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VT Seva Detroit’s 4th Annual Public Speaking Competition

“The Youths of Today are the leaders of tomorrow” - Nelson Mandela

Good Communication is one of the core leadership skills. One should be able to express their ideas and be able to speak up for others to be a leader.

In this modern world, people want everything fast. In a short period of time we should be able to explain and convince our ideas to the world. This competition is designed for that, youths prepare a speech for 2 minutes on one of the topics listed below and present it to get feedback from experienced people such as teachers, Toastmasters, and senior management personnel.

By participating in this competition these youths supported VT Seva’s mission and vision. Youth empowerment, this competition gave them an opportunity to express their views on the topics and by participating in it all the contributions went towards the Nethra Vidyalaya student’s education.

On a fine Sunday afternoon Oct 3rd, 2021, 31 youths attended the public speaking competition and made it a successful first competition in Troy.

There were 3 groups of students who participated in the competition:

Group 1 : Grade 3-5

Group 2 : Grade 6-8

Group 3: Grade 9-12

They get to pick from any one of the following 3 topics:

  • Education is the best weapon against overcoming disability

  • Impacts of remote learning

  • Social effects of cyberbullying and how it can be curbed

We had 4 wonderful judges who analyzed the speeches given by these youths and gave their feedback. Without them it's not possible to have a competition. Our judges were,

Raju Brahmandhabheri:

He is passionate about public speaking and communication skills and has been a part of Toastmaster International (the platform to improve Public speaking and leadership skills) for the last 8 years and achieved the DTM (Distinguished ToastMasters)- the highest educational award in the Toastmasters program. He is a mentor for the high school students to coach/advise/prepare them for the annual Leadership Speech Contest hosted by National Management Association(NMA). He has served as a judge on various speech contests at Toastmasters and community organization’s educational competitions( public speaking, spelling bee etc) He is currently teaching public speaking skills for the kids at Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Livonia.

By profession, he is an Electrical Engineer currently working as an Regional Engineering Manager at ITC Holdings Corp., Novi, Michigan. He also teaches Electrical Engineering classes at Lawrence Tech University, Southfield on a part time basis as an Adjunct faculty.

Sriranga Seetharmachar:

He is currently working at Auto Club Group (known as AAA) as Director of Data Business Intelligence and enjoys mentoring histeam to be effective communicators most, as a part of his responsibilities.

He is an industrial engineer by education, and has spent the last 30 years in consulting, process improvement and fact based management for corporations. He is passionate about persuasive, compelling presentations to corporate audiences to influence fact based decisions and actions for business improvement and effectiveness.

Thomas Zwolinski:

He has been a member of Toastmasters International for 6 years and is currently an Area Director for Eastern Macomb County spanning 5 clubs.

Prior to his role as Area Director, he served as two-term President for my current club, Macomb Motivators, and previously served as President for a corporate club at Comerica Bank.

He retired in 2018 after working for over 35 years in Information Technology. He held several positions in IT from Software Development to Data Architecture and Governance.

He mentors both new and existing members of Toastmasters about speaking and leadership opportunities. He has judged Toastmasters International Speech competitions in the past

Joseph Verhelle:

Graduated from Oakland University with a major in English w/ Secondary Education and a minor in History.

He is currently working as a teacher at Troy High School. He teaches 9th and 10th grade English, along with Creative Writing. Public speaking and communication skills are key components of our state-wide curriculum and he enjoys establishing those very important skills in our youth.

Architha & Priya welcomed the judges and went over the rules of the competition.

VTSeva Detroit Director Srinath & VTSeva National Secretary Sudheer explained about VT Seva, Nethra Vidyalaya Schools & Tribal Schools.

Greg, Chandrasekhar and Sudheer gave trophies to the winners.

Thanks to Chandrasekar and Greg for sponsoring the competition and giving a hall.

Thanks to Nandini (Detroit Communications) for her continuous support in publishing content provided by event leads in all our Social media channels from the start to the completion of the event.

Wonderful volunteers who helped from start to end were

Setup (Youth): Anvika, Sneha, Sreenika,

Setup (Adult): Chandru, Jyothi, Vanitha, and Vijay

Emcee: Harish

Time Keepers: Venkat, Jaisankar, Sreenika

Photography: Keerthi

Public Speaking Committee:

Priya , Archita, Chandrasekhar & Vijay

Blog written by: Priya Jaisankar

Blog posted by: Nandini Cheemalamarri

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