Whitman student places second in Toastmasters international speech contest

radhakrishnanSainarayanan Radhakrishnan, a first-year MBA-finance student at the Whitman School of Management, was the second place winner at the Toastmasters Eastern Division Spring International Speech Contest, held at Destiny USA on Saturday, April 5. Radhakrishnan represented Whitman’s Master Toast Club at the competition in two categories: International Speech Contest (prepared speech) and Table Topics (extempore speech contest).

To compete at the division level, Radhakrishnan first competed in the Area Contest, involving contestants from three other clubs, including the Orange Orators at Syracuse University. Every contestant was given 5-7 minutes to speak on a self-selected topic.  Radhakrishnan was the winner in both the International Speech and Table Topics categories. His topic was “Break the Rules,” drawing inspiration from his great-grandmother’s life story, and he seemed to have broken the rules himself in more ways than one: Radhakrishnan was the youngest competitor at the event; the competitor with the least experience as a Toastmaster; the only international contestant at the event; and finally, the only contestant who competed in both categories of the event.

The first- and second-place winners of Saturday’s contest will now compete with the winners of the other New York divisions at the Toastmasters District 65 Spring 2014 Conference to be held at the Owego Treadway Inn April 25-26, in Owego, NY.

The winners of the District Level contest in the International Speech category will then compete in the semifinal round with contestants from around the world at the 83rd Annual International Convention to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 20-23, 2014. The final round of the International Speech category will also be held in Kuala Lumpur this year.

Radhakrishnan, of Chennai, India, has been involved in Master Toast activities since he started at Whitman last fall. Prior to joining Whitman, Sai was involved in the Chennai Toastmasters Club from March to July 2013.