Sunshine Summer Meet

Sunshine met on the beautiful campus of University of Agricultural sciences for an outdoor meeting this Sunday. Underneath the shade of the trees we sat on stone benches; it was the perfect setting for the listeners and the story tellers. A summer story contest took the place of the regular prepared speech session. Members shared stories of summer vacations far and near. We reveled in the sometimes funny and sometimes suspenseful stories shared by members. The stories shared were all vivid in their descriptions and transported us to different places; to a beach, to a forest, to a hill, to a garden and inside an elevator. IMG_3020Members listening intently to toastmaster Anirudh’s story about falling in love.


Members listening to Toastmaster Vandana’s story about children doing grown up things. After the story telling session we had an entertaining table topics session lead by TM Sheetal. The table topics session had speakers talking about movies and mythical characters.


TM Shiva sharing his experiences of watching a French movie on a recent flight journey.


General evaluation from our diligent toastmaster Anand. IMG_3112

After the meeting, susnhiners found a tamarind tree close by. Trying to get their hands a few pods some of them jumped, some helped each other to jump and others just stood by waiting for the fallen pods. Bringing to end a perfect Sunshine summer meeting under the trees.



Celebrating Mothers

We begin the Sunshine toastmaster Mother’s day celebrations with this speech by Toastmaster Santhosh who shares his experiences with his mother Mrs. Sujatha.

“My mom is one of the sweetest people ever. She has always stuck to her values and always chooses the right. She just doesn’t think twice when it comes to putting her family first. Everything she has given us and taught us over the years is never going to be forgotten” – TM Sheetal B

IMG_2948    TM Sheetal with her mom TM Vijayalaxmi.

“The only person whose heart beats for the entire family, one whose only wish is to see all of us safe and healthy. Mother is the only person who can feel what you feel, sense what you sense and know your thoughts even without you speaking a word. I have only heartfelt gratitude for everything that my mother has been to me” – TM Girish Panicker

2017-05-12-PHOTO-00000810TM Girish with his mother Mrs. Vijayakumari

” My mom was my weakness. I could not see her tears. She ate after my father and all the 7 children ate. I always felt I did not do enough to improve her quality of life. If I were to be born again I wish to be her child again so I could take better care of her” – TM Gopinathan.


TM Gopinathan – Left Corner of the photo with his family. His mother Mrs. Lakshmikutty is seated on the right.

We wish all the mothers featured in this post and mothers everywhere an amazing Mother’s day.

Sunshine Quality Ambassadors – April

IMG_9089.JPGToastmaster Anand has always been the embodiment of the warm welcoming sunshine environment. In the recent months when we have seen a sudden surge of new members at the club, TM Anand has been instrumental in making the newcomers feel at home. It feels great for any speaker to see Mr. Anand in the audience. His smile and constant words of encouragement to members at the club and outside have been the hallmark of camaraderie at the club. Recently he helped out the helping out the committee by taking care of snack time at the club.   His motivating evaluations and continued participation in club meetings make this experienced toastmaster a role model for the club for all Sunshiners. Congratulations TM Anand on becoming a Sunshine Quality Ambassador.


Toastmaster Deepti has exhibited a great sense of creativity and collaboration as VP-Education for the club.  In the past month she not only organised for a Linkers meeting with Daffodils toastmasters club but she also excelled as the Conference chair at the division B conference. Her undeniable commitment to the club shows in her creative meeting agendas. Behind the scenes she has been stepping into various other committee roles,  welcoming guests, following up with them and encouraging them to come back to the club. In the absence of member participation, she has been taking up speaking roles during the meeting. She has been the embodiment of class, commitment and creativity and a role model for all of us. Congratulations TM Deepti for winning the Sunshine quality ambassador award.

Special mention to Toastmaster Shiva who stepped in to be the SAA – helping with the snacks, taking up other speaking roles at the club and attending meetings outside sunshine. Hence exhibiting a great sense of camaraderie. Thank You!


Starting the toastmaster Journey

TM Vandana starts her journey at the club.

Here is what she had to say about her experience at the club, “Sunshine Toastmasters sessions are my Monday morning motivation to get through the week. It’s amazing to witness such inspiring and riveting speeches week after week that I would hate to miss even a single session. The warm, smiling and welcoming faces of members in the club are the icing on this beautiful cake! Being a part of this club has made it the best new year’s resolution I’ve kept!

TM Deepthi starts her journey at the club.

 Here is what Deepti had to say about her experience at the club, ” It has been a really wonderful and enriching experience so far! Getting to meet a lot interesting and warm people makes me feel like everyone’s a part of a big happy “Sunshiney” family. I can’t wait for my CC journey to proceed , to learn and grow as a competent speaker. Very happy to be a Sunshiner.”

TM Sushmita starts her journey at the club.

Here is what Sushmita had to say about Sunshine, “I was searching for a platform to resume my dream. I found Toastmaster club is the best place. Then one question arose in my mind, which TM club is the best for me? I decided to visit Clubs to select best in best club for me. I visited Sunshine as a guest and decided this is the place I was searching to give rebirth for my dreams. I couldn’t stop being member of this club. Sunshine has its own shining from the start of the meeting to the end of the meeting. Sunshine members are fabulous in delivering their speeches. Evaluations of each speech reminds me of my lovely and strict school teacher.
Over all my experience at the club has been tremendous. I’m so proud to say I’m a Sunshiner!”

Sunshine Quality Ambassidors

The President of Sunshine toastmasters in her Installation Speech had mentioned two goals for the term, January – June 2017. First, Helping and encouraging members achieve their goals and second, improving the quality of performance by members in the club. The values that she shared for the club for the term were of creativity, collaboration and camaraderie.

Taking this forward the club formally introduced a monthly recognition program which recognizes club members who have set communication and leadership goals for themselves and have worked consistently towards their goals without compromising on quality. The new program for Sunshine called the Quality Ambassadors was introduced in January recognizing toastmasters who have done exceptionally well and have taken forward the values of creativity, camaraderie and collaboration. Following are the toastmasters who have been recipients of the award.

IMG_9083Mr. Kaleem Khan consistently delivered and evaluated speeches as promised at the beginning of the month. He used creativity and collaborated with TM. Anand to give us some great ACB (Advanced Communication Bronze) Speech presentations at the club setting a new benchmark for quality. He has a set a goal for himself to prepare for the international speech contest that is coming up and intends to bring his trademark quality to the presentation. Congratulations and all the very best to Mr. Kaleem for becoming the January Quality Ambassador.

IMG_9066.JPGMr. Gopinathan took up the role of the Sergeant at arms yet he has managed to give a speech in the first month of taking up the role in the committee. He has balanced really well both his communication and leadership paths in toastmasters and set an example that both can be done. His initiative to get the club book directory and his willingness to do any task assigned to him to the best of his abilities make him a great ambassador for the club. Congratulations and all the very best Mr. Gopinathan for becoming the January Quality Ambassador.

IMG_9122.JPGMr. Santosh Paul has been consistently taking up the role of speech evaluator for club meetings in the past two months. Just in the months of January and February Mr.Santosh has been an evaluator four times. He has also consistently won the best evaluator award and positively impacted speakers from the club and outside the club with his constructive criticism. He has been the go to guy for TM. Deepthi (And TM Shivani during her term as VPE) when we scrambled to find quality speech evaluators. Congratulations TM Santosh Paul for becoming the February Quality Ambassador.

IMG_9135Mr. Girish Panicker our Immediate Past President has delivered quality ACB speeches consistently in the month of February. As a member of the Committee he has been actively assisting us with getting new memberships up on TMI. He has also been collaborating with Sachin to get the finances of the club in order. Our club check book is finally ready thanks to Mr. Girish’s work. TM Girish continues to be a role model for all of us. Congratulations and all the very best Mr. Girish for becoming the February Quality Ambassador.


Toastmaster Amit has exhibited great sense of collaboration at the club. As a mentor he has helped TM Gopinathan and TM Vandana deliver winning speeches at the club. In addition to mentoring members he has been actively participating in club events, growing in his own toastmaster journey. He participated in the Club level contests and took up various roles such as speech evaluator, grammarian and timer. He also contributed to the club newsletter with a poem. Congratulations Amit on becoming a Sunshine Quality Ambassador for the month of March.

IMG_929d3Toastmaster Samarth and Wasiq have exhibited a great sense of creativity and camaraderie as the VP-Public Relation team. In the past month they actively worked together to organise, plan and contribute to the Club Level Semi Finals and Finals Speech and Table Topics Contest. From bringing certificate print-outs, new timer cards to taking up roles as contest masters and participants during the event, Samarth and Wasiq exhibited a great level of commitment. They worked well under pressure and released a well designed newsletter in one week. Despite the busy committee schedule both Samarth and Wasiq actively participated at the club, giving a speech (CC3- Samarth) and taking up roles (Table topic master – Wasiq). Congratulations Samarth and Wasiq on becoming the Sunshine Quality Ambassadors for the month of March.

Sunshine Outside the Club

IntheQuestofExcellence-1 copy.jpgSunshine members at the Installation Ceremony in Sadashivanagar club in January.

IMG_915f4.jpgSunshine members at the Area B International Speech and Table Topics Contest at Citrix Club in March.

23.jpgSunshine members at the summer picnic in Cubbon park in April.

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Sunshine members win all the performance awards during the Linkers Meet at Daffodils Toastmasters in April.

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Special thanks to Daffodils toastmasters for hosting us and  making it a memorable evening for Sunshiners.

Quest of Excellence

IMG_9154 copy.jpgThe first time I attended a toastmasters meeting, I witnessed true excellence on the stage. It has been over a year and I have been trying to achieve that level of excellence on stage. I am in the quest of such excellence. It can only be achieved by attending meetings because week after week there is excellence exhibited on stage by all the speakers.
I am pretty sure that with each meeting there is a bountiful amount of learning for each and every one of the members. The level exhibited by the speakers can only be achieved through immense amounts of practice.

This reminds me of a time where I was trying to excel at stroking the ball in the cover region. This was the time when I was in the prestigious Brijesh Patel Cricket Academy, my dad had put me there after I had begged him for more than a month in my summer holidays. We had this coach who was the perfect Virender Sehwag, looked like him, walked like him, played like him. He was the one you should be scared about and his coaching was equally awesome. The academy had put me in his net. For some kids this would be a problem, for me I was ecstatic as I had got an amazing coach. So the coaching went on, one fine day he came up to the bowlers and told them to bowl full length outside off, the driving length. Then he took a bat and came near the batsman and held the bat near the batsman’s back, to all the batsman he said, “If you get scared of the ball, the bat will hit you”. That was pretty intimidating. My friends did pretty decent, nobody got hit by the bat so it was alright, now it was my turn. He told me the same thing but it sounded even more scarier, The first ball came, it was full and on the pads, I flicked
the ball and it nearly hit the coach. I thought he was going to shout at me, to my surprise he shouted at the bowler. The next ball arrived just as the coach had instructed, I drove the ball but didn’t middle it. The same thing happened the next couple of balls. The fifth ball that I faced, I middled it and he was happy and said great shot. I had finally perfected the cover drive. My quest in excellence at mastering the cover drive had begun.

Similarly each speech or role is like a cover drive, each time you take up a role have a goal of excelling at it. The role may be as small as a timer, your goal should be to excel at it. Sometimes you may go wrong, but do not care about those moments. Care about the ones where you did a great job.