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In the pursuit of staying safe and not discontinuing the learning and fun, District 98 of Toastmasters International hosted its annual conference, Eloquence, virtually this year.

Over years, District 98, which comprises clubs in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, has held this conference in different cities, including Pune, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

Eloquence is typically organized over two days and has a different theme each year. The attendees get to witness keynote speeches, workshops, contests and entertainment along with networking opportunities. This year, the theme of the conference was ‘Redefining Experience’ – an attempt to deliver a superlative conference leveraging contemporary technologies. It was hosted on an event management platform, vFairs, with a 3D immersive experience that enabled participants to collaborate & network online. It also allowed them to attend parallel workshops/sessions, interact with speakers, know more about the sponsors, walkthrough booths, and much more. The whole experience was gamified.

Organizing Eloquence 2021 was a team effort of over 80 members with Mythili Sarathy, DTM being the convener and Syril Thomas being the co-convener. The event was organized under the supervision of District Director, Niteash Agarwaal, DTM, and Program Quality Director, Seema Rani, DTM. This year, the registrations for Eloquence for the members of District 98 were for free. The event marked an attendance of over 1000 members and guests.

The event was packed with workshops and keynote speeches that helped attendees in enhancing their knowledge about competencies, including teamwork, transformative leadership and engaging with the audience. The keynote speakers were Daniel Rex, CEO of Toastmasters International; Prof Anil Kumar Gupta, an Indian scholar; and RJ Naved, radio jockey at Radio Mirchi (Mirchi Moorga fame). There were two workshops – “Tactical Steps to Start Your Own Podcast” by Abhay Maheshwari and “Transformation through Storytelling: The Gift of Voice” by Sinjini Sengupta.

One of the key highlights of the conference was the finals of four contests, viz. Humorous Speech Contest, Evaluation Speech Contest, International Speech Contest and Table Topics Contest. The winners of these contests were Cyril Paul, Geet Raval, Shobhit Datta and Achala Bhat. Shobhit proceeds to the Regional Semi-finals of the World Championship of Public Speaking 2021.

The patrons of Eloquence 2021 were Reliance Industries Limited, AGC Networks Limited, Ahimsagram, Nain Enterprises, Lance Miller, Lighthouse and HS Creations. The event was also open for businesses to put up virtual stalls, called Expo, and promote themselves. The Expo partners at the event were Moogle, NatureCure Life Solutions, Breitenfeld and TSYS.

Every conference is a projection of the core values of Toastmasters – Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence. Eloquence helps members hone their communication and leadership skills.

If you are looking for improving your public speaking and leadership skills and tapping into networking opportunities, then Toastmasters is the right place for you. Visit toastmasters.org to know more or click here.

District 98 comprises 290 corporate and community clubs in seven states of India namely Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh serving more than 5000+ members.

Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., the organization’s membership exceeds 357,000 in more than 16,600 clubs in 143 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators and leaders.