Category Archives: Toastmasters

The Power Of..

Hey People…..This is a speech I plan to give on my Toastmasters Meeting this Friday morning…..it still required major fine tuning…..so any feedback would be very valuable….Plz Plz….quick feedback to improve the speach!
The Power Of…
Good Morning!!
How many of you’ll want to be happy?
How many of you’ll want to make the world better place?
How many of you’ll think that you’ll don’t have the time and the money and ability to make the world a better place?
In the next few minutes…I am going to help you re-discover the POWER you have to become happier yourself and make the world a better place…
I am going to share my experience with the ‘Power of Smiling’….explain my concept of “World Smile Day” and…and request your help and idea’s to Propagate World Smile Day!
Last week I drove into the petrol pump and there were 3 cars waiting to be refueled in lane One and 3 cars waiting to be refueled in lane two…
Now I had half a mind of driving off and hoping that the fuel lasts me the day (if required I will go without air con..no that is crazy in the heat) when the attendant at the Pump goes….”mam…..chalo aapko phle bhar dete hai” last lane mein laga lo”. The last lane is normally used as a service lane an not normally for vehicles to fuel up….
I drove into the last lane…re-fuelled….and drove off…..!
Now what did I do deserve special treatment at the petrol pump….???
Nothing except that…I normally smile….and said Thank you every week when I came to this petrol pump to fuel!
Simple is’nt it….? Smile …say thank you…but how many of us actually do that?? How many of us smile at people who are supposedly in a lower socio economic background??
Our Bai’s…the waiters….the watchmen…..do we ever even smile at them…saying thank you is a far fetched thing!
Forget people in the lower socio-economic background….how many of us make it a point to Smile genuinely at our colleges and our bosses when we pass by them?
How many of us smile at strangers?? Believe me…I do that quite often….and it is really not stupid…almost every-time I have an eye contact with anyone….in the lift…people I don’t know in office….people in the canteen…..I smile….and trust me….no one has ever frowned back at me…. And almost everyone smiles back!
There are studies which have found that when you smile, you release hormones called serotonin and endorphins, which are “happiness hormones” these can improve your energy, make you feel good…improve your immune system, and reduce any stress or pain you may be feeling!
When you smile at someone …it tells them you like them….you are happy to see them…they smile back at you…..and the happiness hormones are released in their body…..they feel good…you feel good…the positivity in the air increases….and is so damn simple…..
If any of you think I am exaggerating…..I guess there is no substitute for experience….so just try it for a day….you have absolutely nothing to loose….infact in the Smile currency….the more you give the more you get…..Smile at everyone you come across….the watchman…the lift man….your college…your boss….the guy you bump into the gym….the people you share the lift with…..trust me…people WILL NOT think you have gone mad…and they will DEFINITLY smile back at you…..because you see you can never give a smile away…it always comes back to you and the more you give the more you get!!
Now how many of you’ll will walk out of this room try this for a day???
Remember Smile is the most inexpensive way to improve your looks….. and there are 100’s of languages in the world…..but everyone Smiles in the same language…..
Now I have experienced the ‘Power of Smiling’ … I have felt good….I have made friends….I have gotten out of tight spots…..and I wanted it to share it with eveyone….and so I decided to write about it…and then speak about it….and while I was writing….it suddenly occurred to me….that we should maybe celebrate a “World Smile Day”!” and I though I would be the poioneer for this brilliant idea of “World Smile Day”…I was about to file for a patent for my brilliant concept when something prompted me to check google for “World Smile Day” and Lo behold….. to my utter disappointment…….World Smile Day already exists!
Did you know…“World Smile Day” is celebrated on the 1st Friday of October…??? Well now you know….!! The concept of World Smile day is to “Do an act of kindness and make a Person Smile”
I would suggest let us make it simpler…. “ Smile at everyone you see and wish them Happy World Smile Day!!”
Will You help me to propagate “ World Smile Day” and be my brand ambassadors to spread happiness in the world???
If yes….what do you need to do?
1. ‘Smile’ : Actions speak louder than words….and experience is the best teacher!
2. Share the Concept : Write/Blog/ Talk about ‘World Smile Day’ and spread awareness and make the 1st Friday of October….as famous as Friendship day or Valentines day!
3. Celebrate ‘World Smile Day in various groups you are part of like your team at work, Toastmasters Club, Maitree, Music Club, Rotaract etc!
4. Help to reach out to stake holders like media, greeting card companies who have vested interests in us celebrating anything new!
What Say……Will you be pioneers of the Smile Revolution!!????

Smiling is infectious,
You can catch it like the flu.
Someone smiled at me today,
And I started smiling too.

So people…lets curb Swine Flu and Spread Smile Flu!! And you know what the world always looks brighter from behind a smile… Try it!

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Stand Up… Speak Up.. Shut Up!

This Saturday I went for a toastmasters work shop on humorous speaking held by CK (Chendil Kumar) and it was quite interesting….some tips that I picked up from that session…I believe writing helps to remember things better…..so here is what I picked up….

I find humorous speeches very difficult…and I always though that it is a skill I cannot learn…..but CK who took the session…..though otherwise….so now I am going to try to be funny while giving a speech!

Someone said “We learn best during moments of enjoyment”..and I think it is sooo true…. Humor is the best way to connect with the audience… A principle of persuasion: “story telling with appropriate humor” and I have seen my current boss is super good at it!! But when you begin the analyze fun…it is not fun anymore…so I am not going to analyze it too much….but just jot down something…

So what is laughter…J Though CK had an interesting take…and here it is for you to read…

  • Laughter is a noisy smile
  • Laughter is the cheapest luxury
  • Laughter is internal jogging
  • Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects

Some easy tips to give funny speeches!

1.User one liners- easy to remember and deliver

  • An onion a day keep everybody away
  • Trespassers will be eaten….( at a Zoo or at a National park)
  • Trespassers will be recruited
  • Mera Bharat Mahan: Highly Inflammable

2. Pictures speak a thousand words- use funny pictures wherever appropriate

3.Compare and contrast

  • One friend says :My wife had a dream….she dreamt I was a millionaire…..the other friends says….man you are lucky…my wife thinks I am a millionaire when she is awake

4.Power of three :  Build up and then blast..basically build up to seem to be saying a particular thing…and then say something diametrically opposite!

“Stand up…speak up…shut up”

5.Use analogies

  • Last night I slept like a baby…every hour I got up and cried

6.Use definitions..they can be funny when user appropriately

  • Audience are a set of people who get tired by sitting and doing nothing
  • A warm personality …means not too hot!

Some other jokes/funny stories/two liners that were shared in the session….

  • My husband and me are the perfect couple…..he likes me very much…I also like me very much!
  • Our anniversary …I promise to take my wife to an exotic location where people are all dying to go and I take her to the graveyard!
  • A husband and wife are not on talking terms and the husband has to get up to catch a flight early morning so he leaves a note on the fridge which says… “ Wake me up at 5am” the wife get up and writes on the note: “Wake up its 5 am”
  • A man and his friend are at a coffee shop and suddenly he looks up and says….of my god what a coincidence….”My wife and my mistress are walking hand in hand together”  his friend says…oh my god…what a coincidence…..I was just going to say that!

Here is the trainers blog spot if anyone wants to read more on Humor

http://chendilkumar.blogspot.com

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If You Want Something……Just Ask!

Ladies and Gentlemen….Boys and girls…..the fact of life is that we always want something….In the next few minutes…I am going to share with you the secret of how you can increase your chances of getting what you want by about 80%..….

My friends always told me….boss you are lucky…..you manage to get your way almost every-time…..honestly ….till very recently even I did not know what my ‘secret’ was till I chanced about this book called the Last Lecture by Randy Pauch …and now I am going to share the golden rule…..

Ladies and Gentle men……

If you want something…..Just Ask!

Too simplistic right….but it works…

Toastmasters picnic….pick up point was office….i wanted something closer to home….called the president and   “Just Asked”

I needed to pick my drivers license from the RTO…the counter opens only by 3:30…I reached the place at 2…and  managed  to pick my license…..cause I walked up the  policeman and  “ Just Asked!”

Wanted a customer to sign the contract before Feb end so I can claim the deal in my appraisal…met them ..and “Just Asked”

Wanted a one week off to go for a Yoga camp…..walked into the boss’s office….and  “Just Asked”

So Next time if you want something…. “Just Ask”

What…Some of tyou do not believe me for what I have just said.?Just because you pictured the moments when you were denied what you wanted.Folks ,didn’t I say it works 80% of the times.Why fret over the other 20%

YES! chances are that we may not get what we want even if we muster the courage to ask…..but my personal experience says…..8 out of 10 times you actually get it….

Having a hit ratio of getting what I ask for 8 out of 10 times is really cool na…..and even the two time you don’t get what you want….you at least have the satisfaction that you tried!!!

But now life is not so simple….and  there are road blocks to get to a the Nirvana stage of getting everything you want!…

Chances are…..

1)      You don’t know what you want……Like I have no idea about the kind of guy I want to get married to!! ..even if you are a sorted person who know exactly what you want …Chances are

2)      You don’t know who to ask……like if I want to go meet Sharuk Khan…but I have no idea who I can ask…..

3)      You are afraid of rejection!!…Like I think I want a rating of 5…I know I can ask my boss for it….but chances are he will reject my proposition….

 

I am sure although everyone already knew this somewhere  at the bottom of your heart ….

 “Logically” the odds of our getting what we want increase if we “Just Ask”…..but then WHY don’t we!!??? Well  Our fragile  “EGO” …and when “EGO” walks in from the door…”LOGIC” normally flys out of the window….

Now …when it comes to matters of the heart….this situation gets even more tricky …. “To ask or not to ask!!! There is never an easy answer to this….now that can be a topic of yet another speech…

I was discussing my new found secret of  “Just Ask” with my all boys team work…. they gave a “Gender Angle”…. you girls have it easy…..when you girls ask for something….the boys can hardly ever say no!

Well Well….its not the gender of who is asking… way’ of asking… Now girls are in general sweeter and can smile and ask…..this would give them an edge…but dear boys… can smile and be sweet  and nice too….that is not impossible! (Or is it boys!?)

Trick Number One:  for the boys…. and you cannot smile and be sweet….at least try and ask a girl around you to ask!!

Trick Number Two:  “Ask if you can ask before you actually Ask”…tongue twister eh…..but it is a potent tool….!  Ask “Can I ask you for something? “ The person will definitely say yes to that….out of curiosity if nothing else…. 

Dale Carnigee says….. “ if you Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately” chances are you will win people to your way of thinking….and I vouch for it!

So Ladies and Gentelmen….Boys and Girls…. Life is about getting what you want…..and to get what you want…..All you need to do is : JUST ASK!

Project 5 -Toastmasters SpeachPlease do not use it without permission!

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Reflections of a Restless Princess

Gave this speech as a level 4 speech for my Toastmasters club…..And It was honestly quite bad ….the delivery was bad…it lacked passion…and someone told me it looked like I was trying to hard…I was so highly non prepared that I even had notes with me…which is strictly a ‘no -no’…content and concept is not bad…it should make an interesting reading…

 

“Restless Princess” was a name coined for me by a friend…and he said it suits my personality…I don’t think it was meant to be a compliment…but I though it was quite cute and appropriate…and  that’s one of the names of one of my online awtars!

 Mr Toastmasters and fellow toastmasters and guests…. I am going to share some online escapades of the restless princess with you and hope you go and visit her online sometime!

So what does the “Restless Princess” do online….?? She  writes!

And what does she write about….? Any thing and everything under the sun…movie reviews…book reviews.. about people she meets during the day…thoughts and feelings…speeches she has given at forums like this one…interesting incidents and anecdotes…. Her experiences children she teaches during the weekend…work…vacations…trips…friends…enemies…anything that catches her fancy…is weaved into a story and becomes a part of the ‘reflections of the restless’ princess!

 

But why does she write…?

There are many reasons to it…

First and foremost.…she writes because she thinks it is fun!

Reason number Two… She gets to reach out to people across the world… and make new friends…She can share her views and opinions with  people from Siberia to Pakistan…people she would never have met if she was not out there on the digital highway…

Reason number 3- writing gives her clarity of though…as she writes…she understands herself better…it is a journey witin…

Reason number 4- And if all that was not good enough….She also makes money out of writing with Google advertisements! It may be peanuts…6-8 dollars over 3 months may not be much….but getting paid anything to make new friends…having fun…expressing your opinion and getting clarity of though is not to bad is it!

Now  what is it that made her start writing?

Believe it or not! Toastmasters club! 

She joined a new club and wanted to read the old speeches she had given eariler and though it was such a pain to lcoate them….so she thought  why not try and keep an online journal of all her speeches!

She is a little crazy and spends hours in writing every speech…and zup…it gets over in 5 minutes….with just a room full of people listening to it…some claps encouraging and some very valuable feedback….she tough to herself …”Is there any way to reach out to more people with the same effort” and the answer came as a bright light of wisdom in just one word….”Blogging!”

Now  that was like killing two birds with a single arrow!

Those were the humble beginning of the “Reflections  of a Restless Princess” with some old Toastmasters speeches…and some random thoughts….

She got some great feedback from complete strangers which was surprising and  friends …which was expected…friends are suppose to be nice….You see the Restless Princess loves compliments….and anyone who does not compliment is not a friend…

Today she writes almost everyday….and has a decent number of people who follow her blog regularly….There are about 20-30 people who visit her blog everyday….Now that may not be much if you compare it to the hits on Amitab Bacchan’s blog….but it is almost 20-30 times the visitors that come to her Mom’s blog! And she is quite super happy with it!

By the way if you ever go visit the Restless Princess online….remember to leave a comment…preferably let is sound like a compliment…..but even if you don’t like the post …worry not…atleast leave a comment….Nothing upsets the princess more than having no comments on the blog…. And worry not Ms Princess can interpret any thing as a compliment!  Now which of us would have though the name “Restless Princess is a compliment”….but she thinks it is cute and says thank you!

Curious to know where you will find her online…

Well I could make your life easy by giving you the address….but nah…that wont be fun…so like you find everything online….use Google to find the restless princess online!

I could give you a hint on how to find her….if everyone who finds her online promises to leave her a comment…! Any takers?

 She used to be in blogger city…with a pseudoname…but now she is moved to the city of WordPress under her own name!

All the best..Happy searching..and hope to see u in the blog world soon!

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Dilemma and Confusion!

I am going to be tell you a small story…it is “inspired” from none other then our very own bollywood…and how many of you’ll have watched “Bunty Aur Bubby”….well my story also has two thieves and a policeman….and ofcourse me…!

But since the story is only inspired and not copied…the similarity ends there!

I am gonna talk about…..this man and a women who haunted me for many days and nights….made me think 24/7 ….have puts me through a lot of pain…..god its almost torture….I hate it….but they are still there….this thing…I mean people don’t only bothers me….but also all my close friends….through me..
And you know what…its me who nurtured them….made them grow …

Here’s introducing to you the “thieves” or the bad guys in my story…today…..the monsters who are build in my head… who possesses me when they come….who may with a new disguise every time….and maybe with a different name….but I know the soul is the same….and I think its my fault they come….

u know what I am sure he must be possessing you guys to many a times…and when I introduce him….i am sure some of you will recognize him….

Ladies and Gentlemen here is presenting to you…the bad guys of today’s story…

“Ms Dilemma De-Cruz”

And her Chinese friend

Mr CON – FU –SION

Recognize them..?

Many of you would be familiar with the Chinese guy by the Indian pronunciation of his name confusion and Ms D-Cruz by his first name “Dilemma”

Yes ladies and gentlemen its these are the two things Dilemma and Confusion who rule and ruin my life! And I am fighting a loosing battle to get back some control!

They are born when there are options to choose from…and the .if all options are equally good or Bad….these demons have a field day…

I am a confused soul…..I don’t know what I want out of life…..and I can be very fickle minded….

I have trouble decisions…be it small ones like which topic to speak on…for toastmasters there is soo much to talk on…or big decisions as to which guy I should get married to..(not that there are too many options there to choose form! But still!)….

I’ll share something that happened with me quite recently….

May 29th 2006…I am about to get a release form my ongoing project…I get a call from one of the big bosses saying Singapore is your next assignment….30th May 2006…I get a call from another not so big boss saying Mumbai is an option and then the torture began…I was suffering….and so were all my close friends and any guesses who was the culprit….well not the bosses in TCS that comes latter … it was none other then me myself and my two ghosts …of confusion and dilemma…

I could not decide….weather I want to go to Singapore for an onsite assignment or try for a transfer back home to Mumbai…..both great options…one my first onsite opportunity….short one but still…the other the option to go back home…..something I always wanted to…

I did all the methods from the DAR session I attended in this very room…and spoke to all my friends and seniors…and as expected….came to contradicting conclusions…..would give “Go” higher priority and the other gave “Don’t Go” Higher priority…..people said..onsite opportunity…difficult to get in TCS now grab it…others said…go back home…once you go onsite and come back you will be stuck in hyderbad for a long time to come….what to do I do…confusion and dilemma prevailed strong…as both the options were good in their own way….

So what did I do …thought contemplated and agonized…..but took no action…

and then finally I could take it anymore and complained to the police force to take some action and chase dilemma and confusion away..

There came the policeman “ Mr Dession Demello”…but alas…Mr Decision was too week due to lack of exercise as he has not been called to action too often and every time and could not do much……

Ultimately after almost 2 months of agony…fate intervened to help Mr Decision Demello and removed the options….options were akin to air….for the monsters of my story and thus they died a natural death…and Mr Decision finally overcame the confusion and Dilemma and I was off to singapore and back now standing here and telling you this story!

All worked out well at the end….But at what cost…? Was the mental torture and the uncertainty and the repeated discussions…worth the trouble…maybe not… if only my policeman Mr Decision had been stronger….the demons of confusion and dilemma would not have played on my mind and ruined soo many days of my life…

Ok so what am I going to do about it….? Help Mr Decision to be come stronger…so that next time when confusion and dilemma raise their ugly head…The Police Decision can chop their heads off at the first stage and let peace prevail….

And how am I going to make Mr Desicison stronger….what do u think…well by ensuring he goes to the Gym and exercises ofcouse…

Osho says…take small decisions and stick to them….it helps to strengthen your decisions making capabilities and train you to take bigger decisions and stick to them…

So my excersise are on…!

What I do now is take small decisions and stick to them…like…I will brush my teeth every night before sleeping…or I will have only fruits for lunch for a week…and I will go to the Gym 3 times a week for the next two weeks….

I am hoping my Police Mr Decision becomes stronger…

And when it comes to the next difficult decision of in my life… maybe who I should get married to or which is the next project I should shift to… I fare better then what I did previously…

Just like excising your body…..excising your mind is an ongoing journey…. And as I stand here talking to you the journey continues!

This was a speech I had given long back at a Toastmasters meeting in Hyderabad…I plan to use this as my Project 3 speech at the Mumbai TCS club sometime.

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Early Morning Workshop…

The TCS Toastmasters club organized a two hour Humorous speech workshop starting 7.30 in the morning!!! Crazy is’nt it…who starts a session so early…I guess they they may have though it was a humorous way to begin!

The previous evening on my way back from work…I was contemplating of I should take the trouble to go for the workshop or no…I called up a friend from the club to check who all are coming…and he was like…..”I don’t know…. I am not coming…I think just the organizers and the speaker would be there!”

And I though to myself…chuck it…why take the trouble to get up at 6 in the morning and reach work so early..So I called up the organizers to do some general talk and tell him that I am not planning to come…but he seemed quite enthu and gave me a picture that the workshop would be really good and lot of people have registered etc. So I decided I would get over my laziness and actually try and go for the workshop…and I did!

I generally love workshops….especially if there are the personality development….soft skills types for a number of reasons…
1) Get to meet new people
2) I would like to be a trainer someday….so it is a fun to see different people handle the participants
3) End up learning something new

So since I am an “enthu cutlet” (a slag used by unenthusiastic people of this world for people like me!), I actually reached office at 7.30 for a completely optional session for which the utility was also under dark clouds of suspicion!

I reached office in record time…..15 kms….15 minutes drive end to end! As I pulled into the parking lot….I saw a red color Zen..and then another car and a then a few more! I was pleasantly surprised…Looks like the trainer and the two organizers have arrived with a few of their friends…Thank God I am not going to be all alone!

I stepped into office at 7.30…walked up the stairs to get to my work area…and OH MY GOD….there was a crowd at the reception with two perplexed harried security gourds trying to get entry passes for all those people and wondering what hit them early in the morning…
There were almost 30 people for the session. It may not be a large number by itself, but for someone who was expecting 3 people early morning…it was a shock!

The session per se was not bad! A gentleman called Ajit Kamath who was a corporate trainer was the coach and conductor for the session. The basic objective was to empathize on the importance of non verbal communication to create humor.

It was a normal interactive workshop with group activities.
The key take aways were
1) Weave a story
2) Be descriptive and make the audience travel with you
3) Let the body language be natural
4) Prepare but sound spontaneous

Theoretically I understand everything…..…practically I understand nothing!!

I have signed up to participate in a Humorous speech contest at the club level….I really don’t know what to! Attempting to be humorous can be extremely tricky…especially if you tell your audience…you are going to be humorous!

The bottom line: “Humor is serious business!”

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Which Side is Greener?

My role- model and mentor from my company,a 35 year old man was diagnosed with Cancer.I was shocked…scared…depressed….worried…Till I met him and then I was inspired! I always had great respect for this gentleman….but now I am in awe of him…what an attitude to life! Amazing…

There he was sitting on a chair and smiling…laughing….telling jokes…and stories despite the dreadful diagnosis of having a tumor very close to his heart and undergoing killing chemotherapy treatment with all its horrible side effects…he was sitting there thanking God that he has money for treatment; thanking God that the diagnosis was done on time…here was someone who was counting his blessings and taking what life is presenting to him in his stride…hats of to him!

I have read a lot of inspirational stories on positive attitude in life etc etc…but here I saw someone living it…and it was great…

And it made me think….And that’s what I want the everyone to do…think with me…

Think of all the things that make you feel miserable ….depressed ….. unhappy….envious..?

What is it..?
Bad Ratings at work?? Does it really matter in the bigger picture of life…? Even if it does… Look at the people who don’t have jobs..

For all the married folks…
Do you feel your husband/wife does not understand you and care for you enough….. Look at someone who is a widower…or someone whose husband is a wife beating Drunkard…and you will thank your stars….

For the bachelors…
Do you feel your parents don’t give you enough space and freedom… think of people who do not have parents…or who have parents who are ill and you’ll thank god for your wonderful fortune that you have people who care for u……

And all of you’ll who are parents…
Do you feel that your children don’t listen to you? don’t study enough ? Are not making the required grades ? Look at people who cannot have children or have children with disabilities and you will automatically thank your stars…

Do you feel you don’t earn enough….. well if you compare yourself to Ratan Tata or Amitabh Bacchan….no you don’t….but u are a rich man if you compare yourself to the servant who comes to clean your house….its all about which side you look at….

At every given point of time there would be people who are worse situation then you and yes a lot of people who are better off then u too. You choose which side you want to look at. The laws the cosmos will not allow you to be at either end of the spectrum.

So whenever you feel you are in a bad situation with no way out… “look at how it could have been worse”. Search for the positive and you will definitely find it!

Its very truly said that we may not have a choice to what life brings to u but we definitely have a choice in how we react to it!

All this is nice to say and good to hear but can I follow it word to word in my day to day life? Can I be like my mentor and smile despite all adversities?

Honestly Maybe not but you know what I am sure going to try!!
On this note…I want everyone here to take a second here and say a silent prayer….Thanking god for all the great things in your life.

And Remember….You choose… which side is greener…..your’s or the other!

Its only a perspective.

This was a speech I had given long back at a Toastmasters meeting in Hyderabad…I may use this as my Project 3 speech at the Mumbai TCS club sometime

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