Gavel Mora Chronicles: Crafting Speeches, Guiding Orators

By SriIndrakumar Nirushan


As you step into the realm of Gavel Mora, the phrase “fear of public speaking” loses much of its power, dissipating like dew before sunrise. Over the years, the Gavel Club of University of Moratuwa has played a pivotal role in nurturing the next generation of passionate and courageous public speakers.

“It takes a wise person to learn from mistakes, but an even wiser one to learn from others.” ~ Zen Proverb

A week before the 20th of July 2023, a poster with these wise words encircled our WhatsApp conversation, inviting us to “watch,” “discuss,” and “learn.” When we first saw the Orator’s Guide flyer, excitement bubbled within us. We understood it would be an invaluable opportunity for amateurs to gain new skills from veterans and for newcomers to benefit from the exposure to our Gavel Club.

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Then came the 20th of July. The meeting commenced via Zoom with our President Umesha eloquently explaining the significance and vision of this gathering, particularly for the newbies. Afterward, the controls of the meeting were handed to our charismatic orators, Gaveliers Selani and Thulasi.

Selani gracefully took the stage, providing a vivid description of the meeting’s flow. Then, Selani and Thulasi engaged alternately in revealing five invaluable speeches:

  • The Power of Words ~ Mohammed Qahtani
  • Shake It Up ~ Dr. Katrak
  • Does Convenience Kill Creativity? ~ Verity Price
  • Evaluation of a Speech ~ Robert Dam
  • You Are Not Excused ~ Kaushalya Batawala

The journey through these five speeches was masterfully led by Selani and Thulasi. They kept Gaveliers captivated while infusing their own insights and interpretations into the speeches.

Summary of the Speech Discussion:

Power of Words ~ Mohammed Qahtani

“All you’ll think smoking kills.”

An individual with a cigarette in their mouth and a lighter in hand, standing on a public speaking stage, is an intriguing sight for the audience. This remarkable speech, brimming with profound content, was unveiled enthusiastically by our Gaveliers.

Key points discussed:

  • Gavelier Selani highlighted the speech’s clever use of the stage (3D visualization) and the speaker’s adeptness in using straightforward language and idioms to balance amusing and serious content.
  • Gavelier Dinidu pointed out the speech’s resemblance to stand-up comedians and recommended adopting some of its techniques to enhance audience connection.
  • Some Gaveliers expressed mixed opinions about the abrupt transitions, questioning whether the audience fully grasped them, which proves the fact that there’s always space for improvement in any speech.


Shake It Up ~ Dr. Katrak

“Ask why?”

Diving into “Shake it up,” this speech made us constantly ask why. It was a humorous discourse that kept our Gaveliers engaged from start to finish and sparked a lively discussion on the freedom of speakers in humorous speeches.

Key points discussed:

  • Gavelier Udesh and Thulasi both highlighted the strong connection established between the speaker and the audience, along with the anticipation skillfully built throughout the speech.
  • Gavelier Ami raised concerns about some overly expressive movements in the opening, which seemed to add an artificial flavour to the speech.

Does Convenience Kill Creativity? ~ Verity Price

“When often disaster strikes and in the pressure of the moment, we have to make a plan.”

Moving into this enlightening speech by Verity Price, our Gaveliers engaged in a fruitful discussion about its exceptional ability to intrigue the audience throughout.

Key points discussed:

  • Gavelier Madhusika stressed the importance of starting an informative speech with a compelling story to maintain spontaneity throughout the discourse. Controlled vocal variation was also emphasized to avoid excessive drama.

Evaluation of a Speech ~ Robert Ram

 “What did you do to overcome your fear to come here and speak? I would like to know.”

We often forget that public speaking is not just about speaking but also about listening. Our Gaveliers ignited an insightful conversation about this speech, recognizing the significance of developing an effective evaluation speech.

Key points discussed:

  • Our Gavelier Chemini explained the uniqueness of evaluation speeches by outlining the basic structure and creative approach that evaluators can take.
  • Gavelier Ami, speaking on behalf of Gavelier Saai, emphasized the importance of connecting with the speaker during their speech to provide a thoughtful evaluation.

You Are Not Excused ~ Kaushalya Batawala

“Will I not end up being a loser.”

By doing something unexpected and audacious, like leaving the stage at the beginning of the speech and re-entering with a boom, a speaker can easily capture the audience’s attention. To create a welcoming atmosphere for newcomers, our Gaveliers chose this speech, delivered by one of our esteemed alumni.

Key points discussed:

  • Gavelier Jayoda highlighted how the three stories in the speech effectively conveyed three distinct modulated messages related to the theme. The advantages and disadvantages of maintaining a single narrative thread while incorporating various stories during the speech were also discussed.

At the end of the meeting, our veteran Gaveliers commended the meeting committee for their clever choice of speeches with diverse genres and newbies poured their gratitude for such a meeting with heartwarming thanks.WhatsApp Image 2023-10-02 at 9.27.33 PM

This valuable session ended with smiley faces that gained valuable insights posing with smiles for a photo.