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HNB Toastmaster Wins Coveted Title

Roshantha Jayatunge, Manager Card Centre of Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB) emerged the Champion Speaker at the Table Topics (Impromptu) Speech Contest at "Ovation 2013", in Chennai, the biggest annual conference of Toastmasters in District 82, which comprises of members from South India and Sri Lanka. At the recent contest held in Chennai, HNB made its presence felt in both the International & Table Topics Speech Contests. Toastmaster Roshantha Jayatunge clinched the first place at the Table Topics to the proud delight of the HNB Toastmasters becoming the first Sri Lankan to win the title after 5 long years.

There are four speech contests held by Toastmasters International each year namely International (prepared) speeches, Table Topics (impromptu) speeches, humorous speeches and speech evaluations. HNB Toastmasters have swept the boards for 2 consecutive years winning all 4 contests at Area level and Division Level. As a result, HNB has represented Sri Lanka at the District contest competing with Toastmasters from India and Sri Lanka at both the Semi Annual & Annual Conferences in 2011/2012 & 2012/2013.

The HNB Toastmasters Club was initiated in 2004 as part of the Bank's investment in employee development. Realizing the enormous communication and leadership benefits of Toastmaster activities, the management of HNB has been extremely supportive to the extent of forming 3 clubs for its employees in Colombo, Kandy and recently in Negombo.

Numerous staff members have benefitted by following the Toastmasters programme and the Bank boasts several employees who have achieved the basic Competent Communicator and Competent Leader awards. Of its present membership from the Colombo and Kandy Clubs the Bank has 25 Competent Communicators and 15 Competent Leaders. Further, several members have gone on to complete Advanced Projects and the HNB Toastmasters Club now boasts 3 Distinguished Toastmasters - the highest possible accolade in the Toastmasters International programme.

"We have observed that the Toastmasters programme is a readymade source for communication and leadership training and it helps the staff to achieve personal and professional goals" noted Mrs Chiranthi Cooray, Assistant General Manager Human Resources. "From managing time to overcoming fear of public speaking and taking the lead, our team has shown tremendous progress" she continued.

It should be noted that the HNB Toastmasters Club has won the President's Distinguished Club Award for the 5th consecutive year. The President's Distinguished Club Award is the highest level of recognition given by Toastmasters International for quality clubs. It is awarded on achievement of 10 important benchmarks from club growth to members' educational achievements in communication and leadership. Further the HNB Toastmasters Club won the prestigious "golden gavel" award for the 3rd time, an honour bestowed by the District for high performing clubs in their respective district subject to strict guidelines.

The HNB Toastmasters club based in Colombo is exemplary for its influence in the local Toastmasters fraternity. Leading the local clubs as Area Governors, Division Governors, members of the Divisional Council, organizing speech contests, chairing contests, judging contests, compeering events, being model speakers, conducting speech craft programmes, organizing fun activities for the fraternity are some of the initiatives that keep the HNB Toastmasters vibrant, busy and full of activity.

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development with nearly 300,000 members worldwide. These members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 13,000 clubs that make up its global network of meeting locations.

From Left - the triumphant HNB team with the District Leaders. Right - Champion Impromptu Speaker Roshantha Jayatunge; Manager HNB Card Centre

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