Writing Toast Master Speeches!!

For anyone who has been a part of the toastmaster club would know what I mean when I say it is such a pain to think of a topic and write a speech…….the last speech I gave was on this blog of mine…..it was something that I wrote on the last minute and it was quite a disaster…..it was a disaster…cause it was booring…..I was bored speaking….so I am sure my listeners were bored listening…well it was not so bad…..you can read it on this link!  Reflections of a Restless Princess.

Anyways.,..that was way back in October…so that was when I gave my last speech….and I have avoided giving a prepared speech post that with a new excuse to evey time…and now the next meeting is this week…unless I can come up with a brand new excuse….I will have to give a speech!

I have a topic in mind…. “ Just Ask” ….but now I have to make a 5-7 minute story around these two words….now that should not be very difficult……but lets see if I manage to get something!

I am going to use this space as a scratch pad….and try and get my thinking in order….blogging always helps me to get my thoughts in place….and any feedback/idea’s from anyone reading this scratch pad would be most welcome!!

So what is “Just Ask” …..this is something that I read in this really nice book called  “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pauch ( A book review on this book is pending on my blog) and is has stuck with me among other things….

The basic funda is…if you want something  “Just Ask” chances are you will get it….

Simple is’nt it!

My extended logic is that even if you don’t get it….at least you know you have tried!!

Simple example…..we were going for an office toastmasters picnic today…..I and a couple of people who stay in the same area were suppose to be the first ones to board the bus…..

Starting point:  “Office”..now office is close to home……but it is about a 20-30 minute drive….(yeah Bombay that is considered very close) I asked my) colleagues who were boarding the bus with me….let us try and get the starting point changed to something more convenient….they were a little hesitant…who will talk to the organizers…..the rule (WTH…rules are meant to be broken!) is we will start from the office premise….etc etc….I though of the “Just ask” principle and picked the phone and called our club president….and told him… Boss..can we start from location X instead of office…and he was like sure….just give me the address!! It was as simple as that…..all it required was me to pick the phone and ask….the six other people who also would have preferred the bus start from location X instead of office….did not want to risk  asking for it…

I was discussing this principle of “Just Ask” with people at work….and told them this story of the bus pick up spot…..they gave a “Gender Angle”….if it was a guy who had asked for a change it would not have been so easy….you girls have it easy….WTH!! I most defiantly don’t agree….I think it is more the ‘way’ of asking rather than ‘the gender’ of the person who is asking……Now girls are in general sweeter and would maybe smile and ask…..this may give them an advantage…but guys can smile and be sweet  and nice too….that is not impossible! (Or is it boys!?)

 I agree  to a certain extent…‘who’ is also important….but only to determine if  I like the person or not….gender  may not have a role to play……but I have an all boys team at work….and I was out numbered and I backed off and said whatever!!

Now gender aside….why is it that people avoid asking…? What keeps us back from asking for something that we think we want….?  I think It is the fear of rejection…..we are afraid that we will not get what we want even if we ask……Yes chances are that we may not get what we want even if we muster the courage to ask…..but if you don’t ask…..you will most definitely not get it!!….

Well you may just….if someone can read you mind….or someone else is the group “asks” like I did in the bus pick up spot story!!

So logically we should ask….although there are chances of rejection of our humble request….but if we don’t ask….odds that we don’t get what we want are much higher….

I am sure although everyone already knew this somewhere  at the bottom of your heart….and I have reinforced the point…so it is up in your top memory recall…..We would STILL be hesitant to “ask” for ….even though “logically” we should….this is because… “EGO” comes into the way…and when “EGO” walks into the picture…”LOGIC” normally walks out….

If we ask for something we want…and we don’t get it….we are “hurt” …. “feel insulted”… “get upset”….“get angry”…  “withdraw”……It basically hurts our ‘ego’ and our self image….“I asked for this….how could he/she not give it to me….” Whereas if you don’t ask….you at least your ‘Ego’ have a way out…. “ If I asked…I would have got it…anyways this is not important…it does not really matter” etc etc

When it comes to matters of the heart….this situation gets even more tricky…. “To ask or not to ask”……If you ask someone out…and the answer is not favorable…..then things are a mess….you start avoiding the person..or the person starts avoiding you…erstwhile normal conversations become uncomfortable….etc etc etc

If you don’t ‘ask’…you’ll never know…..you may live with that regret all your life….I should have just asked…..or you may reconcile to ‘fate’ and say…it was not meant to be…We Indians have this tendency to blame “fate” for our actions or lack of actions…and we shift responsibility to this external entity….

I have had my share of being on all sides of the fence….I have asked…not asked…blamed fate….regretted asking….regretted not asking…..I have been there done that….but I still don’t know what to do….and I don’t think I ever will!!

But Bottom Line…..If you want something….” JUST ASK” 

 Let LOGIC rule and EGO take a back seat…..!!




Filed under Thoughts and Feelings

5 responses to “Writing Toast Master Speeches!!

  1. abc

    good one..sports tag line just do it! came wid same idea.

    only thing to add while asking ..first ‘ask’ permission to ask …dis permission qus n its way of answer ll give hint. even pause between qus n ans, body language speeks lots…. den one can take decision to ask or not ( dis is spe for ego n heart prob people) for rest JUST ASK!

  2. aplihs

    🙂 Tnx abc! Good one…just ask…before asking!!

  3. Can I ask J (of Toastmaster fame) permission to kick where it would hurt him… no answers expected. I would go with “Just do it”

  4. Anand.U

    Shilpa San…

    “Just Ask ” The concept looks good …but again as you said everything is at scratch pad level…

    Remember …you trying “Just Ask” in India..where everything is sensitive,misinterpreted, judged and confronted !!!

    The key to your speech is going to be in first 2 mins in getting the audience to tell you “Just Ask” without giving away your speech title.

    Gud luk!!!

  5. Kunal

    Just Ask.. Something I keep telling to people at my place of work..

    I’m in Chennai and I’m surrounded by people who lack the Initiative.. People do what they are said to do and continue doing even when they are not comfortable..

    This is what i have as an example for you.. My office bus leaves at around 5.30 in the evening and it is almost the same tie My Manager decides to call for a status meeting.. I was so pissed knowing the fact that if i miss my bus, i’ll have to take a long drive back home in a crowded corporation bus! What was i to do? I had just joined and i was in no position to even question it..

    But something got into me, I asked if it was ok if i left following it with the real reason and I got away.. Next time on my manager made sure we had meetings well before i leave…

    All i did was to ask, the response came in my favour! But this situation could have completely gone the other way.. If not for a ‘cool’ manager..

    To summarize, You always need to analyze the situation and think of all possibilities.. If the bad ones ain’t that bad.. Just Ask!

    PS: About asking out a girl.. Yes, there is this emotional barrier you need to get rid off.. and it ain’t too easy.. All that is needed at that time is to ‘Just Ask’.. Interesting topic you had to write about..

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