Dananjaya Hettiarachchi youngest Toastmasters’ Club President in Sri Lanka
Dananjaya Hettiarachchi became the youngest person to be elected as president of a Toastmasters Club in Sri Lanka, when he was voted to the helm of Smedley Toastmasters Club last week.
“The Toastmasters movement enriched my life by giving it a sense of direction, while inspiring me to become a better communicator. However, the club is not limited to helping people develop communication skills. It helps to create leaders. Most important it creates conducive learning environment which helps each individual to unleash their potential by believing in their own abilities,” Smedley Toastmasters Club Dananjaya Hettiarchchi said, at the installation ceremony held on August 25 at Taj Samudra.
Mr. Hettiarchchi became the first Sri Lankan to win the International Taped Speech in 2006, beating over 13,000 participants from across globe. He was won the All Island Best Speakers Contest (AIBSC) in 2007.
Dreams are sometimes as elusive as butterflies. Still, life is all about empowering people to follow their dreams, says 23-year-old Dananjaya Hettiarachchi
“Our aim is to make the club a haven for people looking to be leaders and better communicators and groom them to become the next generation of social catalysts who would initiate positive change,” he said, detailing his vision for the Smedly Toastmaster’s Club.
“We are planning to start a knowledge sharing mechanism where new members can learn from senior Toastmasters and each individual will mentor, who would guide them, though their different projects aims at personal development,” he added.
“I don’t believe that not having an excellent grasp of a language is an obstacle to becoming a good communicator. A lot of people are afraid to speak up because they fear they’ll be ridiculed for their language problems. But good public speakers are people who get the message across to an audience effectively and move the audience,” Mr. Hettiarchchi, who is a Human Resource Consultant at Virtusa corp. said.
What is the International Toastmaster’s movement?
Toastmasters International is the world’s largest public speaking training organization, with over 10,500 clubs and more than 200,000 members in about 90 countries. Since its inception in October 1924under the aegis of by Dr. Ralph C. Smedley over four million men and women have benefited from the organization’s communication and leadership programmes.
Toastmasters International’s success and growth is mainly due to its comprehensive, up-to-date educational programmes. Toastmasters International’s education system includes both a communication track and a leadership track The Competent Communication programme allows members to complete 10 speech projects after which they can choose from any combination of 15 advanced manuals. Additional educational materials include the Success/ Leadership and Success /Communication Series, The Better Speaker Series, The Leadership Excellence Series, and the High Performance Leadership programme. via Mirror Life