The newly formed PEN Toastmasters Cell (PTC) conducted Vol. 3, No. 1 Toastmasters on the theme “HOW SECURED ARE YOU?” at its Secretariat, Pashupati, Kathmandu from 6.00pm to 7.00pm on March 14, 2012. PTC selected this theme considering the prevailing security situation of Kathmandu valley. The recent bombing at Babar Mahal added further impetus to PTC in finalising the theme. Fourteen energetic youths attended this Toastmasters Program.

President Sujan Koirala called Toastmasters Program to order at 6.00pm. He cordially welcomed guests and members respectively. Among the guest was Masanobu Ebisawa from Japan. He introduced Toastmaster of the Day (TMD) Harihar Sapkota who was also assuming the role of Table Topicsmaster and handover him the session.

TMD Harihar stated the theme of the day: “How secured are you?” and explained the reason behind picking this theme. He briefly explained rules and procedures. Nepali was the standard language set for delivering speech. He, then, introduced evaluation committee members: Nilambar Badal in the role of general cum speech evaluator, Sujan Koirala in Timer, Binod P. Mainali in Grammarian and Sachin Koirala in Ah Counter.

TMD Harihar introduced two manual speakers of the day: Rajan Dulal and Anita Subedi who spoke on the same topic “How secured are we?” respectively. Rajan and Anita both were in their 2nd Project. Both the speakers were given 5-7min for delivering their respective speech. Rajan, in his speech, claimed that there are so many security lapses in Kathmandu. He blamed government for not providing enough security for the general public. He put forth contemporary and personal issues such as gas and traffic. His speech was full of incidents however focused on social security only. He did not say anything on physical security.

The next speaker Anita Subedi who also spoke on “How secured are we?” had a very good beginning of her speech. She said that the insecurity is prevailing everywhere in Kathmandu. Being a lady, she felt more insecure. The social structure is to be blamed for such insecurity prevailing specially for lady. She presented some conflicted and contradictory issues mainly focused on gender issue. She presented a real example how she had to defend when a middle-aged man asked her to ride in her bike. She was bit anxious while she was progressing with her speech. She was bit aggressive in the middle of her speech while imposing idea specially on establishing gender issue. Her speech was mainly concentrated on physical issues which have been faced by females in current context.

After the manual speaking session, TMD Harihar also conducted Table Topics Session. He picked three spot topics: “How do you see the security situation in Kathmandu after recent bombing in Babar Mahal?”, “Security situation in night time particularly for ladies in Kathmandu valley” and “What is the impact of security checking targeted at alcoholic people at night time?”. Laxman B. Pahari, Kamala Basnet and Sovanand Yadav were picked to speak on these topics respectively. Each speaker was given 2-3min to deliver their respective speech. This was like an acid test for them.

First speaker in the Table Topics Session, Laxman B. Pahari was stunned on call. He had to speak on “How do you see the security situation Kathmandu after recent bombing in Babar Mahal?”. He said that the bombing in Babar Mahal was brutal act which took the lives of few innocent people. He added that the security situation must be improved. His speech was bit disoriented. He was quite confused and could neither elaborate nor came to a conclusion. It’s obvious that he neither had a chance to research nor could rehearse as he was picked for the spot topic.

Kamala Basnet, the next Table Topics Speaker, could grasp her topic “Security situation in night time especially for ladies in Kathmandu valley” very well. She said that security not only for ladies but also for males is very weak. She could prepare her speech on spot. Her speech was well established and connected with smooth transitions. She could have elaborated the subject with suitable examples. She spoke on personal and physical security faced by females maintaining a balance on gender issues.

Last speaker in the Table Topics session, Sovanand Yadav, was given the spot topic “What is the impact of security checking targeted at alcoholic people at night time?”. He was unknown to the topic so his speech was disoriented. As his speech was disoriented, Timer Sujan Koirala had to intervene and clarify the subject. After the intervention, he argued that the security checking targeted at alcoholic people at night time is a good start. He further added such step would certainly reduce the crimes and accidents. Though he tried to connect the issue, he could not succeed as he didn’t possess good contemporary sense. He was very hurried to conclude his speech.

After the Table Topics session, TMD Harihar called General Evaluator Nilambar Badal and handover the session. Nilambar asked for the respective reports from Ah Counter Sachin Koirala, Grammarian Binod P. Mainali and Timer Sujan Koirala. Ah Counter Sachin Koirala presented his evaluation mainly on hesitation, unusual pause and repeated words. His report revealed that in terms of ah counting, manual speakers Rajan Dulal and Anita Subedi had 21 mistakes and 6 mistakes in aggregate respectively. Table Topics speakers Laxman B. Pahari, Kamala Basnet and Sovanand Yadav had 23 mistakes, 10 mistakes and 19 mistakes in aggregate respectively. He was very happy with the performance of Anita Subedi and Kamala Basnet while others were advised to be more attentive in their next speeches. Grammarian Binod P. Mainali presented the report mainly on grammar error, any awkward use and misuse of language. His report depicted that Rajan Dulal and Anita Subedi had 11 mistakes and 5 mistakes in aggregate respectively. Similarly, Laxman B. Pahari, Kamala Basnet and Sovanand Yadav had 7 mistakes, 3 mistakes and 9 mistakes in aggregate respectively. He was quite happy with the performance of all five speakers. Sujan Koirala, the Timer, presented his report on the time used by all five speakers. As per his report, Rajan Dulal, Anita Subedi, Laxman B. Pahari, Kamala Basnet and Sovanand Yadav spoke 7min 5sec, 6min 40sec, 2min 30sec, 2min 30sec and 2min 49sec respectively. He was happy with all five speakers as they utilized the allocated time properly.

Finally, Nilambar Badal who was also performing the role of Speech Evaluator came up with his report. He made an evaluation of manual speakers Rajan Dulal and Anita Subedi mainly on speech value, preparation, organisation, opening, body, conclusion and transition. The report clearly depicted that Rajan had done some researches on his topic while he didn’t have any rehearsal before his speech. He was bit anxious to establish body movement while organizing his speech. He was revolving around to cover the speech. He elaborated his speech to come to a conclusion. He had smooth transition in the beginning while slipped many times. He could improve his eye contacts and leg positions. The best aspect of his speech was raising contemporary and personal issues associated with the subject along with suitable examples.

The report on the speech of Anita Subedi depicted that she had a very good preparation. She had a good beginning with a salutation. Her speech had a good beginning but she was anxious a little on progress. Her speech was more focused on gender issue. She put a sudden full stop to her speech. She was focused on a single issue so there was no much transition in her speech. She could improve her speech by leveraging conflicting and contradictory issues, controlling her aggression and improving legs movements. Loud and clear voice and attempt to impose idea were the best aspects of her speech.

Similarly, Nilambar made an evaluation of three Table Topics speakers. Their speeches were mainly evaluated on the ground of speech value, organisation, opening, body and conclusion. The report depicted that Laxman B. Pahari was comfortable delivering his speech. He was bit disoriented and confused while organizing his speech. He established the topic well though stunned on call. The body of the speech was fine. He had sudden halt to speech. Next Table Topics speaker Kamala Basnet could establish and connect her speech very well. She was quite comfortable in delivering her speech. Her speech had smooth transitions and a fine conclusion. She could have improved her speech with the elaboration on the subject with suitable examples when needed. Well managed body language and a good speech were termed as the best aspects of her speech. Sovanand was totally disoriented as the topic was unclear to him. Though he was intervened to clarify the subject, he could not pick up it well. There was a clear indication that he did not have a contemporary sense related to the topic given to him. Nilambar was quite satisfied with the speeches of Kamala Basnet, Anita Subedi and Rajan Dulal while Laxman B. Pahari and Sovanand Yadav need some improvements.

Nilambar also spoke on the execution of the day’s Toastmasters. He was happy with the way the Toastmasters was organized however stated that a warmer would require by TMD Harihar as he seemed bit nervous. He also pointed that TMD Harihar must control himself on formality. After his evaluation, Nilambar handed the session to TMD Harihar.

TMD Harihar heartily thanked evaluation committee members for their respective reports. He then asked all fourteen participants to cast vote for the best speaker in each session. After ballot counting, Anita Subedi and Kamala Basnet were respectively declared the best speakers in manual speaking session and Table Topics session. The ballot counting was held for the first time in the history of PEN Toastmasters. Surprisingly, both the best speakers were female. TMD Harihar congratulated both the best speakers and awarded a pen respectively. The reason behind awarding a pen is the replication of PEN (Pax Earth Nepal). He also insisted all audiences to give three other speakers a big round of applause as an appreciation to their attempts. He, then, returned the control of the session to President Sujan Koirala.

President Sujan Koirala sincerely thanked all the speakers, evaluation committee members and audiences for their valuable roles and active participation and congratulated TMD Harihar for flawlessly conducting the Program. After the vote of thanks, President formally adjourned the program.

Guests and PEN members present on the occasion:
Guests: Masanobu Ebisawa (from Japan), Kamala Basnet, Bhagwati Pandey, Sovanand Yadav and Santoshi Pandey
PEN members: Sujan Koirala, Bal Gopal Shrestha, Nilambar Badal, Binod P. Mainali, Harihar Sapkota, Laxman B. Pahari, Anita Subedi, Sachin Koirala and Rajan Dulal

Reported by PEN Secretariat!!!