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Chennai Speakers Forum, Club No: 2009282

May 2013

th

75

meeting special


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

Editors’ Corner Toastmasters!! When we first heard that word, we wondered if it was a white-bread or a brown-bread toast and whether the master would serve butter along with the toast! When we stepped into our first Toastmasters meeting, all we could do was - stare in wonder, wide-eyed, half-opened-mouth like a little kid staring at The Hulk Gloves. They say journeys end in lovers meeting. And we fell head-over-heels in love with the concept of Toastmasters. It took us a while to digest the fact that someone could actually count our bunny "Ah's". Were it not for the lovesome-but-fearsome "Table Topics", it would have been a perfect "love-at-first-sight" story, but fortunately for us, we made it "love-at-3rd-sight"!! Each of us has a hidden persona within us - the naughty, witty, funny, crazy, passionate persona - and what better way than the Table Topics to make that hidden persona come out on the stage in real life for 1-2 minutes. Can anything match the excitement to just go out there and EXPRESS ourselves, indulging, relishing the pure JOY OF EXPRESSING? Can anything more quench our thirst to better ourselves than the "Evaluations" served in the form of yummy crust-filled "Sandwiches"? Toastmasters provides an able platform for an ordinary mortal to raise himself to be an extra-ordinary speaker. The enthusiasm and the camaraderie of passionate Toastmasters are truly infectious. As CSF prepares to chill out at its 75th meeting, we feel immense gratitude towards Toastmasters. Toastmasters redefined our lives, made our world colourful and made us strive to go beyond our boundaries. We would like to sum it up by quoting Toastmasters International past President Helen Blanchard, DTM, who said, "If you get out of Toastmasters all there is to get out of Toastmasters, you’ll never get out of Toastmasters." Happy Toastmastering!! Smiles, Editors

TM Sandeep Kanabar

TM Athira S 1

TM Goutham Varma


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

Table of Contents  President’s Corner ...........................................................................................................3  The Genesis of CSF ..........................................................................................................4  Tête-à-Tête with DTM Kartik................................................................................6  Tête-à-Tête with DTM Aditya ...............................................................................7  Why I love CSF ...............................................................................................................10  What you did not know about Self-Control ..................................................................11  Listen for YOUR betterment! ........................................................................................13  Go out of your Club to Learn!! ......................................................................................14  Keep your Club Green ...................................................................................................17  Let's Talk to Them, Not At Them ...................................................................................19  Book Review - Chanakya's Chant ..................................................................................22  Personal Growth = Happiness .......................................................................................24  The Search - Poem.........................................................................................................25  Well Secured .................................................................................................................27  Laugh - English Vinglish .................................................................................................29  A Guest TM Speaks ........................................................................................................32  Crushed Crushes ............................................................................................................33  CSF - The Transformer ...................................................................................................35  Listening Skills................................................................................................................38  My Favourite Things - Poem .........................................................................................40  Imprints .........................................................................................................................41  Fun Zone ........................................................................................................................42  Trivia Corner ..................................................................................................................43  Champions' Corner ........................................................................................................44  Members Accomplishments Corner .............................................................................45  Rewind - 1...25...50...75 ................................................................................................46  Outstanding Toastmasters Corner ................................................................................47  New Members Corner ...................................................................................................48  What our Guests say .....................................................................................................49

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

President’s Corner Vivekanandan, CC As CSF gets ready to celebrate its 75th meeting, a feeling of nostalgia overwhelms me and I wonder why I love Chennai Speakers Forum (CSF)? Then I find out that I love CSF unconditionally. Therefore the “Why” has no meaning in LOVE. Today all products are marketed with the symbol - * conditions apply. In fact many such hidden * marks and conditions apply in our personal and professional lives. In today’s scenario Success in Life comes with *Conditions apply. (*only for those who could communicate and Lead Powerfully). I believe Power comes out of simplicity. We just gather for two hours on every Sunday morning with the simple expectation of small improvement in our Communication and Leadership skills. This simple and small improvement week after week builds confidence in our communication and leadership abilities. Ultimately that confidence leads to powerfulness. Now, as we step into our 75th Meeting with polished improvements and polythene memories in CSF, it’s the time to show our gratitude to all those Toastmasters who helped in forming CSF. CSF was formed as a cloning club of Chennai Toastmasters Club (CTM) which is the first Toastmasters club in Chennai. But with a bunch of enthusiastic, dynamic and young members, today CSF has its own identity. CSF is known for its experiments. No wonder, in fact CSF was born out of experimentation. When CTM was over-crowded with more than 80 members, a few Toastmasters proposed an experimentation, to form a new club by splitting CTM into two. As usual there were many apprehensions about the new club and its success. But the unconditional belief of our cloning fathers resulted in the chartering of CSF. That splitting experiment has been giving splendid experience by expanding the benefits of Toastmastering to all of us. It’s time to celebrate our experience, experiments, small improvements and eventually the strong mutual support we have been extending to each other. CSF would Un-condition our Conditioned mind to realize our unconditional potential. Let’s simply love CSF * No conditions apply.

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Vivekanandan, CC is the President of Chennai Speakers Forum(CSF). He works as Manager-Legal & Company Secretary. He is passionate about Writing. Reach him via his Twitter handle: www.twitter.com/space 2face


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

The Genesis of CSF By Saro Velrajan, DTM Breaking a log of wood makes it lose its strength... Breaking a glass makes it unusable... But Splitting an atom produces enormous power! ... and, that’s what happened when Chennai Toastmasters Club was split into 2 - Chennai Toastmasters (CTM) Club & Chennai Speakers Forum (CSF). The need for splitting CTM into two clubs was realized approximately 2 years ago. However, there was no time, energy or drive to get the job done. Because of this, CTM started seeing a sinusoidal membership pattern ... the membership goes up in summer and comes down during fall. A number of new members join during July to December timeframe. The membership reaches 70+ during July to December timeframe and will come down to 45+ during January to June timeframe. One simple reason was - not every member got an opportunity to play a role during the club meeting. There were a few other reasons that forced us to seriously consider splitting the club:      

Members wouldn't get speaking slots Club officers wouldn't be able to spend quality time with members Mentoring new members was a challenge Leadership opportunities were limited (only 7 get to play the role of club officers in a group of 70) Only 12 speakers could be accommodated during speech contests (due to the lack of time) We had several great speakers in the club, however only 2 could represent the club in the speech contests at the Area Level

DTM Kartik Srinivasan, who was the Area Governor then, spearheaded the initiative of splitting CTM and creating a new club. We received enormous support from the leadership team of CTM - TM Rajesh Natarajan (IPP), TM Prabakaran (President), TM Sadayappan (VP Education) and their team. Kartik Srinivasan and I were able to inspire the leadership team to initiate the split. However, the challenge was "Who can inspire the 70 odd members of the club - which includes founding members, veterans and a number of other passionate toastmasters". We got a helping hand from our most popular DTM Aditya Maheswaran. He became the chairman of the 'cloning committee'. Once you give a job to DTM Aditya, you don't have to worry about the results. A task of this magnitude is expected to have some resistance and it did have some resistance. Toastmasters who were really passionate about the success and growth of CTM, raised their genuine concerns. I won't claim that we addressed all of the concerns - but, we shared our honest views with them. 4


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum In principle, everybody agreed on the decision to split - however, there were 100 different views on 'how the split should be done'. For a major activity like this, if we wait for consensus from all the people, the job would never get done. We did what is right for both CTM & CSF, following Toastmasters International guidelines. The club cloning committee created a membership roster for both the clubs based on seniority of the members in toastmasters, age group, gender, educational accomplishments, contest worthiness etc. Members were then given an option to decide which club they really want to be a part of. Some members decided to change their club. Some members decided to maintain dual membership. A final roster was arrived at in a weeks’ time. On 4th Sep 2011, right after the CTM meeting, we completed all the paper work. The new incoming officers of CSF, helped in completing it. We sent it to Toastmasters International on 5th Sep 2011 and the club got chartered. The first meeting of the club was conducted on 11th Sep 2011 - a new community club was born! TM Arna Chugani, TM Pravin Mani, TM Mohammed Mustafa, TM Jananee Ramakrishnan, TM Gurumurugan, TM Vivekanandan, and TM Nijil Chandran became its incoming officers. If I had one concern about Chennai Speakers Forum, it was "Will the new leadership team rise up to the challenge and help the club succeed?! Can these youngsters pull it off?" "Never underestimate the power of a small group of people to change the world. In fact, it is the only way it ever has." is a famous quote from Margaret Mead. Today, I can proudly say that the leadership team took the club to great heights - beyond what anyone can imagine. With their hard work, dedication, team work and creativity - the leadership team scaled the club to unimaginable heights. In TM Alex's words, they've raised the bar very high. Chennai is now gifted with two community clubs operating in the same place, at different times... providing opportunity to more members in the community to get benefited by toastmasters. The journey continues ... :)

Saro Velrajan , DTM is a Toastmaster for 7 years and is a member of CSF. He works as a Director of Technology in Aricent Group. He likes Traveling, Blogging, & Mentoring. Reach him via his website: www.saroscorner.com

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

Tête-à-Tête with Kartikeyan Srinivasan, DTM You are recognized as the one of the 3 pioneers who was instrumental in spear-heading the CTMCSF split. What were the challenges you faced and how did you manage to convince the 'emotionally' attached members of CTM to agree for a split? CTM was never split. It simply grew and needed to multiply and expand! While some members did show interest in this for quite a few terms, the main question was "Who would bell the cat?" That is when DTM Aditya Maheswaran, DTM Saro Velrajan and I had a meeting and decided to carry this forward. A committee was formed to look at every aspect involved. Initially there were some concerns raised by emotionally attached members, but once we explained the benefits of the move to them, we received whole-hearted support of every single member. What were your apprehensions and fears when taking such a bold decision? How did you convince *YOURSELF* on it? I neither had any apprehension nor any fear in this regard. I strongly believed it was for the good of not just every member, but the overall Toastmasters movement. When you carved out the CSF baby, what were your dreams for CSF? The agenda was very clear right from the start. We wanted CSF to be one of the leading Clubs, if not THE LEADING CLUB, in District 82 Have we met your expectations? [Fingers Crossed] YES SIR! Expectations were not just met, but surpassed!! Could you please give us suggestions on how can CSF strive to become better? The main strength of CSF as I see it is the mutual bonding and camaraderie of its members, the energy of the youth and the creativity with which you run your meetings. These are powerful factors - never ever lose them!! Your message to Chennai Speakers Forumites and Toastmasters? If CTM is the Lighthouse Club of Tamil Nadu, CSF with its creativity is the Torch-bearer to Lightning Events. Keep up your commitment, and make Leadership happen. One last question - where do you cut your hair? :-P Self-help is the best form of help - I am a "Swayam-Shave'ak" :) Srinivasan Kartikeyan, DTM is a member of Chennai Toastmasters Club. He is a softskills trainer by profession and has a passion for People & Laughter. He likes Happy people. In his words – “Life throws many situations, challenges, complications and problems at us. In each of this, there is some fun and laughter hidden. When we learn to recognize that, nothing is ever a cause for concern! 6


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

Tête-à-Tête with Aditya Maheswaran, DTM You are hailed as the ONE who actualized the vision of carving out CSF out of CTM. As the chairman of the "cloning committee", what were your tasks and responsibilities? When we planned the split, our goal was not to produce a new club. It was to carve out 2 sister clubs from the parent. So the term ‘cloning’ was used. As the chairman of the committee, my task was to ensure that the split was done fairly, with each of the sister clubs (CSF and CTM) equally poised to excel after the completion of the split. Though we, the cloning committee, actualized the split, credit must go to Prabakaran (President of CTM at that time) for taking the first step, because the discussion of split had often been followed by inaction in the past. The tasks and responsibilities were end to end. From splitting membership, finance and club properties, to identifying location, name, timing for the new club, to getting the buy-in of all the members, and finally, ensuring a strong ex-com for both the clubs. How did you feel that time taking up such an arduous task? What were your biggest dreams and worst fears? When TM clubs overgrow, it is ideal to split when the ‘active’ membership is at the peak (say more than 70 members). If the club is not split at that time, membership wanes by itself due to lack of opportunities for all members. I accepted the role of Cloning Committee chair because I had a strong belief that it was the right step forward for the growth of the parent club CTM. My biggest dream was to see both clubs individually become better than the original club. This is becoming a reality, with both CTM and CSF leading the way in Tamil Nadu. The worst fear was disruption of CTM because of an unfair split in membership. Thus, I maximum focus was on the membership being carefully split: based on many criteria such as years of TM experience, education awards, gender, age, and attendance record in the last 6 months.

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum Now, after almost a year and half, how do you feel when you look at your "CSF Baby"? More than delivering a promise, it feels great when your promise has delivered. The committee’s promise to members of the parent club were ‘More speaking opportunities’, ‘more contesting opportunities’, and ‘more leadership roles’ ...and that’s exactly what happened In the last one and a half years, CTM and CSF together have had elections for 42 club ex-com positions instead of 21. There have been 48 club contest winners instead of 24. And the speech slots are less congested. The CSF baby never crawled. It ran from day 1. Personally, it is one of the happiest projects I’ve undertaken at Toastmasters. The process brought out the leadership skills of everyone involved. Our bonds became stronger. And most importantly, we had each other’s back during tough times. Did you have any specific goals in mind while mentoring CSF during the initial days? Electing a strong first ex-com was critical. First ex-com needed to be very proactive yet be open to suggestions. We got a great set of office bearers, full of energy and enthusiasm. Their work built the base on which CSF proudly sits today. One goal I had for CSF even before the meetings started was a proper ‘mindset’. Many people, including few initial leaders, commonly used to call CSF a new club. Which was wrong. CSF was new only by TI records. For all other purposes, CSF was half the portion of the parent club, which meant it was as experienced as CTM. Another goal was to engage senior TMs in both CTM and CSF meetings. This was critical, to ensure that CSF and CTM were always connected and no competition crept in. Some special moments of those golden days that you would like to recollect? The time we spent together as the Cloning Committee was golden. I was lucky to have leaders such as DTM Saro Velrajan, DTM Kartik Srinivasan, Prabakaran, Sadayappan, Thanigeswaran, Rajesh Natarajan and Arna Chugani in the committee. Several hours spent as a team in café coffee day, even more spent over the phone, declaring the initial slate with split membership, addressing the club members and answering their questions are all great memories of the CSF formation. The icing on the cake was the venue. Same venue, same day, different time! It could not get better because now, it was a near perfect clone!

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum You are arguably one of the youngest DTMs in India. What's the "Secret Mantra" of your 'success'? I believe that a small insignificant deed done over a long period of time becomes very significant. I tried to do 3 small things when I joined Toastmasters. Attend the meeting every week without fail, deliver a project speech once a month, and take my evaluator’s comments seriously. All these three became very significant in my TM journey later. These are too trivial to be called secret mantra, but the truth is, there is no mantra, and thus no secret!  Whom do you look upon for "inspiration"? Is there anyone special who has had the most influence upon you in your Toastmasters journey? Why? I admire people who strive to be subject experts in what they do. In that sense, DTM Deepak Menon had a big influence on me in my initial TM years. He indirectly motivated me to learn the parliamentary procedures in TM, the bylaws, rule book etc… When I joined CTM, I learnt a lot from my mentor DTM Nina John. She gave me many opportunities. In terms of Public Speaking, there have been many who I’ve taken inspiration from: Deepak Justin, Mark Brown, Aaron Watson, Rajdeep Manvani, Sandhya Rajaram, Kartik Srinivasan to name a few. At times, my biggest inspiration is reflecting on a speech I did well! Because there is nothing as propelling as a sense of achievement. What message would you like to convey to CSF Members? We join Toastmasters with a twin obligation. One, to help others improve and two, to become better speakers ourselves. If you can strike a balance between both (in terms of time and effort) that suits your personality and your needs, then you are bound to excel at Toastmasters. It helps to do something new every meeting. Serve in a role you haven’t before. Talk to a fellow member you don’t know too well. These are small things that you will cherish!

Aditya Maheshwaran, DTM was Past Asst. LGET, Past Area Governor and Past President of CTM. He is a member of Chennai Toastmasters Club and ISB Toastmasters Club. He is a graduate from ISB and loves 'expression' of any kind. And public speaking is the most pronounced expression. Reach him via his Twitter handle: www.twitter.com/aditya1212 and his blog: www.adityamaheswaran.blogspot.com

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

CSF has highly enthusiastic members, and super committed club officers. The club constantly innovates. The CSF trademark classroom sessions provide a fantastic opportunity for members to learn new skills and practice in an informal setting. CSF is Committed Superstars Forum - Saro Velrajan, DTM

Chennai Speakers Forum (CSF) has Certain Specific Features, the Charm, the Synergy and the Fun factor that it creates in its members and guests. It is THIS element of CSF that makes it endearing and the learning entertaining! -DTM Kartikeyan Srinivasan, DTM

The shortest way to success is to BE ASSOCIATED WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE SUCCESSFUL. CSF is one such place filled with lot of success stories that I am proud to be associated with and that’s the reason I LOVE CSF. -Rajesh Natarajan, ACB, ALB

I Love CSF because of the "PEOPLE". I believe that people make or break a place. I am proud to be a part of CSF! CSF has the right mix of energetic youngsters and stalwarts. -Priyanandhan, ACS, ALB

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

By Nijil Chandran, CC, CL

Have you ever felt that impulse to indulge in an ice cream when you are on diet? How long did you go without that ice cream? And I bet you had that coveted ice cream in the end. The self-control didn’t work for long, did it?

and only the radish, let’s call them the Radish group. The other group was not given any specific instructions; they were free to eat the radishes and the chocolate-chips, the Chocolatechip group.

People who are asked to make tough choices - such as choosing among many job offers, often find it difficult to focus on puzzles immediately after making that tough decision. Quite obvious, you would say, what’s so new about that? We are aware that our sense of equilibrium is at its lowest point just after a stressful event. But that’s not the reason why people fail to solve puzzles after a stressful event - they gave up too quickly, they did not try enough, they just lost their self-control.

A few hours later, all the volunteers were individually asked to solve an unsolvable puzzle, just that they did not know that it was unsolvable at that time. What do you expect to happen? The members of the Radish group lost their cool too quickly, they gave up immediately, and they were clearly agitated and displayed aggressive emotions. On the other hand, the Chocolate-chip group spent a little more time trying to solve the unsolvable puzzle, more importantly, they were found in a much more relaxed mood.

In an experiment* conducted by researchers, two similar groups were picked as volunteers. Without revealing anything about the experiment, they were starved for five straight hours. The researchers then placed radish and freshly baked chocolate-chip in front of them. One group was asked to eat the radish

What can we infer from this very interesting experiment? That human beings lose their cool when deprived of freshly baked chocolate chips? To some extent that is true, the Radish group had exhausted their 11

Have you ever felt that impulse to indulge in an ice cream when you are on diet?

Next time you use up too much of self-control, remember that you are possibly entering a stressful zone because Selfcontrol is an exhaustible resource.


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum self- control by using up all the self-control to avoid eating the tempting chocolate-chips. By the time the puzzles were given to them, they were mentally exhausted, and they had no intention of exercising high chemical consuming parts of their brain. The Chocolate-chip group, though starved for five hours, was in a better frame of mind, for they didn’t have to endure the urge to pick up the chocolate-chips. Next time you use up too much of selfcontrol, remember that you are possibly entering a stressful zone because Self-control is an exhaustible resource. That doesn’t mean that you should never employ self-control, but do it as you would with spices, in moderation. And remember awareness is the first step to a clear and a calm mind.

*Experiment: Switch: Chip Heath and Dan Heath; ISBN 978-0-385-52875-7

Ovation Record Breaks!!

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Nijil Chandran, CC, CL is a member of CSF and served as Vice President - Membership at CSF in 2012. , He is an IT professional and is passionate about writing and public speaking. Reach him via his blogs : http://www.hydays.blogspot.in/ and http://trust me-bookreviews.blogspot.in/


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

Listen for YOUR betterment! By Rajeev Nambiar, ACS, ALB In the year 2009 when I was the Sergeant At Arms at the Wordsmiths club I used to start the meeting with a powerful statement. Toastmasters is not a bureau of great speakers but it is a place where ordinary speakers like you and me gather and become better communicators and leaders. Well, to a guest who is attending the meeting for the very first time, this statement about ordinary speakers gathering to become better communicators and leaders would sound confusing but to a Toastmaster it would easily be understood. In other words, a Toastmaster knows the journey he or she has undertaken to become a member from the initial forays into this lovely movement as a guest. When the transition happens from a guest to a member it happens with great enthusiasm and determination with the motto “I WANT TO IMPROVE MY COMMUNICATION SKILLS.” But my experience over the years in Toastmasters has shown that many Toastmasters quit mid-way even before completing their CC or CL. Well, this happens when all but the most important ingredient called “COMMITMENT” goes missing from their resolve to become a strong communicator and leader. I have been in Toastmasters for the past 4 years and strongly believe that one should never let their enthusiasm and

motivation levels come down because it is all about learning to make our future bigger and brighter. So do remember, you are in this movement for a purpose. Hence don’t lose the enthusiasm and momentum with which you joined the forum. Because if you do quit mid-way, YOU are the biggest loser and if you decide to continue with the same zeal and enthusiasm you once started with, then the world would be at your feet as you would like it to be. Thus, it is in your hands to shape or draw your future and destiny from an ordinary speaker to a better speaker and leader which this society would be proud of. My dear Toastmasters in the words of Swami Vivekananda- Let us all “Arise, Awake and stop not till our goals are reached.”

Rajeev Nambiar, ACS, ALB is the current Area Governor of Area ‘M-1 ’, a part of District ‘82’. He works as a Gazetted Officer for the CAG of India and likes Karate, body building and keeping himself fit but his main passion in life is to make friends. 13

My experience over the years in Toastmasters has shown that many Toastmasters quit mid-way even before completing their CC or CL.

“Arise, Awake and stop not till our goals are reached.”


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

Go out of your Club to Learn!!

Priyanandhan S R, ACS, ALB I just remember the day I walked into my Toastmasters club as a young and energetic college youth but with loads of fear and shyness. Seeing the stalwarts in action, I thought it wasn’t the place for me. I was a guy who could hardly talk a sentence. After loads of money and time spent, I thought it was time for me to commit to the last try in my life to improve my chance to speak fluently and coherently. It took nearly 6 months for me to give my first speech, the Ice breaker. And then I was appreciated and loved by my club members and I began to take part actively by doing a Leadership role and Communication role in every meeting. I used to wait for Sunday every week to attend the meeting. Years passed, I was awarded CC, ACB, ACS and also CL, ALB. Although I felt special, I was not satisfied. I also participated in the International Speech, Table Topic, Evaluation and Humorous Speech Contests. It again did not make me satisfied. I again played roles in Club, Area, Division and District contests. Still I was not satisfied.

It was a more than a year back when DTM Saro Velrajan was the Division Governor and we had an offer from the US Consulate, Chennai to conduct a YLP in a school near my house. I was excited, but then it said only experienced Toastmasters can apply and we will select the best 20 Toastmasters from Chennai. I gave my name and was surprised that I had been selected alongside senior toastmasters. I was excited because it was my first experience speaking to an unknown young crowd and also the trainers were paid too. After the end of 8 sessions, all the students I had taught became my best friends. The love and warmth I got out of the program gave me Goosebumps. I felt satisfied and my heart was full. I understood that the ultimate gift we can give to someone is knowledge and it is priceless! When I started working in my office, I decided that I must set up a Toastmasters club. I was fortunate to

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Are you feeling monotonous about your workplace? Do you feel your work is mundane? Do you want to make an impact in someone? Then what are you waiting for, go ahead start a Toastmasters Club in your workplace.


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

have a couple of senior management folks in my workplace who were a part of Toastmasters. Also a senior group manager whom I happened to meet was impressed about this concept of Toastmasters. We then sat a few times over coffee to bring Toastmasters to our workplace. We started our Demo meeting with a bang and we started unofficially during June of 2012. We then became officially chartered as “HCL Speech Weavers Club� and were on the global Toastmasters map during October 2012. Members joining our club found Toastmasters inspiring and a safe platform to fail. I was an entry level engineer in my work place, but because of Toastmasters I was leading a team of Group managers, HR Managers and senior technical leads

I was very satisfied and humbled by the way the members transformed and to see them walk away from the meeting hall with loads of confidence was just awesome. Are you feeling monotonous about your workplace?? Do you feel your work is mundane?? Do you want to make an impact on someone?? Then what are you waiting for, Go ahead start a Toastmasters Club at your workplace. Are you not allowed to start one? Then Go ahead and conduct a Youth Leadership Program or a Speechcraft Program, You will never be the same person again!!

Priyanandhan S R, ACS, ALB is the President of HCL Speech Weavers club in Chennai. He works as a software engineer and feels that he is unique and he loves himself for being weird! His passions include public speaking, travelling and photography.

Did you know? Ever since its inception, CSF has managed to send one finalist to the District Contests!!

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

Life at CSF In life we come across many situations and circumstances including different sorts of unique people which i believe makes you the person you are today and will be in future. Each person evolves on his own footing and the magnitude of the change depends up on how he or she wants to end up. On the above lines as for me I was in the process of evolving as an individual and public speaker and what enhanced this learning curve and also which is bettering over the days is my involvement with CSF which is a place for elderly blokes like myself to once again feel the nuances of Youth hood. What captivates this lovely club which did adopt me as member a year ago is the energy which radiates in me when i attend a meeting. For me CSF is a place where you can go and relieve any stress or tension which was hampering you all along. Finally CSF is a place where you get the genuine love, care and respect and also you learn that each and every member is unique and everyone wants all to excel in whatever their goals are. Hence for me, CSF is Chennai Special Friends club and I profoundly thank TM Pravin Mani for making me a part of the CSF united TMs family. -Rajeev Nambiar, ACS, ALB

Life is short, it’s ok to make mistakes, make time to do all you want to do and give back what you can. These are the few words I keep repeating to myself for a long time now. Being in CSF, I get my weekly dose of wisdom from Toastmasters far and wide, a stage to fail safely. The amount of wisdom and energy pumped into me is stupendous, with so much wisdom and energy pumped into me for the week, I always find myself doing and setting my bar higher by the day. Friends (family), self-confidence, humbleness and a ready to help attitude are just by products of the weekly meet. Above criteria fulfilled. CSF fuels me with so much good; I could not hate her even if I wanted to. -Trilokesh Rao

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

By Carl Duivenvoorden, DTM These days, everyone’s talking about going green and taking better care of the planet – so why not Toastmasters too? Here are ten ways you can make your club more eco-friendly. 1. Organize a member carpool: What’s likely a club’s biggest environmental impact actually happens before and after the gavel sounds: it comes from the vehicles we use to get to and from our meetings. Many clubs use email or websites to assign meeting roles, so why not use those same tools to organize member ridesharing? The greater the distance travelled, the greater will be the environmental benefits – and gas savings! 2. Try to minimize paper use: Examine where paper is used in your club to see if there are ways to reduce and save. Is a copy of the word of the day printed for every member? If so, is it necessary? Could it be printed on half a page, incorporated into the agenda, or written on a chalkboard, whiteboard or flip chart? Keep handouts down to the bare

essentials, and consider electronic or online options for sharing resources. When printing is unavoidable, strive to print double-sided, and try to use recycled paper and recycle whatever you can. You can also save partiallyused feedback slips for the next meeting 3. Rationalize your lighting needs: turn on only the lights you need, and maximize the use of natural light whenever possible. 4. Rethink disposables: Most clubs have a break for socializing and snacks – but breaks often feature disposable dishes and cutlery. Brainstorm ways to avoid disposables – such as using on-site supplies, or asking members to take turns bringing in necessary tableware. 5. Serve in bulk: Use large containers where possible for beverages, condiments and food; skip individualsized packets, bottles and cans.

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Many clubs use email or websites to assign meeting roles, so why not use those same tools to organize member ridesharing?

Hold a greenthemed meeting.


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum 6. Avoid bottled water: Instead, use tap water (which is often tested more rigorously than bottled water anyway), filtered water or local spring water from large containers.

Provinces and three US states. When our fall conference was held in a distant corner of our district several years ago, over 30 conference attendees rode a chartered bus to the event. The benefits? Safer and more comfortable travel; plenty of time to catch up with Toastmasters friends; and of course, a smaller carbon footprint. In other years, the conference registration committee has encouraged carpooling by coordinating it through the registration process.

7. Reduce or even skip ice in beverages: it takes energy for a freezer to produce ice and we often use more than we need, as evidenced by ice cubes remaining in our empty glasses. So using less is always a good habit. That’s doubly important during the heating season; here’s why. Ice absorbs heat as it melts and this heat comes from our heating systems. You could say ice cubes in winter have a double carbon footprint.

So what are you waiting for? Turn talk into action – use the above tips to help Toastmasters go ‘green’, at the club level and beyond!

8. Turn off projectors when not in use: many presentations today involve the use of computers and projectors, both of which consume energy. Projectors in particular use a lot of power and generate a lot of heat – which, during the cooling season, makes air conditioners work that much harder. So see if your club can get into the habit of turning off computers and, especially, projectors whenever they are not in use. 9. Hold a green-themed meeting: Toastmasters is all about education and leadership, so why not extend that to environmental education and leadership? Plan a meeting featuring greenthemed speeches, snacks, table topics, word of the day and even fines. Fun and learning for all!

Carl Duivenvoorden, DTM, served as District 45 Governor in 200405. He lives in Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada, and works as a speaker, writer and sustainability consultant. Reach him via his website, www.changeyourcorner.com

10. Ask members to commit: Distinguished Clubs happen when leaders and members commit to collective goals, and the same applies to sustainability initiatives. So why not hold a club discussion to engage everyone, gather ideas, set goals and ensure success? It might even make for a great High Performance Leadership project! Many of the above suggestions apply to area, division and district events too. Sprawling District 45, to which I belong, comprises three Canadian

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

By Sweta Bharadwaj

Let’s talk to them, not AT them. It is such a simple sentence and seems pretty straight forward. But I feel it is one of the hardest things to learn in public speaking. Neeta, a very good friend of mine, was a born leader. One of those people just gifted with a beautiful commanding voice, an innate sense of authority and the ability to guide large groups of people. I was in awe of her growing up. I wanted to be like her. It just so happened that she was sent for an inter-school championship and suddenly our class was without a representative. This was the opportunity that I was waiting for. After getting all the required permissions I was to start my first day as the leader of the class. I began with a list of do’s and don’ts. I decided that I had to assert my authority right from the beginning. I listened to everyone, but my word was final. Even when I passed on information from the teachers I made sure I exercised the sense of authority. The next day before I entered class, some of the students had

complained to our teacher and requested that she remove me from my post. I had lasted just one day. I was devastated. It was only after Neeta came back and took charge that I saw where I was going wrong. Even though she stood at the front of the class, she had no airs or false pretenses. She always spoke with a loud and clear voice but never commanding the class, rather it was always a firm request. She always spoke to us as friends, not as subordinates. My first lesson is good public speaking. Yes, the message is important, content is king. But what is the point if there is no one in the audience that is willing to listen to you because they think you sound too preachy. Whether we like it or not, whether we want to admit it or not, every time a person walks on stage we start to judge. 19

Respect. That is the real key. As an audience we are asked to respect the speaker and keep silent while they are on stage.

As a speaker it then becomes our responsibility to respect the audience. To respect their sensibilities and their time.


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

We judge their clothes, their voice and their body language. The moment we feel that a speaker is not treating us with enough respect we switch off. Respect. That is the real key. As an audience we are asked to respect the speaker and keep silent while they are on stage. Refrain from moving around. Switch off my mobile phones. As a speaker it then becomes our responsibility to respect the audience. To respect their sensibilities and their time. I realized that speaking on stage is almost like an extension of speaking to a friend or a group of friends. While saying this I do not mean we need to keep a casual attitude. The level of formality to be infused into the speech should depend on the time, place and situation. But at the end of the day if we communicate with sincerity, everyone will want to listen.

Sweta Bharadwaj is a Toastmaster since the age of 18. She lives in Qatar and she credits all her public speaking skills to the Toastmasters movement. She is a young mother, dance teacher and a student of the world. In terms of the art of speaking before an audience or inter personal skills, she believes that she is still learning.

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

CSF is not just a club to me, it is the place that made me learn, that made me get entertained, that made me grow. We at CSF truly abide by the Toastmasters principle of being "mutually supportive", and that is one reason why I respect CSF. Each member of the club does his bit towards not just his own growth, but towards the growth of his fellow members as well as the growth of the Club, and that is why I adore CSF. Each executive committee of the club has been working towards the wholesome growth of the club, and that is why I admire CSF. As a proud member of this club, I don't just Love CSF, but I respect, admire & adore it as well. Way to go CSF! Happy 75th Meeting! -Arna Chugani, CC

“You were all smiles the first time you came in as a guest to CSF." “I haven't seen you smile, really smile. Is everything all right?" Those two statements came from two people in our club during recent conversations. We have all heard "Toastmasters is a safe place to fail.. You can experiment. Go on, do it." Despite all those words, there is fear of failure, fear of being rejected. Let’s admit it. When you know that you belong here, you have a place, you are accepted as you are. That gives way to reflect and accept yourself. I can say with pride, the place where I belong has a place for anyone who walks in. -Aashish

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

By Ramkumar Chandrasekar

Starting lines of the novel “The old man sat propped up in his hospital bed. Monitors beeped numbers and flashed graphs, measuring his vital signs. His frail arms had been punctured with an endless number of needles and a tube ran through his mouth into his lungs. He knew that life was ebbing from his body but had prayed to Shakti to allow him to live long enough to savour the moment he had been waiting for. The room was dark, blackout curtains having been drawn to block out the sunlight, except for the psychedelic illumination produced by the moving images on television. The duty nurse sat on a chair beside his steel bed, dozing off intermittently. Light from the television sparkled in the octogenarian’s eyes as he watched the eighteenth prime minister of India take the oath of office....”

During 300 BC, there was a mighty threat from Macedonians who were invading all over the world, led by none other than Alexander, The Great. But his desire to rule the entire Bharata was almost put aside by an ordinary political science guru of TAKSHILA University, who was the brain behind the glorious establishment of The Maurya Dynasty - Vishnuguptha aka 'CHANAKYA'. What if the same CHANAKYA got reincarnated as a poor Brahmin history teacher in our current political scenario? On seeing the book online, it induced a notion of yet another adapted version of Arthasastra in me. But to my surprise it is a wellbalanced commercial pot boiler, briefed in a book. The story hurls you through Magadha, 2300 years ago, and from there to New Delhi in the present day. 22

The story hurls you through Magadha, 2300 years ago, and from there to New Delhi in the present day.

“In order to become The Master, a ruler must profess to be a servant of the people.”


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum The main plot is - how Acharya Chanakya makes his protégé Chandragupta Maurya to sit in the throne of Magadha and make him to rule the world. 2300 years later - in Kanpur, a city in Uttar Pradesh, the reincarnation of Chanakya as Gangasagar Mishra who backs his protégé to become the Prime Minister of the largest democratic in the world. The novel is a roller-coaster ride with intrigue, political drama, murder, espionage, and lust thrown in at just the appropriate times to prevent one from putting it down. It takes you through the entire life of Chanakya and Gangasagar right from their childhood and relates their uncanny cold, clever and calculative mind on taking their rival down, whoever comes in their way. It also portrays the beautiful relationship of the two protagonists and their respective protégé 'Chandraguptha Maurya' and 'Chandini Gupta' of current time.

 

“Three can keep secret only when two of them are dead.” “The lesson for today, Dear Rakshas, is between two evils you should pick the one that you haven't yet tried.”

TID BITS:  

This book had logged the highest sales in 2010 also has a fusion theme music composed for it. UTV Media Entertainment Ltd. has already bagged the screenplay rights and indeed it would be a feast for our eyes if BIG B or Superstar Rajinikanth portrays the protagonist role.

Visit: http://www.ashwinsanghi.com/ "Brilliant" is the only word that can describe this thriller! I would rate it as 4/5.

Author Ashwin Sanghi whose earlier notable work was 'The Rozabal Line', adopted an innovative strategy of narrating the story of Chanakya and Gangasagar alternatively that would ensure to hold the interest of the readers. I really loved a lot of punch lines mentioned in this novel, some of which are adapted from famous personalities. 

“Worry is like a rocking chair; it keeps you in motion but gets you nowhere”

“O Rakshas, everything is always all right in the end. If it isn't all right, then it isn't the end”

“In order to become the master, a ruler must profess to be a servant of the people.” (My personal best since it directly relates to Toastmasters!!!!)

Ramkumar Chandrasekar is a member of CSF and is the current Secretary of Division ‘N’. He works at Cognizant and is passionate about automobile design and writing scripts.

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

By Kavita Wilson A growing person is a happy person. A growing person is always interesting to be around. Personal growth always gives the “Rush”.

Another Toastmaster is completely flamboyant and plays with words and mesmerizes the audience and I want that also in me.

When you have invested in personal growth, you are not the same person six months down. It gives you “a high” every time you play in your mind how much you have grown as a person.

And, the next one makes the audience laugh right from the start even without making a fool of himself and he does it with style. And I want that skill too.

The beautiful thing about personal growth is that, once you have reached the goal you chalked out for yourself, by default the next goal will come to you with a sweet smile.

I know all of those skills will be mine one day. How can I not reach there when there are a great many that show me “how to get there”

So many times, I thought that- If I can handle a Table Topic comfortably, I have reached the finishing line.

Personal growth is a beautiful journey. Keep at it all your life. The crown of this journey is likeminded folks who lift each other up and take pleasure in it.

But, when I reached the point where I could comfortably handle a Table Topic, I realized that it is not the finishing line but it’s the foundation on which a multistorey could be built. Toastmasters constantly fascinates me. When one person is totally pleasant on stage, I want to be like her.

Kavitha is a member of CSF and is doing her Masters in Dentistry. She strongly believes that “The purpose of life is to enjoy it”

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The beautiful thing about personal growth is that, once you have reached the goal you chalked out for you, by default the next goal will come to you with a sweet smile.


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

“The Search� A poem by Jivitha Siddharthan

When the Breeze flips over you, I see you turning left and right, Making me wonder, why! Demons of earth surround you tight, Even then I see you bold and strong, Making me wonder why! When will you ever learn how beautiful you are, for you give without expecting, Making me wonder, why!

Jivitha Siddharthan is a member of CSF and is currently working at an MNC. She likes to sing and cook. She connects with the world through her blogs at www.jivithasiddharthan.bl ogspot.com

I see that you cannot hear, see nor speak, Yet you search everywhere with all your might. Making me wonder, why! My symphony does not move you, Leaving me, to wonder if I can never see What you see! Unsaid words of yours are engraved, So deep within me, making me wonder if only, You could see, I am writing your legacy. In my lucid dreams, I see you giving me a chance, a chance to feel what you feel, Leaving me behind to wonder, forever! Oh dear tree, when will you ever learn, how beautiful you are!!

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

CSF is like a better girl friend to me; because.... A girl friend is a person who would be very close to you; boosts your self - confidence while you are down. Similarly CSF boosted my confidence to become a public speaker while I was nowhere. No matter what, a girl friend would always be connected with you all over the day and for me for the past one year in any of my daily task I would have been associated with CSF. But a conventional girlfriend would cost more than CSF but gets you nothing, hence I started receiving love from CSF in the form of learning and experience. -Ramkumar Chandrasekar

I love CSF because it has transformed me from a dull complacent guy to who I am today. It has given me friends from varied cultural and corporate backgrounds. I consider joining CSF as the best decision I have taken so far. -Pranav Vinodkumar, CC, CL

They are energetic, optimistic. I find lot of encouragement and applause here. People here are supportive and guide me well. Thibakar S

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

By Bharath Kumar Nagarajan, CC,CL

It was 1 a.m. in the morning. The entire apartment was deep asleep except one old man, Ramachandran. This night, he did not sleep. Infact, he could not sleep at all. Loads of thoughts were passing through the screen of his mind as he was sitting at the corner of his cabin. He had been here since he was 23 years old; a long time to forget in a single day. Since then, he had known nothing but this one place. Occasionally, he would visit his son, who lived in a remote village, but his life was here - in this city, in this apartment. He had grown old now, and today was his last day here. As the Sun started to rise, his heart started to pound and it increased each hour. He could see all the apartment people greet and wish him with all their heart; they all knew Ramachandran. It was a mix of happiness and sorrow filled with a plethora of emotions. Each person he saw, reminded him of his connection to his or her family. The

days when he spent helping all the families, the special festivals they all enjoyed within the apartment, the day when they caught a notorious thief and handed over to the police, the day when Ramachandran had himself run to the doctor’s house for a critical pregnancy case. The thoughts were countless. At morning 10 o’clock this Sunday, all had gathered for a small get-together to bid adieu to Ramachandran. Few people thanked him, few wished him good luck for a restful future, and a few patted on his back or hugged him. He stood there with all tears and he was speechless because of the love, the people shared for him. Post 10:30 a.m. people started disbursing slowly. Ramchandran too started to his cabin; he had to pack his things. Just then a voice called from the back, “Ramu Thatha! (Grandpa Ramu!)” 27

You used to teach me cycling all the evening, running behind me, cheering me up, holding my cycle, making sure I don’t fall.

He felt as if he had held the responsibility of this kid, as a grandpa, as a friend and as a good companion.


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

Ramu could not recognize, as to who had called him thatha. He turned to have a look. At the first glance he could not recollect who it was. “Ramu thatha, it’s me, ‘Kutti’ as you used to call me. It is me, Arvind”. Ramachandran quickly understood now. “Thatha, do you remember? You used to teach me cycling all the evening, running behind me, cheering me up, holding my cycle, making sure I don’t fall. Those days were the golden days of my life. Every morning when I used to leave, you used to give a big smile to me and wish me good luck for the day. You were more than a security of this apartment, Thatha”. Ramachandran, for few minutes, had forgotten that he was a security of the apartment. He felt as if he had held the responsibility of this kid, as a grandpa, as a friend and as a good companion. Tears rolled down his cheeks, he hugged Arvind tightly with no words to explain his feelings. Arvind was equally filled with emotions. Arvind pulled out this small funny thing from his pocket. He said “Thatha, I have secured a very special gift for you”. It was the horn that he used in his childhood cycle. “Whenever you see this, you should remember me; you should remember this apartment and feel happy of those wonderful days. You secured this apartment well, and you are secured in all our hearts as well”. Among all the things that he had got, Ramachandran thought that this was one priceless possession he had got. He secured this special secured item in his bag and started home, for one last time.

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Bharath Kumar Nagarajan, CC , CL is the Vice President-Membership of Chennai Wordsmiths Toastmasters Club. He is a Technical Trainer and loves listening to Music and Blogging.


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

By Rani Vaishnavi

You have been reading a lot on how to give excellent speeches and how to deliver them, various styles of delivery etc. Take a break. Time for you to take a few light things that are going to tickle your tummy.

Interesting words we created over the years (Thanks to the influence of our native languages) : 1. Prepone: Can we pre-pone our trip to this week? 2. Gymming: Have you been gymming lately? 3. Taking Tension: You've been taking a lot of tension from office 4. Out of station: Sorry I can’t see you, I’m out of station for the weekend 5. Good name: What is your good name, son? 6. Years back: I purchased this house years back 7. Backside entrance: You may use the backside entrance whenever you come late. 8. Repetitions! - Eat slowly slowly, The sky is so blue blue today 9. Kindly revert - Kindly revert at the earliest (Revert means to return to a previous state. Here, it is often used as a synonym for reply) 10. Do one thing - Do one thing, remind me about it a couple of hours later

I’ve compiled few master pieces for you here. These are few funny usages in English, which we think is correct but is actually not. Why don’t you brain storm with the other club members and figure out the correct usage for the ones mentioned here.

Funny Usages on Advertisements/Labels: 1. On packaging for a Rowenta iron - Do Not Iron Clothes On Body On a package of Rowenta iron - Do Not Iron Clothes On Body 2. On a packet of peanuts - Warning Contains Nuts 3. On a Sears hairdryer - Do Not Use While Sleeping

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum Some usage which carries our unique style: 21. I have the same shirt, it is same to same. 22. We don't like to chew gum, we like to eat chewing gum. 23. We've never been to places, they have gone/went to places. 24. Sunglasses are so out of fashion, goggles are in! 25. When we have to say yes, we nod our head and say no. 26. Please leave me a voicemail, if my phone is engaged. 27. If my phone is busy, please leave behind a voicemail. 28. I have a doubt about your research paper. (Sounds like I suspect there is a problem with your research paper). 29. It’s too hot, please put the AC on full speed. 30. The weather is humid, so I sent him by bus. 31. I did not went to any hill stations this year. 32. He is a shopkeeper; he sells AC's, aircooler's and apostrophe's. 33. In the next one month, the hot weather would pass away. 34. Q: Who is inside? A: Me only mom. 35. Auto won't come for 50 rupees sir. 36. Xerox won't come for 30 paise for 10 copies.

1. That boy is such a Cheatercock. 2. Have you come by walking? (Sorry, what!?) 3. Your good self? (Those three words don’t make any sense together) 4. Myself, Ankur Warikoo (Good to meet yourself) 5. He himself did the work (No kidding?) 6. I am loving it (Thanks to McDonald's for promoting this one!) 7. I had a terrific headache (Really? You probably want to have it again then, I guess!) 8. I’ll give you One Tight Slap. 9. She is here only. 10. You did the work, no? 11. He performs a lot of charities. 12. Please don't interrupt in-between the meeting. 13. Hello myself Ratnakar, I am working as software engineer, may I know your good name please? 14. No sir, she is not my fiance, she is my would be. 15. Sorry sir, my tyre got puncture while coming to office, and I did not have a stephney in my car dicky, so I came late. 16. I live in flats, my house is on 5th floor, so I always take lift to go to top. 17. My son finished his engineering, he is looking for a job, can you do the needful please? 18. No sir, i am not in cafeteria, i am in canteen now, having my tiffin. 19. No problem sir, our hotel provides hot running water. 20. He had a baby, she is a girl. 30


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

Leave letters and applications: (Most of these are from MNCs): 1. Since I have to go to my village to sell my land along with my wife, please sanction me one-week leave. 2. An employee who was performing his daughter's wedding: as I am marrying my daughter, please grant a week's leave. 3. As my mother-in-law has expired and I am only one responsible for it, please grant me 10 days leave. 4. Since I've to go to the cremation ground at 10 o-clock and I may not return, please grant me half day casual leave. 5. I am suffering from fever, please declare one day holiday. 6. Leave letter to the headmaster: As I am studying in this school I am suffering from headache. I request you to leave me today. 7. Dear Sir: with reference to the above, please refer to my below... 8. My wife is suffering from sickness and as I am her only husband at home I may be granted leave. 9. Letter writing: -I am in well here and hope you are also in the same well

P.S: Hope your stomach is not paining after this laughter riot!

Rani Vaishnavi is a member of Vision Toastmasters Club, Hyderabad. She is a Chartered Accountant by profession. She loves nature, enjoys trekking and reading comics.

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

A Guest TM Speaks…

By Rani Vaishnavi

It was the first time I had ever visited a club other than my home club (Vision Toastmasters-Vision in short). I was a little worried about the new environment and members. I had never been to Chennai before. This made me think, how can I give a speech without knowing my audience? I chose to give it a try and stay on track with my goals. CSF’s President Vivek was very sweet in confirming a slot for me. I am very thankful to him for that. Chennai Speakers Forum has a very friendly atmosphere. It made me feel like I was at Vision itself. Everybody took turns to come and speak with me. I felt at home. You guys are just Amazing! The best thing about CSF is its members and the warm and cordial atmosphere they create in toastmaster meetings. Everybody was very supportive. I could feel the flame within everyone. Each of you has the zeal to be the best in toastmasters. That inspired me a lot! I loved the concept of your educational session before the meeting. It helps new members in learning and experienced members to train the new members. Hats off to everyone who are taking up an educational session. I have suggested the same at my home club and they promised they would arrange for such sessions prior to our meetings. CSF is indispensable because of its members. You are simply incredible. The way you give feedback is awesome. I loved the General Evaluator’s report giving suggestions on how to improve it in the next meeting and also briefing on how the current meet has improved based on the suggestions given during the previous meet. It’s the place where members are trained on giving feedback. Anjana has taught me a very nice way of conducting a Table Topic Session! I’m planning to conduct a table topic session that way in my home club. Arna is an amazing toastmaster. Kavitha redefined the role of TMOD with her own style of introducing people, I adore that. . It made me not to miss even a word of what she said! I have to mention about the roses specially, because if somebody says CSF I get reminded of them. The special speech given by DTM Nina John was a fantastic gift for us. I don’t know whose idea it was, but thank you so much. Her speech is still ringing in my ears. The icebreaker session in my second meet, by TM Hamdan was amazing. His speech was crafted very beautifully. Aashish was the first person I met in CSF as he was the one who helped me out with the location. He was the one who encouraged me to be the Table Topics Master in the second meeting. That was the role I would have taken had I been in Hyderabad that day and Aashish did not let me regret staying in Chennai for that week. Thank You Aashish. I have met great leaders and great speakers in CSF. Most importantly, I made great friends! You all have become very special to me. Writing about CSF I can still recall the TMOD requesting members to stop talking for starting the meeting, the chocolates being given away, munching on the snacks at the end of the session. Thank You all for giving me such memorable time in Chennai. Without CSF my trip to Chennai would have been very boring! Cheers! 32


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

By Akshaya Mahalingam, CC Me : No Sandeep. I just can’t write about this. What will the world think of me; if they knew I had crushes as innumerable as Rakhi Sawant’s hopeless drama! Goutham: Akshaya, What is the big deal???? Don’t make a fuss about it…. As Sandeep and Goutham arm-twist me, Sigh! I surrender I shut my eyes tight and time travel to the past. Invariably all my Crushes have been Crushed! My first crush was when I was in the 8th grade. A tall, lanky, dark and handsome guy. I kept looking at him throughout the Physics period. One fine day, he threw the answer sheet on my face and said “Shame on you, you have scored no marks” How could he of all people do this to me? Apparently my Chemistry with the Physics teacher did not work out! Well, LOVE is BLIND and I was no exception to the rule. I had a huge crush on this cute guy who turned out to be my junior at school. Back then there was no film like Vinnai thandi vaaruvaaya to prompt your love to blossom. And Sigh! The soil was eroded before the seed could be planted.

I must admit, the next crush is quite embarrassing but I fell for the Canteen-wala, the very thought of any time access to food did trigger a spark within me. I even contemplated writing a love letter to him:Today is a Good Day, U r Anmol for me. But U have Crack jacked my Heart, Because I have a Little Heart, Now I’m in 50/50 position. Please meet me with a green tea tomorrow if you are interested. What did not strike me was the Canteen-wala could hardly differentiate between A and B. The letter landed in my friends’ hand and they had a good time TEAsing me.Well, the taunt still continues! At the end of it all, though too late to realize. The only crush that quenches my thirst is the Mango crush my dad gets every summer.

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Akshaya Mahalingam, CC is the current Vice President-Membership of Chennai Communicators Club. She is pursuing her CA and is a big time bookaholic.


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

1) I've been part of CTM the parent club of CSF and since I had seen the club grow right from the first meeting. I love CSF and wish it all success. 2) The energy is simply wow!! As far as CSF club meeting atmosphere is concerned. There were couple of times when I had dropped in for the meeting only because my mind was in need of change and which I left CSF richly possessed. And yes, my battery was fully charged up at the end of the meeting and when I used leave the hall. Thanks a mil to CSF and to all my friends I thank CSF for all that it gave me and I wish my journey in CSF continues smoothly in the weeks, months and years to come. Taking this opportunity, I thank my CSF friends for boosting my energy when I needed it the most and I shall never forget the after meeting outings. -Karthikeyan Balasubramanian

CSF provides me with an opportunity to discover myself. It allows me to explore my passion of speaking - something that I am despised for among my friends. More than anything else, it provides me the nervous energy to chug along through my weekend. -Karthik Sivakumar

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

CSF – The Transformer A Testimony by Ramesh Karanakaran

CSF has come a long way in the past two and half years. I am proud to say that I was one among the early members of CSF. At one point, when I was the treasurer, I was wondering how CSF can go to the next stage in terms of membership, active participation and the quality levels. There were many times when CSF was running a tight ship financially. Membership was not at a level where we were able to break costs.

Arna, Vivek and Pravin have shown the way. As a past treasurer and an active member of CSF, I feel that CSF should sustain this momentum and take it to the next level in terms of producing more high quality speakers and leaders. CSF rocks!

From CSF, I have learnt that Clubs cannot see miraculous transformation in a day. CSF always did those little things right - ensuring high quality meetings, following up with interested members, social networking, newsletters and more importantly keeping the excitement levels high. These little investments have paid through gradually over the past two years. Membership has increased participation and quality levels have improved. The bonding between members is among the best. I have been one of those co-passengers who have seen CSF through the journey and it has been a great learning experience as how to run an institution like a club.

Ramesh Karunakaran is an ExTreasurer of Chennai Speakers Forum (CSF). He works at CRISIL and loves Travelling and losing himself in a good book.

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

I love CSF because there are so many talented leaders and communication experts who are an inspiration. I learn so must just by observing them, not to mention the knowledge transfer they are always happy to do. The spirit of camaraderie is infectious. -Kavitha Wilson

I love CSF because of the zealous platform which catapults you to learn something new every meeting. I love the way we are made to come out of our comfort zones to develop ourselves as a public speaker and a leader. -Sajjad

For the RAW enthusiasm and energy brought in by the club members, as well as the innovative practices implemented in the club. Have learnt quite a lot from club members and club proceedings. -Prashant Sree

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

All of us dream about being loved, cared, respected, becoming successful and then we realize, our dream is a virtual world which we live in! But if you ask me, I did say CSF is a place where your dreams get transformed into reality. A place where people are respected for who they are, the spirit of bringing up the fellow human being is unrivaled and being a part of CSF gives me the grit to become a better human being. The growth of a person is measured on everyday basis and Sundays are no exception, here at CSF the commitment is so high that we learn even on a Sunday and most importantly, we are in formals even on a Sunday! To sum it all up, passion and compassion hugs each other tight in CSF, can you find a better Eden than CSF? I would say No. -Jivitha

Practice, Practice. It’s Practice that makes a Man Perfect. And CSF helps me to practice on what I think is weak in me. This quote will come true only in the CSF meeting. -Karthikeyan E

At first I felt I was good at English before I joined CSF. When I joined, I found, I was nowhere in the race. Just now, I have started my race and have got miles to go!! -Kannan

"I love CSF because it helps me to improve my self-confidence and refreshes me on a weekly basis ". Suresh Babu Ramakrishnan

One thing is it’s a worthy weekend while coming to CSF. Whatever I fear in public speaking, I use it in CSF. I want to become a good public speaker and I learn how to become one here. -Pravin Srinivasan

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

By Uday Kiran

Very important, yet less discussed, even in Toastmasters, the listening. We always worry how to speak, how to write scripts and how many books we have to read, but have we ever tried to take up how to listen? The answer would be a NO for most of us. So here is an article on “Listening Skills� from one of the classroom sessions of CSF. Effective listening leads to effective leadership. Significant leaders' success is predicated upon their ability to listen and understand others' viewpoint. Stepping into the shoes of another individual is a prerequisite to empathetically understanding them. As Stephen Covey points out, this is where interdependence with others is a precursor for having win/win settings, a most sought after area of effective leadership. We can't learn when our mouth is flapping. We build trust by learning and to learn we must listen. "God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we can hear twice as much as we say."

Listening is an attitude, a mindset that dictates whether you are either selfcentered or other-centered. If you are self-centered, you are most likely cutting others off, refusing to give feedback, not engaged, and daydreaming among others. If you are other-centered, you are focused on listening, but more importantly you are hearing what is being said and are working intensely to connect the dots—the hidden messages, the ones that are not openly communicated yet are there for the taking. "When I am getting ready to reason with a man, I spend one-third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say and two-thirds about him and what he is going to say." -Abraham Lincoln If you want to improve your listening skills, try this on for size. When another individual is speaking, wait two seconds after they have completed their sentence to make your observations. Think about making a statement that clarifies

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"When I am getting ready to reason with a man, I spend one-third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say and two-thirds about him and what he is going to say." -- Abraham Lincoln

"Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply."


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum what they communicate so you fully understand and appreciate what has been said. "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." Add to what people have said. Use it as an opportunity to build upon their viewpoint. With the proper attitude for listening to others, the potential for identifying new opportunities will emerge. It might be in a boring presentation that the seed of an idea is talked about—the seed that could lead to the next significant innovation. Be open to the possibilities. Leadership includes traits and behaviors, but effective leaders are always educating themselves in new ways of doing things and adjusting their style, behavior, and their leadership capacity by learning from others. Being open to feedback—listening—is one of the most important attributes of becoming a significant leader. Just as you listen to others, listen to yourself as you observe what you see.

Being open to feedback— listening—is one of the most important attributes of becoming a significant leader.

"One who cares is one who listens."

"One who cares is one who listens." Uday Kiran is the Sergeant at Arms of Chennai Speakers Forum. He works as Technical J Analyst in CTS and likes . travelling to new places and watching Movies. He is also R passionate about Social Service. i c h a r 39 d C


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

By Priyadarshini Mahadevan

Fun learning session of Chennai Speakers Forum, Toastmasters maintaining decent decorum, Uploading events in Facebook forum, These are a few of my favourite things. Enthusiasm of elegant toastmasters, Fabulous, flamboyant, fantastic speeches, Classy collective creative agendas, These are a few of my favourite things. Guidance of mentors and evaluators, Role players report and their sandwich techniques, High tea served at the end of the meetings, These are a few of my favourite things.

Priyandarshini is a member of CSF and works as a Teacher in one of the leading schools in Chennai. She finds Toastmasters very useful at her workplace. In her words “Teaching is my passion and profession”

When my boss shouts, When my spouse stings, When I’m feelings sad, I simply remember those favourite things, And then I don’t feel, so……….. bad!

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

By Priyadarshini Mahadevan

It was April 24th 2013. There was little sunshine and the weather was fine. I decided to take my little daughter for a book fair near Marina Beach. Plugging in my ear phone I started my Scooty Streak and with a speed of 50 kms I rode and reached there by 2 p.m. When I about to enter the book stall, the security guard said that it has been closed for lunch and will open only at 3 p.m. I felt the scorching heat with little breeze. I was mesmerized by the soft singing waves of The Marina which welcomed me. The beach is a good place for those who feel lonely and need a place to relieve their pressure. Tranquility found at the beach eases our mind and help to think positively. My nine year old daughter was surprised to see the gentle sea waves reaching the shore. On seeing the ships sailing on the sea she told me to take her to the shore. We started walking towards the beach. Then we strode towards the light house so that the gentle waves would wet our feet each time it reaches us.

She found some coconut shells on the shore and recollected about the process of reproduction of coconut plants. She told me to wait for some time till the waves reach her tiny feet. She enjoyed each and every moment there. Small pits and bubbles in the pits surprised her the most. We were so amazed at this God’s gift. The white ripples, sound of waves, trails on sand, shells made me so happy. She started to pick up the shells that she found on the beach. It reminded me of my school days when we practiced the tongue twister ”She sells the Sea Shells on the Sea Shore but the Shells She Sells are not the Sea Shells”. When I practiced this she mocked at me and later she too tried it in vain. Many boys were playing in the beach water without bothering the scorching heat. Some people at the beach flocked in pairs to feel the marvel of the place. Some men were bathing in the water and one of them caught a crab and took it to his Fish stall to fry and sell. 41 After having chat items and juice in the food stall we headed towards book stall. We saw two huge horses galloping towards us. The footprints

This made me to think,” Will I leave imprints on the tiny tots? Each day when I enter my class I used to think whether these memories will stay long in the young minds?”


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum A few steps ahead in spite of the blistering heat few women with their kids were lying on the shore waiting for the gentle waves to hit them gently. After having chat items and juice in the food stall we headed towards book stall. We saw two huge horses galloping towards us. The footprints created by the horses were as deep as the waves hit them it didn’t vanish immediately whereas the footprints caused by us didn’t stay for a long time. This made me to think,” Will I leave imprints on the tiny tots? Each day when I enter my class I used to think whether these memories will stay long in the young minds?” “Yes definitely”, said my inner mind. I will become the past memories of the future generation. I see to that my students enjoy my classes and feel happy always. They like my presence and my presents too. Students today can learn themselves using internet and other sources. But technology cannot replace teachers. The teachers have an important role in building the personality of students and the relationship they develop with them determines the student's academic and personal growth. I walk all the way with them. The students, who feel alone and deserted initially, would later realize that they were carried in my arms during the most difficult times. When they wished me, met me and shared with me I realized that I had created an imprint in their minds. This realization makes me to feel proud and elated that I have achieved my goal. With this satisfaction in my mind and hoping that I had created an imprint in my daughter’s mind I dearly departed the waves and joyfully headed towards the book stall to buy books for my dear ones.

Ahoy Mateys! Avast ye! Ye think ye knows yer club members’ well? Then unscramble these Anagrams and send yer answers to goutham_busha@yahoo.co.in. 1. Retrial Hooks – Hint: Recently, this TM from CSF made very creative fliers. 2. Myriad Hairpins – Hint: This TM from CSF is good at singing. 3. Minivan Rap – Hint: This dashing TM from CSF is the sports a dimple when he smiles. 4. Bandana Speaker – Hint: This TM from CSF almost always speaks from his Heart during TT! 5. Nighthawk Shuns – Hint: This TM from CSF hails from the land of ‘Bhangra’ 42


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

Trivia Corner By Kannan Sri Cracking Your Knuckles: Cracking your knuckles (or any of your joints) can have therapeutic benefits. When you crack one of your joints you are pulling the bones that are connected at the joint apart from each other. This process stimulates your tendons, relaxes your muscles, and loosens your joints. Chiropractors do this for spinal joints when your back is sore and stiff, but you can do this on your own for your knuckles, toes, knees, neck, etc. Unfortunately, there can be too much of a good thing. Cracking your knuckles will never lead to arthritis (despite what your mom keeps telling you), but scientists have discovered that it can cause tissue damage in the affected joints. Knuckle-cracking pulls your finger bones apart which stretch your ligaments. Too much stretching of your ligaments will cause damage to your fingers akin to the arm injuries sustained by a baseball pitcher who throws too many pitches. In addition to making your hand really sore, this ligament damage can also result in reduced grip strength.

In Japan, you can get Square Watermelons: They get square watermelons by growing them inside of square glass cases. That way they can fit easily into an overcrowded refrigerator, and you can stack things on them. Square watermelons are expensive though (10,000 yen or about $82). Compare that to regular round watermelons which cost about $15-20 in Japan. The square boxes they're grown in are the exact dimensions of Japanese refrigerators, which means they fit perfectly. At $82 each, these square watermelons probably wouldn't be too popular in the United States. Our solution for a lack of refrigerator space? Smaller, seedless watermelons.

Well, it is wisely said, Too much of anything is good for nothing... think twice and act wise before you do anything.

Kannan is a member of Chennai Speakers Forum. He is doing his UnderGraduation in Mechanical Engineering in one of leading colleges in Chennai.

Source : The Internet

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

Champions’ Corner Arna Chugani – Winner – Division Level International Speech Contest! First Runner Up – Division Level – International Table Topics Contest!!

Congratulations! All the Best for Ovation!

Vivekanandan – Finalist – Division Level International Speech Contest!

Congratulations!

Ramesh K - Finalist – Area level International Table Topics Contest! Congratulations!

Congratulations to all the Participants in the various contests! Make the CSF flag fly higher and higher!! 44


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

Members Accomplishments Corner

Pranav Vinod Kumar 

Competent Communicator

Competent Leader

Congratulations!!

Rajeev Nambiar 

Advanced Leader - Bronze

Congratulations!!

V Padmaprabha 

Competent Communicator

Congratulations!!

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

Rewind - 1…25…50…75

And we are still going strong…!

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

Outstanding Toastmasters

Ramkumar Chandrasekar For the month of March! Congratulations!

Pravin Srinivasan For the month of April! Congratulations!

Vote of Thanks!! A Special Thanks to TM Vidya from Talk of the Towers Club, NYC for spreading our previous newsletter to the maximum number of people.

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

New Members Corner

Kannan Sri My journey in Toastmasters has just begun. The day I entered CSF as a guest, I didn’t think that Sunday would have a major impact in my life. That was my first meeting in a club, be it corporate or community. I have always had a fondness for speaking. The best part I like in a Toastmasters meeting is the Evaluation session, which helps everyone to learn from others’ mistakes. Public speaking has always been a nightmare for me and my friends. CSF made me believe it is a dream which is easy to achieve. The Table topics session and my Icebreaker helped me to know how well I could put my thought in words. I thought I was good at it which was proved wrong later. Every Sunday had been my leisure day, before I joined CSF. But now Sunday is my special day which helps me to learn something new or something that I know better.

Jivitha Siddharthan

Ganesh Kumar

A girl who flows as the wind, in the direction of her heart.

Basically I 'm a chemical engineer from Anna University, Chennai.

Loves music and has a keen interest in learning piano and guitar.

An introvert converted into an extrovert post college.

Has an intense passion for writing poems and blogs. A selfish person, who finds joy in others happiness and so tries to make everyone happy!

I am passionate towards a career in Operations Management. I like to travel and enjoy photography. I play cricket occasionally but I ensure to watch all matches. I personally believe that a great leader is one who understands people better and knows to balance people and talent. Favourite Book is The Alchemist.

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Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

I visited CSF to explore the possibility of improving my speech and address my professional meetings/session delivery better. But I got fascinated more to listen to the wonderful speeches delivered by the Toast Masters... Great fun, information, full of entertainment... Wow... I would rather opt to be part of "Chennai Listeners Forum" :-) Realized most focus is to be made on listening though we call it as speakers forum. -Ganesh Parthasarathy

It is a platform where one can groom scientifically the art of public speaking. You can bring the horse to the pond but you can't make it drink but CSF does the latter part also ď Š" -G Sankaran

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It was after much deliberation and procrastination that I finally attended my first Toastmaster's meeting. I felt lost amongst the group of classy and vivid Toastmasters, I was in absolute awe and all this was even before the meeting began. Thus began my voyage into the scintillating experience of CSF. The theme was about travel something that is very close to my nature and my journey towards Toastmasters (I keep deliberating and procrastinating my travel plans too). I was dumbfounded by the array of speakers, their command over the audience and found myself laughing, pondering , wondering and reveling in the situation all at the same time . Each of speakers had an unique style of delivering their ideas but all of them had something in common , they all had the knack taking me into their world , helped me get a sneak-peak of their experiences and after a long time I was able to feel a speech rather than listen to it. Karthik


Speakers Digest We learn together to Speak and Lead with Confidence and Courage - Chennai Speakers Forum

Contact Us Interested in joining us? Feel free to contact our Vice President for Membership – Pranav at +91-9790750677 [pranav.vinodkumar@gmail.com]

Feedback Your feedback is valuable to us! Please send in your feedback to our Vice President-PR –Trilokesh[trilokesh_r@yahoo.com] Please visit Toastmasters International (www.toastmasters.org) for more information. 50

Speakers Digest May 2013  

Chennai Speakers Forum 75th Meet Special Newsletter

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