The annual conference of Toastmasters in Nepal was a reflection of the immense growth this community has had in the past year. 350 members attended the conference representing 30 clubs from all over Nepal. These participants represented various community clubs, companies, professional associations and educational institutions.
Mr. Deepak Menon, DTM, the International President of Toastmasters International, delivered the keynote address. Toastmasters Nepal also recognized Krishna Tamrakar with the 2019 Communicator Award. Tamrakar who is 82 years old still runs two FM programs. A cancers survivor, she runs “Asha” a radio program for cancer awareness. She was the voice for Radio Nepal for 31 years, many still recall her famed opening “Yo Radio Nepal ho, aba Krishna Tamrakar bata samachar sunnuhos”. The award is presented each year to a non-toastmaster member for their communication and leadership contributions to the country.
The finalists for the Evaluation and Humorous Speech Contests battled in the final round and respective winners were announced. The winner of the Evaluation Contest was Priya Chapagain from KU-SOM Toastmasters Club and the Humorous Speech Contest winner was Kushma KC from Laxmi Bank Toastmasters Club, both from Area A5. Both the winners will proceed to the district-level contests being held in May 2020 in New Delhi, India. These contests are organized as per the guidelines prescribed by Toastmasters International, which also hosts the World Championship of Public Speaking.
The program also featured a panel discussion on the topic ‘Leadership through Communication’ with panelists Suman Shakya DTM, Ranjit Acharya DTM, Jennifer Ghosh DTM, and the International President Deepak Menon DTM. The discussion was moderated by Moon Pradhan, DTM. When asked about the increasing Toastmasters influence, DTM Acharya said, “We are creating cross pollination throughout the district and beyond. Effective evaluation and mentorship programs are being rolled out in Nepal.” DTM Shakya said, “If we do the basics right, everything falls into place. If running clubs in the right way with standards goes well for Nepal, it could be replicated outside the country."
The second issue of Inkspire, the newsletter of Division A, District 41 (Nepal Toastmasters) for the year 2019/2020 was also launched during the event.
The program also featured multiple toastmasters who showcased their musical and cultural talents.