BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Photos by Bytegraph.com
Atlanta, GA, June 6, 2019: The Forsyth Conference Center came alive as youngsters clad in formal wear strutted around the place to compete in a public speaking contest organized by Winning Feathers for kids on May 19, 2019. Well over 50 participants competed for the event with 32 finalists and 9 winners with ages ranging from seven to seventeen years.
Rep. Angelika Kausche (Johns Creek), Angela Zera Allen, Advisory Board Member GSU and Angel Investor, Dennis Brown Forsyth County Commissioner, and Shilpa Jadwani, Immigration Attorney presided as chief guests of the event, with keynote address by Pam Leinmiller, TEDx coach. The event was sponsored by Pramod Sajja and Pratima Sajja, Owners, Paramount Software Solutions.
“The objective is to provide a platform for kids to demonstrate their speaking abilities,” said Apurva Ghelani, founder and owner of Winning Feathers, co-owned by Parth Patel, CEO, Six Consulting.
The well attended event with over 200 patrons, showcased speaking skills of contestants categorized in three groups, based on ages. The choice of topics was varied, including water
conservation, plastic pollution, gun violence, education system, visit to outer space, etc. Passionate speeches interpolated with inspiring quotes by speakers offered a glimpse into a confident generation next. An exciting Karate show served as the entertainment segment.
“Making stress your friend is the key to overcoming stress about public speaking,” said Leinmiller in her address. Elaborating on ways of effective communication, Leinmiller said it was important to form a unique idea, describe why the idea matters, explain in ways that the audience can relate to and have a good understanding the of audience.
“Make eye contact,” she added.
Chai and Just Chat session centered around Immigration, moderated by Dr. Nazeera Dawood with kids on the panel focused on the various aspects of the issue including common misconceptions, laws, polices and the impact of social media.
Ghelani shared his personal journey of triumph over fear of public speaking. “Once you improve it, it will raise your value by 50 percent. The one skill is public speaking,” Ghelani quoted Warren Buffet.
Yash Sajja, Vihaan Das, and Caden Harris took home first, second and third places in 7-9 age category, Rishabh Alagharu, Jonathan Sneh and Viraj Das in the 10-13 age category, Rishi Gowda, Nikhita Chinmay and Saimounish Putumbaka in the 14 and above category. Winner received winner’s trophies and participants received the participant trophy.
Judges for the contest included Nathan Swan, Shawn Athanasios, both Public speaking coaches at Winning Feathers, Rebecca Steiner, Debate Coach, UGA, Dr. Nazeera Dawood, Founder, Vendorship and Chai and Just Chat.
Brain child of Ghelani, Winning Feathers is a Soft Skills Institute headquartered in Alpharetta,
offering summer camps and regular public speaking and debate classes with structured leveled curriculum by highly reputed coaches with formal degree in communication from top universities such as NYU and UC Berkley.