The Toastmasters District 82 Semi Annual Conference – Reverberations 2011 concluded with a high note on Sunday, 27th of November. Held at Ocean Pearl Hotel Mangalore, the two day conference took off to a flying start with a colourful inauguration ceremony on Saturday, 26th November morning under the auspices of the District Governor Distinguished Toastmaster M Z Saleem.
The function began with a ceremonial march of the dignitaries with the flags of India and Sri Lanka and a traditional pooja dance invoking blessing on the event. The conference chairman M N Pai formally welcomed the gathering and the District trio – District Governor M Z Saleem; Lieutenant Governor Education and Training, Distinguished Toastmaster Nina John; and the Lieutenant Governor Marketing Distinguished Toastmaster Nirmala Lily inaugurated the conference in a traditional manner by pouring paddy into a wooden cask to the shrill sounds of clarions and drum beats.
DTM M Z Saleem, DTM Nina john; DTM Nirmala Lily and the Immediate Past District Governor DTM Nagaraja Rao also addressed the gathering. The District 82 achieved the world’s best District for the fourth year in a row by Toastmasters International and the past district officers who contributed towards the district’s success were also recognized and felicitated at the event.
The semi-annual conference is one of the most awaited events in the Toastmasters’ district calendar. The 2011conference brought together 287 delegates representing 170-plus clubs of Toastmasters District 82 in South India and Sri Lanka, including 82 delegates from Sri Lanka. Hosted by Division I, this year’s conference was aptly themed “Time to Dazzle” reflecting on the impressive lineup of educational sessions, the much awaited District level evaluations and humorous speech contest; and the camaraderie.
The conference presented the participants with a lineup of inspiring educational sessions by leaders from India and Sri Lanka. A highlight of the conference was the presence of Ed Tate from Colorado, USA, - the world champion of public speaking in the year 2000, the Keynote Speaker at the conference. Ed Tate also released an E-Souvenir of the conference. This was followed by the District Evaluation Contest and two educational sessions: ‘How to Sell Toastmaster’ by Rajan Parulekar, a renowned marketing expert and author of ‘Contextual Selling: A New Sales Paradigm for the 21st century’ and ‘Art of Evaluation in Real Life’ by Kathivaran Pethi, who was a Guinness World Record-holder for the longest lesson learned.
The first day of the conference concluded with a fun night which featured several cultural entertainment acts and performances by toastmasters of both India and Sri Lanka.
The second day of the conference was given an invigorating commencement by the District 82 contestant at the 2011 world championship of public speaking and Toastmasters International Hall of Fame inductee, Dananjaya Hettiarachchi.
The much awaited evaluation and humorous speech contest featured 18 contestants Rajashekhar M. of Division ‘B’ emerged as the winner of Humorous Speech Contest while Mathew Jacob of Division ‘K’ and Dayan Fernando of Division ‘A’ securing the second and the third places respectively. Rajdeep Manwani of Division ‘L’ was the winner of the Evaluation Contest and where Roshanta Jayatunge of Division ‘J’ and Lekh E.M. of Division ‘E’ became the first and the second runners up respectively.
Toastmasters International is a global organization devoted to developing communication and leadership skills among the members. Founded by Ralph Smedley in 1924, it is spread over 90 countries and has over 250,000 members. Toastmasters clubs in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Sri Lanka come under the purview of District 82.