Gavel Orientation 2017

By Nadarasar Bahavan


The stage was abruptly and suddenly taken over by the Men in Black: The Agent K and Agent K, Kasun and Kanchana:  the Dynamic Duo of the club. Everybody was taken to the edge of the seats, while both the Ranasinghes delivered a terrific and dramatic opening that caught the slumbering audience unaware.

Everybody in that hall had two questions in their mind,

  1. What is Gavel?
  2. What am I doing here?

After five minutes of the Dynamic Duo, a third question materialized: why do they call Malindi Jayathunga the “Harry Potter Girl”?

Malindi once again managed to charm the audience with her confident charisma. Her presentation on what Gavel offers was definitive and entertaining. After narrating her stories of how she was lured into the Gavel outbound training by the Madam VP Education, unearthed her latent speaking potential, realized that public speaking is inevitable, and inspired herself from her Mother’s words, she proceeded to once again emphasize the importance of public speaking. That concluded her neat presentation.

You have seen Men in Black, Harry Potter (well, the girl version I suppose) and now brace yourselves for Superman. Kanchana narrated an incident of how the Gavel superman persuaded and talked a policeman off a speeding ticket. Superman Sandaru Suranjaya walked to the stage and proceeded to set it on fire. After realising that prolonged hours of sitting can be a bit uncomfortable, Sandaru proceeded to blast some of his dynamism into our audience with a bit of clapping and jumping. Strange techniques, but very efficient, I guarantee.  He talked about the agony of being a three-time reserve-finalist, the beauty of competitive speaking and how he is still finding himself as a speaker. Furthermore, he managed to reason why Batman was better than Superman to end his session with aplomb.

Next it was the fashion model of our club. This handsome, bearded, fair gentleman walked down the hall as all the eyes of the audience followed him to reflect the sunlight to conjure up a makeshift spotlight. Harsha Chamara spoke passionately of how he was once not great in public speaking and in English. But all of that seemed foreign and strange because of the way he spoke on stage: natural and with aplomb.

The promotional flyers for the Gavel Orientation. Design Credits: Haritha Jayasinghe

Now, it was time for some games. You could hear giggles and laughter ripple across the room as the crowd leaned forward in anticipation. Once again, the stage was set on our Dynamic Duo as they introduced a simple game. The game was simple: everybody had a leaflet of paper and had to scour across the room listing down the weirdest thing another person has done. The person with the largest list in three minutes would win chocolates! That was enough to spark a frenzy. Out of the list came some bizarre things: Like asking out a boy and eating ice-cream with rice. This exercise helped to connect the audience together amongst themselves.

The next session was the mini-meetings session. The audience was split into four groups and for each group there was a mini-meeting. It had the same roles as a general Gavel meeting with Table Topics and Round Robin sessions. To my fortune, I had the pleasure of having Merl Chandana, our Immediate Past President, as the Toastmaster/Table-topics-master in my group. The session was wrapped up neatly ,as nearly all the participants had an enjoyable session.

Cherishing moments captured on film by Gunavaran Brihadiswaran

Finally, it was time to wrap up, and we had the pleasure of listening to one of the most accomplished Gaveliers speak. Merl Chandana spoke passionately about how the general practices of the Gavel Club changed him into a very professional person and imbibed him with tremendous confidence. Such was his energy even the audience felt motivated and pumped up.

After the varied sessions of intense activity and thinking, it was time for the Gavel Orientation 2017 to conclude as the comperes wrapped up the event by thanking the resource personnel and the organizing committee.