WHAT CAN YOU FIND INSIDE?
On my 30thbirthday, I wandered into a basement and quietly slipped into the midst of a lively twenty something crowd. There was a lot of bustle and banter about some upcoming annual contests. DTM's, DTAC, Division Governors and a whole lot of mumbo jumbo flew around the room and right over my head. The contests came and went, the chatter subsided and the crowds thinned. I watched the ebbs and flows of a club in a state of constant flux. Division and Area Governors arose but the membership froze. Educational awards flowed but the meetings slowed. Then the deliverer returned and the tide turned. Through all this, I too learned the steps, and started to tango to the tunes of the Timbre Talkers. Today as Timbre Talkers turns THREE, It's truly heartwarming to watch how every member cherishes and wants to contribute towards the successes of the club. Many years from now, as I reminisce in my rocking chair, I will fondly remember this wonderful birthday present and relive the years I spent "Laughing my way through self development".
Where we are and where we need to go……..Pg.01
Introducing The New ExCom ………………Pg.02
Moving Beyond the Manuals ……………….Pg.03
Beyond Structures …………………………..Pg.04
The Contractual Obligation …………………Pg.05
A Glimpse …………………………………...Pg.06
Going Beyond the Club……………………...Pg.08
Going Beyond Toastmasters ………………..Pg.09
Guests & New Members...…………………..Pg.10
Finding the Timbrels ………………………..Pg.11
EDITOR’S RANT: Timbre Talkers as a club is especially close to my heart because it not only gave me something to do in an otherwise mundane Kuwait, but very unexpectedly gave me a platform to write & rant. To Dramatize & Showcase! As the club celebrates its third anniversary, it's time we took a step forward and explored toastmasters not just as a stage but a medium to meet new people and explore greater opportunities. This issue talks about going beyond the obvious in everything we do. Yours, Ever so truly... Zahra Husain (VP PR)
CLUB ACHIEVEMENTS AT DTAC 2013 Club DRP Achiever Award - Achieving 6/10 DCP points before Dec 31st 2012 Club Super 7 COT Award - Getting 7/7 Club Officers trained in both training periods LGM Super Club Award - Among top 10 clubs based on ratio of no of educational awards achieved to club base membership. First 25 Clubs to renew, October Renewals 2012 - among first 25 clubs to renew dues with TMI INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENTS AT DTAC 2013 Third Place, Humorous Speech Finals Vinod Raman Members Sponsor Award (Awarded to Anil Lobo) - For sponsoring 20 members Passport Challenge Award (Awarded to Vinod Raman) - Visiting and taking up maximum no of specific roles in clubs other than your own Club Reviver Award (Awarded to Vinod Raman) - For reviving Mace Springs LGM marketing Award (Awarded to Vinod Raman) Successful Club Coach Award (Awarded to Vinod Raman) - Coaching Kuwait Challengers and helping them achieve Distinguished Club Status or higher CLUB ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE NEW YEAR – JULY 2013 ONWARDS Timbre Talkers is among the first 3 clubs out of 291 clubs in District 20 to achieve Distinguished Club Status. Educational Awards as of September 20th 2013: 1. TM Susan John - CL 2. TM Zahra Husain - CC 3. TM Baburaj Parakkal - ALS 4. TM Vinod Raman - ACB 5. TM Sridhar Venkataseshan - CL 6 new members (including 1 reinstated member) added to date.
AWARDS THE CLUB IS AIMING FOR: “Club DCP Achiever” Award – Achieving 6/10 DCP points before Dec 31st “Perfect 10 Club Achiever Award” – Achieving 10/10 DCP points before April 15th “Club Super 7 COT” Award – Having 7/7 Officers trained in both cycles “Club High Achiever” Award – Being among the top 10 clubs in the District "Triple Crown Award" - TM Sridhar Venkataseshan, TM Murali Manohar & TM Zahra Husain are also in the running for this award. (which requires 3 awards between July 1st 2013 and June 30th 2014)
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DTM Salu John performing the installaion ceremony for the new Executive Committee: (From Left to Right) DTM Salu John, TM Shikha Chatterjee, TM Joel Robinson, TM Zahra Husain, TM Murali Manohar, TM Debashish Chowdhury, TM Vinod Raman
AN INTRODUCTION Vinod Raman Wariath: President Having already served as the VP-Ed of the club, being a President is a natural transition for Vinod. His commitment to the Toastmasters' programme and his dedication towards Timbre Talkers is set to take the club to greater heights.
Joel Robinson: Secretary Joel has an enthusiastic personality. With an eagerness to participate and perform in club activities and a constant urge to better himself. Joel is set to succeed in his role as the club secretary
Debashish Chowdhury: VP Education Debashish is a silent worker. A stickler for deadlines and a methodical worker, he has what it takes to make sure all ends are met and met efficiently. As the new VP-Ed he is bound to make sure everyone has their educational goals sorted.
Ganesh S.P: Treasurer Ganesh is surprisingly funny From being sent to school to avoid accidents at home to becoming a money man, Ganesh has done it all and in style. We entrust him not just with entertaining stories but also with our funds.
Murali Manohar: VP Membership A Multi-tasker by nature, Murali takes pride in his networking capabilities. He loves taking the stage and is a thorough entertainer. Murali's vast and varied networks are bound to bring variety and versatility to the club.
Shikha Chatterjee: Sergeant at Arms Shikha is a lady who is known for her attention to detail, promptness and gentility. What better way to start every meeting than with the prettiest smile in the club?
Zahra Husain: VP Public Relations A journalist by education and a publicist by profession. A philosopher by night and a writer by light. As the VP PR Zahra is pursuing to spread the Timbre Tunes far and wide.
They call him the Terminator. He usually wins every time he steps on stage. A toastmaster who is not just a dedicated learner but also a selfless teacher. He went all the way to the Semi Finals of the Evaluation Contest, at DTAC 2013 in Dubai, thanks to his evaluation skills. TM Anil Lobo gives some valuable inputs from his secret coffers on what it takes to conquer one of the most delicate talents of being a public speaker – Being an Effective Evaluator. "Effective evaluation is the heart of every Toastmasters Meeting. Giving a good evaluation is crucial, but alas too often, we do not know how to do so. Below are what I consider the top 5 tips to becoming a good evaluator:
DTM Anil Lobo
The main goal of a speech evaluation is to offer constructive criticism that will allow the speaker to improve. Be positive and encouraging. For every one critical comment, have two positive reinforcements. Always end each evaluation on a positive note.
Focus on objectives, not speech content alone. As an evaluator, we need to give feedback based on objectives listed in the manual. A common mistake is when evaluators add to a speaker’s speech, rather than provide feedback. Read the speech objectives prior to the meeting at least once and understand what is required.
Incremental growth – As an evaluator, we should give small incremental tips for improvement. Just as one cannot expect a child to be an ace bicycle rider in a week, we cannot expect members to become expert speakers after a few speeches. Feedback should be gradual, but not a whitewash.
Speak to your target speaker before the meeting. Ask the speaker for areas that require special attention. The speaker may have specific areas that they want feedback, and evaluator should pay attention to these areas
Be personal. It’s your personal opinion to the speaker, not the opinion of the club. Use works such as ‘I feel’, ‘I saw’, ‘I liked’, etc. rather than ‘we feel’, ‘we think’, etc."
HAVING FUN REQUIRES A SERIOUS COMMITMENT. Not only is he fun, he is also very funny. BUT, when it comes to Toastmasters, he takes this business very seriously. The Immediate Past President of Timbre Talkers, takes time out to talk about "what it takes to be a Timbrel". "During engineering, there were over a 1000 students who enrolled to get into the Electrical and Electronics department. About 356 students finally qualified. After 2 years of solid engineering, we were up to about 152 students. After a grueling 4 years, only 32 of us graduated!! I was puzzled and casually questioned the fall out crowd. To my surprise I discovered that none who failed really believed in Electrical or Electronics technology. They joined for various other reasons including one who said that "he liked to brew wines but that was not an option in his culture – so he went for a track that turned heads!! “. Another wanted to be the “Good Investment” that his father was looking to plug in. Friends, you can do very little when you don’t really believe in what you are doing!! Toastmasters may be a hobby , a distraction or an outlet when you have nothing better to do in Kuwait – but if that’s your take – you will eventually drop out because you don’t really believe in what you are doing. Leadership and Communication on the premise of Excellence comes at a price which demands consistency, passion, dedication, innovation, (and lots of other fancy words you will learn at Timbre Talkers Toastmasters). We strive to enjoy the process as we remake “a better you”. But it takes “TWO” to tango and if you want to run the Timbre Talkers Track, my friend – you have got to “believe in it”. Come join us and “Laugh your way through SELF DEVELOPMENT”! " Praveen Madhavan ACB, ALB (Immediate Past President)
WHEN WORDS DEFY STRUCTURES: My journey with toastmasters has been ruled by speeches…. Speeches that were carefully crafted… you know introduction, body, conclusion… that sort of thing. Given the fact that I can break out of that mould today, I am going to share a poem, a poem that is the close to my heart. It was written in a heart wrenching situation of utter boredom at the back benches of a corporate communication lecture. Now don’t you go discrediting my emotions just because you think the setting wasn't something that represented Jaya Bacchan aka Maa on her knees praying to Lord Krishna while Shah Rukh Khan aka Rahul comes running from a helicopter that landed in their backyard (yes I am talking about the movie K3G). I would have loved to have one such dramatic setting but unfortunately I just don’t have the budgets for such extravagant tomfoolery.
Photo Credits: TM Murtaza Khanji
The poem is about Bombay (never have and never will call it Mumbai). Bombay apart from home has been the one place I have lived the longest and so here goes, the intimate connection that I share with the city, that has taught life's toughest lessons:
These days every time I take the train a series of thoughts run parallel A journey of over half a decade and a mind caught with thoughts it wants to refrain
Every time at the door, on the edge of your lifeline I stand The wind hits me with a grace I can't explain It dries my tears and numbs my pain It makes me feel like a part of something grand
Of all the pain and hearty laughs for the dusty roads and broken hearts A day in the world so frail and lame I stand divided in two equal halves
Finally when I feel I have reached the end That we need to part, I can't take the strain Suddenly I feel our love affair has only just began that perhaps ours is a relationship we can still mend
You taught the toughest lessons there were That people would your expectation fail That along the way you will meet a few Who will maybe decipher the mask you wear
Sometimes I wish I owned a piece of you that it will make me truly yours, a relationship so true Then I look in to the inside of me And Bombay somewhere now I am linked to thee I am a part of you ....and you a part of me. Love Always, Z
THE CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION If you ever saw him in the club, he looks like a quiet, intellectual sort of man who rarely ever speaks to communicate his thoughts. However, once on stage, Aftab is not only opinionated but strongly defends his views. In this issue he talks about joining Toastmasters and the experience with Timbre Talkers that began as a contractual obligation. "I joined Timbre Talkers Toastmasters Club as fulfillment of my contractual obligation towards my daughter in the early part of 2012. Her precondition to join the gavel club in Rumaithiya was that I also should join a Toastmasters club. The first few sessions did not convince me about my time being devoted towards any fruitful purpose. I had held that quality of content of any speech should be the dominant aspect and garnishing the mode of delivery was only incrementally important. It was with this belief that I delivered my first 6 speeches. The ostensible excuse was the delay in receipt of the Competent Communicator manual. Initial words of encouragement soon gave way to veiled criticism whose shrillness rose gradually. It was then that I received the manual which I browsed through casually. The content however impressed me and I started delivering speeches after going through the speech objectives and finer points detailed in the booklet. My efforts were matched by warm feed-backs which set me on a mutually reinforcing delivery-feedback loop.
The world progresses through interaction of competitive ideas. The brilliance of the best of ideas is lost unless shared with others in a way which speaks to their emotions and aspirations leading to collective championing of the ideas which have been internalized. I found Timbre Talkers, with its stimulating and supportive environment, an effective platform to hone this skill. It has benefited me in multiple ways. The opportunity to interact with people with varying skill sets in a non-hierarchical setup, a formal feedback loop of constructive & polite disagreement, the ability to think through seemingly misplaced criticism on occasions, venturing outside my comfort zone, being on a convenient & self-paced track and extending my social networks have been the obvious benefits. I discovered the importance of humor in even serious communications. While I am generally at ease in communicating ideas in writing, public speaking has always bothered me and I was not able to relate intimately with an audience. I realized that public speaking was no different than conversation with a friend in front of many people. I did not need to be fully informal as with friends in privacy or fully formal. The optimum mix for communication to be effective is being informally formal. The opportunity to visit other clubs and speaking in a less familiar environment was another skill enhancing experience. The affordability of the Toastmasters platform is a precious hidden benefit and I do not mean cost in terms of periodic fees. It would have been a social embarrassment for me, as Chief Investment Officer of my company, to join a public speaking course. Joining Toastmasters did not entail any such discomfiture. My advice to fellow toastmasters for enhancing their communication skills is to take public speaking as a collaborative and not a competitive venture. The communication must be high on contextual awareness and conveyed in a semi-personalized manner. One must be wary of forked tongues for it completely destroys credibility. My final advice is â€œRead, read and read and then talk, talk and talkâ€?." TM Aftab Alam, CC
TROUT 121 - TOASTMASTERS REACHING OUT One of the most understated advantages of Toastmasters is the opportunities available to network with people from various walks of life. While there are entrepreneurs, managers and leaders in Kuwait who are enthusiastic about self development, the truth is no one can stay here when one loses his job. And when one of our very own was almost forced to leave the country because he was out of a job, TM Praveen Madhavan took it upon himself to ensure that we leveraged off the vast potential of the Toastmasters network spanning across 50 plus clubs in Kuwait. As part of his High Performance Leadership project, TM Praveen has been building a database and a website that will help connect and place different Toastmasters. This service will be available completely free of charge to all Toastmasters and their immediate family. In TM Praveen's own words "As leaders and communicators, we have to do more to practice what we preach and REACH OUT to others because what goes around, comes aroundâ€? REVIVING MACE SPRINGS TOASTMASTERS CLUB In December 2012, TM Vinod Raman got involved with mentoring MACE Springs Toastmasters Club. He worked closely with the club's Ex Com and members to rejuvenate and revitalize the club. The club revamped its PR activities, the old members returned with renewed vigor and new members joined the club by the dozen. In July 2013, DTM Salu John took up the mantle of presidency of Mace Springs, a club he holds closest to his heart. In just 2 short months Mace Springs became one of the first 3 clubs in the District to achieve both Distinguished Club Status and the Smedley Award. Having ensured a smooth transition, DTM Salu John handed the Presidential reigns to TM Noor Mohammad, whose phenomenal endeavors have been widely appreciated throughout the Division and District. Today Mace Springs is the only club in District 20 to achieve 6 DCP points and the members of Timbre Talkers are proud to have been part of this wonderful revival. MENTORING GAVEL CLUB The Gavel program is a way of providing Toastmastersâ€™ selfimprovement methods and materials to children under the age of 18. There are over 14 Gavel clubs across Kuwait with an abundance of talented and enthusiastic young Toastmasters. TM Anil Lobo, one of the most popular names in Toastmaster circles for over a decade, is perhaps the quintessential example of a mentor. Over the years he has groomed many a budding Toastmaster. TM Anil mentors two Gavel clubs, namely the Mind Freaks Gavel Club along with another popular mentor DTM Don Prades and the Brainiax Gavel Club along with budding young TM Naseema Khan. Both are based in the SPCL-HD Center, Rumaithiya. TM Vinod Raman is another one of our members who loves to work with children. An avid elocutionist during his childhood, he regrets not being exposed to Toastmasters while growing up. Today, along with Nazima Habibi and Division O Governor John Joseph, TM Vinod mentors the Majestic Lions Gavel Club that meets in the Don Bosco School, Salmiya.
Kalanjali Kuwait is a cultural organization run by TM Murali Manohar that promotes Indian Arts & Culture, for Indians living in Kuwait, by bringing together some of the best talents in India and Kuwait. He is also the founder of Indian Frontliners, an Organization, associated with helping needy Indians both in Kuwait and India. This forum has contributed over Rs. 1.25 crore to various projects including education, marriage and medical assistance. . TM Murali regularly donates blood and encourages everyone else to do the same. He will soon be organizing a blood donation camp and inviting members of the Toastmasters Community to join him in this noble endeavor. In the case of an untimely death, TM Murali also provides regular help with repatriation procedures.
Indian Orthodox Mercy Fellowship (IOMF), Kuwait is a charitable organization founded in 1973. Their main charity activities include sick-aid, marriage assistance, housing aid, educational assistance, self-employment aid etc. to the needy irrespective of cast, creed or religion. IOMF has launched Mercy Homes-2012, a humanitarian and charitable project to provide 40 two bedroom eco-friendly low cost houses for the poorest of the poor to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of IOMF. In connection with this project, IOMF conducted a musical concert recently which was led by world famous performer, Rev Fr Dr M.P George and supported by a highly talented 100 member Choir. Our member and former Division I Governor DTM Salu John is a member of IOMF and Joint General Convener of the Mercy Homes Project. His wife TM Susan John is also a member and was part of the 100 member choir !! Art Of Living is an NGO, that teaches all ancient Yogic techniques to get rid of stress.TM Satish Babu and his wife TM Sireesha are volunteers, providing their support whenever the need arises. As volunteers they travel internationally for different projects like disaster relief, education, rural development, prison programs, womenâ€™s empowerment, environmental causes and so on. Art of Living is active in 183 countries. In Kuwait, they provide food to labor camps every Friday and teach them stress release techniques for free.
The Indian Badminton Association of Kuwait IBAK is a non- profit organization committed to the popularization and development of the game of Badminton in Kuwait. In just 3 years, IBAK has grown to over 600 registered members. IBAK is the only association in Kuwait of which the Office of the Ambassador of India to Kuwait is the chief patron member. TM Baburaj Parakkal is a committee member of IBAK and has not only participated in their many tournaments but also encouraged other toastmasters and friends to join IBAK and reap the benefits. Baburaj is also an avid recreational scuba diver
TM Monica Chatterjee, CC Desert Pioneers Toastmasters Club, who has taken up many roles at our club says: "I've always been a regular visitor at Timbre Talkers. The members have always welcomed me gracefully. What makes Timbre Talkers unique is its friendly atmosphere and the members cheerful attitude. The members have always encouraged guests to take up roles and involve themselves in their meetings. Each and every meeting in Timbre Talkers has been unique and creative."
TM Snehal Sonawane Sawant, CC President, Bright Horizons says "Exactly like its name, this club I realized after my first visit there, is 'distinct'. The reasons being it has fantastic speakers, very inspiring leaders and the meetings are always well planned out. A guest who attends a meeting for the first time does not feel like an outsider and is instantly made to feel at home."