Dec 11, 2008

Kochi Trip - Toastmasters Style

(Had to write about the trip for the company intranet... was soo lazy to edit the content and reduce the levels of being formal and professional :P just did a few changes here and there.)

I am a proud Toastmaster since January this year. It's surprising I never came across anything about this organization in the past. But like they say... 'better late than never'!!!

I am part of CSC Toastmasters (Chennai), which is a corporate club managed by the organization I work for. The club has been nurturing its members to be better communicators and leaders for over 2 years now. The best part about this club is it's member mix - the perfect combination of beginners, good speakers and experienced Toastmasters.

Participating in several contests and competing with Toastmasters from outside our club only helps evaluate ourselves and raise the bar even higher. We did exactly that when the Area and Division level contests came along in November 2008.

Nageshwar Sahu, a fellow Toastmaster from my club, won the second prize in the International Humourous Speech contest organized by the Toastmasters International at its Division G contest held in Kochi, Kerala on Nov 9th 2008.

Nageshwar kept the audience in splits as he recounted extremely hilarious experiences of his first time in the United States of America. Being funny and keeping the laughter meter high throughout a speech is not easy. Nageshwar had worked really hard for this under the mentorship of Janaki Prasad Pattanaik and some of the other members of the CSC Chennai Toastmasters Chapter. This helped him win both in the CSC Toastmasters club-level Contest and the Chennai Area Contest to qualify to participate in the Division G contest at Kochi.

Shadan, another member from my club also participated in the Humourous speech contest. Manikandan and I progressed to the Division contest in the Speech Evaluation contest.

We were accompanied by veteran Toastmasters Janaki Prasad Pattanaik, Kumar Viswanathan and Jayan Narayanan from CSC Chennai Toastmasters. Their presence and constant encouragement boosted our confidence.

Participating in the contest was a learning experience in itself. It was an honour to be part of the Toastmasters Division Contest where some of the stalwarts from the Toastmasters fraternity were present. We got an opportunity to interact with many eminent Toastmasters from Ernakulam, Bangalore, Chennai and Sri Lanka.

Our train journey to Kochi was a wonderful experience. I am sure none of us (and perhaps our fellow passengers too) would ever forget all the fun we had while travelling.

The journey from Chennai to Kochi was a meals-on-wheels experience. We feasted on samosas, idlis, biscuits, puris and chapatis (in that order if I remember right) through the evening. We were so full by dinner time that we had to skip the burgers we had packed!!!

We munched and laughed our way to Kochi. We reached the venue at around 3.00 am on the 9th of November, 2008. We had to put up at the contest venue itself - which was a beautiful resort called Sarovaram - excellent accomodation, delicious Kerala cuisine and a great ambience for the contest too.

After the contest was over we hired a van to take us around the city. We did not have much time as we were to leave the same evening. Being a Sunday most of the shops were closed. We managed to take a one hour ferry along the Cochin Shipyard though. It was a fun experience. Aditya and Lalitha from Chennai Toastmasters were also with us.

We headed to the station after a short stopover for tea and snacks. The return journey back to Chennai was equally interesting.

The entire experience was one memorable package. We learnt so much from the senior Toastmasters who were there. Many of them were kind enough to give us one on one feedback on our participation. Tips and ideas that will surely stay with us forever.

The Kochi experience was fun in more ways than one... more importantly it marked the completion of one more milestone in our Toastmasters journey!!!


Vikram December 23, 2008 at 9:51 PM  

Hey good to hear about the evaluation contest, I heard about Nageshwar but its good to hear that he contested well despite his first time on a such a stage... the show must go on..

priya December 23, 2008 at 10:05 PM  

hey vikram... good to see you here. thanx for the comment.

yes the contest was good fun... and definitely a learning experience.

Suresh Gopal July 10, 2009 at 2:25 PM  

Hi Priya,

Nice post to read (catching up bit late...but thats OK :-). Infact, JP, Jayan Narayan, Kumar and I were the ones setting up the CCTM at Covansys! MY short stint with that group was very very memorable. Thrilled to see them again in that picture!

Suresh Gopal

priya July 11, 2009 at 1:47 PM  

Hi Suresh,

Thanks for the comment. It was such a pleasant surprise to hear from you... the later a surprise is... the more pleasant it is :)

I am so glad to know that you were associated with the others from CCTM. I miss the club and its people too!

I am now part of the Infosys Toastmasters Club at Bangalore.

Do keep in touch and your inputs could probably add value to my blog space :)

JANAKI PRASAD May 20, 2010 at 11:09 AM  

I did not know it was so fun filled. For me it was very exciting, reminded me as if I was taking a bunch of noisy students in a study tour. Jayan was noisiest, Kumar was the toughest, Nageswar was the confused one, Priya was the odd man (woman)out, Sadhan was lost

A memorable experience for me.

hai baji January 8, 2013 at 12:33 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.

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