The First Toastmasters Club of Qatar
Winners of Doha Toastmaster Club International Speech Contest

Doha Toastmasters Club recently conducted the Speech Evaluation and International Speech Contest. Here a few thoughts shared by Senior Toastmaster and Contest Chair Satish Tonse Rao on the contest —-

Doha Toastmasters Club, the premier Toastmasters Club in Doha does boast of many accomplished Toastmasters who have won lots of accolades in speech contests. Therefore, any speech contest of Doha Toastmasters Club does look like a match of titans and is definitely a thing to look forward to – almost akin to the Super Bowl or the final match of IPL!

Speech contests at Doha Toastmasters Club is all about meticulous preparation and hard work. While some people will come back with trophies and some with certificates, everyone will come back with memories and impressions that propel them towards being a better public speaker.

International Speech contest is a true celebration of the ‘Gift of the gab’ i.e., the ability to speak with eloquence and fluency! It was my good fortune to Chair the contest in International Speech of Doha Toastmasters Club held in the evening of Saturday, 4th February 2017 at the Topaz Hall of Holiday Villa. There were twelve contestants (one full dozen)!

Look at the speech topics! TM Anil Nair, in No. 1 slot of the contest, selected the topic “No matter what, I will be there for you” which dealt with subject of love and commitment and struck an emotional chord with the audience. DTM Manzoor Moideen spoke about masks which people wear in his speech titled “The Invisible You” and made good use of the prop and also shared his personal experiences!

Speaker who came thereafter, TM Nisamudheen SA spoke on “Invisible Fences” which dealt with mental barriers hindering progress and ways to overcome those barriers. The fourth slot in the speaking order was taken up by TM Sunil Kumar Menon whose speech topic was “Be the Ambassador” and it was all about smile -defining smile in a unique way and also urging us to be ambassadors with a smile!

Fifth Speaker was TM Aden Abdi with speech topic “Beware of Invisible Friends”, incidentally this being the third time the word “Invisible” making appearance in the contest! It was all about finding out as to who are our real friends, especially in a crisis! Thereafter, MTM NilouferSamal spoke on the topic “Chose it well” and conveyed the message with good use of the props and real life examples!

Seventh speaker was DTM Mehboob Srivastava with topic “What do you want” which contained a message and advice on exercising one’s choice and pursuing one’s passion. TM Afjal Ahamad was the next one with speech topic “Set the prisoner free” which dealt with frustrations and feeling of revenge making us prisoners of our emotions and dealt with ways to see reason and overcome those feelings, particularly frustrations.

TM Deepak Shivankar spoke on “Classic Dilemma” which had message on achieving fulfilment and that’s by sharing wealth. MTM Rangamani Ravi delivered her trademark energetic speech which was titled “Drive, survive and thrive” which mainly on her life experiences from which she was able to learn and then thrive!

Eleventh Speaker TM Mustafa Ali Syed spoke on “There is always a next time” assuring the audience is nothing is lost if one does not achieve his aim in the first attempt because there is always the next time!

TM Chandrashekhar Dudhe’s speech was the last one and perhaps the most liked one due to its humorous content! He spoke on “My Excom experience” which had many humorous incidents – all related to his joining of Toastamsters and taking up the position of VP – Membership of Doha Toastmaters Club.

At the end of these speeches, I had an opportunity to interview the contestants and, I must say that the answers I got for my questions were very apt and also interesting!

This brings the issue: what are the essential ingredients for winning International Speech Contest? In my view, there are just three things: First and foremost is content: The audience should easily relate themselves to the topic and get inspired to act on the message. The second essential ingredient is the practicing the speech which should cover all aspects of diction, use of pauses, body language etc. Then comes the third aspect (and most important one) which is delivery of the speech with right amount of voice modulation, eye contact and use of propos where required.

Incidentally, the winners of International Speech contest were as follows: 1st Place: TM Afajal Ahmad, 2nd Place: TM Manzoor Moideen and 3rd Place: TM Nisamudheeen SA.

But, as said earlier, we all came out enriched at the end of the competition and hence we all were winners!