By Abu Chulliyode
JEDDAH — As part of the Toastmaster tradition to motivate its members to bring out their speaking skills to the fore, Abdul Latif Jameel Talkmasters Club conducted its annual contest on Dec. 24 at Village Restaurant in Jeddah.
The contest stood out for its meticulous planning and foolproof arrangements.
District 79 leader DTM Joey Villanueva in his inspirational message urged members to remain steadfast in Toastmasters activities as Western Saudi Arabia is going to have its own distinct district soon.
«By having a separate district for the Western Region, we will be having an opportunity to send our own district champion to compete in the international arena. “I wish one day we will have a world champion of public speaking from Abdul Latif Jameel Talkmasters Club,” Villanueva said.
He commended the contributions of the club to date and praised the role being played by its members.
The limelight of the contest was the International Speech category in which Lais Chalithodi bagged the first prize.
Chalithodi displayed his speaking skills incorporating the ingredients of a good speech and gave some tips and techniques to conquer stage fright.
Thameem Ansar exhibited his speaking prowess that earned him the first place in three categories: Humorous Speech, Evaluation Speech and Table Topics.
Ansar also won second place in the International Speech Contest. Ansar stole attention by demonstrating his body language in line with his words.
Taher Afsal Subhan got third place in the International Speech segment.
Farook Hidayathulla was the contest master.
Club President Abu Kunnathadathil chaired the function. In his address, Kunnathadathil expressed his gratitude to his predecessors and club members for making the contest a great success. He extolled the efforts of the contest chair Ken Kusunoki.
“Competition is the best way to rapidly improve your communication skills regardless of your speaking skills,” said Kunnathadathil.
Area 7 Director Basheer Ambalavan addressed the audience. In his motivational message, he emphasized that everyone is a winner. “Courage to take part in the contest is the first step toward victory,” he added.
The event was ably anchored by Rizwan Shaikh, who kept the audience connected by weaving together success stories of world’s famous leaders and eminent personalities.
Humorous speech segment was led by Mohammed Sameer. The lone contender Thameem Ansar delivered his speech with great zeal and exuberance cobbled with funny jokes that generated laughter from the audience.
The topics for the Table Topics speech contest was prepared in congruence with the theme “Unleash Your Leadership.” The Table Topics contest equips participants to think on their feet and present their views logically in an impromptu setting.
The first contestant will get the privilege to choose one of the sealed envelopes containing the question and the remaining envelopes will be torn apart immediately in front of the audience as the unveiled question will remain unchanged for the rest of the contestants in the category.
Speaking order for the contest was determined earlier. Lais Chalithodi won the second prize in this segment whereas Zahur A. Shaikh won the third prize. Abu Kunnathadathil was the contest master for this session.
In the Toastmaster tradition, feedback is called “evaluation.”
Sami Grami of Eagle Toastmasters Club delivered a test speech for paving the way for others to evaluate his speech. The speech was entwined by bewildering questions and contrasts.
Grami’s eloquence in elaborating the story was spellbinding. The contestants were given 5 minutes after the test speech to prepare their notes. The objective of the speech evaluation contest is to improve evaluators› listening skills as well as to cultivate critical thinking.
Moreover, it will help the speaker know the strengths and weaknesses of the speech including areas for improvement.
Zahur A. Shaikh got the second place in the speech evaluation category and Ken Kusunoki led the show.
Rashid Ali, Saifuddeen KM, Dr. Laskhman Sockalingam of King Abdul Aziz University, Saji Kuriakose, Aboobacker KT, Ibrahim Maricar and Dr. Raju S. Kumaralso addressed the audience. Mohammed Haneef, Riyaz Sarang, Saifuddeen and Joey Villanueva were chief judges in various categories.
Contest chair Ken Kusunoki officially opened the contest and read out the motto of the club and club president Kunnathadathil proposed the vote of thanks. The event was attended by many members from other clubs. The program ended with a sumptuous luncheon.