By Sahan Mandira
The anticipation was palpable as the doors of the auditorium (Lecture Hall) swung open, welcoming a sea of eager faces. The atmosphere crackled with excitement as participants settled into their seats. The lecture hall, though lacking a traditional stage, transformed into a haven for intellectual exploration and interactive dialogue. It was time for the highly anticipated Speaker’s Odyssey 2023, a captivating event that promised to ignite the sparks of public speaking brilliance.
As the audience settled in, soft background music and captivating slides set the mood, transporting everyone into a world where words held immense power. A teaser video played, teasing the remarkable journey that awaited them throughout the evening. The energy in the room soared as the compère, Odil stepped forward, capturing everyone’s attention with a charismatic welcome.
In a symphony of applause, the stage came alive as the president of the Gavel Club, Umesha Thilakarathne delivered a warm welcome speech, setting the stage for an extraordinary event. The audience was invited to actively participate, turning the event into an interactive experience unlike any other.
The spotlight illuminated the stage, unveiling the remarkable Ms. Malindi, an Art director, Designer and Storyteller. With grace and confidence, she took center stage, captivating every eye and ear with her magnetic presence.
In her powerful and insightful speech, Ms. Malindi highlighted key points that resonated with the audience. She emphasized that being a good speaker goes beyond presentation etiquette, body language, and grammar, instead, it requires authenticity and a genuine connection with the audience. Ms. Malindi stressed the importance of being a great listener and spoke about effective communication in various contexts, such as academic presentations, viva presentations, business pitches, and interviews. She focused on the language of love, urging speakers to love the world, love their work, and love themselves. Throughout her speech, she shared impactful videos and emphasized that when individuals love their work, delivery comes naturally, including physical movements, voice variations, and manner. Moreover, she encouraged self-belief and highlighted that when individuals love themselves, it shows in their speeches. Her insights inspired the audience to embrace their unique voices and make a lasting impact through the transformative power of love in communication. Furthermore, she concluded the slides with a humorous ending thank you which is unforgettable.
After an invigorating session, the floor was opened for a lively Q&A session. Attendees eagerly seized the opportunity to delve deeper into the art of public speaking, seeking guidance and wisdom from Ms. Malindi. The room was filled with a harmonious exchange of knowledge and ideas, inspiring everyone to take on new challenges.
As the evening progressed, the focus shifted to the introduction of the Competent Communication (CC) Manual and Speech Olympiad (SO). With a twinkle in his eye and a mischievous smile, Gavelier Thulasithan took the stage and welcomed the eager audience to the world of Competent Communication speeches and the exhilarating realm of the Speech Olympiad competition. Setting the tone with a delightful touch of humor, he playfully introduced the attendees to the ins and outs of these captivating events. The importance of mentoring was highlighted, shedding light on the invaluable role it plays in the growth of aspiring orators.
A captivating video by Gavel Mora’s Strategic Partner, Unilever, filled the room with inspiration. The video served as a reminder of the endless possibilities that await those who dare to express themselves and connect with others through words.
With the evening drawing to a close, a sense of accomplishment and gratitude filled the room. The compère took the stage once more, delivering a heartfelt conclusion that left a lasting impression on the hearts of all attendees. A concluding slide was shared, capturing the essence of the event and serving as a reminder of the transformative power of public speaking.
Speaker’s Odyssey 2023 had created a ripple of inspiration that would echo far beyond the confines of the university, encouraging individuals to step onto the stage of life with confidence and conviction. It was an unforgettable event, a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who dare to dream and share their voices with the world. Each person left the auditorium carrying a newfound inspiration, equipped with the tools to become the captivating public speakers they aspired to be.
As Speaker’s Odyssey 2023 draws to a close, profound gratitude is extended to the remarkable individuals who made the event a resounding success. The unwavering support of the executive board fostered greatness, while co-chair, Odil’s charismatic hosting enhanced engagement. A special mention goes to the talented team of organizers who worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Appreciation abounds for their invaluable contributions, as their collective efforts ensured the event’s triumph and left an indelible mark on all participants.