CYBERJAYA: The first ever Toastmasters District 102, Division H Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest was held at Tech Mahindra, Persiaran APC on the 23rd of October. The event officially commenced, after the serving of refreshments, at 1.30PM and ended at 5.30PM with a group photography session.
The contest was divided into two sessions – Humorous Speech and Evaluation.
During the former, contestants were required to provide the audience and the panel of judges with respective humorous speeches of each not exceeding 7 minutes. In the Evaluation session, each contestant had to analyse and critically evaluate a speech from the test speaker with a 3-minute speech.
The contest was for members of Toastmasters Clubs (TMC) within Division H. Toastmasters is an international network of clubs that promote public speaking abilities and leadership skills amongst members.
During the Humorous Speech session, contestants attempted their best performances with dramatic gestures and vocal variety.
The session started off with Wan Farisan who hilariously illustrated how the 3Cs (Card, Credit Card and Car) and 3Ss (Smartphone, Smart Dress and Smart Talk) aided in his romantic confessions to ladies.
Shortly after, the representative of UNMC Toastmasters Club, Dinesh Jayabalan skilfully expressed his resentment at being a bachelor. In his speech, Dinesh unravelled a stigma –
If I join clubbing in pursuit of ladies, people will doubt my ‘Indianity’; if I stay at home and remain a bachelor, people will question my ‘Sexuality’!
The fifth contestant, Soosai Selvanathan performed his speech ‘Oh, my Toilet!’ eloquently. In his speech, he not only brought up satirising statistics – ‘75% of American dropped their phones into the toilet’ – , but also stressed the importance of everyone being held accountable for the cleanliness of toilets.
In the Humorous Speech session, Soosai came on top, while Dinesh attained the runner-up spot. Nickalas Manuel Pillay claimed the third place with his speech about ‘Mind Your Own Business.’
Toastmaster Victor Ong performed ‘Treasure the Moment’ with three of his life stories during the Evaluation session. Victor shared his experiences ‘stealing food in a supermarket’, ‘spoiling a woman’s night gown with soda’ and ‘flicking a baby chair with a baby in it at KFC’. Valuable moral values were offered during the speech, as the test speaker said –
Our life is a journey, not a destination.
After five minutes of preparation, contestants were ready to share their respective observations. The contestants were critical and thorough in their evaluations, with compliments and friendly suggestions being offered to Toastmaster Victor Ong.
Overall, the contestants justified themselves to be competent and professional in their analytical speeches as the majority of them lauded Mr. Victor for his confidence, the use of suspense and his title’s relatability. In their suggestions for Mr. Victor, criticality was also witnessed as criticism encompassing improvable transitions, intonation and vocal variety was provided.
Dinesh, in particular, was confident and critical in his evaluation. While many complimented the test speaker for having a good vocal variety, Dinesh criticised Victor Ong’s vocal variety for being monotonous and lacking dramatisation.
With an outstanding criticality and evident eloquence, Dinesh became the only contestant to win trophies in both categories, by claiming the top spot in the Evaluation session. Cheryl Ong and Wan Farisan claimed the 2nd and the 3rd places respectively.
After the award ceremony, a closing speech was given by Division H Director, Mr. Fikrul Hadiy as the event officially came to an end.
Both winners, Dinesh Jayabalan and Soosai Selvanathan will represent Division H in the District 102 1st Semi-Annual Conference 2016/2017, which will be held on the 13th of November later this year at Holiday Villa, Johor Bahru.
By Teoh Sing Fei
Photographs by Kevin Teh (external photographer)