The Colombo Toastmasters Club, along with chief sponsor Bartleet Group, announced AIBS 2012 (All Island Best Speaker 2012) – the pinnacle English language public speaking contest in Sri Lanka which is being held for the 23rd time. A brand new feature this year is that only Non-Toastmasters can take part in the contest:
Toastmasters – both past and present – are not eligible to take part in this year’s contest. The participation form or registration coupon is published in Wijeya English newspapers: Sunday Times, Daily Mirror, and Daily FT.
The Colombo Toastmasters Club President Toastmaster Hussain Moosajee commented, “This year we decided to restrict this contest to non-Toastmasters. We believe that Toastmasters have many opportunities to compete at different speech contests within the Toastmasters movement. For example, there are prepared, impromptu, humour and even evaluation speech contests for Toastmasters, whereas such opportunities do not exist for non-Toastmasters. Therefore, we felt that our flagship community outreach project AIBS should cater only to non-Toastmasters.”
Members of the community derive many benefits by participating in speech contests of this nature. Taking part in speech contests is the fast track to become an effective speaker or presenter. However, the most critical benefit of participation is the development of self-confidence which is a critical ingredient if one is to be successful in life. A self-confident person is a success wherever he or she is: at the work place, at home, in the community, or wherever.
Any non-Toastmaster who is a citizen of Sri Lanka and is above the age of 18 can apply to take part in AIBS. The entry coupon appears in newspapers of the AIBS print media sponsor: Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. So contestants can obtain the coupon from Daily Mirror, DailyFT, or Sunday Times. If they wish to submit an electronic application, they can request a form from email@example.com. The closing date for applications is 9 May. Hard copy entries can be mailed to 23A Sulaiman Terrace, Colombo 5. Soft copy entries (scanned entries) can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Contestants are advised to keep the following dates free for the orientation program, preliminary, semi final and final contests: 13 May, 20 May, 3 June, and 10 June.
The grand finale of AIBS 2012 will take place at 5p.m. on Sunday 10 June at the Grand Ball Room of Galadari Hotel, Colombo.
AIBS began its journey in 1989, with Mohamed Adamally winning the inaugural contest. And right throughout its journey, AIBS has received the unstinted support of the Bartleet Group. In its formative years, AIBS had former Bartleet Chairman – the late Mallory Wijesinghe – as its pillar of strength. That tradition has continued with the current Bartleet Chairman Eraj Wijesinghe (son of late Mallory Wijesinghe) and Eshanth Wijesinghe (Bartleet Director) who have taken on the mantle of support from their illustrious forebear. Bartleet Group has sponsored AIBS throughout its 23 years of existence.
The Colombo Toastmasters Club was formed in 1983 and is the first Toastmasters Club not only in Sri Lanka but in the entire South Asian region – including India and Pakistan. Apart from AIBS, The CTC also organises the ‘Champion Junior Speaker’ – a contest for young children between the ages of 12 and 18 years. The grand finale of this contest was held on 3rd March 2012 at HNB Towers.
The Colombo Toastmasters Club is also proud to conduct the unique Speech Craft Program: a 10 week training workshop conducted for employees of the corporate sector to develop their self confidence by honing their public speaking and leadership skills.
The Colombo Toastmasters Club, in turn, is affiliated to Toastmasters International, Inc., USA (TI). Toastmasters International or TI is the world’s largest organisation dedicated to teaching oral communication and leadership skills to its members. Started in 1924 by the American Dr. Ralph C. Smedley, TI is now present in most countries across the world. In Sri Lanka, the Toastmasters movement has grown from one club in the year 2000 to more than seventy clubs today. This is a phenomenal growth rate for a decade, and indicates the value placed on the Toastmasters experience by Sri Lankan citizens.