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

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“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

 

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

 

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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.

In Conversation with the Division Level Evaluation Champs…

Evaluation is the backbone of the toastmasters movement. It is after all through mutual support, guidance and feedback that we grow. And the art of delivering a good evaluation is not something that everyone has mastered. But those few who have, have certainly taken a lot  of time to understand and decipher the truth behind a skillful, value adding, honest evaluation.

We, the district PR team spoke to the winners and runners up of the 9 division contests to understand their journey towards mastering this art.

Division A – Sridhar Ranganathan

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The LA 1924 club has given the district many seasoned speakers. One name that stands out the most is TM Sridhar Ranganathan. He has graced the district level contest stage several times in the past and it was no surprise when he emerged victorious at the division A evaluation contest.

1.What made you join Toastmasters?

Like many I always wanted to become a good public speaker. I was looking for a non-commercial, non-intimidating platform to help me develop speaking skills. Luckily I found Toasmasters.

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

My preparation for evaluation contest starts a few months before the contest. I start listing down various not-so-common points an evaluator can find in any speech.

I do some brainstorming with DTM Arjun Raj Urs to validate my findings and take his inputs as well to get an outsider’s view about my evaluation preparation.

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

DTM Nagarja Rao. There are many things about this genius that the world doesn’t know. He is an ocean and I have got something to carry back from this ocean every time I took a plunge into it. His passion to be the difference, to make a difference is something every toastmaster should learn.

4. What is the one message you would like to give other Toastmasters who aspire to do be better at evaluations?

Contrary to popular belief, evaluation contest is also a prepared event. The more you work on the preparation, the more you know what to look for.

 

Division B – Kavya Gowda

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TM Kavya Gowda is no new face to the district. The former district PRO from IBM Blue Expression Toastmasters Club started her toastmasters journey in 2004 and says that it was her love for words and their stubbornness to heard that made her join toastmasters.

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

Being a woman in the corporate world helps. A lot.
Every time I’ve walked into a room full of decision makers – I’ve either been the only woman, the only other woman, the least experienced or the youngest. Evaluation of the people in the room, understanding what they wish to convey, what they simply imply and what is actually the fact of the matter has always helped me formulate my thoughts and responses in a way that people value my inputs and value me. It has been a learning curve.
At Toastmasters, every single person at my club has been a mentor in some way. The one thing I did was to ask honest feedback from new members of the club and their fresh, brutally honest perspectives have helped me polish my evaluation style.

2. Among all the advice and suggestions you received during this contest season, which one helped you the most?

The only advice I got was to summarize my evaluation. And it was the only thing I promptly forgot to do!

3. What is the one message you would like to give other Toastmasters who aspire to do be better at evaluations?
Make more speeches, listen to more speeches and evaluate more speeches. It’s that simple.

4. Your good friend Mayokun Aduwo is also a contestant at the district finals of the evaluation contest. How does it make you feel competing against a friend.

Mayo is a fantastic speaker, a strong woman leader and a wonderful person. I’ve always been her biggest cheerleader.   The competition isn’t going to change that in anyway. It’s always a pleasure to compete with excellence, you win either way. Also, both of us play to win so it’s going to be a good show.

Division C – Mayokun Aduwo

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TM Mayo, as we all fondly call her is one of the most charismatic women in the district. Hailing from the IBM Synergy Club this toastmaster swept away not only the championship trophy but also hearts of the audience during the division C semi-annual conference with her charm, poise and intelligence.

  1. What made you join Toastmasters?

A colleague of mine in one of the old companies I used to work in was very scrawny and a tiny human being but anytime he opens his mouth to speak it was very impressive and a far cry from his physical stature. I was chatting with him one day and asked how did he learn to speak in such an impressive manner and he told me about toastmasters. And ladies and gentlemen the rest is history.

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

Personally, I have debunked the old saying of ‘knowledge is power’, my new mantra is ‘sharing is power’ the more I share the more I internalize and it becomes a part of me. For every opportunity I get I train on evaluation and I also proactively request for feedback.

3. How has being part of this contest helped you?

The art of putting yourself out there again and again is not the easiest of task but it is the best way to push you to the next level. In other words being a part of the contest has helped me to grow, it has also helped me to understand myself a bit more and certainly in more ways than one surprise myself. Besides it is a great adrenaline fix.

4. During your division level evaluation speech contest which one contestant impressed you the most? And why?

I was totally impressed by TM Appu Geetha Byju. I have a profound respect for Appu. He is young and fabulous. During the Division C contest, Appu’s speaking slot was immediately after mine and I was fortunate enough to listen to his evaluation. After Appu spoke I was grinning from ear to ear like a chipmunk because he was so so so good. I went up to him after the contest and said “Appu you were so good, I really don’t mind losing to you” and I meant it.

 

Division D – Geet Rathi

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TM Geet has been the most pleasant surprise of the season. This young chap from SAP Speak To Lead club has been a part of toastmasters for just about a year now. When he took to the stage during the division D contest, TM Geet truly proved that age is but a number and nothing stopped him form acing the contest.

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

I was genuinely curious about the judging criteria for the evaluation contest when I decided to participate. So I paid keen attention to the judging points breakdown and decided to cover aspects from the ballot. Over a fortuitous meeting with TM VSV Prasad, I got some helpful insights that I could incorporate and my fellow club-mate TM Aditi D’Souza also helped me greatly in the initial stages with the preparation.

2. How has being part of this contest helped you?

It has in general made me more observant and given me a reason to pay close attention to whenever someone speaks. But more than just that, contests have always been an amazing way to meet new people and make friends. This time was no different, only better as it was a joint Division conference. Lot of new faces, lot of fun.

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

TM RajdeepManwani. I had met him the first time at a division conference during the Table Topics Contest earlier this year. His manner and the outlook he has towards life which almost always is evident when he speaks, has gravitated me towards him with respect. Then again he had shared his life experiences at the 500th meeting celebration of Smedley’s Toastamsters which only reinforced the inspiration he exudes each time he speaks. He is truly inspiring.

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

My club members display so much faith and confidence that it pushes me to want to do better each time. They are my support system who instill confidence in me, they are that reassuring wall that has got my back and always acts as my buttress. The will to want to reach here would not have been so without them, definitely not.

5. How has toastmasters added value to your life?

More than just helping me be a better Communicator and Leader, it has given me something that is seated much deeper within me. It has instilled in me a surge of self-confidence, it has made me believe in myself. I am a believer in self now.

 

Division E – K V M Kishore

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Everybody in the district knows this man. He has literally made us ROLF with his hilarious speeches. But who knew that this toastmaster from the Speakers Den club had a surprise in his arsenal. This time at the district conference, we will have the opportunity to be awed by TM Kishore delivering an evaluation.

1. What has being part of an evaluation contest taught you?

A contest tests you on several factors. An evaluator who would be otherwise just interested in giving value add to the speaker in a contest should be more creative to provide the same value add in an interesting, motivating and enlightening way so that it enriches the entire audience and not just the test speaker. Attempting to do that in itself is quite an awesome experience.

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

Geetha Prasanna. She taught me a lot of things without never teaching. From her I learnt that toastmasters is more than speeches. I learnt the value of building relationships, participating in cricket, singing in karaoke, attending division and district events and at the end of it all that just taking back a smile and having absolutely no expectations.

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

TM Balajee had a valuable suggestion that everyone focuses on delivery and rarely comment about the content. So focus on evaluating the content and that could really make a difference was one good suggestion that really helped me.

4. What is the one message you would like to give other Toastmasters who aspire to do be better evaluators?

In the past, I have made the mistake of being very critical that left an unpleasant experience to the speaker. So my submission to any evaluator would be to make the evaluation as motivating and considerate as possible.

5. How has toastmasters added value to your life?

It made me a different person. It has significant positive impact on the way I listen, understand, act and react.

 

Division F – Rohit Kumar Koka

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Its going to be his first time on the district stage for TM Rohit of Mysore Toastmasters club. Even though he is just a year old in toastmasters, this young man is renound for his impeccable speaking skills. With his confident persona TM Rohit has taken a step forward and clinched the division F evaluation championship with much ease.

1. What made you join Toastmasters?

I always loved being on stage and after graduation I felt lost without getting many opportunities to be on stage. Then my mom read a newspaper article about toastmasters in Mysore. Without a second thought she told me to join. I wondered why she was so confident about this organization, but after being here for 1 year I know the answer.

2. How has being part of this contest helped you?

This contest season was wonderful especially as I was representing my area for both contests. The quality of my evaluations have gone up just by being apart of this contest. I learnt how to give better and more encouraging evaluations with appreciation since the contests began.

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

My club members have always been good friends who support me in all aspects within and outside the club. During this contest they kept giving me constant feedback for my evaluations. I incorporated those feedback in other contests and it proved to be beneficial.

4. How has toastmasters added value to your life?

Toastmasters has changed my life in many ways. From the way I interact with people to my presence on stage. The way I deal with tough situations, handle tasks under pressure and above all being prepared for the unexpected. Just being associated with Toastmasters and it’s members for 1 year had brought so much to me and my life. I look forward to the journey of learning and the experience ahead.

 

Division H – Solomon Mathews

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TM Solomon Mathews from Travancore Toastmasters Club has been a part of toastmasters for three years now. He says that toastmasters has been of immense help in his professional life as well. Last year, he had an opportunity to address a group of 400 high profile delegates from various companies. He could speak quite confidently and says he owes the credit to toastmasters. Well we sure will get a lot to learn from TM Solomon himself when he takes to the stage at the district level evaluation contest.

1. What made you join toastmasters?
I met a friend of mine at a social gathering after a long gap of 10 years. He took the initiative in inviting us and organizing the meeting. He gave an enthralling speech, which made me wonder how he could change himself into a great leader and speaker, from what I saw of him, years back. So, I went and asked him, “What’s the secret of your transformation?”
He said, “Toastmasters!”
I followed his trail…

2. How did you prepare for your evaluation speech contest?
Contests demand more from you. The audience is larger compared to a club. The stage is bigger. The best way to prepare is to seek out more speaking opportunities at the club itself. With practice you get better.

3. Among the many advises and suggestions you received during the contest season, which one advice helped you the most?
I value the tip given by a seasoned toastmaster on having the right mind-set for an Evaluator towards the Speaker. Those are: Listen attentively, have no prejudice, have an open mind, be supportive, be truthful.

4. What is the one message you would like to give toastmasters who aspire to be better evaluators?
A thorough understanding of all the 10 projects of ‘Competent Communicator’ is absolutely essential. It gives you the framework to evaluate any speech. Lance Miller, the 2005 World Champion in Public Speaking, says, “If you want to be an excellent speaker, you have to be an excellent evaluator”. Being an good evaluator and a good speaker, go hand-in-hand.

5. How did your club members help you out during this contest journey?
It’s only through the continuous feedback and suggestions given by your club members that you improve. My club members have been very supportive and encouraging. It means a lot to me!

6. One person in toastmasters fraternity that has inspired you the most and why?
There are many toastmasters that you look up to and learn from. One such toastmaster who stands out is TM Jayakumar, who has been instrumental in giving me the right guidance, especially when I joined toastmasters. The skill of mentoring is what I admire in him the most.

Division I – Ajay Chitharanjan

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TM Ajay is certainly a known face to us all of us and has experienced the district stage several times now. Being a part of the Mecon Communication Club for the last 7 years, Ajay attributes a great deal of his success to his club and its members.When asked what made him join toastmasters, this former district champion humorously replied, I’m like Rahul Gandhi, I inherited toastmasters. My father was a toastmaster.

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

I’ve prepared for the contest over 4 years, In evaluation contest it is your overall understanding of speech making that comes to the rescue

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

Sridhar Raganathan. By his Sincerity, simplicity and dedication.

3. What is the one message you would like to give other toastmasters who aspire to be better evaluators?

Evaluate to help the speaker and not to win the contest.

4. How has toastmasters added value to your life?

It has simply transformed my life. Now I don’t speak just for the sake of it, but I speak to excel. At least I try to.

 

We wish all the division champions the best for the upcoming hurdle and the climax of their evaluation contest journey, the District Level Contest at Jamboree ’15.

DivInE – Division E & I Semi-Annual Conference

“It is divinity which shapes thoughts, actions, words and destiny.”

DivInE – the semi-annual joint conference of Division I and E stood testimony to the above words when toastmasters across the two divisions who adore great speeches and revel in the chasms of oratory, gathered at Infosys Ltd Bangalore on the 7th of November, 2015.

 

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TM Anikesh Sasmal and TM Sandhya Ramanujam were the MC’s for the day. TM Anikesh started off the conference with an original composition and rapped his way into our hearts. The MC’s  the ball rolling for yet another long awaited division conference.

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After the felicitation of all the district leaders, division and area directors, our District Director TM Gauri Seshadri, delivered the inaugural address. She spoke about the growth that this district has seen in the past few months and the growth that we need for this district to reach new heights. She especially mentioned how these two divisions, E and I have particularly been instrumental for this growth. She ended her address encouraging the audience to work towards turning dreams into reality. “Dreaming is good. But if you don’t work, your dreams won’t work” she said.

The Division I Director DTM Rajkumar Bansal took to the stage. He drew a parallel between what has changed and what hasn’t changed in the last 15 years. He said that the one constant back then and now is the ethos of toastmasters – help each other grow through mutual support and feedback. What has changed is that we no longer limit ourselves to the CC and CL but further beyond that. “Stay invested, stay interested, stay happy” was his message to the audience.

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This was followed by an education session on Adaptive Leadership by Mr Yogesh Agiwal, the General Manager for Corporate HR Development at Wipro. He spoke about how one could use toastmasters as a leadership laboratory and use the methods of trials and errors in our speeches to get deeper insights into Leadership. He emphasized on how adaptive leadership involves understanding the background of your subordinates and peers, upholding sensitivity to the environment, being humble, living in the present, having a high level view of things and finally connecting your work to a purpose.

After this session the members of Division I were asked to remain seated in the main hall which while members of Division E were escorted to auditorium 4.

The Division E Contests

The MC for the division E contests was TM Sandhya Ramanujam. She began the evaluation contest and invited the test speaker TM Roshni Balaji.

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TM Roshini’s speech titled “FLY” was emphasized on the idea of how important it is to love one’s own self, before trying to be like someone else. She exemplified this beautifully by sighting the example of a lady whom she met on her way to Chennai. She sought examples of how she despite being a huge in stature was in complete love with her own self and had no apprehensions whatsoever about how she looked. The crux of her speech was to drive home the point that the ideas of ‘size zero’ or ‘six pack’ have no bearing on our lives unless we first love ourselves.

The test speech was followed by five minutes’ silence while the eight contestants gathered their ideas and jotted pointers to evaluate that immaculate speech.

The contestants for the division E evaluation contest were:

  1.    TM Krishna Balaji
  2.    TM Abdul Haleem Akhtar
  3.    TM Sachin Tonapi
  4.    TM Vinay Phalke
  5.    TM KVM Kishore
  6.    TM Saloni Kamble
  7.    TM Sreeleetha Premjeeth
  8.    TM Pranav Pratim Ghosh

All the contestants pointed out the nuances of TM Roshni’s speech and suggested various elucidations by which she could improve the quality of her speech to take it a notch higher from great to exceptional.

After the evaluation speech contest followed a 25 minutes break for the Toastmasters to socialize and also satiate their palates with snacks and brownies to go with coffee and tea.

What followed after the break was the most coveted part of the entire conference, which was the Humorous Speech Contest. The MC called upon the contest master TM Srivaths. He started off by explicating the rules and regulations of the contest.

TM Abhishek Shrivastava, the first contestant started off with his speech titled “Aarti My Love”. His speech revolved around the numerous challenges he faced in winning his love, Aarti since his college days. He spoke about the various hurdles he had to face including that of convincing the her parents and how he used his mother in laws affection towards him to finally triumph the battle.

TM Naina Jairaj Nathan delivered her speech titled “It Hurt”, in which she spoke about the various instances from her life where in she had to face the consequences of being a short person She ended the speech on a very bright note saying that – All good things come in small packages.

TM Soumya Kuber gave a speech titled “Coffee Decoction for Flight Commotion”. She spoke about the contrast between adventures and routine. In her opinion travel makes you rich with experience. So keep calm and travel on. When life hands you lemons, serve orange juice and let the world wonder how you did it.

The fourth participant was TM Nishit Patel. His speech titled “Get Over It” emphasized on the importance of getting over all challenges in life and to adore and appreciate the importance of living in the present. Carpe Diem!

TM Joy V Ramachandran through his speech titled as “It Will Never Work for me ” taught us why sarcasm never works for him and while he loves accepting any sarcasm on himself, he encouraged the audience to avoid misusing sarcasm as an weapon against anyone.

TM Girija Pandey who spoke on the minorities in all arenas of life used this concept to evoke laughter among his audience. His style was quite innovative in delivering his speech titled “Don’t want to be a minority.”

TM Jaisimha MS who was the final participant spoke on “How to Catch a Rat”.  With a broom in his hands he had the audience in splits of laughter with his despicable experience in catching a rat at the stroke of midnight.

Once the humorous speech contest was over, the audience was directed back towards the main hall.

The Division I Contests

The MC for the division I contests was TM Anikesh. He handed over the stage to contest master for the evaluation contest, TM Fany.

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TM Fany briefed the rules of the evaluation contest and introduced the test speaker, TM Ambika.

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With her speech titled “You have been tagged”, TM Ambika told us how the world around us constantly tags us based on their assumptions and outward appearances. She said that what is important is not trying to get rid of these tags, but simply ignore them and proceed being what you are and doing what you love, no matter how unusual the world outside might find it.

The test speech was followed by undisturbed silence during which the contestants made notes of what they observed and what new they could add bring to the plate. The contestants of the evaluation speech contest were:

  1. TM Chetana Lobo
  2. TM Arun Ramanathanam
  3. TM Gaurav Murali
  4. TM Ajay Chitharanjan
  5. TM Rithun Kavil Regi
  6. TM Anadi Mitra
  7. TM Aalap Mehta

The contestants took to the stage in the above order and while they wholeheartedly appreciated the speaker for her thought provoking message, gave her valuable feedback both in terms of content and delivery, how she could take the speech to greater heights and create a profound impact.

The evaluation contest was followed by a tea break with a plethora of snacks to replenish our appetite and fuel the healthy networking. With that we were all set and ready for the humorous speech contest.

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The contest master for the division I humorous speech contest was TM Romy. After explaining the purpose and stating the rules of the contest, TM Romy kick started the humorous speech contest.

The first contestant was TM Amogh Shamnawadi. In his speech titled “Imperfectly Perfect”, TM Amogh explained how life is not about being perfect. It is about how you make your imperfections work in your favor and become perfect in spite of your imperfections.

TM Rashmi Saravanan seems to have fallen prey to a rare disorder named sullmanja. And as part of this disorder she hiccups every time she says a lie. She narrated her saga of how this disorder has disrupted her life completely in her speech titled “Scared to Lie”.

TM Yeshwanthi Ramkumar is facing the “Quarter Life Crisis”. In her hilarious speech she explained how the different types of people in her life like; the match makers, the higher educationist, the baby makers, the social media obsessed and others are creating a complete nuisance in her life.

TM Harsha Marathe in his speech titled “Body Builder” said that although he is of lean stature, he will never give up in his endeavors to attain a great body.

TM Aastha Singh wants to die a “Delicious Death”. She says that she is a complete foodie as that her life revolves around food. So much so that she even despises men who do not share her love for food.

TM Aurobindo Keriyakere in his speech titled “Gastronomy” spoke about Indians and our love for food. He believes that India is a country divided by languages, but united by food.

TM Aalap Mehta in his speech titled “Thank God!” exclaimed that every time he made a mistake he has judged a book by its cover, even though he would be initially proven wrong he would discover and learn something new.

The final contestant TM Krishna Balaji claimed to be the ideal “Match Maker”. In his speech he says that he started practicing the skills of match making way back in college and it had all begun during a ragging session.

After the end of the humorous speech contest we were joined by the members of division E for the final part of the conference.

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The MC invited the District Club Growth Director TM Pawas Chandra on stage. TM Pawas spoke about the coincidence of the name of the conference being Divine and how many of his friends on a sarcastic note had termed his first speech in toastmasters also as ‘divine’ since it forced the audience to enter a state of deep meditation. His point being to encourage all novice speakers to start off with their speeches, however bad to eventually rise above.

This was followed by the address of the Division E Director TM Sudhanshu who spoke about his journey in toastmasters and how much he has gained from this forum. He encouraged young toastmasters to seek help from the veterans.

This was followed by a education session by the Program Quality Director of District 92 DTM Arjun Raj Urs, titled “Edge Over Others”. DTM Arjun spoke on how one could follow the process known as C++ to gain an edge over others. C++, he said does not refer to any programming language but instead to the three C’s which form the basis for all progress in life- Competency, Confidence and Communication. Competency, he explained is what we obtain from our professional skills. It is nothing but potential without interference. The interference arises due to the lack of two qualities which are confidence and communication. To illustrate the point on confidence better, DTM Arjun sighted an example of the cricketer Sachin Tendulkar who despite having been hit on the nose, chose to continue playing. This is the kind of attitude which DTM Arjun wants us to inculcate.

The conference chairs TM Santhosh Sharma and TM Priyadarshini Karbar thanked all those who had made the conference a success and recounted their experience of organizing such a magnanimous event. The conference ended on a high and a flutter of smiles with photo sessions and loads of selfies by contestants and the audience alike.

The results of the Division E & I contests are as below.

Division I Evaluation Speech Contest:

 

Winner – TM Ajay Chittaranjan

1st Runner Up – TM Aalap Mehta

2nd Runner Up – TM Rithun Kavil Regi

 

Division I Humorous Speech Contest:

Winner – TM Aurobindo Kiriyakere

1st Runner Up – TM Yeshwanthi Ramkumar

2nd Runner Up – TM Aalap Mehta

 

Division E Evaluation Speech Contest:

 

Winner – TM K.V.M. Kishore

1st Runner Up – TM Sachin Tonapi

2nd Runner Up – TM Krishna Balaji

 

Division E Humorous Speech Contest:

 

Winner – TM Abhishek Srivastava

1st Runner Up – TM Joy Ramachandran

2nd Runner Up – TM Naina Jairaj Nathan

 

Written by – Rohit Sharma

 

 

K’onfluence – Division G & H Semi-Annual Conference

On the bright Sunday morning of 18th October 2015, toastmasters all across Kerala gathered at Hotel Rivera Suits, Kochi for the semi annual conference of division G & H. The council meeting for both divisions was held early that morning at the same venue.

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The conference began as per schedule at 9:30 AM with an opening by the sergeant at arms for the day TM Neil Gonsalves. TM Neil invited the conference chair TM Mathew Jacob who set the tone for the day by explaining to the gathering how he found his passion for toastmasters. The MC of the day was TM Rekha Mathews.

TM Janardana Pai welcomed the gathering which was followed by the lighting of the lamp and the inaugural address by our District Director TM Gauri Seshadri. She expressively inspired the gathering and asked why have we joined toastmasters? To explore and seeking an adventure. “You don’t have to be a hero but if you inspire others, you might become their hero” said TM Gauri.

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The first contest of the day was the evaluation contest for division G. The young and energetic TM Suraj S was the contest master. He introduced the test speaker TM Sunil Joseph and judiciously briefed the rules for the contest and the speaking order. TM Sunil’s speech was titled “Fear of failure” in which he dealt upon the need to overcome ones’ fear in order to succeed. His personal anecdotes and success stories was fundamentally an inspirational speech which the contestants were to evaluate. The speaking order of the contestants was as given below.

  1. TM Unnikrishnan V
  2. TM Sajjad Abdul Salem
  3. TM Sreekumar S
  4. TM George Johnson
  5. TM Anto John

While toastmasters Unnikrishnan and Sajjad felt the need to add more emotions in the speech, toastmasters Sreekumar and George felt the need of using anecdotes from the present century and examples that relate would relate to the audience better. TM Anto John was generous in appreciating the speaker.

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Soon after the first contest was over, was an education session by the district 92 Program Quality Director DTM Arjun Raj Urs. His session titled “RCC of speeches” was well received by all the toastmasters. RCC stands for reinforced concrete structure of speeches. He mentioned his tips on selecting speech topics for a speech based on the ten defining moments of one’s life, ten critical choices one has made and about the ten pivotal people in one’s life.

The educational session was followed by a ten minutes tea break after which DTM Nagarajan, director of division G addressed the gathering and appealed to the audience to stay focused and make district 92 the best performing district in the world.

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The serious gathering took a lighter note with TM Manu Sreekumar adorning the role of contest chair for the humorous speech contest of division H. He set the stage for the humorous speech contestants who came on stage in the below order.

The first contestant, TM Santo Simon spoke about his personal experiences in business in his speech titled “Do not take me otherwise”. TM Michael George had his experiences of using different cars crafted into his speech titled “My car stories”. TM Joseph Alapatt had reactions from other toastmasters put together in his speech titled “Never give up”. TM Harish Kumar confused the audience with his speech titled “Confusion”. TM Jayas Manadath spoke about his experiences of finding a girlfriend in his speech titled “Searching high and low” and TM Sajad T K spoke from his heart in his speech titled “What matters is inside and not outside”.

By 1:10PM the laughter gave way to hunger as the toastmasters feasted on the buffet lunch and networking. The afternoon program began at 1:30 with the recognition to DTM Nagarajan by District Director TM Gauri Seshadri.

The contest master for the division H evaluation contest was TM Ashish Jacob who briefly explained the rules for the contest and introduced the test speaker TM Anish Shankar who spoke about his desire for travel and adventure in his speech titled “Highway of life”. The contestants took to stage in the following order.

  1. TM Edwin Varghese
  2. TM Solomon Mathews
  3. TM T K kurian
  4. TM Sabu Sebastian
  5. TM Yabezjan Kozha
  6. TM Merlin John

Toastmasters Edwin and Yabezjhan felt that it was a complete speech while TM Sabu felt the need for more examples and a slower pace. TM T K Kurian and Solomon stressed upon the need for pauses and smoother transitions while madam toastmaster Merlin stressed on body language and vocal variety.

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After the contest the district Club Growth Director TM Pawas Chandra and the division H director TM V J Jose addressed the gathering. TM Pawas made a special mention about the nonagon award and the need for clubs to focus on achieving goals and TM Jose appreciated all the clubs and made note of contributions made in division H.

At 3:00 there was a short tea break for ten minutes after which TM Pawas Chandra gave a glimpse of Jamboree 2015 and urged the gathering to register for the district semi-annual conference Jamboree. The final contest for the day was the humorous speech contest for division G. TM Leena Muthulali was the contest master and she tickled the audience with laughter with her personal humorous anecdotes.

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TM Nambiath Ravindran took the audience on a humorous trip with his speech titled “My Nightmare”. TM Umang Rathi spoke about himself and his evolution in his speech titled “My primary self”. TM Sajjad spoke about his life experiences in his speech titled “Do or die”. TM P R Sreenivasan explained why being fat has its advantages in his speech titled “Fat is fabulous”. TM Poornima crafted her professional career experiences into her speech titled “Adventures of an instructional designer” and TM Shyjini spoke about her advantages of being a short girl in her speech titled “Outsourcing”.

The contestants in K’onfluence 2015 competed with vigor and passion. All the role players were felicitated and with much fanfare. The conference chair announced the results only to see the excited audience erupt with applause and ovation. K’onfluence 2015 was a day to cherish for all the toastmasters who attended and the memories of the speeches will definitely stay on for a long time.

The results of the contests are as below.

Division H – Humorous Speech Contest:

Winner: TM Sajad T K

1st Runner Up: TM Joseph Alapatt

2nd Runner Up: TM Jayas Manadath

Division H – Evaluation Speech Contest:

Winner: TM Solomon Mathews

1st Runner Up: TM Edwin Varghese

2nd Runner Up: MTM Merlin John

Division G – Evaluation Speech Contest:

Winner: TM George Johnson

1st Runner Up: TM Anto John

2nd Runner Up: TM Sajjad Abdul Salam

Division G – Humorous Speech Contest

Winner: TM Shyjini Kunniyil

1st Runner Up: TM Nambiath Ravindran

2nd Runner Up: TM P R Sreenivasan

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Written by Neil Gonsalves

Division C & D Semi-Annual Conference

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”

– John Lennon

Dreams of two divisions of district 92 turned to reality last Saturday as they united under one roof and pulled off a very successful division conference. On the 17th of October, toastmasters from division C and D gathered at NetApp, EGL Domlur, Bangalore for contests galore. The invitation made it clear that we were all expected to not only be on time, but also in our ethnic best. That’s right! Divisions C and Division D together weaved an unusually blend with an ethnic theme.

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By 2 in the noon, the venue was lit up by an eye-catching flare of colorful sarees, sherwanis and salwars, celebrating the festive mood of the season.

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TM Santosh Kumar and TM Supriya Awasthy, the MC’s for the day kindled the congregation with their witty shayaris describing Indian festivals, food and couture as they graciously welcomed everyone.

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The conference chairs TM Adithya Veliappan and TM Shuvo Jyotikar invited the Division C and D Directors’, TM Pearl Fernandes and DTM Natasha Rajasheaker to acknowledge the presence of the district leaders, division and area directors with mementos. The conference chair TM Adithya spoke to the gathering and welcomed everyone to learn network and have fun.

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Division Director, TM Pearl then addressed the audience. “What is passion? What drives our passions? What is it that makes us want something to be a part of us forever?” …with these words TM Pearl proceeded to show how our toastmasters journey must be fueled with passion if it must be fruitful. She also invited each one of us to interact and make at least five new friends by the end of the day.

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The MC’s then introduced our very own veteran leader, the pride of district 92, International Director for Region 13, DTM Nagaraja Rao. With his composed and gentle demeanor, DTM Rao took to the stage and thanked everyone for the support and votes that led to earn this prestigious position. He gave us an insight into the international committee’s responsibilities and how they work towards developing the international fraternity in a strategic perspective.

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What followed was certainly the zest of the meet, an educational session by TM Saveen Hegde. This session titled “Conquests at Contests”, entailed both realizations and revelations. TM Saveen shared a few of his personal experiences to illustrate how we can conquer our fears. He reminded us that what we learn and profess at toastmasters must continue outside in the real world. Toastmasters must be a place for us to experiment and the world outside, a place to implement. He ended on a beautiful note saying, “What you say and what you show should always match. That’s when you will leave an impact”.

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The MC’s then invited the District Director, TM Gauri Sheshadri to address the gathering. TM Gauri spoke from the pages of her recent trip to Spain and said, when Christopher Columbus wanted to set sail around the world, nobody was willing to fund his exploits. When everybody believed that he would never succeed it was Queen Isabelle who finally took the leap of faith and sponsored Columbus’ travels saying ‘What if…he is right?’. TM Gauri told us that there is a Columbus hidden inside each one of us. All we need to do is reach out and somebody will see the potential hidden inside us and decide to fund our conquest towards becoming better speakers and leaders.

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The effervescent District Public Relations Manager, TM Geetha Prasanna took to the stage to introduce the culmination of all semi-annual division conferences – JAMBOREE 2015, the district semi-annual meet which is to happen at Mangalore on the 21st and 22nd of November. TM Geetha invited each one of us to be there and cheer for our division champs.

The MC’s then instructed us that they would be proceeding with the division C contests in the 4th floor of the building, while the division D contests will proceed at the current venue.

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At each of the venues, we had the District Program Quality Director, DTM Arjun Raj Urs and District Club Growth Director, TM Pawas Chandra address the gathering.

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The district PQD urged us to keep moving forward with our goals in toastmasters. He reinforced the value of completing the CC and AC manuals as they add to each one’s self-development. The district CGD stressed on membership retention and winning the Nonagon award. He gave a message to the audience that it is certainly important to give a second chance to others, but it is all the more important that we give a second chance to ourselves as well.

In between the two contests the division directors organized a game ‘Queen of Sheba’ to foster networking and making new friends. The audience were split in groups and were given a list of items they were to find for the queen. The excitement and rush to find the strangest of things on the list from an extinct 25 paise coin to a torn sock brought us all together.

Division D Contests

 

TM Santosh, continued as the MC for the contests. He handed over the stage to the contest master TM Harish Kaushik for the evaluation contest. The chief judge for the contest was TM Gauri Seshadri. After laying out the contest rules and receiving the nod of approval from the chief judge, the contest master introduced the test speaker TM Sreelekha Premji. Her speech was titled “Warriors”.

TM Sreelekha woke the warriors within us with examples of three seemingly ordinary women who were extra-ordinary warriors in their own lives. Her speech opened us to the often ignored fact that each one of us is a warrior in our own ways.

Her speech was followed by five minutes’ silence while the seven contestants mustered their best abilities and scribbled notes to evaluate the brilliant test speech.

The contestants of division D evaluation contest were:

  1. TM Mani Padagalingam
  2. TM Sanjay Hassa
  3. TM Jayachandran Narayan
  4. TM Varun Nagaliya
  5. TM Dipak Mali
  6. TM Geeth Rathi
  7. TM Anek Singh

One after the other, the contestants took to the stage and provided TM Sreelekha their appreciations for her speech. Where each one unanimously commended her usage of the three exemplary women warriors to make a memorable impact, each one provided the test speaker with a few valuable insights on how she could hone her speech and make it better.

With the end of the evaluation speech contest, a 15 minutes refreshing break followed. Snacks, brownies coupled with coffee and tea served as a good starter for conversations and networking. The break was followed by DTM Natasha’s ingenious idea to bond us better with her game – Queen of Sheba.

The MC called upon the contest master for the humorous speech contest, TM Prachi Doshi. The Contest Chair furnished the rules of the contest and its purpose. With the approval of the chief judge the laughter-bug was let lose.

The first contestant TM Anek Singh set the foundation for a mirthful ride with his speech “The Big Decision”. With his own marriage as an example, he described how a woman marries with a hope that the man would change, while the man marries in the hope that the woman would never change!

The second contestant, set the bar high with his speech “I Love Your Body”. TM Jayachandran Narayan walked us through his online hunt for a wife. After 3 years he eventually discovered an exotic Malaysian with deep interest in him with whom he tied the knot.

TM Abdul was our third contestant with his speech titled “Why?”. His principal advised him to often ask the question ‘why?’. He began to apply the ‘why’ to every aspect of his life; right from – “Go make the bed” to “Complete this task by tomorrow”!

TM Mayandi took us back to our college days with his speech titled “LIC – Life in College”. With a speech each one could relate to, he brought out the importance of late Abdul Kalam’s quote, “Sometimes it is better to bunk a class and enjoy with friends, because today when I look back, marks never made me laugh but memories do”.

TM Nishant Suri knocked us out with his sarcasm and his speech titled, “Driving in Bangalore 101”. He said that what we learn at the driving school, and what we finally do, do not match! He trained us with the real driving guidelines – Driving 101, which entailed how to use the footpath to your benefit, the principles of effectively using gaps between vehicles and much more.

The sixth contestant chose another mode of transport to speak about – our very own Indian Railways. TM Anjali M with her speech titled “Winners Never Quit” had us captivated with humor on our very own IRCTC.com, which is undoubtedly a state-of-the-art, patience-testing website! Sharing her personal tatkal ticket-booking experience, she enlightened how IRCTC tatkal booking is the one sole entity with the power to transform an atheist to a believer.

TM Prem Chander explained to us how general people seem to feel that they have a better idea of what you should do and what you should not; what is right about you and what is not! His speech titled “Don’t live and don’t let others live!” sums up a conventional attitude where people generally feel entitled to put their foot into everyone’s business.

The final contestant TM Giriraj worked up an interesting speech “Midnight Masala”. He described his adventures as a night-time employer to a doctor in a place where he did not know the local language. His embarrassingly hilarious dealings with the patients and their dilemmas coupled with the misinterpretations of his broken-language had us all laughing till the end.

The humorous speech contest of division D wrapped up with the contest master handing out the participation certificates to all the contestants.

Division C Contests

 

TM Supriya Awasthy was the MC for the division C contests that took place in the 4th floor of the building. She introduced the contest master for the evaluation speech contest, TM Sahana V P.

The chief judge for the contest was DTM Suhas Kumar. After a quick brief of the contests’ purpose and rules, TM Sahana introduced the test speaker, TM Nikita Menon. Her speech was titled “We are our choices”.

She spoke about how important our choices are and how our choices determine who we become. She stressed on her idea by illustrating examples like the conversation between Alice and Cheshire cat, between Professor Dumbledore and Harry Potter regarding his destiny.

After the test speech, five minutes of silence was observed for contestants to note down their evaluations.

The contestants of the division C evaluation contest were:

  1. Kartik Subramanium
  2. Amulya Kulkarni
  3. Harsh Kumar
  4. Mayokun Aduwo
  5. Appu Geetha Byju
  6. Gauraav Thakur
  7. Ajay K

One after the other the contestants took to the stage and provided TM Nikita valuable inputs on how she can take her speech to the next level and create a lasting impact.

After the completion of the evaluation contest, was a short break of 15 minutes. While we relished on the snacks and beverages, we also engaged in some chit-chats with other toastmaster comrades. After which, TM Supriya and TM Pearl conducted the exciting ‘Queen of Sheba’ game. After this, it was time for the much awaited humorous speech contest.

The MC introduced the contest master for the humorous speech contest TM Anju Sarah Jacob. TM Anju takes us through the purpose and rules of the contest after which the contest commenced.

The first contestant was TM Ajay K. With his speech titled “It Can Wait” he explained how is a master-procrastinator. He believes that everything in life can wait.

TM Priyanka Rao had an unusual speech title – “OLA and Priyanka – A Love Story”. She explained that on her first day at work her husband refused to drop her and the rickshaw drivers of our city weren’t being any merciful. It was then that she discovered the Ola app on her phone and how the Ola auto rickshaw service was her savior that day. Thus began her love story with Ola.

 TM Krishna Mohan in his speech titled “The Biggest Oxymoron” told us that like a good toastmaster he would provide valuable feedback to his wife after every fight. So his wife decides, remove a thorn with a thorn and tackle a toastmaster as a toastmaster. And hence she not only secretly decided to join toastmasters but also decided to compete in the humorous speech contest.

TM Arvind Kashyap in his speech titled “Blessed” says that he feels truly blessed to have a petite frame. He says he never has to wait in queues as he can easily slighter his way through the crowd and can even shop in the kids’ section.

TM Kevin Gonsalves in his speech titled “Stop! It’s the Red Light” said that he is now a victim of the ‘Toastmasters Effect’. He claps when his teacher walks inside the class, starts his academic presentations with “Mister toastmaster, fellow toastmasters and guests” and has also started evaluating his mom’s cooking.

TM Samrudhi Singhi with her speech titled “Creme de la Creme” speaks about her conquests for the idea career but soon realizes that every career has its pros and cons. You simply need to enjoy what you do and strive to be the best at it.

TM Adarsh D in his speech titled “The Two Mistakes of my Life” said that everyone learns something from the mistakes he makes. But he has not learnt anything from the two biggest mistakes he has committed in life.

The final contestant TM Shashikant Bhat in his speech titled “What Rajni Can’t, Shashi Can” spoke about how he quit his job to start a company of his own. He ends on a note that what Rajni can’t do, he can. And what he can’t do, maybe somebody else can.

After the end of the humorous speech contest the MC directed us to move back to the fifth floor for the final part of the show, the results.

The Results

After the conclusion of the contests of both divisions, we gathered back in the fifth floor hall for the results. With this reunion and a bit more networking adding to the spice, MC’s TM Santosh & TM Supriya had the audience settled for the upcoming part of show – the results!

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They called on stage DTM Natasha Rajasheaker who addressed the audience reminiscing the rush and flurry of conference planning activities over the last month that blew through their lives. She warmly thanked the gathering for having joined them in this celebration of togetherness I spite of it being the festive season.

MC Santosh called upon stage the Division Directors of C & D, TM Pearl Fernandes and DTM Natasha, to announce three ethnic awards specially planned for the ocassion.

The awards and the winners were

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Best Corporate Club in Ethnic Wear (Division C) : NB Toastmasters

Best Corporate Club in Ethnic Wear (Division D) : TCS Maitree Bangalore Toastmasters

Best Community Club in Ethnic Wear (Divisions C & D): Deejays Toastmasters (Div. C)

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Thereafter, the Division Directors handed out mementos acknowledging to all role-takers for their cooperation and effort put into the smooth-sailing of the conference.

TM Shuvo Jyotikar took the stage to deliver the vote of thanks. The MC’s then invited the chief judges of both the division contests, TM Gauri Seshadri and DTM Suhas Kumar to do the honors and announce the results.

The Results of the Division C and D humorous speech and evaluation contests are as follows:

Division C Evaluation Contest

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Winner – TM Mayokun Aduwo

1st Runner up – TM Appu Geetha Byju

2nd Runner up – TM Amulya Kulkarni

Division C Humorous Speech Contest

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Winner – TM Arvind Kashyap

1st Runner up – TM Kevin Gonsalves

2nd Runner up – TM Priyanka Rao

Division D Evaluation Contest

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Winner – TM Geeth Rathi

1st Runner up – TM Jayachandran Narayan

2nd Runner up – TM Sanjay Hassa

Division D – Humorous Speech Contest

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Winner – TM Jayachandran Narayan

1st Runner up – TM Mayandi

2nd Runner up – TM Anjali M.

Division C & Division D met to celebrated life, togetherness and the brotherhood we share through toastmasters, finally offering a set of promising winners adding to the strong line-up. This was the second in the series of division conferences and we now await the next.

Stay with us, as we keep bringing you all the excitement from all across district 92.

Written by – Rachana Gupta and Vivek Nagaraj

SCINTILLA 2015 – Division A & B Semi-Annual Conference

“Competition Makes Us Faster; Collaboration Makes Us Better”

District 92 has begun its series of the semi-annual conferences last Sunday, the 11th of October. Division A and B decided to bring people together with a purpose of learning and growing in the best way they can, with the intention of using all their wisdom combined. And certainly, what an unfeigned conference SCINTILLA 2015 turned out to be!

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By 1PM toastmasters from both the divisions gathered at the Hotel Royal Orchid, Bangalore. The preparations entailed were immense and intense; and it was very well visible in the calm and glistening faces of the organizers who warmly welcomed as we stepped in.

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The sergeant at arms, TM Syed Ameen set the tone for the conference and made the customary announcements to ensure smooth-sailing of the conference. He welcomed on stage the MC for the first half of the event, TM Amith Bahirat who with his natural flare captured the audience’s attention and got the ball rolling.

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He welcomed the Division A director, DTM Chandramouli Godhandaraman on stage to give a floral welcome all the district leaders, division and area directors present.

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DTM Chandramouli then addressed the gathering and expressed how important contests are, especially for us toastmasters and why we should always compete with a clear aim in mind – to win.

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The conference chair, TM Mayokun Aduwo then took to the stage. With her magnetic aura she certainly enthralled the audience with her message. She said that we are all winners in our own rights, but it’s important that we push ourselves to be better. And there’s no better way to do so than to compete in contests.

The chief judge for the day was TM Vignesh Selvam and the contest chair was TM Uma Sundari.

The MC then set the tone for the evaluation contest and reminded us that the goal of evaluation was to motivate. He then introduced the contest master for the division B evaluation contest, TM Ranjani Ranganathan.

Division B – Evaluation Speech Contest:

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TM Ranjani took to the stage and after briefing the audience on the purpose and the rules of the contest welcomed the test speaker, TM Roshni Balaji. With a brilliant speech titled ‘A Thousand Pebbles’, TM Roshni stirred a thought in everyone’s minds that the quality of our life is determined by the quality of relationships we build with our loved ones. She reminded us that, the people around us are far more important than work, money and other worldly aspirations that we spend most of our time chasing.

It was clear, that the stakes were set high and the evaluation contestants had an arduous challenge in front of them. The contestants were given five minutes to prepare their evaluation and then all the contestants except the first were escorted outside the room. The doors were secured and another minute was given before the first contestant stepped on stage and delivered his evaluation of the test speech.

The contestants of the division B evaluation contest were:

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  1. TM Rohan Mathew
  2. TM Sheetal Bahirat
  3. TM Vindhya Urs
  4. TM Prasanna K Sabat
  5. TM Kavya Gowda
  6. TM Nikhil Rao
  7. TM Sudarshan Narayan
  8. TM Mathew Varghese

Each of the contestants took to the stage in the above order and while they thoroughly appreciated the speaker, each of them also gave valuable inputs on how she could take her speech to the next level.

After the last contestant had delivered his evaluation the contest master handed over the stage to the MC, who then invited the district director, TM Gauri Seshadri on stage.

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The district director spoke to the gathering and mentioned the uncanny coincidence of how that day was ‘The ABs’ (Amitabh Bachchan’s) birthday and that division A & B happened to pick the same day for their combined semi-annual conference. She reminded everyone that one time success isn’t of much value. What’s important is that we ensure consistent growth. She invited the clubs who had achieved the golden gavel and golden gavel plus awards during the last term to continue their streak of success.

Division A – Humorous Speech Contest:

 

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The MC then proceeded to the next contest for the day, and invited on stage the contest master for the division A humorous speech contest TM Hema Ganapathy. After announcing the purpose and the rules of the humorous speech contest, TM Hema kick started the humorous speech contest.

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The first contestant TM Piyush Agarwal seemed to have a plan in mind which he believes will sort out the long disputed tiff between India and Pakistan over the ownership of Kashmir. With his hilarious speech titled “Line of Control”, TM Piyush told us that he would one day like to put his plan in action if he were to become the prime minister of our country.

The second contestant, TM Sachin Subhas had quite an intriguing thought to share with his speech titled “Human Gas”. He spoke about the nitrogenous gaseous dispose of the human body, its varieties, ill effects and suggested an unusual solution to them as well.

TM Kishore K V M with his speech titled “Karma” shared an insightful incident in his life. The sudden announcement of his wife’s pregnancy three months after marriage causes him to question his abilities as a father and the unexpected twists and turns that followed thereafter made everyone laugh their guts out.

TM Sridhar Ranganathan shared his experience of attempting to run a marathon and the awfully funny challenges he had to face in the process with his speech titled the “The 42K Run”. TM Sridhar does not lose hope and finally manages to accomplish his target.

TM Monindra Das lead us through his arranged marriage experience as he never managed to sum up the courage to ask a girl out through his speech titled “The Story of the Romantically Challenged Boy”.

On the contrary, TM Raghunandan Srinivas with his speech titled “Chasing Street Dogs” explained how he pursued a pretty girl 25 Kgs ago, and managed to win her heart. He said that street dogs that chase cars may never be able to catch one, but a guy who chases a girl does so only till she finally catches him.

TM Saikat Dutta in his speech titled “The Untouched Power” said that ignorance is indeed bliss and that one should make the most of this superpower we have at our disposal.

The final contestant TM Chandra Mouli explained how people always rejected him and called him ‘challenged’. But in spite of all the hurdles, came out strong at the end with his speech titled “The Challenge”.

Following this laughter riot, the district public relations manager, TM Geetha Prasanna took to the stage. She played a video depicting the scenic beauty of Mangaluru and invited everyone to attend the district’s semi-annual conference, Jamboree ‘15 to be hosted by the beautiful coastal city on November 21st & 22nd.

We then adjourned to feast ourselves to a sumptuous buffet of snacks, coffee and tea. Replenished by the delicious spread, chit-chats and networking, we gathered back to continue with the next half of the conference.

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TM Ashutosh Srivastava with his calm and confident demeanor made the perfect host for the second half. He invited the district Program Quality Director, DTM Arjun Raj Urs to address the gathering.

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DTM Arjun stressed on the importance of the competent communicator and the advanced communicator manuals and said that they serve as the backbone of the toastmasters movement in making us better speakers and better individuals. He also said that in today’s world, building strong leaders was the need of the hour and that is exactly what toastmasters do.

The MC then handed over the stage to TM Ravi, the contest master for the division A evaluation speech contest.

Division A – Evaluation Speech Contest:

After the customary announcements of the contest purpose, rules and getting a thumbs-up from the chief judge TM Vignesh, the contest master introduced the test speaker TM Nischal Shetty.

With his speech titled “One More Round”, TM Nischal beautifully encapsulated his message of how various people and instances in his life have pushed him to always run a second round and never give up. But more importantly, to always strive hard to be better during that second round.

The five minutes of silence that followed thereafter must have been daunting to the eight contestants who were getting set to evaluate a superb speech.

The contestants of the division A evaluation speech contest were:

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  1. TM Chandra Mouli
  2. TM Amith Prakash
  3. TM Ramya Vasudevan
  4. TM Flexon Fernandes
  5. TM Swapna Balasubramanian
  6. TM Ganesh Iyer
  7. TM Sridhar Ranganathan
  8. TM Dirish Mohan

The contestants took to the stage and gave their evaluation of the test speech. They provided TM Nischal with thoughtful insights on how his already well crafted speech could be made memorable. They all appreciated the thought provoking message that he had to share.

After the completion of the evaluation speech contest the conference chair TM Mayo took to the stage. She explained that there had been a slight problem and that the venue was no longer available. But then hey! minor glitches like these are inevitable during huge events, right? What makes a good leader is his/her ability to come up with a plan B to get things sorted. And that was exactly what TM Mayo did. She asked us to quickly move to the new venue that was set up at the dining hall. As we all rushed to the new venue, we saw toastmasters help each other, transferring logistics and equipment to the new venue. They made sure no time was misspent.

Once we got ourselves settled, the MC introduced the contest master for the division B humorous speech contest, TM Hema.

Division B – Humorous Speech Contest:

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The contest master, TM Hema encouraged the audience to cheer for the contestants their maximum best, just the way they did all evening. After ensuring that all contest formalities were met, she proceeded to the introduce the first contestant and begin the laughter marathon.

The first contestant set the bar high for everyone that followed with his speech titled “Appearance Vs Character”. TM Prasad B wanted the audience to drive home a point – never judge a book by its cover. Character must be the only basis to judge a person.

TM Ravindranath with his speech titled “Shining Star” thoroughly entertained the audience. He said that his shining bald head has always made him the center of attention.

With her hilarious speech titled “Women and Multitasking”, TM Vindhya Urs explained that even though women are supposed to be excellent multi-taskers she prefers to take things one at a time.

TM Santosh Paul is among the lucky few men who is loved not by one woman, but by four. His wife and three lovely daughters. In his speech titled “Habitual Father” TM Santosh explained how being a father to three girls has been an eternal bliss.

TM Parikshith V is a firm believer of the ‘start-up’ culture and said that he wants to start something on his own merit making use of his vital skills. In his speech “My Career Golmal”, TM Parikshith said that the ultimate solution to all his career problems would be to become a baba (a God-man) who offers solutions to everyone’s career needs.

TM Mathew Varghese not only entertained but also inspired the audience to stop using products made of animal skin with his speech titled “From This Moment”.

With that, we had reached the end of the contests for the day.

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The MC invited the division directors, TM Arjun Sundar Raj and TM Chandramouli Godhandaraman on stage to felicitate the lady who had so very well planned, managed and executed the entire show, the conference chair TM Mayokun Aduwo.

And finally, it was time for the results. The chief judge, TM Vignesh Selvam took to the stage and invited the district leaders to give away the awards. Here are the results of the contests.

Division A – Evaluation Speech Contest :

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Winner – TM Sridhar Ranganathan

1st Runner up – TM Dirish Mohan

2nd Runner up – TM Ganesh Iyer

Division A – Humorous Speech Contest :

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Winner – TM Kishore KVM

1st Runner up – TM Sridhar Ranganathan

2nd Runner up – TM Raghunandan Srinivas

Division B – Evaluation Speech Contest :

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Winner – TM Kavya Gowda

1st Runner up – TM Mathew Varghese

2nd Runner up – TM Nikhil Rao

Division B – Humorous Speech Contest :

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Winner – TM Prasad B

1st Runner up – TM Parikshith V

2nd Runner up – TM Ravindranath

Two divisions, four contests and four amazing winners who will now represent their divisions; all of this in just one conference. There couldn’t have been a better way for toastmasters across two divisions to come together, interact and learn.

All’s well that ends well. SCINTILLA 2015 came to a successful end but this was just the beginning to a series of exciting and insightful division conferences to follow in the weeks to come.

Written by – Rachana Gupta & Flexon Fernandes

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