A finalist from Ruhuna – Gavelier Chinthani’s VIVA-VOCE experience

By Gv. Chinthani Wijeratne

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t” – Jerry Rice

This is one of my favourite quotes, which I read every morning as a motivation to start my daily work. I’m a logophile who loves quotes a lot. And this quote is so close to me, to my life, because I love to do more extracurricular activities along with my studies. So being the finalist of the VIVA VOCE 2021 Announcing competition is also an outcome of that enthusiastic thought.

VIVA VOCE 2021, which was organized by the CIPM Gavel Club was a competition that had 3 categories, Prepared Speech, Marketing & Advertising and Announcing.

I applied for both prepared speeches and announcing competitions. To be honest with you, I only wanted to take part in the prepared speech competition. I had no plan of taking part in the announcing competition. So I recorded my speech and sent them according to their guidelines before the closing date with lots of hope and desire.

On exactly the closing date, I got a thought to apply for the announcing competition as well. So I went through my video files which I had recorded previously, just as memories, to search for an announcing video and luckily I found one which I had done for a concert of my faculty. Then I sent it right away.

The organizers of the competition kept us updated on the progress of the evaluations via email until that day, a couple of weeks after the video submission deadline, they sent us the results. It was an email again, but it said that I was not selected as a finalist for the speech competition. As I told you previously, I was eagerly waiting for a good result for the Prepared Speech, but unfortunately, it didn’t go well. Then I gave up all my hopes for the announcing competition as well.

Then, after few days, the results of the Announcing competition arrived too. The result was not like in the previous email. I had been selected as a finalist for the announcing competition. I felt so happy and so proud since I was the only one representing my university, out of 8 finalists.

On the 4th of September, we had our finals via zoom from 3 o’clock in the evening and went for around 5 hours. The marketing and advertising competition happened first, the announcing competition was the second and the prepared speech competition was the third.

I was the 4th contestant in the announcing category. Unfortunately, since I had a connection issue I got dropped out at that exact moment. I was so afraid and worried. I felt like I was literally having a rollercoaster ride and nothing crossed my mind, I went completely blank. However, after a few seconds, I came back to my sense and informed my issue to the organizers. As a result, I had to go as the last contestant in the announcing category.

When it was my turn, I was so nervous as usual, but I think I managed it somehow. At around 6 pm, the award ceremony started and they announced the winners. Sadly again, I wasn’t a winner. But I do not have any regrets, because even though I was distracted by my connection, I believe that I put my maximum effort into it!

Even though that chapter ended without a win, I was able to learn a lot. I gained so much experience for my announcing career as well as for my life. On one hand, I was so worried but on the other hand, I was super happy as I realized that winning doesn’t always mean getting first place. It means getting the best out of yourself.

Winning is fun, for sure. But winning is not the only point! Desire to win is the point! Not giving up is the point! Never being satisfied with what you’ve done is the point! Because of that thought, I gathered all of my energy to compete again. So here I am, still fighting without giving up.

Remember, competitions make you better! Always, always makes you better!

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