Page 1

bottom line


ISSUE 2 • 2015-16

Newsletter of Burj Toastmasters DISTINGUISHED CLUB 2015-16

All About

BURJ TOASTMASTERS About Toastmasters International Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the organization’s membership exceeds 332,000 in more than 15,400 clubs in 135 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds build confidence as speakers and leaders.

Meeting Days Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday

Meeting Time 7.00 pm to 9.30 pm.

Meeting Venue Ground Floor, Emarat Atrium, Shk. Zayed Road, Dubai

President: TM Jyothika Shetty

VP Education : TM Divya Raj


About Burj Toastmasters Club Burj Toastmasters Club was formed in June 2004 and since then has grown to become one of the stellar clubs in the region. With a strong membership strength, our club has churned out champion speakers and has received the President’s Distinguished Club status, the highest status that can be achieved by a club.

VP Membership : TM Alex Mascarenhas

VP Public Relations : TM Rodney Araujo

Secretary : TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL P.O. Box 9052• Mission Viejo, CA 92690• USA Phone: +1 949-858-8255• Fax: +1 949-858-1207

TM Anuradha Kamath

Item 124

Treasurer : TM Muhammad Nishab

Sergeant at Arms : TM Zenith Kurias

Club Mentor : TM Velu Arumugam BurjToastmasters BurjTM


Immediate Past President : TM Sameera Khan

BurjToastmasters Burj Toastmasters



Journey to DTM - Interview

7 8

Guide to Effective Evaluations

10 12

Meeting Flyers Released

Disease of Being Busy the term Toastmaster a mark of the term Toastmaster a mark of


Meeting Snapshots

Member Spotlight

13 14

Tall Tales Contest

Members Speak



Welcome our New Members


In this issue

We feature an interview with DTM Ganesh

Rodney Araujo VP - Public Relations

Srinivisan, who has proudly achieved the DTM status. We also cover the Tall Tales Contest which was

Welcome to the second edition of the club newslettter ‘Bottom Line’. A lot has happenned since the last edition of the newsletter - we have held our Tall Tale contest, we have achieved Distinguished Club status already and we have conducted our club contests successfully. Our club champions have gone on & won at the Area level, which is a huge achievement for the club. The club contest and the winners deserves sepcial mention and hence it will be featured in the next edition of the newsletter. To increase our reach on social media, we also recently launched our Twitter page to add to our current social media presence of Facebook, Meetup & YouTube.

held in October 2015. Area 25 Director Sameera Khan gives us some valuable & insightful tips on how to do effective evaluation. The effervescent MTM Ceanlia Vermeulen talks about the disease of being busy & how we should leave aside our busy lives & take time for ourselves and our loved ones. We’ve






toastmasters join us recently and we introduce some of them in this edition. We also have a member spotlight on MTM Ziba Kazemi, who shares her views on Toastmasters & how it has helped her. Hope you all enjoy reading this edition !



Like poet Rumi continues to quote “Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond”, it seems these words were put together just for we Toastmasters. Mentors add a lot of value in our Toastmasters

Jyothika Shetty President (2015-16)

journey and our emphasis for the past few days has been taking mentoring seriously. Our members have done just that and this is one of the reasons why our contest was a grand success.

It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you to the second edition of “Bottom Line”, a small effort to bring Burj Toastmasters Club closer to you. Over the past few months Burj has shifted gears accelerating towards positive growth which is evident by the 43 member’s club strength and achieving the Distinguished Club

What I learnt as a leader is that challenge, if well received,






experience that can give immense satisfaction to us. This was true in the case of our contestants who gained some valuable experience in the process.

status as of December 2015.

As our champions look forward to an alluring

February is recognised as a month of love but at

message to all of them would be very simple “a

Burj it was a month of challenge, a month of fierce competition between the best of best. Like the 13th century famous Persian poet Rumi once said, “Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth”, our contestants unfolded their potential by delivering the best of speeches in our recently concluded speech contest. We also discovered some hidden talents who took the stage by storm with their performance. But the good news is all our contestants were THE BEST.

journey ahead of triumphs and failures, my failure should not be the reason to stop and a triumph should not be the reason to judge”. Life must go on and what really matters is how much you have learnt out of this experience which prepares you to take on your next big challenge. With this message I would like to wish our readers a great year ahead. May this year continue to blossom into an enriching journey of positive learning that will help you make a tangible difference in other’s lives. Happy Reading !



Ganesh Srinivisan

Journey to DTM When did you join Toastmasters? Joined Burj Toastmasters on 21st July 2009 Why did you join Toastmasters? I came as a guest for the meeting on 7th July 2009, I liked it and joined Toastmasters since I found that it gives immense pleasure in my leisure without a measure. What do you think is the highlight of Toastmasters programme? It just not makes you believe

you can but

transforms you to one. How was the journey to DTM? Support, help and cooperation of club and all Toastmasters made it easy. How important is mentoring in Toastmatsers? Mentoring is the back bone in your journey of transformation.







Toastmasters? Creativity is the hallmark of Toastmasters, be creative try new techniques and methods, don’t worry even if it fails. Remember everybody is gifted but only very few open the box. Use the platform called Toastmasters to opex the box of your creative skill and talents, awaken that world champion in you.

What is your opinion of Burj Toastmasters? The club where leaders are made. Yes, 5 consecutive Area Directors from the Club, and the club which makes you stand tall BURJ as Burj TOASTMASTERS 6 BOTTOM LINE | ISSUE 2



Tall Tales Contest In October 2015 we held our Annual Tall Tale Contest. It was a laughter riot where we witnessed big time liars tickle our funny bones and get us all crackled up with their exaggerated stories. The vivacious Maral Khalili was the winner of the contest, and she went to to be one of the winners at the Division level. Burj Toastmasters is proud to have Maral as our member ! Debutant Rajiv Nayak was first runner-up of the contest. What made his win even more commendable was that he had not even completed his ice breaker. Second runner up was the club SAA, Zenith Kurias


Guide to Effective Evaluations

As I keep listening to different evaluation speeches, I observe the various techniques used by the evaluators. Some speakers include well articulated, and most importantly, specific feedback which I observed and will be sharing here. Moreover, good evaluations always carry examples on the areas of improvement. This approach is better than giving a general open ended feedback that may not be helpful to the speaker.

EYE CONTACT General feedback


: Your eye contact could



: Pauses could have been used

Specific Feedback(s) :

Specific Feedback(s):

You can engage the audience better with an improved eye contact.

Use pauses instead of filler words [cite examples from speech]

While making an important point, direct contact will create more impact.

Pausing after [quote specific speech area] will help the audience absorb your message before rushing into the next statement.

A sustained and purposeful eye contact will give more authority and credibility to you as a speaker; your message will be a further believable one.


Pausing after an important message such as [quote specific speech area] will add more power and authority to the speech.


A few specific observations made on speech content General feedback : You could have used the are the following stage/speaking area better - Attention grabbing opening and an effective Specific Feedback(s): conclusion You could stage your speech in different parts. For e.g: - Smooth transitions used when the speaker moved the [specific speech part] could be conveyed here (show one idea/story to the other. area on stage) and give another example of how another - Logical flow of ideas/messages throughout the part of the story could be staged on a different area of speech the stage. - Was the support material/stories relevant to the ideas/messages shared? You should move on the stage only with purpose [site - Relevance of the speech topic to the audience examples] - Identifying the general and specific purpose of the speech – did the speech focus on a central theme( I Delivering key messages/points such as [quote the have seen this done very few brilliant evaluators) point(s) from the speech] at the front and centre of the - Were the statistics/facts/figures presented in the speaking area creates positive energy. speech, taken from credible sources? - Simple sentences and descriptive words that clearly Moving backwards drains that energy, unless that is communicate the message/story. BURJ TOASTMASTERS intended. 8 BOTTOM LINE | ISSUE 2

VOCAL VARIETY General feedback : Work on vocal variety Specific Feedback(s):

A good combination of volume, tone, pitch and rate makes the speech more interesting.

Volume :

For eg: you can be louder when speaking about [specific areas of speech] and/or softer when speaking about [specific areas of speech]

Pitch: Varying pitch makes the speech livelier and the speaker will be actively heard. Specify areas of speech where the speaker went monotonous and where pitch could have been varied. Tone: The tone expresses the emotion in the speech content. Is the speaker expressing anger, surprise, happiness, sadness, despair, encouragement etc? How effectively did the speaker convey his/her message with the tone? Specify examples.

Rate :Speaking faster about [specific areas of speech] would convey to the audience that you were excited/anxious/tensed. Speaking slower about [specific areas of speech] conveys seriousness and significance of that message.


: You could work on your body language and facial expressions

Specific Feedback(s):

Using hand gestures to support the action words will make the speech/message more powerful [site examples from the speech] You could raise your hand(s) higher while talking about [specific parts of the speech] and lower them while talking about [ specific parts of the speech] Use your hands to show how big or how small was the object [site example from speech] Grinning while delivering a negative point such as [site examples] loses sincerity in the speech. At the same time, you can show the excitement and happiness on your face while speaking about [specific parts of the speech] I suggest you practice in front of make of a mirror to create a stronger link between your words and expressions. Unnecessary hand gestures and body movements distracts the audience and can result in loss of assertiveness in the speech.

The above table is only a quick, but very limited guide, for giving specific feedback only. Providing ‘the constructive feedback’ in an evaluation speech generally comes after the speech analysis where the speech strengths are identified and praised, but before the summarized conclusion. All said, an evaluation speech is only presented for a maximum of 3 minutes and 30 seconds, which is lesser than the target speech that will be evaluated. Therefore, the evaluator must ensure that he conveys only crucial areas of improvement (I recommend between 2 to 4 specific feedback points). I strongly recommend evaluators to avoid certain stock procedures such as applauding for the speaker, thanking the audience, summarizing the speech etc. All this neither adds value to the evaluator nor the evaluation speech especially in a contest. Applauding the speaker during club meetings is appreciated. Always remember, giving feedback is a leadership skill, therefore, a balanced constructive criticism should be provided leaving the speaker encouraged and confident.





Ziba Kazemi When & why did you join Toastmasters? I joined Toastmasters in June 2015. I joined with the encouragement of my husband since I was interested in growth.

How have you grown as a communicator & leader after joining Toastmasters? I have become much more confident in putting my thoughts together and communicating them publicly.








Toastmasters? I chose Burj Toastmasters because it is very rich and high caliber in the quality of its teachings. What advice would you give to friends & family regarding Toastmasters I recommend joining Toastmasters to all those who are interested in growth and development.


MEETING FLYERS RELEASED - Meeting 252 to 257


Disease of being busy

Alongside is a painting I painted of

more and more and more to do

my friend Veronique for Christmas.

with less time for leisure, less time

She loves the painting so much that


she made it her Facebook profile



This disease of being “busy” (and

how much I care.

let’s call it what it is, the dis-ease of

Why? Because I was so busy the year

being busy, when we are never at

I didn’t visit her. I saw her for the

ease) is spiritually destructive to

first time in 2015 during Christmas

our health and wellbeing. It saps

lunch in her house… and she lives in

our ability to be fully present with


those we love the most in our

I knew I had to make up for lost time and only a very personal gift would do… so I painted a portrait of her for her. During lunch she asked how I was doing, how my family was. I looked up, voice lowered, and just whimpered: “I’m so busy… I am so busy… I have so much going on.” In the same week, I ran into another friend and asked him how he was. Again, same tone, same response: “I’m just so busy… got so much to do.” tone





overwhelmed. How did we end up living like this? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we do this to our family, our children? When did we forget that we are human beings, not human doings? What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love so much and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul,


community, less time to just… be?

picture. I made it for her to show her







conversations with pregnant pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill?

families, and keeps us from forming the kind of community that we all so desperately crave. For some of us, like me, the lines between work and home have become blurred. We are on our devices. All. The. Freaking. Time. Smart phones, iPads and laptops mean that there is no division between the workplace and home. When my daughter is not even yet in bed, I'm back online. When I open my eyes I reach for my phone. In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? How is your haal? What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know… This is the lesson I learned at the Christmas table of my dear friend. To sit and chat till midnight with no devices between us… just us talking. I am not asking how many items are on your

How did we create a world in which BURJ we haveTOASTMASTERS

to-do list, nor asking how many items are in


your inbox.

I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul. Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing. Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Have that conversation, that glance, that touch. Be a healing conversation, one filled with grace and presence. Put your hand on my arm, look me in the eye, and connect with me for one second. Tell me something about your heart, and awaken my heart. Help me remember that I too am a full and complete human being, a human being who also craves a human touch. I don’t have any magical solutions. All I know is that we are losing the ability to live a truly human life. We need a different relationship to work and technology. We know what we want: a meaningful life, a sense of community, a balanced existence. It’s not just about “leaning in” or faster smartphones. We want to be truly human.

examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield.” How exactly are we supposed to examine the dark corners of our soul when we are so busy? How are we supposed to live the examined life? I am always a prisoner of hope, but I wonder if are

different model of organizing our lives, our societies, our families, our communities. I joined Burj Toastmasters on 1 July 2014. The reason, so that I can get out of work and meet new people, gain new skills. It worked. I made great friends and progress. I completed my CC, CL and ACB. I was crowned Burj Outstanding Toastmaster of the Year 2015.

I went from

member to VP Education and currently Assistant Area Director for Area 25. Then the work started again and working 14-16 hours a day was just killing me… and then… Then my workplace said: “We’re not renewing your contract after June 2016”… I was devastated…! After I gave my “life” my “soul” ALL MY TIME!... this is my thank you?!… and then I realised during Christmas lunch with my friend… I’m DOING so much work, work, work, and I’m so very busy… but there is no BEING in my life… This is what I want… I want us to have a kind of existence where we can pause, look each other in the eye, touch one another, and inquire together: Here is how my heart is doing? I am taking the time to reflect on my own existence; I am in touch enough with my own heart and soul to know how I fare, and I know how to express the

W.B. Yeats wrote: "It takes more courage to


how to live like that. Somehow we need a






conversation necessary about how to do that, 15 BOTTOM LINE | ISSUE 2

state of my heart. How is the state of your heart today? Let us insist on a type of human-to-human connection where when one of us responds by saying, “I am just so busy,” we can follow up by saying, “I know, love. We all are. But I want to know how your heart is doing.” Join me in this time of reflection - share your existence…


Nuwan Danushka Rathnayake

Madhu Shetty Imran Mohammad

Nuwan is a graduate in B.Sc Management and member of institute of Charted Accountants in Sri Lanka. He has varied and multiple exposure and experience of over 5 years in the profession of accountancy. His interests are playing cricket and watching rugby. He believes that secret of success is dedication.

Imran is from Delhi, capital city of India. He has completed his Masters in Political Science from Delhi University. Currently working as Revenue Analyst with Emirates Airlines. It was his dream to come to Dubai. He likes travelling and has a dream to travel the world in one direction.

Syed Nayyar Imam

Fayaz Mammoo

Originally from Pakistan, Nayyar works for Orient Travel in corporate sales. Wants to explore new horizons of life and Toastmasters. Eager to take new challenges with innovative ideas.

Fayaz works as a programmer at MPC Healthcare. He is originally from Kerala & a lover of life. Loves people, loves making connections & loves making people think.


I joined Toastmasters to...


Burj Toastmasters newsletter - Bottom Line - Issue 2, 2015-16  

The newsletter of Burj Toastmasters, Dubai, UAE

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you