Bored with the quarantine? The quarantine might have got us locked up in our homes, but has not managed to dampen our spirit.

The enthusiasm of NITK Toastmasters Club and the willingness of its members to constantly better themselves cannot be contained. Owing to this enthusiasm, NITK Toastmaster Club conducts online meets every Saturday evening. Our Toastmasters come all prepared and geared up to enlighten each other. With a wide variety of topics and styles of speaking, each of our meetings is packed with learning and fun.

On April 19th 2020, our club completed its milestone 100th meeting. This occasion was celebrated online with ex-members of the club who had graduated and moved to different cities and countries due to their work and academic commitments. Joining us in games and fun sessions, our alumni members shared some of their fond memories from when they were a part of the club, experiences and advice with all of us.

Having all the time in the world, we have found a chance to expose ourselves to learning opportunities from all over the state, country and even the world. To share his experience with us, we had DTM Aditya Maheswaran, 1st runner up of The World Championship of Public Speaking 2015, join us to conduct an educational session titled “Creating an Impact on your Audience”, all the way from London. The Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award represents the highest level of educational achievement in Toastmasters. The requirements to achieve the DTM are rigorous and lengthy in nature. With insightful anecdotes and first-hand experiences, he taught us the secret to drafting speeches that will help us leave a lasting impact on our audience. To teach us how to draft a good story and an even better speech, we had DTM Mohammed Qahtani, The World Champion of Public Speaking 2015, join us from Saudi Arabia. With his 8 crucial points of effective story building, in his session titled “Speak to Inspire”, he helped us become writers of speeches that will catch the audience’ attention. We were lucky to have both the World Champions on board almost instantly. Cooperating with us and agreeing with all our requests, these Champion Speakers were a delight to host.

DTM Aditya Maheshwaran- 1st runner in The World Championship of Public Speaking 2015

First initiated in June 2019, “The Communication for Career” series has witnessed professionals from different walks of life educate us on the crucial skills to build. During the quarantine, we had a few more speakers enlighten us. With an intensive session, DTM M. N. Pai, a senior Toastmaster from our very own Division in Mangalore and a chartered accountant by profession joined us at the NITK Toastmasters Club to advise us on the right practices to follow with regards to interviews and resume writing. We spent an afternoon learning and honing the skills required to enter the corporate world, joined by professionals from around the world, across different age groups and professional backgrounds. We also had DTM Arun Ramarathnam, the Immediate Past Division Director of Division I, District 92, help build our knowledge on the qualities that a good leader must possess. Advising us how each one of us could become great leaders,we left the meet aspiring to become better leaders.

Joint meet with University Malaya Toastmasters Club from Malaysia

We have also enjoyed the company of the members of The University MalayaToastmasters Club, who joined us from Malaysia. A meeting brewing with the passion exhibited by all the Toastmasters, we not only witnessed the different practices followed in other parts of the world but also exchanged knowledge of our cultures.

As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. Having spent time with renowned leaders and professionals, nationally and internationally, we decided that it was time we enjoyed a meeting with college students. NITK Toastmasters Club met with the two clubs of NIT Trichy, a club from IIT Madras and a club from NIT Rourkela. We found these clubs to be extremely sociable and enjoyed the evening discussing common topics of interest in the meeting jointly organised by all the clubs involved.

Inter College meet with colleges across the country

The Installation Ceremony of a club is an achievement of a kind. As our incoming committee members got ready to take up their new posts, we were joined by DTM Deepak Menon, The International President of Toastmasters International. Being a
6 times DTM achiever himself and having held numerous leadership posts in the past, he advised and motivated the club, its members and all Toastmasters on how to make the best use of the opportunities in hand. He was very gracious and delighted all of us when he accepted the invitation. Sharing pearls of wisdom, DTM Menon suggested that we always keep in mind three qualities. Crucial for becoming a better leader, communicator and an individual,we were asked to build compassion,creativity and
courage. He left us all feeling encouraged and inspired to achieve more.

We collaborated with E-Cell NITK to release a Podcast Series, The Building Blocks of Business– where we bring you the best that business and entrepreneurship has to offer. We jointly hosted alumni members who later went on to study in renowned B-Schools. They spoke about their enriching and inspiring experiences, giving the listeners a clearer idea on how to move forward if one decides to pursue a Business program at the post-graduation level.

DTM Deepak Menon- International President of Toastmasters International.

Our budding leaders have gone out of the club, to help our Division (comprising Toastmaster Clubs in the Mangalore, Manipal and Udupi region) in conducting its events smoothly. Having role takers and organisers from our club, we helped host DTM Rich Hopkins. Pursuing his goal of visiting all the districts of Toastmasters International, DTM Rich spent a few hours teaching us how to make the audience laugh with his 16 takeaways. Similarly, we also had TM Luisa Montalvo, the 2nd place Winner of the World Championship of Public Speaking 2019 address the division. Sharing insights from her journey, she inspired each of us to take over the International stage someday.

Inching forward towards more milestones, the NITK Toastmasters Club is constantly growing in skills and accomplishments. However, we believe that the best is yet to come. With the start of the online classes, we are back to the drill and the pressure has started to build. Take a break from the academic routine, connect with us on Instagram or Facebook and join us to spend an evening, learning and having fun. Beat the boredom and make the best of this quarantine with NITK Toastmasters Club.