“… Today’s Toastmasters, as I had been expecting, it used to be something like everyone was repelling others and the topic was repelling everyone. I don’t know why it could be so good today. I was not expecting anything to be good as good as today. I was not expecting this. Honestly, I was not expecting. It is really good one and if this continues, then, I am very happy. Next time, if I have to I will cancel all my appointments and be here if this kind of things happens every time. It’s a really very good Toastmasters” (reaction to the day’s Toastmasters by Nilambar Badal, General cum speech Evaluator).

Beating every participant’s expectation, PEN Toastmasters Cell (PTC) could conduct Vol. 3, No. 4 Toastmasters exceptionally well at PEN Secretariat on Friday June 22, 2012. As the language set for delivering speech was English, not only the participants but also the organizing committee members had a bit doubt over a successful holding of the program. However, it went so well that everybody, at the end, said “Today’s Toastmasters is the BEST TOASTMASTERS EVER in the history of Pax Earth.” Sixteen energetic youths attended the day’s Toastmasters.

President Sujan Koirala called Toastmasters Program to order at 6:15PM at PEN Secretariat. He welcomed all the guests and members respectively. As he was also assuming the role of Toastmasters of the Day (TMD), he requested every participant to give a brief introduction. He stated the theme of the day: “Experience” and explained why this theme was picked. He, then, introduced evaluation committee members: Nilambar Badal in the role of general cum speech evaluator; Binod P. Mainali in Ah-Counter, Sachin Koirala in grammarian and Harihar Sapkota in timer. After the introduction, the program entered into the manual speaking session.

Sovanand Yadav and Reetu Adhikari, two manual speakers of the day, spoke on “Emotional attachment” and “Working with the old people” respectively. Sovanand, in his speech, gave a brief introduction of what is “Emotional Attachment” and raised few issues. He shared how emotionally he is attached with his family and village. Reetu in her speech shared her experience working with the grannies. She presented few interesting anecdotes of her working experience and the participants enjoyed them a lot.

TMD Sujan who was also performing the role of Table Topicsmaster gave three spot topics with a view that the participants will voluntarily pick one for the presentation. The topics were “An experiment I want to do”, “An inexperience that led me to a distress or disappointment to progress in my life” and “Worst experience in my life” respectively. Ram Sharan Paudel, Dev Raj Karki and Bhishma Raj Aryal came out among the participants and picked the respective topics for the speech.

Ram Sharan, in his speech, showed his keenness to experiment social work and change the country. He called youths for this initiative. Dev shared his disappointing experience of managing a school decade ago. “If I had management skills, the situation could have been different,” he claimed. At that time, he did not have any management skill which led him leave the management of the school in the hands of others. The last speaker, Bhishma presented his last year’s ‘rafting experience’ as the worst experience of his life. He shared how he could overcome from the hands of the death after falling into the river from his boat. He heartily thanked God for giving him a second life on that day.

The evaluation session followed the Table Topics session. TMD Sujan passed the podium to general evaluator Nilambar for the evaluation session. Nilambar asked for the reports from timer Harihar, grammarian Sachin and Ah-Counter Binod respectively. Timer Harihar disclosed that manual speakers Sovanand and Reetu spoke 6min 47sec and 5min 8sec respectively while Table Topics speakers Ram Sharan, Dev and Bhishma spoke 2min 6sec, 3min 26sec and 3min 2sec respectively. He was happy that all five speakers could utilize the allotted time properly.

Grammarian Sachin presented the report on the grammar errors of each speaker. As this was the first attempt in English after a long time, he was quite flexible in his evaluation. He reported that manual speakers Sovanand and Reetu both made 5 grammar errors each while Table Topics speakers Ram Sharan, Dev and Bhishma made 6, 9 and 3 mistakes respectively.

Ah-Counter Binod reported that Ah-Counting errors of all five speakers. He reported that both the manual speakers Sovanand and Reetu made 21 mistakes each in Ah-Counting category (unusual pause, hesitation and repeated words) while Table Topics speakers Ram Sharan, Dev and Bhishma made 6, 8, and 11 errors respectively.

Speech evaluator Nilambar Badal came up with his evaluation report. His evaluation for manual speakers was based on the categories: speech value, preparation, organisation, opening, body, conclusion and transition. In terms of speech value, Sovanand’s speech was satisfactory while Reetu’s speech was above average. In Reetu’s speech, there was a clear indication that her speech was well researched and rehearsed while Sovanand’s speech preparation was ordinary. Both speakers’ organisation was logical and clear. Sovanand’s opening was above average while Reetu’s opening was excellent. Sovanand’s speech lacked the connectedness while Reetu could manage it well. Reetu concluded the speech with a very inspiring note while Sovanand’s conclusion was also fine. Transition of both the speeches was above average. If Sovanand had made the preface more precise and added more reflection than definition, the speech would have been more interesting. If Reetu could have avoided anxiety and felt free to speak, her presentation would have reached a different height. In Sovanand’s speech, evaluator Nilambar liked the fluency and the way he hide the anxiety. Nilambar liked the reflections, examples and well arranged language in Reetu’s speech.

Similarly, Nilambar made an evaluation of three Table Topics speakers. Their speeches were evaluated mainly on the ground of speech value, preparation, organisation, opening, body and conclusion. The report depicted that speech values of Dev and Bhishma were above average while Ram Sharan’s speech value was satisfying. All three speakers’ spot preparation was satisfactory. Organisation of speech of Dev and Bhishma was fine while Ram Sharan’s speech organisation was satisfactory. Opening of the speech of Dev was excellent while opening of Ram Sharan’s speech was above average and Bhishma’s speech was satisfactory. The flow of the speech of Ram Sharan was okay while of Dev and Bhishma was above average. The conclusions of the speeches of Dev and Bhishma was excellent while Ram Sharan could improve his conclusion. If Ram Sharan had shortened his preface, his speech would have been more effective. Dev could have shortened his pauses to make his speech more attractive while if Bhishma was well aware of the proper postures and hand positions, his presentation could be far better.

Besides the category-based evaluation, Nilambar reported the strengths and weaknesses of all five speakers and suggested ways to improve them. Then, he returned the control to TMD Sujan.

The ballot counting followed the evaluation session. Bal Gopal Shrestha coordinated the ballot counting. Reetu and Bhishma were voted the best speakers in manual and Table Topics session respectively. TMD Sujan awarded Reetu and Bhishma with a pen that symbolically represents Pax Earth Nepal (PEN). The participants gave a big round of applause to the remaining three speakers as recognition for their level best attempts.

Overwhelmed President and TMD Sujan Koirala sincerely thanked all five speakers, evaluation committee members, ballot counter and audiences for their active and valuable supports in making the day’s Toastmasters, “THE BEST AND THE MOST PRODUCTIVE TOASTMASTERS PROGRAM IN THE HISTORY OF PAX EARTH!”

After the vote of thanks, President formally adjourned the Day’s Toastmasters Program.

Guests and PEN members present on the occasion:
Guests: Dev Raj Karki, Reetu Adhikari, Kapil Deuja, Bhishma Raj Aryal and Ram Sharan Paudel.
PEN members: Sujan Koirala, Binod P. Mainali, Bal Gopal Shrestha, Nilambar Badal, Harihar Sapkota, Laxman B. Pahari, Guna Raj Pyakurel, Kamala Basnet, Sudan P. Bhandari, Sachin Koirala and Sovanand Yadav.

Reported by PEN Secretariat!!!