Communicate. Collaborate. Celebrate.Â
5 COVER STORY MILE HIGH MEETING
TOASTMASTERS MEETING ONBOARD INDIGO
13 TOASTMASTER PROFESSIONAL
MY CAREER PROSPECTS CONSCIOUS USE OF LEARNING
14 HUMANS OF D98 TAKING CONTROL AT THE LINE OF CONTROL IMPACTING LIVES THROUGH GIVING
16 THE OPINION PAGE
WHERE ARE LEADERS MADE?
EXPERIENCING LEADERSHIP FIRST-HAND
IN THIS ISSUE
CELEBRATING THE MILESTONES
ASK THE TRIO
HUMANS OF D98
THE OPINION PAGE
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 Heena Garg 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 100TH MEETING OF TIETO TOASTMASTERS CLUB, PUNE 13TH DECEMBER
100TH MEETING OF DECCAN TOASTMASTERS CLUB, PUNE 24TH DECEMBER
Our Conferences, the Master Orator Championship, the Membership drives, all these have one direction, one purpose - to spread the Toastmasters movement. To allow people to join, learn, experience and better themselves. We find new ways of getting more people on board all the time. This is one of those attempts... Since the time I joined, in 2013, I attended every District conference (except for one in May 2014). Those were days when Whatsapp was not prevalent. Most times, I’d meet Toastmasters at the airport who happened to book the same flight. At least 30 to 35 each trip. Toastmasters of Andhra and Telangana have by default had good representation because of the sheer numbers. As a member and as a District officer for two years, I have had this casual “we should do an in-flight meeting” conversations with others in the past. Never really went beyond that point. It remained a wishful thought. This time was different...No, no...no bug bit me. Confluence 2017 saw 60 odd Toastmasters from Hyderabad at Indore. Luckily for us, there was only one flight back to Hyderabad. As we boarded our cabs and headed to the airport I casually mentioned to Lasya Madireddy that we do a meeting. “Seriously?” Was all she said. I didn’t think it would be easy, what with the permissions and the protocol. As the word spread within the group about the plan, like second nature, people started taking up roles and organising the meeting.
At 35000 feet, over the din of the compressed cabin and the chatter of the inflight service, I explained the purpose and presence of Toastmasters to A flight full of curious passengers. It took one quick conversation with the Lead Cabin attendant to get things rolling. We had no permission to use the PA system due to protocol. At that moment nothing could dampen our spirits. So...at 35000 feet, over the din of the compressed cabin and the chatter of the inflight service, I explained the purpose and presence of Toastmasters to flight full of curious passengers. Some basic questions answered and we were all set for the meeting to begin. We had the role players and one Speaker - Toastmaster Subramanyam - who gave his ISC speech. We wanted to include Table Topics to let some passengers experience it. I know it was a tall order, but, no harm in experimenting. Needless to say,we could not do it as neatly as we wanted to. It was a short flight and we had to settle for a short meeting. However, our purpose was met. At least a 100 people got introduced to Toastmasters. We had a few passengers ask for details. Some new leads for Indore. I look back at it and realise that if i had not been taught to ask, i would not have asked for permission. If I had not been told that this bunch will always back you up, I would not have take the chance. If I had not believed that this platform can change your life, i would not have taken the time to change someone’s that day. Each day, Toastmasters has driven these points home subtly, yet deeply into many of us. We took a chance. We had fun! We spread the word. Not a wishful thought anymore… Next time...I aim to do get some passengers to attempt Table Topics! Edited and compiled by Prathima
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ASK THE TRIO
Q: A good number of club members do not renew their membership due to various reasons, one being that the repetitive structure or format that all the meetings are conducted in, fails to keep their interests. Having different themes for every meeting, conducting joint meetings are some of the methods that we have used, but again the basic structure remains the same. What is your opinion on this? Are there any innovative methods that any of you have come across? TM Sreeraj Menon, Toastmasters Club of Pune Ans: Hi Sreeraj, very apt question and excellent thought process. I really like my Toastmaster Friends thinking and asking about how to improve Toastmasters Meetings. Here are my thoughts; 1. I am a firm believer that more than the structure of the meeting, the content of the meetings creates a major difference to the experience of the member. 2. We need to work together. to help our members give speeches that can make a difference. One of the campaigns that we are planning is to launch “Speak to make a difference”, #S2MAD. You will know about this very soon. Majority of our speeches were made in a hurry, which creates a substandard experience for everyone included. Thus every speech will inspire others to give one, I have seen many clubs in our District already taking this very seriously by making mentoring of all the speeches qualitative and productive. The experience in a meeting with 3 such wonderful speeches is breathtaking. 3. We need to innovate: The role player reports have by far become very monotonous, to say the least. Some of the Ideas of how we can make it innovative are below a. TMOD – The theme of the meeting is a brilliant concept; One can also try Theme “You” where the TMOD speaks about each member of the club during his transitions. Some of the TMOD speak about Toastmasters as the theme when there are many guests. Some pick up a topic related to Public Speaking and Leadership which is very valuable to everyone. Some TMODs utilize their role to talk about a famous speech or a great orator. Making themes relevant to the occasion and Toastmasters makes a lot of difference. b. GE – The job of the general evaluator and all the role players should be a cumulative effort to create maximum impact. The GE should identify the areas where the club is lacking from the last 5 to 6 meetings and put it as a challenge or goal to the Role Players. For example, if the clubs meeting is being delayed from the last 10 minutes, give the TMOD a target to start the meeting on time, let that be his challenge. If the WOD and IOD are not being used, give the Grammarian the challenge to find out a way to make everyone use the WOD and IOD, give the Timer the challenge of giving a breakup of the time a speaker has taken for Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. Challenge the Ah Counter to find if the speakers identified have specific filler they want to eliminate and applaud any speaker who was able to do that in his speech. c. As you have very aptly mentioned, Joint Meetings, special meetings are an excellent way to bring variety to the meetings once in a while. A few special meetings that I have seen over the years are; Reverse Meetings, Special Screening of famous speeches, Milestone Meetings, Panel Discussions on a Leadership or Communication-related topic give the meetings an excellent outreach.
ASK THE TRIO Very lately, I have seen some clubs celebrating milestones and meetings a priority, than working to improve the most Important Club Meetings. If we do not improve/focus on enhancing the quality of our meetings and creating an excellent culture in our own clubs; milestones and special meetings do not make any sense. So let’s try to make a difference, while we take the stage in a Toastmaster Meeting, for us as well as for the audience.
Q: With Pathways almost knocking at our door, do you foresee any changes/challenges for the club excomm? If yes, how do we address them effectively? TM Smita Mishra, Division H Director, Elan Toastmasters Hyderabad Pathways is an exciting and a refreshing change that is coming in our District and we are thrilled to welcome it with open arms. TI and the District Machinery, as you are well aware, is ready to help bring this change and help transition very smoothly. We have trained all the District Officers about pathways in the training segments; Our Chief Ambassador is all geared up; we have also got Pathway guides in place who are going to personalize this transition to each and every club of D98. There will be no changes, apart from the Educational Track, DCP Goals, Edu Goals required for Contests and the approach to evaluation of the speeches, to the role of the Excomm. In fact after Pathways it will be easier for the VPED to track the educational goals and progress of each member in the base camp. The VPPR will be delighted for the fact that this will create a newer and a dynamic audience and reach. While saying so, change is not always easy. Although we are confident of the smooth implementation of the Pathway program, we also anticipate a few hiccups in terms of Technical as well as Knowledge front in the pathway application. We are in continuous dialogue with other Districts and TI in our monthly meetings and Mid-Year Trainings. We have all the bases covered and are ready for any unforeseen situations that might crop up along the way. With the strength of the Pathways Team and our District Officers we are ready to welcome and celebrate Pathways in District 98.
Q: We know DCP is a measure of club success. However, that is never a measure of club quality. How are we establishing club quality? Not considering DCP, what parameters do you look at? TM Manasa Inampudi, XLRATORS-The Miyapur, Hyderabad Thank you Manasa, for choosing the right words to describe DCP. Yes, DCP is a measure of club success. There have been many opinions and studies to bring out parameters that can help evaluate the quality of the club but nothing very concrete could materialize. Quality is a relative term, what one feels about a quality meeting will not be the same for the other. This thus brings to the point of how we can ensure that there is Quality in a Club, I believe the quality of the club begins in planning what we want do and then evaluate and revise it as necessary, there are tools that are already in place for any club to do the above; 1. Club Success Plan – This is most comprehensive document that includes everything of how you would want to run your club. This has to be discussed and debated to include all the guidelines which would help bring things in order. 2. Club Officer Training – Attending the club officer training is not only important from a DCP perspective but is also important for all the EC members and is part of the oath that we took. 3. Club Visit Reports – The Club Visit Reports filed by the Area Director is also one important parameter that you can use to evaluate from a Trained District Officer point of view and make necessary coarse corrections. 4. Club Contests – Club speech contests for me has always been an exhibition of the strength of the club. 5. District Conferences – Area, Division and District Conferences are an excellent place to evaluate and mark our club speeches to those of the contestants hence attending the speech contests will ensure we have a good reference point for ourselves. 6. DCP – DCP is another parameter to check where each of our club stands. If our actions as a club follow a particular plan and as a club we continuously evaluate and enhance those actions Quality becomes a by-product. Quality, according to me, is the process of continuously achieving the goals that we have set for ourselves while upholding the TI Values and the Club Mission and there are many checkpoints, as described above, to check and re-check what we are doing.
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TAKE THE RIGHT STEPS, MAKE THE RIGHT MOVES
CECILLE LEE RODRIGUES Music and Dance - a part of the Goan DNA. An exclusive Tete- a -tete by our Goan TM Luven Rodrigues with Cecille Lee Rodrigues. Cecille is a person full of life, an entrepreneur and a passionate dancer who led the way to become a trendsetter in Goa in the field of Dance and fitness. She was declared, 1st runner-up at Dance India Dance Super Mom in 2013. 1) When did you have your first dance? What is your story? Dance started as a passion from a young age. Days when, there were no channels like Starplus, my friend Savitri and I watched Doordarshan, imitate the Bollywood styles and entertain friends and family.The applause after the performance was reason enough to keep entertaining. When I was in the 8th Std we formed an all-girls dance group called "Scorpions" and started doing stage shows. One of our parents would accompany us every time and that is how my first step towards this dancing journey began. Dance became an important part of my life. I would never trade it for anything else. 2) You made us proud representing Goa at Dance India Dance supermom. How did you think of taking it up and what were your challenges? Dance India Dance was always a dream. I auditioned in DID season 2 in 2009 but was out in the 4th
round. I thought my dreams were completely shattered. In 2013, when my son was 2 and a half, DID super Mom auditions were announced. It seemed too good to be true then, I plunged into it with excitement. Winning the show was not important, my dream was to reach out there, perform and see for myself if I still have it in me. I got selected and the rest is history. This phase placed a number of challenges on my way. Leaving my son behind was the toughest. I did overcome each of them, it taught me to overcome my fears and I totally understood the importance of Family support. A duet or group dancer that I was, DID super mom pushed me to my limits, to perform Solo on a National platform. During rehearsals, I would get hardly 2 hrs of sleep, stress levels were high. With a metal plate in my back, I danced in pain but it was worth it. Leaving my 2 yr old son behind was the most challenging of them all. I drew strength from my family. their support and belief in me fuelled me. 3) Everyone has a bad day, on days when you feel low, how does it affect you as a performer? I think everyone has bad days. The only way to deal with it is to remain positive and think of how fortunate you are to have a better life. It is all about how you can make things work for you. If you have a bad day, you tend to pass that negative energy to others and the
entire aura can be negative. Well, I start my day by teaching dance in a school, so I tell myself, I have children who are waiting for me with eager faces, so I get all the positive energy and put my act together. When I'm performing too, I overpower any negativity around as, I have to connect with my audience, entertain them, make them feel happy and I cannot pass on the right vibes, until I'm happy from within. It's tough, but if you make it a habit to be happy and be positive, it is possible. 4) From a passionate dancer, you set your footsteps into entrepreneurship. How did you lead the way? I'm a multifaceted person and I wanted to explore more avenues of my creativity. I love to do different things. I run my dance academy, Zumba fitness center, I features in two ads and I also have my Konkani movie premiere is on Jan 9th, 2018. Currently, I'm running this cafe; "Hugs & Mugs Art Cafe", it is a collaborative venture with 2 friends and I have enjoyed each and every aspect of shaping it to what it looks like today. I believe we must learn, take a break, do different things. 5 ) Your thoughts to our Toastmaster Fraternity I have a few friends in Toastmasters, I believe it provides an amazing platform for people to better themselves in communication and leadership. Passion, connection, the presence of mind, discipline, technique, freedom of body movement, rehearsal. Each of these elements is common to both Public speaking and dancing. Two completely disparate forms of presenting to the audience but have so much in common. Wishing you all the very best maybe you should try some creative dancing sessions in Toastmasters too. My message to you all is if you wish
to achieve something in life then there is nothing that can stop you, just follow your dreams- Take the Right steps, Make the Right Moves! COFFEE WITH CECILLE - RAPID FIRE >Describe yourself in 3 words Unpredictable, crazy, caring >A song that can make Cecille dance all day Symphony >Waltz or Jive Jive >Sunrise or Sunset In Goa only sunset >Your idea about the Cover page image of the magazine "World's Best Dancer"? All the dancers together >Your biggest addiction My casual clothes >Most cherished dancing memory DID Supermom stage n my upcoming movie >Love to eat or eat to Live Love to eat >Your perfect Holiday destination Exploring Goa >Cecille's Golden Mantra in Life One life to live, so live it to the fullest, experience everything that life has to offer. Edited and compiled by Luven
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GUJARAT'S GAURAV OF TOASTMASTERS
DTM UJJAVAL MODI | AMDAVAD TOASTMASTERS CLUB Since September 2013, after being a member of Toastmasters I have grown by leaps and bounds. No words can describe the person I have transformed into. Before my term as an Area Director, around a year and half ago, I was involved in building a club in Vadodara. I noticed many clubs in Gujarat; failing due to performance not being up to the mark. Inspite of clubs organized various events, they were scattered because of communication gap. People did not know each other that well, bonding was the missing factor. In order to overcome this, I conceptualized Gujarat Area Meet, a platform where members from entire Gujarat can be under one roof to network, share their ideas and enhance their team spirit. This initiative helped me create a family of Gujarat Toastmasters. I am fond of digital platforms. I leveraged that interest to connect people digitally. Thus came about the WhatsApp group, Facebook page, and Instagram account. Gradually people started floating messages about anything special and regular meet posters. Members across Gujarat were recognized for their achievements which boosted the confidence of everyone. At times, quite intentionally milestone events were rolled out at social platforms which gave rise to a very positive competition and learning. This resulted in personal growth as they got another platform to discover their potential. As the bonding got concrete, collaboration improved.
Throughout my journey, I tried to motivate people by my infusing positivity. I kept on hosting some events/trainings every quarter which gave me an opportunity to hone leadership skills as well as to strengthen the unity amongst members. One of the most successful ones is ‘Quiz-O-Toast’ an online quiz contest of three days for which we had a participation of around 70 members across District 98. Quiz-O-Toast was the first initiative from this division. I am overwhelmed to share that the team worked tirelessly to make it work. We did have hurdles that we as a team encountered and thus this event reinforced the belief that if you have something positive in mind and an intention to contribute to society, the universe will conspire to make it happen. I along with my team started looking for new clubs; we did demo meets, open house etc Though we failed several times, we were always hopeful. We distinguished tangible and intangible goals and dreamt quite realistically. Lastly, I’m very much thankful to each and every member of Gujarat toastmasters for being by my side in roller coaster ride-President’s Distinguished Area and for raising the flag of Gujarat in the map of District98. 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 TOASTMASTER PROFESSIONAL
TOASTMASTERS – BOOSTING MY CAREER PROSPECTS
TM NIDHI DUBEY | PALAVA TOASTMASTERS CLUB “The fear we don’t face, becomes our limit” – Robin Sharma I was always afraid of speaking in public; limiting all my other positive traits. Being an HR Professional, interacting with people is my job. Never had trouble with one to one interactions but speaking in a group or on a stage, I either forget what I wanted to say or fumbled. My first Toastmasters meeting was thrilling! It was a new experience and now, that journey has reached meeting number 5. I received the first major boost to my confidence when I won the award for the best prepared speech of the day for CC1. It really changed my mindset about public speaking and I realized ‘it’s all inside you’. Toastmasters has ignited that spark in me: YES, I CAN DO THIS! Now, I feel more confident about expressing my opinion and thoughts. People around me have noticed a positive change in me, both at home and at work. At office, I have taken initiatives in organizing events; giving better presentations because of better content and improved presentation skills. At home, I am able to communicate better with my family.
Toastmasters is also helping me develop interpersonal skills. I am more interactive now. This has helped me develop an ability to tackle various situations more efficiently. This maturity and confidence played a key role recently, when I converted two cases in which the offers were almost declined. Also, I am nominated for Personal Drive and Integrity award. I owe it to Toastmasters. For sure, this is a place where I can explore, learn and hone skills that add value to me. The transformation is steady and tangible. I am grateful to my friends who introduced me to Palava Toastmasters. I vow to do my bit to Dr Smedley, the founder of TMI, by spreading his vision and by working for it one way or the other. Cheers! Edited and compiled by Karan
MY FRIEND, PHILOSOPHER AND GUIDE
TMÂ SAI SACHIN | HYDERABAD TOASTMASTERS CLUB "There are teachers in our schools who teach and help us grow through our formative years. There are our parents who care for us more than we could ask for in life. There are some people who go even beyond and do both, i.e. teach and care for us when we join our new school in life - Toastmasters, such is my mentor Shara Ragha Wardhan.
His constant guidance: When any Toastmaster wants to take up an ExCom role, he/she always thinks: "What's in it for me?" I had the same question when I wanted to pitch in for VP Public relations position of the Club. We discussed and he shared many of his ideas and the one important idea "always be creative, go beyond the usual. Be it a VP-PR or a speaker, be innovative."
Two things about him that have been pivotal in my journey as a Toastmaster: His humility: I had joined Toastmasters without attending any meetings. Before I could attend my first meeting, I added Shara, who was the Club VP-Ed, on Facebook. My one hour FB chat with him included basic questions about Toastmasters and Public Speaking. Ranging from, "Is there any hierarchy in being a member?" to "Will I be forced to talk in table topic?" He answered every question. That enthusiasm he showed in his responses demonstrated his belief in the platform. I was more than convinced that he will give what he received.
This idea still rings in my head. I had the answer to my question "I will do things creatively from now on for my learning and steering the club forward". I, as the VP PR, started to look at things differently, catering to the needs of the Club and individual members as a whole. He. as the president helped me execute my ideas, guided the ExCom throughout and Bingo!! Within six months our Club got the Best Club award in the division and I got the best social media presence award.
I requested him to be my mentor to which he agreed instantly. As we conversed I received honest and critical appreciation about my roles and speeches. I had not met any Toastmaster until then who was equally committed to his work as an ExCom member (clearing all queries for prospective members) and being a helping hand always for his mentees, which displayed his humility.
When I became the Club President and he moved to the US, his support only got stronger. He continued to guide me to guide the Club to President Distinguished award. For these two qualities, and many life lessons, Shara will always be my friend, philosopher, and guide! Edited and compiled by Prathima
HUMANS OF D98
TAKING CONTROL AT THE LINE OF CONTROL
TM AMITH BHANUDAS |Â TOASTMASTERS CLUB OF PUNE-SOUTH EAST TM Amith Bhanudas is a Past President of the Toastmasters Club of Pune South East. In this article, he shares with us his experience of going to the LoC and imparting job-skills training to the locals. I have always wanted to enjoy diverse experiences. But, experiences need directions. I found a direction towards a memorable experience through Mr. Sarang Gosavi and his NGO, ASEEM Foundation, both from Pune. Mr. Gosavi and ASEEM have been involved in various social, educational, and cultural initiatives across India. Mr. Gosavi spoke at TEDx about his experiences in the Kashmir Valley. As a TEDxPune volunteer, I got to understand his work intimately and was inspired and enthused by the efforts. I connected with him and his NGO and volunteered to work for them. Incidentally, ASEEM was collaborating with the Indian Army in Kamalkote village of Uri town in Jammu and Kashmir. Kamalkote is located near the Line of Control (LoC) and is sensitive in many aspects. The purpose of this initiative is to build trust with the locals by providing them vocational training so that they can finally pursue government jobs in IT. Eager for experiences, I was only too glad to volunteer as a trainer and started preparing for it. My tryst with the locals of Kamalkote began on 14th August 2017. I stayed with the Indian Army at their guest house. The training began on 16th August for 11 boys and 10 girls. The locals were inviting and even enterprising. The training experience was great. My work mainly included providing the local graduates exposure in computer skills such as MS Office, especially Excel. I focussed on train-the-trainer sessions to enable sustenance of future batches.
Alongside, I introduced them to Organizational Culture and operations. This took care of efficiency and process to run the center. I collaborated with the Army, the village head, and ASEEM to introduce a proper fee-structure and help sustain future batches. None of this was easy. Our biggest roadblocks were power and connectivity. Frequent load-shedding hampered schedules. I had to travel 5 kilometers to make a phone call! The sweetest challenge of all as a Toastmaster was the language issue. Actually, the locals speak Pahadi/Punjabi and Urdu and rarely use English. So much for the Grammarian and the WoD! The good thing was they do understand Hindi, and that was the bridge. The only sensitive area was security. I had to be escorted by the Army to and from the IT center. All challenges faded as I had the locals, the Army, and their indomitable spirit supporting me. I am glad that this training program is helping the Army build confidence among locals and bridge differences. Importantly, 20 of the valleyâ€™s youth from the valley are more confident about training others and taking up jobs. The people there have great potential. They are hopeful of a bright future, despite their conditions. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience of training youth along the LoC and look forward to many more such illuminating experiences. Hope you enjoy some great experiences too! Edited and compiled 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!
THE OPINION PAGE
WHERE ARE LEADERS MADE?
IPDD DTM CHANDRASHEKAR DP Let's begin with the Toastmasters tagline ‘Where leaders are made.’ As impressive as it sounds on the very first look, this line comes across as irrelevant and exaggerated. Now, let's understand why this is true. An aspiring individual who is seeking to improve communication skills, overcome their stage fear, or enhance confidence levels, discovers Toastmasters somehow. He/she then unravels the patronised tagline of Toastmasters ‘Where leaders are made.’ Given the circumstances, this is not what the individual is looking for in the first place. Fast forward, the meeting is a jigsaw puzzle for a first timer with lots of moving parts, making it an overwhelming experience. Mind you, the individual is yet to make a strong connection between their personal wish (to improve communication skills) and the Toastmasters’ claim of being a place ‘Where leaders are made.’ It's only with time the individual gets to acclimatize to the proceedings. Eventually, certain connections begin to appear as thin grey lines on their white canvas. The first gap that affects the value proposition offered to a member is the lack of clear understanding of the Toastmasters program at the club and among its EC members. I find this particularly amusing because I see that the majority of clubs, if not all, have an induction program for new members but not an equally important guest orientation program. If only we had a clearly curated guest orientation program on top of our deliverables, wherein interested individuals
with varied “why’s” can sit together, discuss and align themselves to the actual “why” that is on offer at Toastmasters. This guest orientation program can be a guests-only meeting, something similar to our members only ‘Moments of Truth’ sessions and can be scheduled monthly/bi-monthly depending on the convenience of the club. To return to our new member and the canvas, by now he/she must have given a few speeches and is a few roles old and also won some ribbons. That's enough fodder for the cattle in the clubs to rattle them up. They are injected into the executive committee of the club. With new roles come new expectations, not to mention aspirations. Hell, wait, there is preparation as well. It is here we have the well-timed Club Officers Training Program (COTP), which we ceremoniously use to underline and highlight the patronized tagline in Toastmasters, ‘Where leaders are made.’ By the end of the training day the newly coined leader is equipped with loads of tools and is systematically baptised in holy water to lead the leaders (new title for members) in their club. All of them are leaders in their own right and truly so. But what’s missing is the insight that leaders are members first. This leads to the second gap that affects the value proposition offered to a member, what I would call the ‘Reality Distortion Field.’ This field is so all-encompassing
THE OPINION PAGE
that there is an overnight shift in the way things are construed and concluded. This shift creates confusion in the club for you have two categories of people in the same room when the club meets next. The first category includes trained leaders and the second involves perceived leaders. Now you see the crevice caused by the perception. It is this perception that widens the gap and thus the ground reality in the club is distorted. There is a simple solution to prevent this distortion. It is to explicitly remind the EC members during training that they are members who’ve got a chance ahead of other members to try their hand at leadership and to not coin them as trained leaders as we often do. The complexity doesn't end here. The trained leader of the club is now ready to expand the canvas and take up the larger mantle of district leadership, thereby commencing a new saga.
This can be achieved only when leaders at all levels huddle together to create a Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive (MECE) environment for their peers. The hallmark of this MECE environment is that everyone gets to lead in their own space thus realizing the very essence of our patronized tagline ‘Where leaders are made.’ As a nonagenarian organisation, Toastmasters has come a long way. Today, amidst the hue and cry about the ‘Pathways Learning Experience’ and the paradigm shift it is intended to bring to all the clubs - if there is one shift which should be embraced immediately and seamlessly across our clubs in District 98 is the realization that experience is more important than learning. Edited and compiled by Karan
The so-coined leader is so obsessed in making a difference in others lives that they hardly have the patience to introspect. The music is so loud in their ears, often the lyrics are hardly heard. As they prepare to take up the higher pedestal of leadership at the district level (as it is assumed to be so) they deem it their sovereign duty to lead alone and to lead always. The third and the terrible gap that affects the value proposition on offer to the member resurfaces here. As duty bound as they should be, we must realize that the heart in the duty to lead must be at the right place. In Toastmasters, you don’t become a leader to lead alone or to lead always.
1. AMDAVAD TOASTMASTERS CLUB PR EVENT | 14TH-17TH NOVEMBER 2. DIVISIONS EFH SHUTTLE MANIA: BADMINTON PREMIER LEAGUE 2017 | 18TH NOVEMBER 3. MAHINDRA TOASTMASTERS CLUB WAS PRESENTED THE CORPORATE RECOGNITION AWARD BY DEREK WONG, REGION 13 INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR | 22ND NOVEMBER 4. ACCENTURE MAGARPATTA TOASTMASTERS CLUB DEMO MEETING | 8TH DECEMBER 5. JOINT MEETING OF INFOSYS HYDERABAD TOASTMASTERS CLUB AND BEN'S TOASTMASTERS CLUB | 12TH DECEMBER 6. DIVISIONS EFH PICNIC | 16TH DECEMBER
TM SHUBHAM RATHOD FROM PUNE HAS BEEN SELECTED FOR THE WORLD'S LONGEST ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY
1. VISION TOASTMASTERS CLUB CONDUCTS A SPECIAL MEETING AT BHONGIR FORT | 17TH DECEMBER 2. DIAMOND CITY TOASTMASTERS CLUB RELEASED ITS FIRST NEWSLETTER | 17TH DECEMBER 3. DIAMOND CITY TOASTMASTERS CLUB CONDUCTED A SECRET SANTA EVENT | 17TH DECEMBER
NEWLY CHARTERED CLUBS
HIGHAKO TOASTMASTERS CLUB 17TH NOVEMBER
PEGA TOASTMASTERS CLUB 1ST DECEMBER
FOR FURTHER DETAILS, PLEASE REFER TO THE EMAIL DATED DECEMBER13TH FROM DISTRICT DIRECTOR DTM ARVIND NAIR. 21
Best wishes fromÂ Communicate 98 Communicate 98 December issue designed by Ruchika
Communicate 98 December 2017 Edition