Opportunities come knocking on your door, it depends on you whether you let it in and make use of it or shut the door on it. During the month of October such an opportunity was presented to 15 people. Let’s dial back to the month of September when the president at the time TM Deepti Venkatesh was pushing the committee and the club to get a Speechcraft going. For those who don’t know what a Speechcraft is, it is an 8 week course which is similar to the Toastmasters journey but faster, an eight-week crash course where one learns about interpersonal, communication and leadership skills. The search for candidates was long and hard, it had been happening for the past few months. Thanks to TM Mrinalini and TM Vidhya who came in like our knights in shinning armoUr with 14 speechcraft participants. The 14 of them were presented with an opportunity to learn how to speak on stage, how to write a speech, etc. The 15th person who had been given an opportunity was me, an opportunity to learn how to lead, learn how to manage and learn how to plan. I had been given the opportunity to be the coordinator of this beautiful program, this was one of the few times where I had taken up the responsibility myself. It was an amazing chance for me to learn how to lead and for the speech crafters to learn how to speak on stage.

The planning for the Speechcraft began in all earnest as we had the major requirements (speechcrafters) was out of the way. With the help of Vidhya and Mrinalini a plan was put into place and all of us were ready to get the show on the road. The D-day arrived on the 3rdNovember, 2018 we were at the Delhi World Public School for the first session of the Speechcraft. The session was graced over by a lot of members from Sunshine Toastmasters Club. On that day we had an eventful session planned with 2 educational sessions from TM Amit and TM Priyanka, the manuals were passed over to the speechcrafters and the guidelines were given for the next session. The sessions went on for the next few weeks, we had a bit of ups where the attendance from the club was amazing and a bit of downs where we had only the role takers coming to the session, but a special interest was shown by the new members of the club, who were keen on learning. The first four weeks of the Speechcraft we were hosted by the very hospitable staff of the Delhi World Public School whereas the next four weeks we were hosted by the caring people at UCAM Pvt Ltd.

In each of these meetings we had educational sessions given by veteran toastmasters. These educational sessions taught not only the speechcrafters but also the members of the club, they were enlightened with the content from these breathtaking sessions. Each of these sessions focused on one key aspect of the public speaking such structuring a speech, usage of words, vocal variety, body language, etc all given by veteran toastmasters such as DTM TK Ramesh, TM Kaleem, Tm Vijayalaxmi, TM Deepthi, TM Girish and so on.

The speechcrafters were improving with each meeting as they were constantly giving amazing speeches, also as they were learning a lot from all the role takers and the educational sessions. They had converted from nervous speakers on stage to eloquent, confident and dynamic on stage, by the time they had completed the course they had become seasoned toastmasters themselves. On the 12th of January, 2019 the final session of Speechcraft was held and all of them graduated by giving their milestone speech on that fateful day. I was among one of the happiest people that day, not because it had gone on smoothly, not because it was over but because of the change I had seen in them. The change that I had seen myself over the last year, the change that saw me become more confident, skillful and proud. They had conquered a big part of the challenge that is public speaking in a mere 8 weeks, a transformation that made me delighted.

At the end of eight long weeks they said they had improved in their writing and their speaking skills, they also spoke about how the Speechcraft had increased their confidence not only while speaking on stage but also in other parts of their lives. The commitment and the hard work that they put in has become an inspiration to me to give more speeches and to improve myself. They should and are an inspiration to all the members in the club.

The whole Speechcraft could not have been possible without a few special mentions. First of all to our ever so dynamic IPP TM Deepti without whose force none of this would have ever happened, to TM Vidhya and TM Mrinalini to encourage individuals to participate and take part in the Speechcraft in their workplaces namely Delhi World Public School and UCAM Pvt Ltd respectively. They also guided and helped me at every stage, they were always there for help and took quite a bit of load off me. The next special mention is to TM Indradev Babu for providing us with a venue for over a month. Last but not the least a special appreciation to all the mentors, role takers, demo speakers, MC’s, GE’s and to those members who attended the session even though they did not have a role and of course the whole club without whom none of this would have been possible. It was a wonderful experience to one and all who were associated with it.  It was 8 weeks filled with joy, laughter and all the good things that one can hope for. Till next time this is me signing off.

The 1000th ray of Sunshine……………………An article by TM Azma Sheikh

An eye opening message, a life changing feedback, a tear inducing compliment, a valuable friendship. There is always something new to look forward to with every Toastmasters meeting. Now, imagine getting a chance to experience this a thousand times over Sunshine Toastmasters Club has been three.

The club was chartered on 1st December, 1999 under DTM Kathiravan M. Pethi as the President. The club is a hotch-potch of members from all walks of society. There are students, engineers, doctors, principals, sales people, pharmacists, a radio oncologist, a worker at an institute for special children and many more professionals that the club has housed over its course of 20 years. In spite of the diversity, the club members maintain unity and warmth like that of a family.

The 1000th meeting took place on 1st August and a celebration for the momentous occasion was organized on 15th August. The commemoration was attended by about 230 Toastmasters from clubs all over Bengaluru including post presidents, members and veterans.

The Champion of Champions contest had awe inspiring speeches from participants. TM Mathew Varghese was crowned the winner at the end of the contest. The key note speaker Dr. Arun Bharadwaj, in his speech, implored the audience to take care of themselves more than anything else and to do it as regularly as having a bath.

Fun programs followed with a delectable dinner at the end. Invitees were glad to be a part of the event and the members of Sunshine Toastmasters Club take pride in the fact that they are leaving behind a legacy.

Dr. Arun Bharadwaj gave a talk on Engineering Happiness and was felicitated by veteran Sunshiner

A mesmerizing dance performance by TM Deepthi Shetty on the song “O re Piya” had us spell bound

Our CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS contest winner, T M Mathew Varghese was awarded the trophy and cash prize by our President TM Shiva and TM Indradev

Sunshiners with our youth leader Sanjay