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City Of Gold Toastmasters Club Executive Committee (2017 – 2018)

President MTM Savitha Shetty

VP – Education

VP – Public Relations

VP – Membership

MTM Vimal Sigh

TM Sushil Maratha

TM Sayed Masood

Treasurer TM Stevn George

Secretary TM Ashwin Kamat

Sgt. at Arms TM Allen Dsouza


EXCOM members. The theme we had set out for the year was to bring CITY OF GOLD back to its days of GLORY and be a club that symbolizes the word QUALITY.

From the President MTM Savitha Shetty‌‌.. Greetings my FELLOW COGIANS !!! Last year around this time some senior Club members had asked me to take over the role as the president of the club. I was apprehensive about my ability to serve the club well. This is a glorious club and I had my own reservation am I capable enough to lead. These members had an undying faith and belief in me. It was a leap of FAITH. Today I have to thank them for this glorious year of learning and discovery.

Quality meetings have always been an intrinsic part of the club. The year that was saw us Winning the SMEDLEY AWARD after a long time. Our members won the Division J debate competition. The team comprising of STEVE, SANDEEP and NIKITA did us proud by bringing home the trophy. Our members also represented our club in the Division contests. We are a vibrant club with a good mix of old senior members including many DTMs and young aspiring members who blend together. Each meeting I am enthused and feel so proud to be a member of this club. CHANGE they say is the only constant. So we are gearing up for the change in the coming year with the PATHWAYS. Our new team that will be led by TM STEVEN GEORGE will indeed lead us to greater glories as they have set out from being Awesome to GREAT. Wishing the new team success.

It has been a GREAT YEAR for us at I invite each member to join me on this the club. I believe that a leader is yet another year of excitement and only good as the team that he /she learning. leads. Indeed I had a very capable, ****** enthusiastic team of members who ably supported the club as the

my mind as I sat to interview her for my Toastmasters Newsletter. For a person who did not learn English as the first language, how could her grip of the language be so impeccably precise? As I sat to wonder, Aleksandra shared her experience and journey of Toastmasters at the club of City of Gold.

- MTM Aleksandra Kijowska “There is a sense of belongingness with City of Gold…….”

Aleksandra Kijowska, born in Poland, settled in Dubai, has been an active member of Toastmasters International with the club of City of Gold, since the last 14 years.

She recalls the day when certain experiences in her professional life indicated that she joins a place, a community which would provide Know Your Toastmaster her a platform for continuous MTM Aleksandra Kijowska learning for professional development and ‘City of Gold’ was unerringly that. Aleksandra Written by: fondly remembers the day, 14 years back when her boss MTM Monika Prasad entrusted her with the - City of Gold Toastmasters responsibility of being in-charge Club. of the entire hospital. She said, “All of a sudden, I was given a bigger responsibility of being in-charge of the full hospital. My new duties It is hard to believe that English is required me to present myself as a not the first language for thorough professional. A colleague Aleksandra Kijowska. It is one of of mine back then introduced me to the points which kept lingering in

Toastmasters and to the club of ‘City of Gold’. I attended my first meeting then and I just stayed back.”

Aleksandra Kijowska attributes a great part of her professional development to Toastmasters International. “The progress was stupendous.” she says. Toastmasters has been such a fantastic platform for me, it has constantly given me the confidence to stay back. It has helped me in my professional and personal life.” Aleksandra added.

She said, “Toastmasters helped me improve my English back then. I remember the days when my kids were writing their cover letters for admission into universities and they were passing it by me for errors. For a person whose first language was not English, having to proof read my kids cover letters was one of my biggest personal achievements. I completely attribute this achievement to Toastmasters.” Aleksandra said.

She further said that, “City of Gold is a club comprising older, senior and experienced members who don’t leave. They are people who

grab opportunities to learn and that is what which makes me feel as if I’m not giving something but rather I’m gaining something after attending every meeting. I get exposed to new ideas, it helps me develop my interpersonal skills and the friendship with my fellow Indian nationality members is phenomenal. There is a sense of belongingness with City of Gold inspite of being from a different nationality.”

R.Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”.

- DTM Balaji Nagabhushan

Communication… The Habit of listening Have you ever felt misunderstood or have misunderstood what someone was trying to communicate to you?

Listening to understand, the key to improving communication is to seek to understand and then be understood – Covey’s fifth habit. At its core is listening to understand, which goes beyond reflective listening to engage as many senses as possible so you fully understand what’s being communicated. If you are successful, you understand the other person’s context, motive, intent and desired goal. Developing the right listening skills will help you become an excellent communicator, sometimes it might seem as though listening doesn’t take skill because it is involuntary that you hear voices and conversations, so you might assume everyone understands how to listen. Yet involuntary hearing isn’t listening. Listening with intent to understand the message and purpose of the dialogue or discussion is a skill.

Communication is a vital part of any successful organization and effective relationships and leaderships. Imagine how much more successful our organization could be if everyone The first level of listening is communicated effectively. ignoring someone, when you really don’t listen at all. The next level is This article is inspired by the fifth pretend listening, when you many and sixth habits of Stephen mumble “Yeah” or “uh-huh” but don’t have any idea what the

person said. At the next level, selective listening, you pick up bits and pieces of the conversation. This would be like trying to participate in a conversation while watching TV. Next you may even practice attentive listening, when you make an effort to pay attention and focus on the words you hear. We not just have to emphasise on listening but Empathic listening, which requires self-awareness, our reaction to others based on our assumptions of their intentions frequently invokes a response based on our reaction and not the true reality of the situation. This results in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Emphatic listening allows us to get inside the other person’s frame of reference and empathize with him or her. We see the world the way he or she sees it. We will understand his or her paradigm; we understand the way he or she feels. Seeking to understand is accomplished through Empathic listening – when you diagnose before you prescribe. A doctor will diagnose before prescribing medication, and a good salesperson will try to understand the customer’s needs before offering a product. Likewise, a good communicator will seek to

understand another’s point of view before seeking to be understood. Why is this difficult? People want to be understood, yet most people listen with the intent to reply. They are either speaking or preparing to speak, filtering everything that’s being said through their own paradigm and their own autobiography that’s made up of past experiences: “I know exactly how you feel.” “Let me tell you what happened to me.” As a result, the other person will feel misunderstood and won’t be very open to what’s being said. Synergy in its basic form means that human beings are cooperating with each other to produce an outcome greater than if they worked separately. Synergy is a tool that can produce significant benefits, but it takes serious commitment to accomplish it. You gain confidence when you know your purpose and know you are putting the right things first in order to accomplish it. When you have this security, you can seek first to understand, then to be understood. Synergy requires that we both listen and share openly what we believe in. First, synergy requires us to build relationships. It’s difficult to synergise with others when an emotional bank account is low or

overdrawn. Second, sometimes we may believe we already know the answer, but synergy demands our time and patience if it’s going to work. It won’t work if we seek a quick fix. Only individuals who are interested in benefiting the team can achieve synergy, synergy is the magic of creative co-operation and the fruit of healthy relationship. Why should I try to synergy? What’s in it for me?” Having synergy allows us to achieve greater successes than we could have ever accomplished by ourselves. It’s believing that 1+1 could equal 10. Synergy values differences, allows us to consider new ideas and mould them into great ideas that no one could have accomplished by themselves. True synergy can create a fun, exciting and bonding relationship. In his book, Covey quotes Albert Einstein: ”The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them.” In business we have many challenges and obstacles. Great companies seek to understand their customers, their competition, and their environment so that they can be successful. When we combine effective communication, good understanding and synergy, we

create the optimum value for us and our company and our customers. Listening …. Make it a habit, and be an empathic listener, so that it is effective ….. Happy Listening!! *********

or give up and fall. We may search for our strengths, waiting patiently deep inside. From life’s obstacles, there’s no reason to hide. All our challenges, we must embrace and defeat. As we open our eyes, our true purpose we’ll greet. Let’s take a step outside,

- MTM Nikita Kolangde

our routine comfort zone. This will carve a path, where our goals we shall own.

Live Bold & Bloom

Our personal challenges, quite difficult may seem. But, if we believe in ourselves,

When all we see, is darkness and gloom.

life will be as sweet – as a dream.

We feel totally helpless, while running from doom. We eventually confront, our inner brick wall. Our choice is to break it,


to share or rather highlight the good parts, fun parts of their life. That can never be the whole life, but when friends and colleagues see only happy parts of their life, they start thinking that something is lacking in their own lives, causing sadness and depression. Jealousies are on the rise, and more people report to using anti-anxiety medicines. That’s what Facebook has done to many lives.

- MTM Monika Prasad

Facebook aka Fakebook? Facebook aka fakebook gets people depressed. What is Facebook for? It was created for harmless fun and to get connected with each other-but it has become more than that. It is viewed as a private space to share your life with like- minded people. Now we know that even if you have put your posts as private, it really is not private. And Mark Zuckerberg said- people don’t need privacy. He is not wrong because people are sharing or rather over sharing every single detail of their life. Now, people tend

I recently took up a selfie challenge on Facebook, I don’t usually do such posts on Facebook but since a close friend had nominated me, I thought of taking it up sportingly. I had to post ten selfies each day. I usually don’t like posting my solo photos on Facebook so I decided to post selfies with my beautiful friends that I have in Dubai. Posting a picture each day with the people close to me gave me a good feeling but the entire game left me a bit sad too. Some of my friends started to make assumptions that my life is happy and rocking and that I was pretty content with my life. It’s been six months since I lost my job, and me being the kind of person that I am, I don’t like staying at home. At times, I have got

depressed thinking of when I will start work again. A friend recently told me – “oh I saw your post on FB lately, it seems you are enjoying being at home.” I realized how misleading the Facebook/Fakebook posts could be. Yes, people see only the good parts, obviously they are not able to see what the other person is going through in real life. It is misleading. Sometimes it can also be very time consuming to go through the pictures to choose the best picture to upload, some even go a step further – editing the pictures so that it looks best. How mundane and unnecessary could that be!

has been such that – it is now announced on social media first (like Twitter, Facebook) and then your employees are informed. There was a time when I used to advise my clients that employees are your first customers, please inform them first about your latest products and innovations- and then the entire world. I am sad that corporates and clients no longer understand this. They think that posting everything on social media will help them reach their targets. I really wish I could change this perception. I sometimes wish I could go back to those days when there was no Facebook, Whatsapp or Twitter. Face to face conversations, phone calling, writing emails were personal and socially satisfying. I wish I could persuade everyone around me that there’s a real life waiting outside Facebook. Friends wanting to meet you, neighbours wanting to sip a coffee with you, your child wanting to play with you when you are back from work. We have to understand and take the lead in leading the ‘real’ life rather than the ‘virtual’ life on social media.

I am a Public relations and a communications person by profession and in my roles with different organizations, I am paid to bring about a change in the way of communications in a corporate. Communications within a corporate have also changed over the past couple of years- social media has killed the small one – to – one discussion with your employees, colleagues, and seniors. For Sometimes we need to disconnect to example – When an important connect. announcement is to be made, the ****** shift in the way of communications

career right after pursuing her MBA in HR, she is a beautiful home maker of her small and lovely family in Dubai.

- MTM Vimal Singh “Learning is a continuous journey; I have just begu…” Up, close and personal with MTM Vimal Singh, City of Gold Toastmasters Club. Written by: Monika Prasad, City of Gold Toastmasters Club.

Her dedication to Toastmasters and to City of Gold has always inspired me to know from her as to what is that one thing which makes her so connected to the Toastmaster community. She is amongst one of the most dedicated, enthusiastic and committed members I have ever met in Toastmasters. The first time I met her was when she attended her first toastmaster meeting with City of Gold, over a year ago and now, I see her positive energies being escalated to being a part of the leadership team with City of Gold. With her energies at peak, this young lady, leaves every member in awe of her. I met up with her to find out the reason for her extraordinary commitment towards Toastmaster International and to City of Gold. Here are the excerpts from the Interview.

This young, dynamic lady always exudes positive energy whenever I meet her. Vimal Singh, an active member of Toastmasters International and the VPEducation of the club of ‘City of Gold’ is an HR Entrepreneur by profession. Along with being committed to her

What made you join Toastmasters and for how many years have you been here? I consider Toastmasters as an excellent platform to meet a set of

highly motivated and enthusiastic regularly. Last minute drop outs people. tend to hazard the overall quality It has been a little over a year of the meetings held in the club. since I have been a member. What have you accomplished as Where are you from? What do a member? you do in your free time? What are your hobbies etc.? Learning is a continuous journey, I have just begun……………. I am from Delhi, India. We are a close-knit Punjabi family living in ****** Dubai. I am an entrepreneur, running my Monika Prasad: own HR consultancy firm in Dubai. I am an adventure sports lover. Monika Prasad is a communications Besides that, in my free time I like professional having over eight year to paint and sketch. experience in Public relations and Corporate Communications. She What is that one thing that you started her career with a leading like about your club – City of Public Relations Agency in Mumbai Gold? and in her last few roles in Dubai , This Club- City Of Gold has self- she has been responsible for driving driven motivated members of high media and communications function caliber, who have huge potential in the Organizations that she has to grow the club to higher horizons. worked for. She holds a Master’s These members motivate me every Degree in Public Relations and day. Corporate Communications from Xavier Institute of Communications, a premier institute in Mass If given a chance, what changes Communications in India. She has would you like to bring in your been living in Dubai for eight years club? and has worked for Companies in If given a chance, I would like to varied industries including Oil and bring consistency when it comes to Gas, International Multi Media and attendance. I would like to Civil Construction. improve attendance, and wish that all members could attend this

Benefits of Sun Salutation: When done daily, systematically, correctly and faithfully, sun salutation offers number of benefits. Some of them are: 1. Strengthens the entire digestive system (including stomach, pancreas, intestines, liver, etc.) and cures, and prevents constipation. 2. Invigorates the nervous system.

- TM Sushil Kolangde


3. Invigorates the heart and will cure and prevent blood pressure, palpitation. 4. Develops the lungs, gives you wind and prevents tuberculosis.

(Sun Salutation)

5. Improves the quality and circulation of the blood. Active circulation of the blood is the first law of health.

Sun Salutation comprises a sequence of 12 yoga postures, best done at sunrise. If done fast, it provides a good cardiovascular workout. If done at a slower pace, these postures help tone the muscles and can relax the system. Regular practice of Sun Salutation improves the functions of the heart, liver, intestine, stomach, chest, throat, and legs – basically, the whole body.

6. Stimulates glandular activity; gives a new vivacity to the glands. Owing to the stretching and compressing movements of the throat and neck the thyroid gland is stimulated and any tendency to goiter is obviated. Correct glandular functioning governs health and attractiveness. 7. Improves the color and function of the spleen by enabling it to

eradicate toxic impurities through abdomen, hips, thighs, neck and profuse perspiration and to chin. absorb vital energy from the atmosphere. 12. Makes you immune from disease by tremendously 8. Strengthens the neck, shoulders, increasing your disease-resisting arms, wrists, fingers, back, power. stomach, waist, abdomen, intestines, thighs, knees, calves and The sun is the life or energy source ankles. Strengthening the back is for this planet and is an element in known to be a simple but efficient everything we eat, drink or remedy for kidney troubles. breathe. When one is in tune with 9. Improves and develops the the cycles of the sun, physical chest, i. e. keeps it hard, firm and health, well-being, vitality, and energy, are all yours. elastic. Friends, practice Sun Salutation 10. improves the uterus (womb) exercise every day & live healthy and ovaries. Removes menstrual life! disorders. 11. Reduces redundant fat, especially the fat about the


and it is evident that I participated in the Humorous Speech contest only once in the last seventeen years. In fact, even while speaking on Table Topics, I used to attack the topic in a very straight and serious manner.

- DTM Balaji Nagabhushan

Learn to Laugh Albert Einstein said – “Try not to become a man of success; but rather try to become a man of value”.

All this changed three years ago. It was that time when the graph of City of Gold Toastmasters was sliding down and I got involved to provide whatever support I could. One of those days, I remember very well that I could not attend the meeting. However I received a message that the meeting was actually held in the garden / parking lot as the Sgt At Arms had forgotten to book the conference room. When I met the members during the next meeting, all of them were in a merry mood and said that they enjoyed the meeting. That’s when I learnt to take things light and by watching some of the members of this club – like Paddy – I started laughing and smiling during club meetings. Believe it or not, things changed drastically.

I have believed in this statement all through my life and wherever I get involved, I try to be a man of at least minimum value. However while doing so; I started becoming more and more serious in life. Whenever a task was put on my desk or if I get involved in some activity, I used to concentrate so hard that many a times I forgot the I started learning how to speak in meaning of taking things light. In a humorous fashion. My whole Toastmasters too, this was the case approach to speaking on a Table

Topic changed. I started using personal examples of mine which made people laugh. I also started using this trick while delivering Key note speeches, while speaking over the phone and even while performing the most difficult of tasks. After taking up the profession of a free-lance trainer and consultant, I have taken up quite a few assignments of training and when I prepare my training material, I have started using humour. To get people to enjoy what they are doing is the true essence of life and that I learnt from the City of Gold Chapter. There are many instances in the club when I have been called upon to speak and people nowadays have noticed that I smile and make people laugh too. And whenever I have used this trick of taking things light and enjoying, I have been considered the best among the performers. This club has a lot of members who smile, laugh and enjoy their time whenever they come for meetings or take up assignments. I have learnt a lot from the past as well as the present members of the club.

While the belief in Albert Einstein’s statement is still in me, today I also believe in the quote by Samuel Butler “Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on”. I definitely am learning how to play the violin with a smile. City of Gold’s graph has slowly started moving upwards during the last three years and this is due to the commitment, dedication and fun loving learning methods adopted. The best of communicators belong to this chapter which is one of the oldest in the United Arab Emirates. There are quite a few new members who have joined the club. I am sure that the right mix of the old and the new will help this club to become one of the best clubs in the region very soon.

Toastmaster: “I will evaluate only after you complete your speech.” Joke 3:

- TM Akbar Ali

Joke 1:

With so many Toastmasters from the other gender, if I maintain eye-contact with all, I will lose my brain contact. Joke 4:

Traffic Policeman: “Why did Traffic Policeman: “Why did you dash against that car?” you jump the Red Signal? You Toastmaster: “I was just have to pay fine” maintaining eye contact”. Toastmaster: “Oh no! Don’t you know that …., there is 30 Joke 5: seconds grace period after the …. A Toastmasters wife?? Joke 2: Spouse: “I am shouting for the last 5 minutes. Is not going to your ears?”

…… trained to use gestures and props effectively!!!


Some Moments‌.

City Of Gold Toastmasters Club - Newsletter 2018  
City Of Gold Toastmasters Club - Newsletter 2018