Thursday, 10 September, 2009

Toastmaster Speech 1 : The Ice Breaker

Thus my journey of developing speaking skills started . Though I used to participate in speech contests in school , I have never done it over long period . I wish to conquer speaking fear as well as acquire public speaking skills , which will help me in all walks of life.

Toastmasters prepared speech first project is "The ice breaker". Objectives of first project are
  • Simply begin speaking in front of audience.
  • Find out weakness in public speaking so as to improve them.
  • Introduce yourself to Fellow club members.
I used "Six minutes" blog liberally to prepare for this .Though it has large number of example speech in text and video ,I found the section on "Speech preparation" most useful.

Fitting your story in maximum 6 minutes is pretty difficult task, mine is still going little above 6 minutes and I wonder ,how and where do I curtail it .But now I wish keep this as it is and let fellow toastmasters comment on it.

I centered my speech on how and why academic is my best career option Here goes my speech -

Lost in India ,Found in Japan.

Good Evening Fellow Toastmasters.

Introducing “yourself” looks very easy and simple , but now I realized that it is one of the most difficult thing to do. But for Toastmasters I gathered my courage ,did some soul searching and standing in front of you with my little story.

I born and brought up in typical lower middle class Indian family. My father was clerk in Government service, mother house-wife and I have a younger sister. We two ,ours two , short and sweet family. Life was not very harsh ,but it was neither comfortable and luxurious. My mother always hammered ,if you want to grow and come out of all hardships ,study hard. You eat ,drink and play ,yes play also that helps in study. Just be a better student.

As a student once I played the role of Teacher on “Teachers day” .We taught in other classes for one full day. That left a lasting impression on my body ,mind and soul. I used to teach my sister too ,who was junior to me by 6 years. It was more than helping in studies. I used to coach, teach and scold her too. Everyone enjoys bossing around brothers/sisters ,isn’t it ? .But it worked. word spread among her friends and I became a kind of “Community teacher” very early in my life. This continued till Junior college. And it helped me too. Helping others to learn , helped me to learn. I became a better at studies and got good grades.

Eventually I got admission to Engineering college. This was my regions most prestigious engineering college. I started working in IT and was posted to Chennai - a South Indian city.

Here too I used to counsel and help my juniors to become a better at work.Again helping others to grow ,helped me to grow. It fine tuned my skills And I became better at my work, got better opportunities. It helped me to land in the land of rising sun ,Japan. Starting from one part of India to Southern India to Japan , the career graph was up-rising ,rewarding .

But still “something” was missing .I had feeling that my potentials are not used fully.

To search this “Something” and expand my wings , I participated in JMEC - Japan Market Entry competition in 2006, (Again one of the inside secret - In the super-expensive Tokyo that was the only affordable learning option.) .I learn lot about market survey, financial and writing business plan. Further I enrolled for MBA and completed it. But that “Something” was still missing.

So I returned to JMEC director ,talked to her and volunteered, to mentor JMEC team. We competed with other 12 multinational high profile teams. As a Mentor ,I worked beyond expectations.I searched for ways to to help team learn better, faster .and yes again It worked !. We were winners in 2009.

I started reflecting , did you ? Have you got the pattern. Whether studying , working or volunteering , or in my home-state , another state or another country too. So in different time, space and roles I was best when I was counseling , coaching & mentoring too.,Essentially I was teaching in one of the three ways.

Yes that's it- teaching ,that's where my heart is. In India I lost my teaching heart to IT and found it in Japan. So I decided to switch my career to teaching , teaching in business school ,where I will be able to counsel, coach and mentor to aspiring minds. I am very very very happy and satisfied about my decision as it will help me to grow with growing minds.

Statistics And Context - Presentation

Being research student , we always use statistics in one or other form . Rather we abuse it more than we use. To avoid the pitfalls you may like to see this nice presentation .

This is part of entry in "Best presentation contest" on

You may like to check other nice entries , some of them which really needs mention are

Presentation ,Speaking Skills and ToastMasters !

Communication is one of the most important skill ,that is hardly taught .Primary aspect of communication is public speaking .It is the most important skill whether you are addressing big audience (for example big gathering ) or small group (for example team meeting). Survey after survey shows that majority around you will have phobia for public speaking ( Technically they call it Glossophobia) .

But for the leader in making ,Public speaking and Presentations is the number one skill he/she must attain.

One of the best way to achieve the presentation and speaking skills is to join Toastmasters. Toastmasters is a non-profit organization dedicated for communication , public speaking and leadership development. Some major features are

  • It is inexpensive.
  • Toastmasters have time tested methods and self-paced graded program. Anyone can follow and acquire the skills. More than 4 million have discovered the benefits.
  • It is not bookish or mere textbook learning ,but interactive and "learning by doing" . You will actually do small projects and gradually build required skills. You will have mentor and fellow club members who will help in learning. Whole environment is supportive and friendly.
Next natural question will be where do I find it , just click here and search.

I am also participating in the club meetings and started with basic communication manual . I shall post my speeches on this blog for follow up and feedback. watch out the space for more updates.

In addition to the Toastmasters manual , I am using online resources at "Six Minutes" liberally for this development. You may like to visit the site for its rich and very useful content.