Communicate. Collaborate. Celebrate.
OLYMPIAN OF PUBLIC SPEAKING
INDIA'S TOP MODEL REVEALS HIS ENTREPRENEURIAL SIDE
EXCEPTIONAL BENEFITS I DERIVED FROM TOASTMASTERS
A STUTTER FINDS A CURE IN TOASTMASTERS
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
TM Sudhir Batham, ADP Hyderabad Toastmasters Club (On aRISE moment, Rising to the Occasion): It's a fact that the newsletter team is doing a great job and it is not at all easy. I wrote the aRise article. I would suggest that whenever you finalize an article by making some changes, editing it, please do get it reviewed by the writer, who wrote it, coz it can happen that few words, phrases or lines which he wrote get edited and the impact of the article or whatever the person wrote may lose its purpose. It happens with the one which I wrote. Please make a note of this point, it may take an extra effort for you guys, I know it, but I feel it should be added in one of your to-do lists. All the very best guys, Thanks a lot for publishing my article. TM Ravi Teja Marrapu, ADP Hyderabad Toastmasters Club (On Cover Story, Master Orator Championship, Season 2): Absolutely well covered and sequence of events was very well constructed. Continue making all of us proud. Every edition makes us all come together. All the best. :) TM Jay Jani, Amdavad Toastmasters Club (On Cover Story, Master Orator Championship, Season 2): I loved the way various aspects of Master Orator Championship were comprehensively covered and that too from different perspectives of event leaders, contestants, MCs, etc. While reading, one can almost get a feeling of experiencing the true event. Well captured photos and succinct paragraphs made the cover story a delightful read! TM Navin Raj Abraham, International Centre Goa (ICG) Toastmasters Club (On Communicate 98 Features - A Journalist’s Journey): Great to read the article 'journalist's journey' which highlighted the daily routine of a fiery journalist. It is indeed heartening to know that people choose professions based on their passion. Keep publishing articles on off-beat professions. TM Srividya Malla, BACI Hyderabad Toastmasters Club (On Toastmaster Professional, My Green Room): The way author linked Toastmasters to Green Room through her story is very structured and thoughtful. The author inspired her readers to use Toastmasters as a practice ground and to face our fears, hesitations and embarrassments in Toastmasters and make our struggle much simpler and tireless in actual life situations.
IN THIS ISSUE 02
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
CELEBRATING THE MILESTONES 05
06 COMMUNICATE 98 FEATURES
FROM THE AUGUST ARCHIVE
HUMANS OF D98
THE OPINION PAGE
19 21 LEADING BEYOND TOASTMASTERS
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!
THE COMMUNICATE 98 TEAM
DISTRICT 98 OFFICERS
OUR DISTRICT OFFICERS (2017-2018) Arvind Nair Ravi Teja Marrapu Leo Kurians Paulose Chandrashekar D P Patrick Pereira Nishant Mehta Niteash Agarwaal Chidanand Pradhan Hasnain Changi Raunak Kulwal Vinod J Sharma Akshay Chillal Siddharth Suman Anant Katyayni Smita Mishra Shijin Sreeraman Ajay Hiraskar Dhanraj Kamdar Dipankar Das Mahesh Puranam Manish Kamdar Debahooti Basu Tanmaya Panda Parakh Kukreja Prashant Sampat Kannagi Mishra Poonam Kumar Chris Kingsley Seema Rani Vijay Bhanushali Pramod Kiwande Ravi Parikh Mayank Naidu Priya Lekha Ajit Shah Sapna Ohri
District Director Program Quality Director Club Growth Director Immediate Past District Director District Administration Manager District Finance Manager District PR Manager District Logistics Manager Division Director - Div A Division Director - Div B Division Director - Div C Division Director - Div D Division Director - Div E Division Director - Div F Division Director - Div H Division Director - Div M Division Director - Div P Area Director - Area A1 Area Director - Area A2 Area Director - Area A3 Area Director - Area A4 Area Director - Area B1 Area Director - Area B2 Area Director - Area B3 Area Director - Area B4 Area Director - Area B5 Area Director - Area C1 Area Director - Area C2 Area Director - Area C3 Area Director - Area C4 Area Director - Area C5 Area Director - Area D1 Area Director - Area D2 Area Director - Area D3 Area Director - Area D4 Area Director - Area D5
Aparajitha Chakilam Ankur Agarwal Rahul Ghelani Priya Mathur G. K. Aajay Pavan Kumar Tulsija Shefali Johar Prudvinath Malepati Narita Rai Subramanyam KV Abhishek Shukla Tanay Tejasvi Asha Pratyasa Sunil Sharma Dr. Tejinder Singh Rawal Shubhangi Pandey K Srikanth Ravi Sharma Pratibha Jithesh Umme Salma Babrawala Navin Raj Abraham Vinay Prabhu Mhambre Shreya Kanabar Angad Sathe Syed Moazzam Daimi Ravi G. Motwani Swapnil Sonawane Pramod Mohandas Arjuna Shivangi Usha Udayshankar Atul Morey Eknath Hole Karan Gupta Mukta Nadkar Shireesh Nadkar Suryaprathap Reddy K
Area Director - Area E1 Area Director - Area E2 Area Director - Area E3 Area Director - Area E4 Area Director - Area E5 Area Director - Area E6 Area Director - Area F1 Area Director - Area F2 Area Director - Area F3 Area Director - Area F4 Area Director - Area F5 Area Director - Area H1 Area Director - Area H2 Area Director - Area H3 Area Director - Area H4 Area Director - Area H5 Area Director - Area H6 Area Director - Area M1 Area Director - Area M2 Area Director - Area M3 Area Director - Area M4 Area Director - Area M5 Area Director - Area P1 Area Director - Area P2 Area Director - Area P3 Area Director - Area P4 Area Director - Area P5 District Training Manager Club Extension Chair, Hyderabad Club Extension Chair, Pune Club Extension Chair, Mumbai Credentials Chair District Newsletter Editor District Chief Judge District Parliamentarian District Web Master
CELEBRATING THE MILESTONES 25TH MEET OF RG SPEAKERS TOASTMASTERS 23RD AUGUST
10TH MEETING OF TOASTMASTERS CLUB OF ALLSCRIPTS VADODARA 24TH AUGUST
10TH ANNIVERSARY OF TOASTMASTERS CLUB OF PUNE 27TH AUGUST
75TH MEETING OF MAPUSA TOASTMASTERS GOA 12TH SEPTEMBER 25TH MEETING AND CLUB CONTEST OF DIAMOND CITY TOASTMASTERS CLUB 17TH SEPTEMBER 200TH MEETING OF GOA YMCA TOASTMASTERS CLUB 23RD SEPTEMBER
THE OLYMPIAN OF PUBLIC SPEAKING DTM Aditya Maheshwaran started out in Toastmasters at an early age. What he’s most well known for within Toastmasters and out of it, is his consistent success in the International Speech Contest. He has been a District Champion thrice, in 2014, 2015 and most recently, 2017. In 2015, he was the 1st Runner-up at the Finals of the World Championship of Public Speaking. Many members take his success as a given but he has worked a long time to become a speaking sensation, starting out way back in 2008. To put it in very painful perspective, I was giving my class 10 board exams around that same time. His public speaking career has given him opportunities to speak at TEDx events and he has been invited by 7 countries for professional speaking engagements. I spoke to Aditya over the phone after stalking him on the internet (You’d be surprised what you can learn online). He writes “I have a vision to inspire people around the world to find their potential - by unleashing leadership, productivity, and effective communication - using the mode of public speaking.”
What has kept you going for nearly a decade in relentless pursuit of the WCPS title? Why not other contest formats? For my first 6-7 years in Toastmasters, I was devoted only to leadership roles. I served as my Club President, Area Governor and many others. When I went to Mumbai 4-5 years ago, it was a fresh start for me and that’s when I started competing seriously. In Humorous and Evaluations contests, I had gone up to the Division and even District levels. When I started with ISC, I had never reached any significant position. For me, the ISC subsumes all other speech formats. It is a full speech in itself, just like life itself. Winning speeches often contain a lot of humour and in ISC, the humour is not just for the sake of humour but serves a larger purpose.
I have a vision to inspire people around the world to find their potential by unleashing leadership, productivity, and effective communication - using the mode of public speaking.
COVER STORY Is professional advancement a motivation for you? Did Aditya the Facilitator come first or was it Aditya the Speaker? One feeds into the other. What the World Championship did is it made me take myself seriously even outside of Toastmasters. After 2014, I started travelling within and outside India for conferences and professional speaking opportunities. Where I thrive the best is facilitating, it involves spontaneity and probing the audience to help them find answers on their own. As a speaker, for 7 minutes, the entire world is your audience and it becomes your CV in Toastmasters. After 2015, I was the “Scratch” guy for a couple of years. When you’re part of the deck of contestants, 8-10 speeches, for you it’s just your speech; for the audience, it’s 10 speakers in a row. If you come at the end and you’re able to tie up the knot by showing some logic and coherence, they find it very appealing. It’s a way to keep the audience entertained.
The stories I use may be simple, but that is what connects with the audience and that is my differentiator. There is no pressure on me to say something new but to just tell them something they already know in a different way.
Do you do any special preparation for the contest? What do you think is a key differentiator for you as a speaker? In 2014, there were a lot of people trying to help me whose advice I took since I was on the world stage for the first time. In 2015, with my experience, I made my own observations on what works. I cut the fat, did a couple of practice sessions in my clubs, did my speech maybe twice, and then went to the Semi-Finals. I do a lot of self-reflection to see what content is working. I try to remove jokes that are not working but am reluctant to cut because I wrote it. I remove redundant lines, see how to elevate the content and derive meaning from each line. So 2017 was a little more of a breeze because of my experience. If my speech clicked in my mind, I didn’t need to practice it. My messages often seem too simple to be made into speeches (a mechanic teaching me about scratches, my mother teaching me to eat the sprouts first). Mentors would advise for more painful stories of death and loss. The stories I use may be simple, but that is what connects with the audience and that is my differentiator. There is no pressure on me to say something new but to just tell them something they already know in a different way. In 2014, I used to be more dramatic in the typical Toastmasters way. I have now made a shift to be conversational and subtle.
COVER STORY The ISC seems to have become a formula based speech contest. Do you think it lacks innovation? There is no guideline, the only thing that is common is the ballot. One reason for the format is that the way we do things is just passed through generationally, for example, styles of evaluation differ from country to country. The way we prepare ISC is just like a frog inside the well. The second reason is false role modelling – in 2011-2012, there used to be overly dramatic speeches. When they won, they become the benchmark and the role model that is followed. Dhananjay and Qahatani had a more different style, more conversational. Most people talk about things like bounce back from failure. But if you ask yourself what moves people, what they need – they need reassurance, they need to know that life will be better tomorrow. So the question becomes, how do you convey that, which comes to the power of the speaker. Like Dhananjay said that “You’re special”, but he said it in a way that made people go “Wow!”. So that’s what it’s all about. How you say it. At WCPS, there are so many different cultures that you can’t be very specific. You have to make the message more universal so you come to these same themes again. Is there a WCPS club for speakers, winners or manytime finalists? There are a few, formal and informal. There is a group called “The Finalists” which all finalists get added to where they analyze speeches. There is also a support group for runners-up like an AA meeting which is cute, to support each other as losers! There are many groups that get formed to explore different styles of speaking.
My objective is to help people and organizations deliver on their strategy. I like helping people express themselves better and improve the way they present themselves so they can get more value out of life.
What does success look like for Aditya Maheshwaran? My objective is to help people and organizations deliver on their strategy with better leadership and communication in their stakeholders. I like helping people express themselves better and improve through small tweaks in the way they present themselves so they can get more value out of life. One of the reasons I have been able to compete and each time get something out of it is because it is not my life goal, whether I win or lose. WCPS is a milestone yes, but not the ultimate goal. It can be a dream, never a purpose. The purpose is to tangibly help a person or organization become better as a result of my engagement with them. This helps me satisfy my purpose, so I can compete again and again without fear of losing. Edited and compiled by Karan
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CONTEST OF THE MONTH
TM SHRADDHA KANDULA BVRIT HYDERABAD TOASTMASTERS CLUB
COMMUNICATE 98 FEATURES
MILIND SOMAN: ENTREPRENEUR FOR SOCIAL CHANGE What made a ramp scorcher turn into an entrepreneur? Tell us about your first venture into entrepreneurship. I started my first venture, an event management company, in 1989 around the same time I was modelling. It was exciting to see how people used their creativity and created something beautiful together. Later, I starred in the serial “A mouthful of sky” and was fascinated with what went on behind the sets, which made me start my production house in 1997. So the roots of my entrepreneurship are in wanting to explore things that fascinate me and in the process, explore myself. My entrepreneurial ventures are a reflection of my psyche, my various facades and an extension of my interests. You created the first ever women-only running event, Pinkathon. What are some leadership lessons you've learned by driving innovation for social change?
Most of us know that Milind Soman was India's top model and is a fitness evangelist. What most don't know is that he is an entrepreneur in his own right. His repertoire of startups includes United Sisters Foundation that runs Pinkathon which is a woman only running event promoting health and fitness for women and creating awareness on breast cancer; Maximus Events, Face Entertainment, Deivee, Goddess, Speaking Minds and OnTheRun. We caught up with the man himself to explore this less known dimension of his personality.
The idea was never to innovate per se but to experiment. Talking about Pinkathon, a lot of women do not run due to cultural and sociological reasons but at the back of their minds, they understand the importance of being healthy. I wanted to experiment and see how far any reason could stop them. So I started Pinkathon and everything came to light due to the impact it created. More women started running regularly. Speaking of social change, running is just a tool to get a community together. The idea is to think differently and to keep it inclusive.
COMMUNICATE 98 FEATURES
We look at people who are isolated or marginalized and we include them. The hearing impaired, the blind, the acid attack victims, we reach out to them and that effort is intrinsic to community building. We cannot have a community that is exclusive. We learnt these things organically along the journey. All this has not been solely my effort nor my teamâ€™s. I facilitate my team, who facilitate the ambassadors who in turn facilitate those around them. I want to create an army of facilitators. The motto is to enable, encourage, and empower those around us to bring about the change to create a better world.
You have some terrific brands associated with Pinkathon. What strategy do you follow to bag associations with the various partners that support your ventures? Firstly, what I believe in and the reason Pinkathon became popular is that we created something in which people see value. Value is not necessarily money. It can be something which changes your life for the better and gives you a sense of empowerment and achievement. When we create something like that every entity sees value in it, be it an individual, a social work organization or a corporate. They would want to bring that philosophy into their culture and be associated with that value. Secondly, we publicize using social media, news media, broadcast, and word of mouth to increase our reach. When there is value and reach, companies automatically gravitate towards what you do and become partners.
What are the challenges you faced in driving successful entrepreneurial ventures for social causes in India? A social cause is always about understanding the problem. We run into complex things without understanding the basics. For instance, we generally do not talk about things as basic as menstruation itself or the stigma associated with that and talk about menstrual health or menstrual hygiene. Swavalamban is a pilot project we are doing in Delhi to talk about menstruation for all the sections of society and to promote a basic understanding of health and hygiene. Â Â Challenges are a part of every new venture and there are only two ways to deal with them. Face them head on and rise above them. Or, foresee a challenge and prepare. Either way, there is no easy way out. For example, Pinkathon is expensive. Sponsors said women are not decision makers. They are not our audience. But we believed in it, spent our own money initially and kept going. And when sponsors saw the response, they wanted to be a part of it. When you believe in something with all your heart, work towards it, then everyone will start believing in you. To run anything successfully, you need to believe that you are going to do it and it is going to be beautiful. Also, have an understanding of how to do what is necessary and then drive it passionately to make that belief come to fruition. Edited and compiled by Madhuri Take a moment to give us feedback for this article, or the issue HERE. You might get published in Letters to the Editor!
UP AND UP: AREA B1
All Toastmasters are expected to rise up to challenges and lead our fellow members. As for me, I had already been a club president and felt that an Area Director role would give me an excellent opportunity to apply my experience in a leadership position. I also felt that this responsibility would give me greater scope to help develop our local Toastmasters community.
TM DEBAHOOTI BASU AREA DIRECTOR, AREA B1 As we get ready for the ekNumber! Confluence at Indore, we spoke to Area Director of Area B1, Toastmaster Debahooti Basu talks about the challenges faced by Toastmasters in upcoming hubs like Indore. It is a matter of great happiness and pride that our city, Indore, will be hosting Confluence 2017 this November. Organizing it will be an interesting challenge for the vibrant Toastmasters community of Area B1. Actually, we are used to facing challenges. Earlier there were few clubs and awareness about Toastmasters was limited. But we are helping our nascent Toastmasters movement become bigger and stronger through our collective efforts. As part of these efforts, our main focus is on improving the overall quality of our club meetings so that guests feel inspired to become members. At my club, Transcendence Toastmasters, we have an excellent mentorship, management, and support program for all speakers, role players, and leaders. We make it a point to popularize Toastmasters by talking about it to others including family members, friends, corporate professionals, and students. Our members are always encouraged to bring guests along to meetings. We also plan demo meetings and events regularly. Very soon, Area B1 will be welcoming a new club!
I have always believed that small cities and cities with few Toastmasters clubs such as Indore have lots of development potential. Let me tell you from my experience that if youngsters from smaller cities like Indore are introduced to Toastmasters, they are likely to join it because it helps them become better and confident communicators in English. As the Area Director, I aim to charter at least 2 more clubs in Indore with help from active and committed members of Area B1. I am very thankful to them for their overwhelming and unwavering support. Together, our significant achievements include: >A productive Club Officers Training Program attended by many members. In fact, through this COTP, we also motivated a club from Bhopal to add 8 new members! >At least 3 of our clubs are likely to attain their DCP goals. We also hope to win a Diamond Club award >We hope to achieve 100% membership renewals. On behalf of Area B1, I welcome all of you for the Confluence! This conference will give our Toastmasters of Indore an excellent opportunity to connect with Toastmasters all over District 98 and exchange ideas. Moreover, it will also boost our PR profile for Toastmasters. Let’s come together at Indore and make Confluence 2017 a truly #ekNumber! conference! Compiled by Mehak; Edited by Taaha Take a moment to give us feedback for this article, or the issue HERE. You might get published in Letters to the Editor!
FROM DEFEAT TO VICTORY
TM SANJEEV MISHRA AGNEL TOASTMASTERS CLUB, MUMBAI Do you feel scared to speak up in meetings? Do you feel nervous answering spontaneous questions from your boss? The fear of public speaking is “the number one fear” in surveys conducted across the globe, outranking the fear of death. People would rather die than go on stage and speak! I heard the word “Toastmaster” for the first time way back in 2009 during my stint with an investment banking firm. When I learned that it was about public speaking, stage fear instantly gripped me and I decided to maintain an arm’s distance from Toastmasters. In 2011, I joined Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) in a strategic role as Head of Security – Campuses & Offices. I was comfortable communicating through emails or telephone but not in person. I would get scared while speaking to a large group, a small group, or even one-to-one. I would go well prepared for every leadership meeting and walk out with sub-optimal results. During the meetings, I would get mesmerized by the captivating speeches of other leaders and would hesitate to put across my ideas with clarity, confidence, and conviction. My frustration rose with every passing day. I realized that verbal communication had become my Waterloo and I have to defeat my stage fear to move ahead in my career.
Then, the idea of exploring Toastmasters flashed through my mind like a gift from God. In September 2012, I decided to visit a neighbourhood community club named Agnel Toastmasters Club. It was the only club in Navi Mumbai which had opened its doors to people from all walks of life. During those days, Agnel was a budding club and was in the process of being chartered. I was pleasantly received by a few senior Toastmasters from other clubs who were helping Agnel members learn the ropes. The meeting was professionally conducted from beginning to end. There were no teachers, no instructors, no exams and no marks. I found people practising communication skills in a safe environment. I saw people caring about one another and helping one another be better in that session. I loved this simple non-conventional format of learning and joined right away. With this, I started my journey to learn the art of public speaking. With every passing club meeting, I gained confidence and I could feel the positive change in my communication at work. I derived three exceptional benefits from Toastmasters - First, uncovering personal stories by delivering speech projects. Second, learning to think on my feet, which helps me respond effectively to the spontaneous questions tossed at me by my boss, my colleagues and even my spouse! Finally, developing non-linear thinking through the variety I experience in every meeting. When I started out, little did I know that Toastmasters would become my hobby, my passion and my calling. In Toastmasters, I lost my stage fear and found my voice. Edited and compiled by Fatima Take a moment to give us feedback for this article, or the issue HERE. You might get published in Letters to the Editor!
THE FANTASTIC FOUR
Toastmasters is a hub of talent and learning. I have been blessed with four mentors to hone specific communication and leadership skills, and some who will even bestow me with life lessons. This ‘Fantastic Four’ team has been a constant source of motivation in my journey. They have guided me, inspired me, and more importantly challenged me to push my boundaries and achieve goals that I once deemed as impossible. Allow me to take you down my memory lane with my ‘Fantastic Four’ team: BISWAJIT: Four years ago, as a fresh graduate, I set out on a mission to become a DTM within a time frame of a year and a half. My Toastmasters journey took me to the charismatic DTM Biswajit who was confident that I could achieve my goals through unfettered passion and grit. Having said that, he posed a question whether I could do justice to the DTM title achieved in such a short time; if my conscience, my inner student would be truly satisfied with the results obtained. With a soothing smile, he advised me to enjoy the journey and take one step at a time so that the finish line would be nearer and clearer.
DTM UJJAVAL MODI AMDAVAD TOASTMASTERS CLUB KP: Often I have been told that my first impression is that of a happy-go-lucky guy. A large portion of that attribute has been moulded by KP. He is one of those few mentors who can even make your areas of improvement look like an asset. Some key takeaways from KP are: >Be the same person on and off the stage. >Come what may, live happily >Regardless of your age, you can always remain the youngest guy in the room. PREETI: In one occurrence, I had just returned from Germany and participated in the Humorous speech contest – impromptu! Preeti was furious at this act of mine - not because my jokes were not good enough but because of my lack of preparation. There is no substitute for practice and preparation. She inculcated the habit in me of penning down the speech before delivering it. Preeti truly justifies the title of Mentor. I can’t thank her enough for cultivating this habit in me. DHANRAJ: If you are fortunate enough to get your speech evaluated by Dhanraj, he will present you with a perfect CRC based sandwich feedback. However, when we meet over a cup of tea, we feel free to share the true feedback without getting it sandwiched between two layers of the positive portion of the speech. This level of transparency and comfort between the mentor and mentee takes growth to an exponential curve within a short span. I know that if my speech is not up to the mark, Dhanraj wouldn’t refrain from stating the same. These Four have been the wind beneath my wings throughout my flight. I am special not because of my speeches, I am special because I am blessed with such wonderful mentors. Edited and compiled by Malvi Take a moment to give us feedback for this article, or the issue HERE. You might get published in Letters to the Editor!
THE LIGHT BEARER
TM JASVINDERSINGH BHATTI DIAMOND CITY TOASTMASTERS CLUB Imagine you are walking into a tunnel and you suddenly get stuck at a point. You are stuck, just like we get stuck in situations in our real lives. The situation is an epitome of a dilemma, dither and deprivation. But then you see a guiding light at the end of the tunnel that acts as an ideal mentor, one who teaches you, tests you, and tracks you. In October 2016, I attended my first Toastmasters meeting in Mulund. From that day, I was unable to contain the thought of having a club in my city. When we finally managed to schedule our first meeting, I encountered “The Light Bearer" for the first time. My enthusiasm was at an all-time high after the first session but I had no clue where to head: the venue, the role players, the quality of the meeting, or how I would manage everything in a new city where the nearest club was 180 kilometres away! This is where my mentor came into the picture. He educated me, made me understand the difference between the factual and the actual, motivated me to take bold decisions. We conducted our meetings every Sunday and he used to travel 50 kilometres for each one. Afterwards, he would not only critique the blunders made during the session but also appreciate the things that went well.
One day, he called me up just before a meeting and said "Sorry Jasvinder, I won't be able to make it today. Please manage without me". I didn't have the guts to ask why, I just said “Okay” and left for the venue. He was supposed to play two roles that day: Evaluator and General Evaluator. I had to step up for him as I had no choice. The meeting went well and I felt more confident than before. He called me and revealed that he had not been busy. By backing out at the last minute on purpose, he wanted his mentee to learn to manage tough times in his absence. That is how he wanted to ‘test’ me. With time, he took a backseat and let the upcoming leaders hold the fort. Now, he visits the club meetings occasionally but is sure to be present for important events. Tracking their mentees and keeping them aligned to the goal is the ultimate task for mentors. Thus, despite the distance, he still keeps us under his watch and jumps to the rescue if and when required. The Light-bearer for me is Jaideep Vasant Solanki, who stood at the end of tunnel holding a torch for me. He tested his mentees in his own ways and even now, helps us all through the journey with the same conviction. The club has achieved a remarkable level of excellence all of which is credited to the guidance and learning we’ve had from him.
Compiled by Malvi; Edited by Disha
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HUMANS OF D98
THE IMPACT OF TOASTMASTERS
My uncle noticed my challenge and told me that he knows of a place where people go and stammering disappears. That is how I happened to attend a meeting at ICG Toastmasters Club in Goa. After attending that meeting, I just could not see how my stammering would disappear.
TM LOWELL NAZARE MAPUSA TOASTMASTERS, GOA TM Lowell Nazare is the President of the Mapusa Toastmasters Club in Goa. This is his journey, in his words. Th..Th,th.Th..Th….and I froze. No words seemed to come out from my mouth. I could not even thank my friend who had collected me from my home in Mapusa and dropped me for a training session in Margao. I got down from the car with remorse. Stammering or stuttering is a problem I have faced for most of my life. This problem started during my school days. I remember when the teacher would ask my name, I would stutter “My name is L..L...Lowell”. And this would evoke laughter in the class, making me feel embarrassed. As the years went by, stammering started hampering my work. For example, when I had to contact a party for a quotation, I would stutter “Can I speak to Ju..Ju… Jude?”. It would frustrate and annoy me. Stammering continued to haunt me in my daily interactions with people. If I wanted to inquire about someone on the phone, I stuttered “Ho..Ho..How are you”? One day I said to myself “If speaking is the cause of embarrassment and laughter, it is better to keep my mouth shut”. Silence is golden became my favourite line. I became a man of no words.
But more than a year down the line, things started changing. A special moment which comes to my mind was when I was delivering my CC3, I started stuttering then went completely blank. I dropped my head and from the corner of my eye looked to see if anyone was laughing at me. But what I saw was a sea of encouraging faces. I started speaking again. I stuttered many times during that speech, but I never stopped. I was amazed that I got the biggest ovation that day and an encouraging evaluation. It was absolutely amazing to be in a place that had no problem with my stutter. A place where people want to listen to what you say, rather than how you say it. Then a miracle happened. With all this encouragement, my stammering started to disappear. I have started opening my mouth in social gatherings which I would not have done before. From a man of no words, today I am a confident speaker before any audience. I'm the President of my club and even represented my club in the International Speech Contest. My message to you all is this: Go out and spread the technique of encouragement we learn at Toastmasters wherever you go and let us make a difference in everyone’s lives.
Edited and compiled by Luven Take a moment to give us feedback for this article, or the issue HERE. You might get published in Letters to the Editor!
THE OPINION PAGE TM AJAY HIRASKAR DIVISION P DIRECTOR
WHAT COULD BE BETTER?
The first couple of times I attended Toastmasters meetings as a guest in 2012, I was clear that Toastmasters is very good - for others, not for me. I was amused by the strange structure of the meeting, attempts by speakers, the forced applause and slim size of the manuals. I thought that a good speaker who has leadership experience can hardly benefit from the program. Then in 2015, I attended meetings at another club in Pune & was impressed by the speech delivery of certain speakers and thoroughness of role players. I understood that the Toastmasters program can help me widen and deepen my capabilities as a speaker and a leader. This became the driving force for my own involvement in the movement. The more I understood Toastmasters, the more I evaluated what could be different and better. Toastmasters is all about incremental improvement. This article, therefore, is to appreciate all the great things which we have as an organization and recommend some things which can take the movement to the next level. Toastmasters is a global brand with presence in 142 countries and most of the growth seems to be from the emerging markets.
Yet, I get the impression that the movement is North America centred. Let’s examine the foundations of this perspective. The last 3 International Conventions have been held in the North America region – Las Vegas (2015), Washington DC (2016), and Vancouver, Canada (2017). So are the next 2 conventions Chicago (2018) and Denver (2019). The only year that the International Convention moved to Asia was in 2014 when it was held in Kuala Lumpur. Currently, we have 14 Toastmaster regions in the world, 6 of them outside the Americas, and 66.92% of the Clubs are outside the Americas with the fastest growth from Regions 11 and 13. Therefore, it would be great to see the International Convention being held at locations in Asia and the Middle-East, making it convenient for members from these regions to attend. Similarly, over the last several years, I have not seen proportionate representation in the global leadership team. The recent years have seen a shift and this year, we have DTM Balraj Arunasalam as the International President and DTM Deepak Menon as the first Vice President. I look forward to seeing many more leaders from other regions emerge in the coming years. Lastly, Toastmasters International has to catch up and embrace technology. Millennials expect to be able to transact quickly and seamlessly 24x7. Though the support team is responsive and helpful, most of the processes are very archaic. There are multiple occasions when one needs to call up the US office and then get things sorted out. These lacunae ultimately impact the overall member experience. It would help if a seamless experience is given to all members worldwide on all forms of access. Nevertheless, I am very proud to be associated with Toastmasters and have immensely enjoyed the camaraderie and positive environment which is found at every club meeting. Let’s all work together to strengthen the best of what we have and focus on providing feedback to the International leadership which will help us grow faster. Edited and compiled by Prathima
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FROM THE AUGUST ARCHIVE
SPECIAL PR ACTIVITY BY ADP HYDERABAD TOASTMASTERS
TM VAMSHIKRISHNA ALLADI ADP HYDERABAD TOASTMASTERS We celebrate our Annual Company Day at ADP Hyderabad every year where many events are held as part of the celebrations. Among these, Project Showcasing is a unique event in which various teams showcase their projects through innovative themes and acts. As a first-time activity, the ADP Hyderabad Toastmasters chapter requested for a slot and was given an opportunity to showcase our club to create awareness about Toastmasters amongst our associates. As part of the display, we chose to showcase the impact of Toastmasters at the workplace. We identified 5 important problems experienced by associates at work and gave solutions to the problems from a Toastmasters point of view. At the opening of the act, the narrator introduced 5 associates - Miss Communication, Mr Feedback, Miss Doubtfire, Mr JustIn TIMERerLATE and Mr. rEVENT. Each of them faced a problem and were desperately looking for a solution. Problems ranged from client communication, giving motivational feedback to their peers, impromptu speaking and decision making, time management, and event planning and organization. TM Katama Rayudu (played by Toastmaster Pawan Kalyan) came in as the saviour who solved their problems. He suggested the following solutions:
>To improve Client Communication, the Prepared Speeches segment of a Toastmasters meeting will enhance the associates’ communication skills which can help with their client interactions. >For Feedback, the Evaluation Segment will help them learn the importance of ‘Evaluate to Motivate’. >The Table Topics segment can help them handle the situations where they need to speak off the cuff, thereby enhancing their Impromptu Speaking Skills. >When associates failed to manage the time allotted to them at different scenarios at work, Toastmasters meetings can help them plan things on time and present their piece in the given time duration. >Associates facing problems in Planning and Organizing different events at work can be helped by taking various roles in Toastmasters meetings, particularly the TMOD role. The curtains came down as TM Rayudu motivated everyone to become Toastmasters. Aligning with ADP’s theme ‘WinAsOne’, he ended the act, thanking the wonderful club Executive Committee that works relentlessly as a team to serve all members. After the event, people’s outlook towards our club changed. Managers began to encourage their associates to attend Toastmaster meetings so that they can improve their communication and leadership skills. We also got umpteen emails from associates about their interest in Toastmasters, requesting us to add them to our communications list. It's really interesting to see so many people inquire about the club whenever they come across any Toastmaster in the office. This eventually helped our club gain momentum as the number of members attending the TM meetings shot up.
Edited and compiled by Disha Take a moment to give us feedback for this article, or the issue HERE. You might get published in Letters to the Editor!
LEADING BEYOND TOASTMASTERS
TM DIPANKAR DAS AREA DIRECTOR, AREA A2 TM Dipankar Das, Area Director for Area A2, was part of the Indian delegation to the South Asian Youth Summit 2017 hosted at Bhubhaneswar, Odisha in September 2017. The summit’s theme was on empowering the youth to create a sustainable future. TM Dipankar spoke on “Empowering the Youth of the Nation: Transformation from job seeker to job creator.”
GOOD OLD SCHOOL DAYS.. On a cold winter evening Dull, boring and nothing new. My phone lit up with a bright new ding It was a message from an old pal I knew. Suddenly I felt a rush of emotions As if I was drowning in a nostalgic ocean. It took me a while to respond to the text 'cause there I sat lost and perplexed. With tears pouring from my eyes, I recalled the memories buried deep within The school, the tuition, the birthday surprise, I honestly couldn't believe how long it has been Study hours so early in the morning We could barely stay awake from all the yawning Trying hard to cover the sleepy look We hid our faces behind our English text book With tuition done, it was time to hurry to the school Carrying such a heavy bag, we looked like a well-dressed mule Wearing all the proper uniform with neatly combed hair We stood in straight lines and sang our morning prayer We enter the class, hoping that the teacher wouldn't come
Tadaa! Here comes the Math teacher, chewing his gum. "Close your notes, it's time for a test", he said. I could already picture my poor little hand beaten red. Then comes the social teacher teaching about Martin Luther King But all I want to hear is that sweet sound of the Lunch bell ring I cycle back to home as fast as I could To stuff my face in freshly cooked food Soon it's time for the afternoon class, Same old session on chemicals and gas Just when I thought I needed a break, The teacher reads a note that got me wide awake "Anyone interested to perform at Independence Day, Please send in the nominations by end of the day". I give one look to my friends with a wide grin They nodded their heads, "Yes". Now let the show begin! And so the hilarious dance practices start For we are the children of the art We'd put on a show in front of the entire school That is the only time we sort of looked cool And on our school annual day, On the stage is where I'd be Singing, dancing and acting in a play, Just letting myself be me And how can I forget the trip we took to the lake Swimming all day till our legs ached Or the birthday parties we'd celebrate With all the friends, it was wonderful. It was great! Little by little a smile found its way Leaving the tears far far away Suddenly the cold winter wind, didn't seem cold at all Having taken a deep breath, I gave my old friend a call On a cold winter evening Dull, boring and nothing new. My phone lit up with a bright new ding It was a message from an old pal I knew. TM NIKHIL KOLLOJU, HITACHI CONSULTING TOASTMASTERS CLUB, HYDERABAD
In Her, He saw a broken dream A model of chaos, a heart so tarred From her he heard a silent scream A pyre of all the wants she marred None could help, none she’d let try Her wilderness tamed, her demeanour loomed The shell hardened, the more he’d pry Will her house of cards, soon be doomed?
THE BATTLE OF A LOST SOUL
Ask and thou shall receive one told Let the entropy around instil no fear But should she ask for a pot of gold Or the love she lost O dear! O dear!
A vivacious face, a tender heart A silence preceding the havoc ahead The news pierced her like a dart Left her parched like a barren spread
The future uncertain, her core shuddered The abyss seemed real and full of mist No sun could help, the night smothered Will she succumb or there’s a twist
Hoping it’s just a nightmarish thought She pinched her arm and killed some skin No silver lining was there to be bought Her solitude and she, no kith no kin She gathered some courage, kept the head held high Squeezed life from within, took a step or two This too shall pass, may the good is nigh Let alone the pleasures, survival is due The story is now, legends have no say Will she live to tell or the bell will ring This sure has been one hell of a day Will you hear a cry or a smile will cling Alas! I have no end to this Even sadness has some pulchritude Some cans are opened without a fizz The mystery of this battle, to be continued TM SAJAL SHARMA DIAMOND CITY TOASTMASTERS CLUB, SURAT
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!
CONTEST OF THE MONTHÂ
TM SRAVANTHI TCS HYDERABAD MAITREE KOHINOOR PARK TOASTMASTERS CLUB, HYDERABAD
"FLAMBOYANCE" TM SANIKA SHAH TOASTMASTERS CLUB OF PUNE
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