by Dr. Dilip
Orator's sweet song of success
Del. prize winner a man of his words
By Eric Ruth
The News Journal, Wilmington, Delaware
Monday, August 24, 1992
In the midst of a long-winded
political season, some might say the story of Dilip Abayasekara is a
refreshing rarity - an orator who believes shorter is better.
While he's no politician, the
Newark resident won the votes of judges in the World Championship of
Public Speaking in Las Vegas Saturday, taking second place against eight
The advice of the world's
second-best orator: Make it short, make it sweet, make them laugh and make
His award-winning speech was
titled "Love Makes the Connection," a self-penned examination of
human relationships. He competitively performed the piece for the first
time Saturday. The first-place winner, Dana Lamon of Lancaster, Calif.,
told people to "Take a Chance", and the third-place finisher,
Canadian Doon Wilkins of Calgary, Alberta, spoke on "The Glory of
Abayasekara, a Sri Lanka
native, took less than seven minutes to weave a tale of personal
experience in a new land and personal advice from a father he hadn't seen
His father told him that
relationships are life's most precious aspect, and during the 20 years he
has made his way in the United States, Abayasekara, 40, said those bonds
were what transformed a strange land into his homeland.
come when love makes the connection, Abayasekara told the audience.
Abayasekara, a research
scientist at W. L. Gore & Associates in Elkton, Md., said successful
speeches have a touch of humor, a few personal experiences and a degree of
pathos - and the message must touch the audience.
"The shorter speeches are
harder to give because you have say something meaningful within seven
minutes (the competition's limit)," he said.
The race between Lamon and
himself was a close one, Abayasekara said, but nerves weren't a problem.
"I had prepared like
crazy. I felt the most prepared than I had been for any
speech," said Abayasekara, president of the Greater Newark Area
Toastmasters, who aspires to begin a business coaching speakers and
guiding company presentations.
He began the speech in June,
but took it through 15 revisions before he was satisfied.
Contestants need three speeches to go all the way through the finals.
"Anyone can write one very good speech. A few people can write
two very good speeches. But very few can come up with three