Love – Life – Living

Echoes from the outskirts of the universe by “The Fringe Guy”

Persuade with Power

Posted by livin on June 23, 2010

Okay folks, I am done with P9 today. ! What a relief 🙂

I gave my 9th speech from the CC manual of Toastmasters today. Here’s a copy of the speech as-i-delivered-it. Hope you enjoy it:

Project 9: Why be here?

Imagine a place where there is immense love, respect, encouragement, support, learning, admiration, appreciation, recognition, excitement & development – a place of endless opportunities & possibilities, – a place where ideas take birth & are shared, – a place where your imagination takes flight, – a place where you come to speak & share & in the process discover yourself, – a place where the learning acquires a whole new meaning. That place, my dear friends is none other than, Toastmasters.

Mr Toastmaster & my dear friends,

If Toastmasters is such a beautiful place, wouldn’t you like to be a part of it? Wouldn’t you like to grab the endless opportunities Toastmasters throw at you? In the next 6 minutes, I am going to tell you that why you should join Toastmasters, why you should be here in this room, week after week, why you should actively participate in the meetings & club activities, why you should pick up your manuals and do your projects, why you should participate in the speech contests and why you should step up & be elected as officers?

There is a longer version of the answer & there is a shorter version too. If I were to give you answers to all the above questions in a single line, the answer would be: “You should do all of this for your own self development in order to achieve stellar success.”

The longer answer revolves around 3 aspects of Toastmasters: Communication, Leadership & People.

According to Jerry Seinfeld, “People’s number one fear is public speaking. And death is number two. This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

But if you want to be successful in whatever you do – at home, at work or in life in general – you need to have superior communication skills.

One year ago, I was a very shy person & had the same number one fear as most people. I thought of learning salsa or even thought of getting married to get rid of my shyness but in both cases I would have to dance to the tune of my partner. So, I chose Toastmasters to improve my communication skills and since the time I have given my Ice breaker, I have developed the art of breaking ice with anyone. Choosing Toastmasters stands out as one of the best decisions of my life.

Whereas Toastmasters serve as the platform for individual growth by improving your communication skills, it serves as a platform for team growth by improving your leadership skills. As you step up and take different roles every week, you improve your listening, observation, presentation & decision making skills. I can vouch for this from my personal experience of 1 year of being the president of Cisco Vani toastmasters club. The perspectives I got, the situations I got into, the decisions I made, evolved me as a person. It was a huge leadership learning experience for me.

And the most important contribution of Toastmasters is the wonderful people it brings into your life. I have met beautiful people in Toastmasters. Had I not joined Toastmasters, I wouldn’t have met these people in my lifetime. Now they are part of my life, friends for life. Not only friends, you meet new clients, employers & even mentors through Toastmasters.

For instance, last year, when I wanted to file tax returns, I was looking for a CA. I asked my Toastmasters friend, “Can you refer me a CA?” And she gave me the contacts of 5 CA’s, on the spot & I was amazed at the vast network of Toastmasters. There are more than 12,500 toastmasters clubs and more than 250,000 members in over 106 countries.

When you come here week after week, you not only develop your communication skills, enhance your leadership & people skills but you also get wonderful ideas. Every week you hear SAA speech, Presidential speech, prepared speeches & table topics. There are so many ideas & experiences floating around. You pick these ideas one by one & work on them & see where life takes you.

So, here I leave you with one such Idea.

As Neale Donald Walsch said, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. So step out of your comfort zone, do your projects, take up roles & responsibilities & bring out that passion in you. Nobody can stop you from achieving what you dream. Dream Big & be the Distinguished Toastmaster you always wanted to be.

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