy and for the International Speech Contest was TM Malvika Pradhan. DTM Arjun Raj Urs was the Chief Judge for both the contests.

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The topic chosen for the Table Topics Contest was The best way to predict future is to create it”. The 8 contestants of Division C were

TM Aravind Kashyap

TM Kavya Devarapalli

TM Jayavaradhan Sambedu

TM Adithya Das

TM Saveen Hegde

TM Manoj Ekkundi

TM Thejashree Rao

TM Ajay K

Each of the speakers enthralled the audience with their varied thoughts on the topic. While the topic reminded one of the contestants of his daughter who creates a future for herself while she is playing; another spoke of Julius Caesar’s leadership through creating a future he wanted for himself.

After a sumptuous lunch, all the members of the audience gathered for the International Speech Contest. TM Malvika Pradhan took this forward with 8 fabulous prepared speakers. The speakers illuminated the hall with their speeches in the following sequence:

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TM Saveen HegdeLadies and gentlemen, put your hands together for the one and only

TM Ajay K1-2-ka-4

TM Manoj EkkundiAnd the superhero is

TM Aravind KashyapSo…

TM Deepak ChhabraI can cook

TM Amulya KulkarniAs I see it

TM Deepak JustinThe puppet

TM Ravi RangarajuBe you

Division D:

The contests for Division D ran in parallel with Division C, was equally mesmerizing. The Table Topics contest with eight of the best speakers from all areas of Division D. The speakers were

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TM Deepak B

TM Vinod Das

TM Anupama Srivastava

TM Sangeetha Anand

TM Hita Akula

TM Abdul Manaf

TM Payal Bhulani

TM Chendil Kumar.

The Table Topics contest chair for division D was TM Varun Dev and he conducted the contest with great finesse. Chief Judge TM Pawas Chandra picked the topic for the contest – “Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods”. It was a tough competition as every contestant gave a splendid performance.

The contest was followed by the lunch break. The Division Directors of C and D played great hosts and had arranged a scrumptious lunch buffet. The attendees were found networking with the education session speakers, district officers and other members, discussing about the contest while enjoying their meal.

The International Speech Contest was held next, with Contest Chair TM Krishna Mythili Vusulumarti. Eight amazing speakers contesting in the contest from division D were:

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TM Shweta VohraDo I need to Win

TM Jayachandran NarayanJust a moment

TM Sangeetha AnandHeads up

TM Abdul ManafLeave it

TM Deepak BHow you use it

TM Sharatkumar VariyarHistory to History

TM Samuel WankhadeWill you be yourself

TM Anupama SrivastavaMy learnings from Bharat matrimony

The thunderous applause that followed each speaker spoke volumes about the speeches. Each speaker had a unique flavor and exhibited amazing oratory skills. Each Toastmaster had a different perspective – some choose to be stubborn about the goals and have a strict plan while a few thought one shouldn’t be so rigid about goals and methods to achieve them. Overall it was an entertaining contest.

Division C Director – TM Pearl Fernandes addressed the gathering and thanked all the volunteers who selflessly worked for the success of the meet. This was followed by the vote of thanks by Division C Chairperson TM Ayushi Bagaria. Each of the volunteers and role takers were presented with a small token of thanks from the Division Directors – a beautifully packed customized notepad and a scented candle with the message – “Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better. – Bill Bradley Thank you for helping us become better!”

The most anxious moment of the day came right at the end when the contest results were announced. The results were as follows:

Division C:

Table Topics Contest:

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Winner:TM Saveen Hegde

First runner up:TM Jayavaradhan Sambedu

Second runner up: TM Thejashree Rao

International Prepared Speech Contest:

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Winner: TM Deepak Justin

First runner up: TM Saveen Hegde

Second runner up: TM Ravi Rangaraju

Division D:

Table Topics Contest:

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Winner: TM Chendil Kumar

First runner up:TM  Deepak B

Second runner up: TM Hita Akula

International Speech Contest:

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Winner:TM  Jayachandran Narayan

First runner up: TM Samuel Wankhade

Second runner up: TM Shweta Vohra

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The event would not have been possible without the efforts of the organizing committee, role takers and volunteers who worked for months on the meet. The picture below captures a few of the role takers, while the others continued to ensure the event ran smoothly. With more than 160 Toastmasters, 40+ clubs, 30+ contestants; the event sure was a blockbuster.

Written by  Yukta Hans, Uday Kumar, Naseera Razak and Rohit Sharma .

Photo credits : Sunil S and Deepak Y N

Meraki – Division A & B Annual Conference

 

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence”.

– Vince Lombardi

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10th April 2015-  Move n  Pick , Bangalore was all set to host the 1st Division Annual conference for the year 2015-16. The joint Division Annual Meet of Divisions A  and B of District 92 was kick started by  MCs, TM Nischal Shetty  and TM  Allan with the introduction of the the word Meraki. Moving forward, they introduced the man who needs no introduction, DTM Ram Jayraman and invited him on stage for his inspirational address.

r

DTM Ram spoke about the difference that he notices in toastmasters 35 years ago and now. He said that over the time laughs, hugs and smiles are being replaced with smilies, emoticons and LOLs. He advised us to have enthusiasm in everything you do.

Conference chair TM Ranjini Ranganathan took to the stage and welcomed the gathering. She reminded us to interact with everyone since there are no strangers here, only friends you are yet to meet.

asr
Division B director DTM Arjun Sundar Raj addressed the gathering.
Here is what he said “Have you done justice to what you joined toastmasters for? Have you done justice to your goals a leaders and speakers? Without you there’s no us. We will help you find your purpose. Arjun  then felicitated all the district officers.

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District director, DTM Gauri Seshadri addressed the gathering. She drew parallels from the movie Kungfu Panda 3 and told us that we will never become better than what we are unless we try something new. Adding to it, she said toastmasters gives you that platform to step outside your comfort zone and try exploring your potentials. If you ever feel you need help, you always have your mentors to reach out to and they will help you succeed.

ara

PQD, DTM Arjun Raj Urs spoke next, “This conference bring  Divisions  A and B together , where A is for A star and B is for be the Best. The two division directors are testimony to these qualities. Chandramouli has lead his division to be a star and Arjun has lead by example to be the best at everything you do.

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CGD, TM Pawas Chandra was up next. He advised us , that in toastmasters we are supposed to build bridges and not fences. He encouraged us to build better relationships with each other.

After which the two divisions split for their individual International Speech Contest. For Division A Contest master,TM Muthu Kumar read out the objective and rules of the contest. The Contest Chair was  TM Gopinath and  the role of Chief Judge was taken up by  TM Balajee Gopalan.

The contestants order was announced and the contest began with back to back power packed speeches.

TM Prakhar chose “Paper of choice”.  In the speech the contestant  emphasised that, Our lives are a blank piece of paper. The question is who writes on it? Who makes your choices for you? Make sure you are the author of your choices.

Often in life we have to make decisions and it is up to us whether we choose to stay within that line of ethics and morals or cross it. That was the crust of TM Balu’s speech  “When I cross the line”.

TM Bhagyashree gave a gimple of “A present from the present”. Accept every situation cheerfully no matter how difficult it maybe. Accept your difficulties and let your difficulties also know that, you too are difficult.

In his speech “All it takes “ delivered by TM Dirish said,  All it takes is a hello to make a new beginning. Don’t let ego come in between relationships and ruin it.

TM Akash shared his life story through “ Over the edge”. He stated,  All my life I have been over the edge unable to fly, not able to complete something I wanted to do. Be it in studies, at work or my passion to skydive. But if you believe you can, you will.

Contestant no. 6, TM Karthik  took “One brave step” towards bravery.
In his speech he mentioned, Learn to take brave steps in life. If you fail, you learn something new. If you make a fool out of yourself, you will at least make someone else smile. But don’t forget that there is also a possibility that you might succeed.

“Make a difference”, said  TM Monindra Das. One person’s efforts can make a huge difference for the world. The question is are you doing something that can create a difference ?  Do small things in small ways that can create a difference for others.

The last speaker at this contest, TM Chandramouli  questioned his audience in his speech What are you adding?”Little acts of kindness adds value to your life. Add kindness and compassion to everything you do and you will notice how it changes your life.

Around the same time in the adjacent room, Division B International Speech Contest began.

The handsome and funny MC, TM Nischal, introduced the Contest Master TM Pratibha Singh who smoothly conducted the contest in her pleasant and charming voice. She efficiently announced the contestants and their topics and also introduced the chief judge TM Santosh Sharma and the Contest Chair TM CLN Shastry.

Six brilliant contestants battled it out to be the winner of the Division  B International Speech Contest.

Contestant no.1. In his speech, “Let it fly” ,TM Mathew Varghese used a kite as a metaphor to inspires us to follow our childhood dreams. He satted his  own example on quitting a career as a CA.

TM Kaleem Khan’s “The agony and the ecstasy”,  spoke about the power of positive thinking  in achieving success in our endeavours. He explained the impact it had on his life by beginning and ending with a beautiful description of him pole vaulting in school.

TM Ashin Paul evoked the importance of taking action to fulfil one’s ambition in his speech, “The time is always right”. Some inspiration from his young nephew and uncle was all he needed to realise that in order to succeed you need to take action.

TM Acharya Ratna Dasa through his speech, “Count Your Gold Coins”, taught us that we should count our achievements and not our failures. Even on a bad day what matters is that we be happy about how far we have come.

In her speech  “Track Your Progress”,  TM Bindhya Urs elaborated on the perils of being a perfectionist. She resolved that instead of getting discouraged about how far we are yet to go, it would benefit us if me acknowledged how far we have come.

Parikshith Virupaksha’s with a speech titled “I Will Not” told us how he learnt, the hard way,  and that trust is the most important thing in any relationship.

syed final

An educator, entrepreneur, film maker, Sayyed Sulthan Ahmed  delivered an educational session to all the delegates at Meraki .
The session was titled “My experiments with communication”. He walked us through his experiences and work and how he makes educational movies for kids and how the world was moving towards that stage where kids needs to see, feel and believe.

Starting from   his college days , he has been organizing events for kids under Krayons. His  work has enabled kids to understand the world better and become successful. He’s been experimenting with media as part of his work and has shot several short films for kids. His films have won the national award 4 times.

Moving on to the Division A table topics, Contest master TM Deepthi Shetty, quickly ran us through the rules for the contest.

Topic for the contestants  “Character is easier kept than recovered”

Contestants who took the stage were:

TM Ankita
TM Amith Prakash
TM Ameya
TM Payal
TM Nishant
TM Akash
TM Chaitanya
TM Dirish Mohan

In the other hall , Divisiion B  Table Topic contests were being held. TM C L N Shastry, the Contest chair for this  division contests  introduced the contest master TM Namitha to kick start the contest.

Contestants for Table Topics Contest were:

TM Mathew Varghese
TM Debarshi
TM Sheetal
TM Hruday
TM Shivani
TM Parikshith Virupaksha
TM Saket
The topic thrown at them “The start is what stops most people”

The conference  chair TM Ranjini Ranganathan, thanked all the delegates for their love and support. All the role players for the day were recognized for making Meraki a grand  success , the winners were announced shortly.

The Winners for the day were:

 

Division A Table Topics :
Winner – TM Dirish Mohan
1st Runner Up – TM Amit Prakash
2nd Runner Up – TM Chaitanya

Division A IPSC:
Winner – TM Dirish Mohan
1st Runner Up – TM Chandramouli
2nd Runner Up – TM Kartik Nellutla

Division B Table Topics :
Winner – TM Mathew Varghese
1st Runner Up – TM Parikshith Virupaksha
2nd Runner Up – TM Sheetal

Division B IPSC:
Winner – TM Parikshith Virupaksha
1st Runner Up – TM Mathew Varghese
2nd Runner Up – TM Vindhya Urs

Written by Sannidhi Surop

 

EMERGENCE – 2016

The Date 28th February 2016 , the time: 9 :00 AM, the location: St. Agnes Centre of PG Studies. That’s when  and where Emergence and JTP was conducted at Mangalore. Welcome remarks and the crust line of Emergence was demonstrated by Area F3 Director using an ice breaker .  In this activity TM Poorvi Varma emphasized the numerous  possible solutions for  a  single problem.

 

Division C Director TM Pearl Fernandes conducted the Judges Training Program. In a span of 1 hour she touch based on the new rules, possible scenarios and observations from the past contests. She ended her session  stating the 5 qualities that should a  judge  should exhibit– Trustworthiness, Accurateness, Impartialit , Listening  skills and Subject knowledge.

After a short snack break, DTM Samina Nayak and Area F1 Director TM Vedanth Ravi together conducted a session on Treading Table Topics’s Tightrope. It was an interactive sessions where random topics were given to the audience and the possible methodologies of handling the topics was discussed.

TM M N Pai educated the audience of the newly launched official toastmasters app which simplifies the processes of monitoring the clubs and its members data.

 

Breaking the usual protocol the chartering ceremony of Surathkal Toastmasters club  was conducted in the presence of Area F2 Director TM Savita Salian and Division F Director DTM Malini Hebbar.

 

The third session for the day –“The Different Facets of a Winning Speech”, was conducted by an eclectic bunch of toastmasters. The emphasis on Structure vocabulary, Vocal Variety, Body Language, Expression was informed by TM Hima Urmila Shetty , TM Sahithya Shetty, DTM Bharathi Shevgoor, TM Ramprasad Kodialbial , TM Vijayalakshnmi, TM Vidya Shenoy the panelists for the session. They spoke about essence of the speech, effective communication, posture, voice projections and acting out expressions can enhance the delivery of a speech .

The day’s closing remarks was rendered by Division Director  DTM Malini Hebbar who also felicitated the presenters and functionaries.

EMERGENCE & JUDGES TRAINING PROGRAMME

Date & Time: 6th March 2016, Sunday, at 12.45 PM

Venue: KMA Hall, Panampilly Nagar, Ernakulam

DIVISION G & H, DISTRICT 92

The second emergence and judges training programme of division G&H in the current toastmaster year was held on 6th march 2016 at KMA hall, Kochi. The meeting began sharp on time at 1:00 pm with the MC of the day TM Sindhu Eradi taking control of the gathering and with the welcome address by the dist.92  educom coordinator for kerala, TM Vineeth R, The division H director TM Jose V.J., ACS, ALB addressed the gathering. There were four educational sessions for lined up for the day. The first session was dealt by the Dist. 92 Club Growth Director, TM Pawas Chandra. He inspired the audience eloquently to go that extra mile in their toastmaster journey. The second session was handled by the Dist. 92, Chief Judge, DTM Suhas Kumar, who indeed gave away many tips and tricks needed for an effective judging in the upcoming contest season. There was a fifteen minute tea break, after which all the toastmasters gathered back in the hall to listen in to an announcement made by DTM Suhas Kumar about the upcoming coronation 2016. The next session was taken by TM Mathew Jacob, ACS CL who presented a creative way of structuring and delivering good speeches. The last session was of the day was about handling table topics. The dos and don’ts of table topics by DTM Jose M V. The programme came to a befitting close by 4:30 PM with the vote of thanks by Division. G Director, DTM Nagarajan. All the role players and dignitaries were recognized and the toastmasters left with a zeal to excel in the role of being a toastmaster.

 

 

A Salute to the Women of District 92

“Some leaders are born women.”

 – Geraldine Ferraro

 

In today’s society, women play multiple roles most of which cannot be replaced by the other gender. At least, not that extra warmth and affection she puts behind everything she manifests. Apart from being a mother, a sister, a daughter or a spouse a woman is also a friend, a guide, a mentor and a leader.

District 92 is also home to many such spectacular women who through their grace, charm and most importantly uninhibited, self endowed leadership skills have been instrumental in making district 92 what it is today. And on this day specially set apart to recognize their spirit, district 92 salutes all women who through their guidance or sheer presence have made the district oh so special!

The district PR team spoke to a few of these incredible women who have not only proven to be leaders in toastmasters but also in society to create a positive difference and here is their message:

District Director – Gauri Seshadri

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“Women’s leadership in Toastmasters or in life is not really about gender as much as it’s about being you, yourself.  We women, have incredibly strong voices and messages that the world needs to hear; it’s time to bring out onto the stage what we truly posses. So don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get to work, for there’s no better time than now to grab all the accolades and leadership roles that we deserve.”

District Public Relations Manager – Geetha PrasannaGeethaPrasanna

“I believe each one of us has limitless potential, beyond our comprehension. For time immemorial, women have exceeded expectations of our families and our society. We don multiple hats and handle each one of our roles with finesse. Yet somehow, we just don’t do enough for ourselves. This women’s day, let us do something that we hesitated to do in the past. Something  just for ourselves. It could be as simple as pursuing a hobby or taking that bollywood dancing course or maybe just a holiday all alone. Not just because L’oreal says we’re worth it, but because we are truly priceless.”

District Finance Manager – Sudha Balajee

SudhaBalajee

“Women by nature, nurture others. Today’s youth needs a lot of nurturing and understanding. Women should opt for leadership roles and provide the right kind of guidance and opportunities to our youth and channelize their energies in the appropriate direction. My belief is ‘Destiny is not by chance but by choice’. Hence a Woman should CHOOSE to be a Leader and the sky is the limit.”

Division F Director – Malini Hebbar

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“Pledge For Parity is the International Women’s Day 2016 campaign theme. But the World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. One year later in 2015, it estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133. 

2133! It means not our generation, not our daughter’s generation, not even our grand daughter’s generation! Then what keeps us going in the present? Probably forums like Toastmasters wherein individuals are valued not on the basis of their gender, but genius; not by fossilized traditional ideals, but objective validation of people’s worth; not the invisible biased ideas, but true recognition of talent. That’s why it’s a privilege to be a Toastmaster wherein being a ‘master’ is not a male prerogative!”

Past District Public Relations Officer – Kavya Gowda

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“I’ve always had excellent women role models I’ve looked up to. My mom who showed me how it’s important to be hardcore and compassionate, my mother-in-law who showed me how to stick to your guns and how to let go, the effeminate Geetha Prasanna who showed me there is no shame in accepting that you’re above average and how there’s no glory in being a know-it-all and many more women leaders who’ve done it all before me. For women in Toastmasters, my only plea to you is ‘Be ruthless and relentless’, whether it’s your journey or yourself. Try to be the best EVERYDAY irrespective of whether it’s expected of you or not, you’ll be better for it, everyone around you will be better for it.”

Division C Director – Pearl FernandesPearl

 

“To me, a woman has, is and always will be a leader. A leader in every facet of life, simply because she has the ability to multitask – to get her team to respond, to lend a helping hand to those who need it, to mentor with patience, to deal with myriad emotions and to march on when the rest have stopped. Yet, quite often, she forgets how powerful she is, simply because she chooses to believe what others tell her.

I believe that the only person who has the power to bring you down is YOU. Don’t let someone’s negative attitude or snarky comments bog you down. Do what makes you feel like a winner, and don’t let others define what being a winner should mean to you. You are the author of your own success story, so get inspired, stay inspired and continue to inspire all those around you.”

 

Happy womens day to all the phenomenal women of district 92!!

 

Toastmasters Leadership Institute – Jan & Feb ’16

“Leadership, is unlocking people’s potential to become better”

– Bill Bradley

For a toastmaster, being continuously involved in the process of learning, training, imbibing and imparting knowledge; especially that of good leadership through different forums is a part of the journey we have embarked upon. And one such important forum is the Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) where you get to acquire knowledge and interact with the novice and the leaders of the district through sessions and discussions in order to equip ourselves for the upcoming term.

During the last month district 92 organized TLI sessions in Bangalore on the 24th and 31st of January, in Mangalore on the 31st January and in Kochi on 7th February. Here is a little sneak-peak of the process behind the ‘leaders in the making’.

Bangalore – 24th & 31st January 

 

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Bangalore witnessed the TLI program on the 24th of January at the CMS Jain University, Lalbagh Road and on the 31st of January at IFIM Business School, Electronic City. Veterans and newbies gathered in large numbers on both occasion to learn, share, inspire and to be inspired.

The first set of sessions was for new club office bearers i.e., the Presidents, Vice Presidents- Education, Vice Presidents- Membership, Vice Presidents- Public Relations, Secretaries, Treasurers and Sergeants at Arms, to educate them about their roles and responsibilities for the successful running of their clubs.

The President of the club is the pied piper who presides and motivates others. TM Teja Priyanka and TM Balaji beautifully demonstrated the responsibilities a club president has as a chief of the club.

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The VP Education is the driving force behind the club who inspires members to achieve their goals of communication and leadership in good time. TM Chimmu Kutty spoke to the newly elected VP’s of Education and instructed them on their responsibilities.

The strength and pride of any club is its members. Adding and retaining members is the prime responsibility of VP Membership. TM Rakshith Bhagavath illustrated the vitality of VP Membership and shared few tips on retaining members.

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Networking, promoting, effective usage of tools like the newsletter, website and social media for showcasing the happenings of the club is the role of VP Public Relations. and shared tips and techniques for building healthy public relations to showcase their clubs to the outside world.

Networking, promoting, effective usage of tools like the newsletter, website and social media for showcasing the happenings of the club is the role of VP Public Relations. TM Sarika Rangani and TM Kynan D’souza shared tips and techniques for building healthy public relations to showcase their clubs to the outside world.

Documenting the clubs’ growth, noting the minutes of meetings, maintaining a log of guests are prominent to track the progress of the club and is the role of the secretary. TM Santosh Sharma undertook the session for the secretaries and updated them on their role.

Treasurer ensures that the members pay their dues on time and manages the financial requirements of the club. TM Priyadarshini Karbar handled the session and educated the new treasurers about the same.

For every successful meeting logistics are imperative. The sergeant-at-arms is responsible for this. TM Poornima and TM Nishok A. gave an insight on the importance of the effective logistics management in a meeting and also on how to kick start meetings which is the breakthrough for a successful meeting.

After the individual sessions, a set of elective education sessions were organized to train and educate the toastmasters on other challenges the clubs might face and the ways to overcome them.

The first set of elective sessions were – The Distinguished Track & Strong Membership.

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The basic goal and dream of any club would be the achievement of the distinguished status. This session was spearheaded by TM Pearl Fernandes who explained how to set the right foresight to be on the distinguished track and achieve the status within a single term.

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The session on attracting more members and retaining them was handled by the district club growth director, TM Pawas Chandra who illustrated the need to set membership goals for the club and engage officers and members in achieving them.

The second set of electives were – Education Awards & Corporate Clubs

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DTM Arjun Raj Urs explained the importance of making a plan for our educational track and explained how to achieve them in good time. This not only helps the club prosper but makes us individuals of quality and helps us in every sphere of life.

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There is an immense growth of corporate clubs lately but the important factor is to keep them thriving and to achieve the purpose with which they started. The session on the necessity of sustaining corporate clubs was taken by DTM Chandramouli G.

Following the education sessions was an address by the District Director, DTM Gauri Sheshadri. TM Sudhanshu Jha gave an insight about the upcoming annual district conference – Coronation ’16 to be held in our own city of Bangalore which was followed by a presentation about Nexus, an interclub sporting event which will be held on 28th of February.

Mangalore – 31st January

This time around, the early risers of Mangalore decided to make TLI an evening affair. Not only club officers, but also the members flocked in on the 31st of January at ICAI Bhavan, Mahindra Archade. Greeted with some delightful local delicacies the days’ program began at 4 PM sharp.

The charming Division Director DTM Malini Hebbar made the participants feel at ease with an ice breaker activity. TM Geetha Prasanna, the district public relations manager was present at the event. She took the audience through a session on How to help Members Achieve their Educational Goals.

A Panel discussion for all the club presidents was next on the agenda. DTM C. K. Ballal moderated this session and enthralled us with his wit.

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Recognition and rewards always push us to strive for more. District 92 has its own set of awards and TM Geetha Prasanna made the audience well verse with the awards at stake for this term.

One of the highlights of this TLI program were small innovative activities by DTM Malini in between the sessions. This created an opportunity for all the members to interact with each other and also exhibit creative and fun ideas which was well received by the audience.

Last session by TM Geetha Prasanna focused on the most crucial aspect for every club officer – the growth of one’s club. A detailed presentation on Building Strong Membership was conducted by her which was followed by a short and crisp workshop by TM Savita Salian and TM Shashikanth.

Ideas to build a strong club and a road map for the next 5 months was topped with some yummy food and lively repartee among fellow toastmasters.

Kochi – 7th February

On the 7th of February toastmasters across Kerala gathered at the Albertian Institute of Science and Technology to up skill themselves on the goals for the upcoming term.

The meeting started at 1 PM with the MC of the day TM Nisha Mathew kick starting the event. TM Rithwick Das was the Sargent at Arms for the day. The gathering was welcomed by TM Vineeth R and was followed by a message by the two division directors of division G and division H – DTM Nagarajan P A and TM Jose V J, respectively.

The star of the day was the district 92 program quality director, DTM Arjun Raj Urs who inspired the gathering to achieve their educational goals. He emphasized the four elements of leadership; to motivate, to guide, to appeal, and to develop. He also urged the club officers to find out what their members dream to achieve and align their aspirations with the toastmasters’ vision.

Up next was another stalwart of our district, the district administration manager TM Jaikumar C Pillai who chalked out ways for building a sturdy membership base for the clubs.

What then followed was a brief on the various rewards and recognitions for toastmasters in district 92 which was dealt by DTM Arjun Raj Urs. TM Lisamma Joseph then introduced the district 92 leadership team for 2015-2016.

At 3:00 PM we took a break for tea and snacks, following which each of the officers gathered for their individual sessions. The presidents of all clubs grouped under DTM Nirmala Lilly, the VP’s of educations and secretaries under TM Nevil J Paul, VP’s of memberships and treasures under TM Kurian TK and the VP’s of public relations and SAA’s under TM Rekha Mathews.

What followed next was the council meetings of both division G and division H in two separate venues. TM Jaikumar C Pillai made announcements regarding the district annual conference – Coronation ’16. DTM Arjun Urs was presented with a memento and the other role players were also recognized. TM George Mathai delivered the vote of thanks. The event concluded at 5:30 in the evening.

Every end is a new beginning. Likewise, the conclusion of the TLI program across district 92 marked the beginning of the new term.

 

Written by – Rohit Sharma, Chandana Srinivas, Divyashree Gatti & Neil Gonsalves (District PR team)

 

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

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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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

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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

 

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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

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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.