LIVEWIRE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER, DISTRICT 41, TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL
WRITERS’ RULES FOR SPEAKERS DAVID BROOKS, DTM WORLD CHAMPION OF PUBLIC SPEAKING, 1990
LUNCH WITH A MILLIONAIRE RYAN AVERY, DTM
WORLD CHAMPION OF PUBLIC SPEAKING, 2012
IN CONVERSATION WITH DEREK WONG, DTM INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR, REGION 13
THE POWER OF WORDS
CONTENTS 03 04 05 17
DISTRICT DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE Pallav Verma, DTM
EDITORIAL NOTE Smita Pati, ACB, ALB
THE POWER OF WORDS
IN CONVERSATION WITH
Derek Wong, DTM International Director, Region 13
WRITERS' RULES FOR SPEAKERS
LUNCH WITH A MILLIONARE
David Brooks, DTM World Champion of Public Speaking, 1990
Ryan Avery, DTM World Champion of Public Speaking, 2012
THEÂ BIG PICTURE
MEET THE TEAM
District Director's Message Pallav Verma, DTM District Director, 2017-2018 Quite often, life presents us with surprises, rather shocks, and jolts of reality, which are incredibly successful in quashing the firmest resolves of our self-confidence into smithereens. Such instances are valuable, they force us to introspect and a small voice within seems to say- do we matter at all? Are we born to be mere cogs in the wheels of devilish destiny, all our hopes, plans and efforts dashed- what is our value in the entire scheme of existence? Are we worms to be trampled at will or do we have any power to think, dream, hope, aspire, and achieve? Such traumatic experiences lead us to the eternal existential query of who we are, where are we going and meanwhile, what is our duty? The rigid structure of institutions- families, schools, society, and our own economic situation in life is responsible for building a strong belief system within us. We may see ourselves as weak, strong, safe, marginalized, looked after or neglected based on our beliefs. Our behavior, actions, dreams, achievements, and emotions are limited by these beliefs handed down to us- our story- our inner chatter, which prevents us from taking risks- so that we can be safe albeit a poorer version of what we could be. In reality, nothing is permanent. We can change our situation by changing our story- the way we think about ourselves. What comprises the all-encompassing powerful story, which, like the proverbial iron chain tied to the baby elephant, keeps us restrained and unfulfilled all our lives? Words. Short words, adjectives, labels, phrases, comparisons, anecdotes, family traditions, rulebooks, and guidelines. Essentially, words. Our inner chatter- our story, is built using words and can be changed using words- different words. During tough times, when life knocks us over, while picking ourselves up from the dust- we are reminded of the few kind words of an encouraging teacher who thought that we are good enough to conquer the world, to stand up and be counted as men and women of substance. The few simple, oft-repeated words of our mother, who thought we are brave, courageous souls, nothing can deter us are often the only tools to tide over wretched times. "Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder." –Rumi Friends, let us learn to raise the power of our words to be kind, gentle, humble, to give a smile, to inspire the weak, to lend a dream to the downtrodden, to uplift, to make things better. Let us practice to use short and simple words, yet so kind to the troubled ear, that their echoes are endless and eternal.
Editorial Note Smita Pati, ACB, ALB Editor-in-Chief Words are our power and we as speakers must understand the value and worth of each word we utter. This month we celebrated “The Power of Words” and requested members of District 41 to tell us why words are important to them and we were flooded with articles and notes dedicate to The Power of Words. We present to you some of them. In this edition, we will also get to learn about Writers' Rules for Speakers with David Brooks, DTM, and World Champion of Public Speaking 1990. Ryan Avery, DTM and World Championship of Public Speaking 2012 will share his experience of having Lunch with a Millionaire and his learnings from the same. We also will have a talk with Derek Wong, DTM and International Director, Region 13, Toastmasters International who will help us understand his style of leadership. Since we are talking about The Power of Words in this edition, let me share my experience of how words changed my life. "All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down." -Friedrich Nietzsche I was only three when I was gifted my first book. It was a picture book meant to help children learn how to interpret time from an analog clock. After that, it became a habit for my Dad to gift me books every now and then. Now it seems we have built our own library. Reading was my passion and soon writing poems also made its way to my list of hobbies along with orating. So words were vital to me as they ruled my life. In 2011, I joined the CSR wing of my office and was ask to mentor an underprivileged teenager in her educational journey. After our first meeting, I was speechless. There was nothing to say. She was studying in 9th standard in the School for Deaf and Dumb Children. For first 4 months, it was a nightmare for both of us as we struggled to motor on and kept losing will power.
Then one day, we both decided to learn each other's way of talking. I learned basic sign language and it helped me have the necessary communication. I gifted her a mobile and we started communicating via SMS. Finally, we were able to bond and open up to each other. She passed her 10th with 62% and 12th with 55%. After that she was placed in Angaan Badi of her block to take care of physically challenged people. She is getting married this year in December and came to invite me for the same. When I asked her, “How come you still remember me?” She wrote this note,”Di, because you were the first person to tell me that we don’t need words/language to communicate. You need that courage to speak up and words will find their way.” She just sang back to me the song of my soul. Words are powerful but only when they are backed by courage to speak up. There are many instances in history where words changed the way the world moves. But even before that comes the decision of being courageous enough to speak up these words. I hope, you as a Toastmaster, will always have the courage to use the power of words for the betterment of humanity. I hope you enjoy this edition like we at Livewire enjoyed working on it. Let us together help each other be the best of what we are.
THE POWER OF WORDS! No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. - Robin Williams
Words of Love Devismita Chakraborty VP – Membership, Salt Lake Toastmasters Club Public Relations Manager, Division K
Philip K. Dick aptly mentioned in his science fiction novel VALIS, “There exists, for everyone, a sentence - a series of words that has the power to destroy you. Another sentence exists, another series of words that could heal you”. It was in early 2016, I was going through an emotional crisis, an inner turmoil when a Quora post introduced me to the book: The Untethered Soul. The preface grabbed my attention instantly and I got glued to the book. Each word in the book was so potent and powerful that it made me introspect and rethink the reason behind my pain, the reason behind my unhappiness, the reason of my existence. The book made me realize how small my existence is compared to the Universe, at the same time how big I can make my existence by mere acts of humility, compassion, and gratitude. A bit of rational thinking, reiterating the words from the book in my mind gave me the realization that my continued set of expectations was the reason for my inner suffering - an expectation of life unfolding my way. But life is no less than a treasure-hunt and it’s worth playing the game! Those written words opened a whole new world to me and gifted me with an eye to see the silver lining. Back in October 2016, I was lucky enough to attend a Speechcraft session by Deepak Sharma, DTM where he asked a question, “How many of you have goals?” Almost everyone in the room raised hands. With an extra adjective, he reframed his question, “How many of you have written goals?” This time hardly two people raised hands. With his words, a thought bloomed in my mind: Why did he ask the second question? In his words, “A goal is in your imagination, while a written goal is in reality”. His words were to my mind as a catalyst is to a reactant. His potent and powerful words stimulated my thoughts as to why I should have written goals.
That day I went back home, jotted down my goals, took a print out and pasted it on my wall, and it worked beyond my expectations! These written goals helped me shift from a procrastinating state to a proactive state, and since then I always make a note to set weekly goals. Such was the power of a small word, ‘Written’. Words have the power to build and damage a relationship. Words can hurt or heal because they carry vibration and energy. In fact, words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. My words reflect my values. My words are the legacy that I will leave behind. This is a promise I make to myself today – I will fill my words with love and not hate, blessing and not bitterness, compliments and not complaints.
THE RIGHT WORDS
Krishna D Sahoo Sergeant at Arms Infosys Toastmasters Bhubaneswar SEZ
In the Old Testament book of Proverbs, it is written: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”. Since the time of our creation, words have played a crucial role in our expressions and interactions. Words have given birth to friendships and enmities, have created and destroyed, led life and led to chaos. Nelson Mandela, the famous South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, in his closing address at 13th International AIDS Conference, had said – “It is never my custom to use words lightly. If 27 years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are, and how real speech impacts the way people live and die.” Since childhood, we have been taught about how different places and times require different words and behavior. Even today, at an organizational level we get mentored on a regular basis on how communication should happen- with respect for others, with no double standards, and sense of condemnation. A few kind words hold as much power as many insolent ones. The former can give rise to will and hope, the latter can become a poison. Every emotion is expressed through words and we are solely responsible for the choice of our words which have enough power to crush or uplift people. “I am with you”, “I love you”, and “You can do it”…
At some point in our lives, words like the above have encouraged us to progress in life. Words are a medium to speak the truth. And truth sounds better when it sounds sweet. If we believe in connecting with others, we won’t find anything more suitable than well-organized, deferential and well-intended words. We are desperately in search of peace in this world of rising tensions which can instigate fear in anyone. With weapons and ammunition flooding the barracks, why do you think the peacekeepers resort to talks? Because they know that words can heal and prevent worsening of the situation. There have been constant efforts by the world and its leaders to create a design where words add value and benefit. They believe words should be a response, not a reaction. And in Toastmasters, words are paid huge importance. When we toggle between our roles os a speaker and a listener, words act as the link. Speaking the truth, leaning towards logic and harboring humility are of high importance here. John Lennon, the famous English singer, songwriter, and co-founder of the Beatles, had said “When you're drowning you don't think- ‘I would be incredibly pleased if someone would notice I'm drowning and come and rescue me.’ You just scream.” So scream the right words that this world requires from its leaders. Since the people you will lead look for solidarity, passion, and righteousness in your words and actions.
Power of Words from Words of Power Saumendu Bhattacharjee VP Education Toastmasters club of Guwahati
Words have power; power to help, to heal and to hurt. It can make a life, shake a pride, or even break a tie. Yes, words have power. Toastmasters International is a unique organization where you learn to use the power of words (words to communicate), and words from power (words to lead) simultaneously. It is the Hogwarts of Public Speaking and Leadership. That is why leaders coming out of Toastmasters are one of the best in the world, because they know how to use the power of words when in power. Let me share a personal experience with you. The use of words matters, even when you are in a position of power in your family. My 7 year old boy loves to play more than he likes to study. Like every South Asian parent, his mother was a little tense about his performance when the results were going to be announced soon. To our surprise, he performed exceedingly well. So, while driving back from his school, his mother (seemingly very satisfied) expressed her pleasure - “Arka, we are very proud of you. You have performed so well in your exam.” On hearing this, he didn't respond and continued looking outside. I waited for a few seconds and then I rephrased the sentence and told - “Son, you should be proud of your performance, it is because of your hard work that you got grade A+. You should feel proud of yourself”. Immediately he responded back - “Yes, Papa, see how much hard work I have put across, next time I shall practice more and will surely bring better marks”. So, replacing a single word - from “we” to “you” can bring such a positive impact in a child. I was thrilled at my experimentation.
The word 'communication' by itself is a powerful word whose meaning is hidden in its root 'common'. Similarly, the word ‘lead’ is there in the word 'leader'. So, a powerful leader is valued all over the world when he or she masters the art of using the power of words from a position of power. We have examples if we look around our world leaders today. A leader is not a leader if his action doesn't match his words. So, leadership is not about title or designation, it is not only about attitude and action, it is also about using right words at right time, at the right place and before right person. Power of words from the words of power can make a nation, break a nation or shake a nation. So, mind the power of your words when you are in a position of power. Words matter and word shatter.
THE POWER OF WORDS Avantika Joshi Vice President Membership Infosys Toastmasters Bhubaneswar
Atom Bomb, Grenade, Swords, Poison- world's few of the most powerful weapons of destruction. Some of them have caused damage for centuries, some have led to wars and have ended many beautiful lives. But most of us fail to realize that the sword or the bomb or the poison kept in a room can never do any harm! It is only when people use them they cause destruction. So is the case with words! Imagine reading the below three lines for the first time The only way to do great work is to do what you love and love what you do. The Jew has always been a people with definite racial characteristics and never a religion. An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind. Imagine the above being said by me or for that matter any random person. Do you think it will have an impact on you or your life? Do you think you will even listen to it? But what made people not just listen, but follow them too? Well, it was not just about the words. It was about the actions that followed the words, and more importantly the actions that led to them. When Steve Jobs said, “You must do what you love and love what you do”, an impact was created. It was because he proved the truthfulness of his words by following them. " When Hitler said, he hated Jews (yes, a negative example, but very relevant), he preached what he believed in. And that is what gave power to his words. That is why the entirety of Germany followed him and gave way to a dreadful history.
Same was with Mahatma Gandhi. Imagine this- Gandhi preaching non-violence and then trying to hit back the British who beat him up? Or advocating non-violence for Indians but asking Indians to kill British? The impact and the father himself would have never got created. Since our childhood, we have been told drugs must be avoided, and every alcohol ad has a cancer advisory. But they don’t seem to have had any impact on people because they grew up among people who never followed the advisory of those advertisements. On the other hand, when a father tells a child to read books and reads it himself too, the child follows. Even in the case of Mohammed Qahtani’s speech, the World Champion of Public Speaking in 2015, it was not the mere words that led to his friend's death, but the action of his father that gave power to the words. My friends, words are like those weapons- only our actions can give power to them. Words are like the catalysts that trigger or fasten a chemical reaction, but ultimately it all lies in the chemicals involved (in this case, the actions). Our actions will decide the kind of change that will occur!
CHOOSE YOURS WELL!! Shilpy Agrawal Vice President Education Patna Toastmasters Club
Many times in the course of our journey we come across the famous proverb, "Pen is mightier than sword", but have we ever thought what makes the pen mightier than the sword? Well, the answer is within this very question and the answer is "words". Words make the pen mightier than the sword. Words are the most powerful force available to humanity and wields the capacity to destroy beyond repair and also to connect beyond separation. Words have the capacity to transform emotions into actions that ultimately decide the result of life. Words give us freedom to express, to reach out, to love, and to be loved. Now, when we say “words”, what do we mean? Do we mean to say written or spoken words only? No. Words are our ability to express in any form that we can. Every single feeling that a human mind and heart feels is a result of spoken/unspoken words of others and yourself. Words not only touch the lives of others but also of oneself. They give us the direction and help us in becoming the kind of person we are or we want to become. One kind word can change someone's entire life and one wrong word can destroy the future to bits. Some great leaders in past have realized the power that words carry and have used them to touch and transform many lives.
Once there was a young boy who was not very good with studies. He was expelled from the school at the age of sixteen. He came home with a letter, whose content he was not aware of, from the principal addressed to his mother. His mother read the letter and started crying. When the young boy asked her about the contents of the letter, his mother wiped away her tears and said that the letter described how brilliant he was and even his teachers thought that they were incapable of matching his intelligence. Many years later, when the mother had set for her heavenly abode, the son came across that very letter which his mother had kept hidden carefully inside a trunk. He opened it and read "your son is the most slow and unresponsive student we have ever come across, and we will not be able to teach him at our school." This person was none other than Sir Albert Einstein, the one who not only gave the theory of relativity but also laid the path for many great scientific inventions in the history of mankind. Had his mother told him the truth of the letter in his younger days, it would have broken him, but she used the power of words instead to motivate her son to become one of the most respected scientists of the century. It is often said that choose your words carefully because all wounds can heal but the wound of a wrong chosen word does not. Words can inspire and words can destroy. Choose yours well!
IN CONVERSATION WITH
DEREK WONG, DTM Oasis Toastmasters Club International Director, Region 13 17
The Talk! What, according to you, makes a 'good' leader 'great'? All good leaders have the abilities to lead, inspire and influence. They have a passion and vision. A great leader, servant leader, see members' needs as his own needs. You've served at various levels in the Toastmasters Community ranging from the Club Level to the International Level. The stories about your success as a club coach have spread far and wide. What were your key learnings at every step
Which leader do you admire the most and why?
of your leadership journey that future Leaders could use for their benefit? A leader has the courage to face challenges for the benefits of others. He makes the most difficult call and does the most controversial decision. At different leadership levels, the challenges are not the same, but a courageous leader can think out of the box, create breakthrough and bring prolong effects. Apart from courage, commitment and team management can enhance productivity and effectiveness. Do you believe that being a good leader and a good speaker are related? Why so?
Our past international president, Mohammed Murad is my idol. I admire his soft and gentle leadership style, his inspirational personal stories and his steady way to host the council meetings. If you were to publish 'Derek Wong's 5 step Daily Regime for Effective Leadership', what would it look like? Derek Wong's 5 step Effective Leadership 1) Lead with effective listening 2) Lead with diversified team 3) Lead with compassion 4) Lead with authenticity 5) Lead with a smile
A good leader is a good communicator but a good speaker may not necessarily be a good leader.
Continued... Lastly, could you please share with us a few words for the newer/potential members on how they can make the most of their Toastmasters Membership? The values and benefits of Toastmasters program are fundamental and applicable to the modern world where seldom teach in school. If you follow the program carefully and apply what you learn in your daily life, it will become a powerful tool to transform you.
A leader has the courage to face challenges for the benefits of others. He makes the most difficult call and does the most controversial decision.
Catch up with Derek on firstname.lastname@example.org
Writersâ€™ Rules for Speakers
David Brooks, DTM World Champion of Public Speaking, 1990 20
Writers’ Rules for Speakers David Brooks, DTM West Austin 2 Toastmasters in Austin, Texas World Champion of Public Speaking, 1990 A lot of speakers publish books…but they are not writers. A lot of writers are asked to speak… yet they are not speakers. So which are you—a writer or a speaker? Why not be both? If you’ve ever heard me speak before, I hope you noticed that I covered more ground in less time than many speakers do. That’s because my training as a journalist taught me the value of conciseness. What is conciseness? It’s a combination of clarity and brevity. You can be concise if, and only if, you are clear and brief. So which is easier: clarity or brevity? The answer: brevity. All you have to do is say fewer words. But brevity itself is not enough. Because it is entirely possible to be brief but not clear. If you’ve seen me present my Eight Essentials of Effective Speaking program, you’ve seen one of my favorite examples: it’s a sign on a rest room door at a community center. The sign simply reads “Rest Room Closed Except for Special Events.” That’s brief, but it’s certainly not clear. What’s missing is clarity…or, the best words. As speakers, we should strive for both clarity and brevity. That is, it should be our goal to use the fewest and best words. Just as a good writer does, good speakers should rid their message of clutter and confusion. Given a choice between complicated and simple, take simple every time. Why? Listeners, like many readers, are in a hurry. But there’s a big difference between listeners and readers. Readers can always re-read. But listeners, unless they are listening to a recording, cannot relisten. Therefore, conciseness—that powerful combination of clarity and brevity—is even more important for speakers than for writers. So how can speakers be more concise? Here are three tips to get you started.
1. Don’t make your listener struggle to find your point. Today’s listener is impatient. He does not want suspense and will rarely be impressed with intricate or clever wordplay. As a result, simplify. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The greatest of all talents is never using two words when one will do. Speakers, like writers, should be mindful of the “one-minute barrier.” That is, the typical impatient listener, like the typical busy reader, will decide within one minute whether the message is important enough to justify paying attention to. Consequently, if your principal message is not evident in your opening minute, there is a good chance the listener’s mind will wander. And once the listener’s mind wanders, you may never get it back. That’s point number one: get off to a fast start if you hope to see your listener at the finish line.
2. Don’t encourage misunderstanding and confusion. I love working with words—but what I love most is finding the best words. Notice I didn’t say “the biggest” words, just the best. And sometimes the best words are not what you think. Here are two examples: how often is “bimonthly?” Is it “twice a month”; or is it “every two months”? Guess what...it’s both. Look it up: bi-monthly means both every two weeks and every two months. Well…isn’t that a handy word to use. No, as you can see, it’s a terrible word to use because it will do nothing but cause confusion and misunderstanding. So what should you use instead? “Every two weeks or twice monthly” if you mean every 14 days. Of course, if you’re in England you can say “fortnightly” but I wouldn’t recommend you try that anywhere outside the British Isles. If you mean every two months, say every two months. And, yes, you could say “semimonthly” but then you have a whole new set of problems, don’t you? The fact is “bi-monthly” is ambiguous; it can be interpreted in more than one way. Therefore, careful writers and careful speakers avoid it. This is an example where the right word may not be the shortest. And it’s a great example of an earlier point: clarity trumps brevity. My second example under the category of “Don’t encourage misunderstanding or confusion” is another frequently misunderstood word. In fact, it’s almost universally misunderstood. Define “peruse.” What do you think it means: “to skim...to scan...to read quickly?” That’s what most people think…and most people are wrong. In fact, peruse means exactly the opposite. It actually means “to read carefully or attentively; to scrutinize.” So is this a word you want to use as a writer or as a speaker? Not unless misunderstanding and confusion is your goal. Finally,
3. Don’t be intimidated by “the rules.” Natural, expressive writing and speaking can be a difficult process if you concentrate on the “dont’s.” Do you remember these: Don’t split an infinitive. Don’t start a sentence with a conjunction. Don’t end a sentence with a preposition. Don’t use first-person singular pronouns, and so on. Guess what—they aren’t really rules at all. Every one of these “don’ts” are actually “do’s” in certain circumstances. Take the “preposition at the end of a sentence” rule, for example. Of course, it is not desirable to say or write: “Where is he at?” The preposition “at” is unnecessary—it’s superfluous—so eliminate it. But the reason you should eliminate it is to increase brevity, not because it’s a preposition. There are many cases, in fact, in which a preposition at the end of a sentence is desirable. For example: “This is the report I have been telling you about.” Can you eliminate the preposition “about”? No, it wouldn’t make sense. But you can rewrite the sentence: “This is the report about which I have been telling you.” Yet, that sounds pretentious. So when faced with such a choice, end the sentence with a preposition, secure in the knowledge that you did so for a good reason. In all of the “don’ts” listed above, they are recommendations, rather than rules. But just because they are recommendations doesn’t mean they are right. You see, slavish adherence to rules or unquestioning submission to recommendations can create more problems than they were intended to solve. Whether you are a writer or a speaker...or both, you will always be more effective if you let clarity and simplicity be your guide.
Catch up with David on http://www.davidbrookstexas.com/
Lunch with a Millionaire
With Ryan Avery, DTM World Champion of Public Speaking, 2012
Lunch with a Millionaire With Ryan Avery, DTM Competitive Speakers PDX World Champion of Public Speaking, 2012 I ate lunch with my first billionaire and I asked him the question… “Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your 25 year old self if you could go back and offer one piece of advice to him?” Without a beat he replied, “There is no better time than now!” Throughout the lunch he proceed to give incredibly simple but valuable advice on ways to be successful and live a life worth living. Here are the top five success lessons I learned from Red McCombs: 1) Be a Team Player Paraphrasing one of his stories Red said “If you can’t get along with the team, you can’t play on my team.” He talked about a time when he had to let go of one of his favorite players because he was acting up in the locker room after games and the other guys didn’t want to be around him. Be a team player and help out when and where you can. You contribute to the bigger picture. 2) Best Time is now There is no better time to start something than right now. Just get in and do it. He said “It’s not about picking the right thing, it’s about picking something and doing it right. Do it better than the other guy does it and you will be successful in no time?” He is right, be better than the other person selling the same thing you are selling and word gets out. 3) It’s not Easy or Accidental In a condensed version he said “Business is not easy or accidental. You need a plan and need to understand this is hard work. If you get those two things down early, you will have a fun ride and enjoy life. Plan and work.” Remember… you are the one who makes things happen in your life, no one else!
4) Only Focus on One Thing at a Time If you are at a meeting, focus on that meeting. If you are doing a deal with a future investor, only be present in that room. Focus on the here and now and don’t let your mind slip away to other tasks. If you stay focused you will accomplish more, have more and be more successful!
5) Don’t Call Me at Home Red is 86 years old and works six days a week and has for decades. But when he is at home, you don’t call him. That is his time with his family, with his wife and kids, it is not about work. He mentioned being with his family as a very important thing and was quoted for saying “I don’t care if the station is burning down, don’t call me at home, it can wait till tomorrow!” What I like most about Red is he is a real guy who is genuine, down to earth and business savvy. He cares about his family more than anything, loves to do business with quality people and continues to take calculated risks. He speaks from the heart and knows where he stands on what he believes. I would eat lunch with Red any day of the week and am thankful I had the opportunity to do so today! Go out there and make your dreams come true. They are waiting for you as long as you remain a team player, start now, plan, stay focused and care about the most important people in your life…. Your family!
Catch up with Ryan on www.RyanAvery.com 26
The Big Picture! Devina Chaturvedi, ACS, ALB, Public Relations Manager, District 41 Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~Thomas A. Edison Leader- a term that, as Toastmasters, we’re all too familiar with. We have our Competent Leaders, Advanced Leaders, and several Leaders without Titles. Any leader at Toastmasters would validate the fact that the key to personal growth is finding the right balance between communication and leadership, and that the true benefit of the Toastmasters Program can be reaped only when one immerses themselves in leadership.
As per Oxford Dictionary, a leader is ‘the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.’ For me, however, a leader is defined by opportunities - the one he/she seizes and the plethora of those he/she creates for others. Seizing Opportunities Every leader has a different vision, different style, a different approach to life. But the one thing they all have in common is that when an opportunity comes knocking on their doors, they leap and seize the opportunity, and never let it go. Have you read or heard the story of the Bull Without a Tail by Marwa Angela Enrique? Leaders realize that opportunities don’t always come knocking, and rarely do they come knocking twice. Be it a speech slot, a chance to contribute towards a cause, an opportunity to volunteer for an event, or a chance to take up a leadership position - while people contemplate whether to take them up or not, leaders grab the opportunity and strive to perform to the best of their abilities. With this habit of seizing opportunities, they pave their way to success and, in turn, experience exponential personal growth.
Creating Opportunities Several great men have acknowledged the fact that true leaders do not merely create followers; they, in turn, create more leaders. In my view, the best leaders consider it their utmost responsibility to create opportunities for others to succeed. Whenever a leader delegates a task or builds a team, he/she creates an unmissable opportunity for those who aspire to be great leaders themselves. At Toastmasters, be it an opportunity to serve as a contest official, as an associate officer, as a team member, whenever a leader seeks volunteers, it is an opportunity that they create to build more leaders. Look around you; every successful leader that you see was once a volunteer who seized an opportunity and chose to create several others. It is a never-ending cycle being a part of which is the best thing that can happen to you. The only question that remains is: Are you ready to take the leap and seize an opportunity that comes knocking on your door?Â
"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them. " Ann Landers
MEET THE TEAM PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER
DEVINA CHATURVEDI DELHI ONE TOASTMASTERS
I experience the Power of Words every time an adversity strikes. The words that changed my life were, 'We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope' by Martin Luther King. These words were often repeated to me by my late grandmother. It's been over 7 years since she passed away. Still, whenever an adversity strikes, I remember her saying these words to me. Her voice ringing as clearly in my head as it would have had she been next to me, and I find infinite strength to rise back up. GRAPHICS DESIGNER
Words are not simply sounds caused by air passing through our larynx. Words have real power to bring a revolution and can act as a drug or a weapon. If we think about the phrase ,"A pen is mightier than the sword", we can actually understand the importance and power of words in our lives.
HARSHAD MANGLANI DELHI ONE TOASTMASTERS
The words that gave wisdom to Arjun in the battlefield; the words that caused the crowd to rise into mutiny for conspiracy against the beloved Caesar; the words that Martin Luther King used so as to make people dream of freedom. Words bind the entire generation together, they make us laugh, they inspire us, and they keep us going. SHRESHTHA BANSAL IIM LUCKNOW UTTHAN TOASTMASTERS CLUB
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KAZI RAFSHAN NORTH SOUTH UNIVERSITY TOASTMASTERS CLUB
Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind. Words are what we use to express ourselves, our thoughts, and our feelings. Even tones can turn the meaning of a sentence, for example, “I never said she stole my money.” Now, this sentence has 7 different meanings depending on the stressed word; I leave it to the readers to find out the meaning. Ciao!
"A picture might be worth thousand words, but a few words might change the story". Words are one of the most powerful weapons we all possess but do not realize. Words have the ability to motivate a person to achieve what seems impossible, but they also wield the power to destroy a person to an extent that seems impossible. Someone has rightly said that 'words' and 'sword' are anagrams for a reason.
MANISH PATEL DELHI ONE TOASTMASTERS
Words are the outcome of a compelling need to give form to what we feel within. I believe it is the only thing that humans created from scratch. If it had not been for words, wonderful ideas would have remained as such without getting communicated.
HARINI JBL DELHI TOASTMASTERS
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