Warning: The views expressed were my own and has nothing to do with my club. Also I beg your pardon in case if you find anything offensive.Please let me know if you find anything offensive so that I can correct myself.
And finally it happened! I broke the eight month long hiatus presenting my project-4 in toastmasters today.
In fact this was possible because now the club had moved to a new location close to my room!Yep wordsmiths toastmaster club is now in Anna Nagar.I will post my speech as a separate blog (I am yet to digitialise the speech! Prepared it in a short span but turned out be a descent hit!) In this entry I will attempt to describe the happenings of the meet.
I had dragged Venky all the way to toastmasters and we were sharp at four in to Towers club. Banners and handouts are placed appropriately which led us to the basement of the towers club. I greeted our new president
Zac started the meeting with his usual contagious enthusiasm sharp at 4 PM. Our new president was optimistic and sweared that we are back towards our heydays (Sure mam peerless deepak is also back in action:)). We had few guests ..One was a seasoned toastmasters who had brought his daughter and her classmate in to toastmasters (PPl atleast beleive now that we arent some sort of club which gets together to just drink the toast which you have in mind). We had a brand new member from Medley toastmasters,we had a top hats from chennai toastmasters and medley toastmasters since it was our resurgence meet.Jyothi pointed it out expediently by quoting it as birthday meet. Yep its been tough times for my club members to hold it together. Even I was out of action because of hard timings.
They did the right thing by changing the venue and timing and being geographically close with the kind of people who might love to be here (I assure two memberships right now !) Our sincere secretary TM Vivek was the toastmaster of the day and he began his speech by quoting on change.
Ananth was Jokemaster of the day who did one mistake which he told me that he wanted to avoid .. He started his speech by saying that I am your joke master and I am going to tell a joke 🙂 Sad that , that poor soul needed to remind us that he has said a joke to get some laughter on .In fact it turned out to be a big joke. I personally feel that this guy is not even exposing 50% of his best on stage. His theme was on beer and he brought in a couple of jokes !
Our martinet TM RaviBaskaran was our general evaluator of the day. Vanitha from Medley toastmasters was our grammarian (Hers is the best role description I have ever heard for that role) She brought out the purpose of the role and quoted that she is here to spot us what are the good things to pick and bad practise to drop. Hats off Mam..Thats the learning attitude which makes a toastmaster special and rich than a commoner! We had an interesting ah counter too..Sorry that I missed your name gentleman. But your symphony with those filler sounds was interesting.
Moving on to prepared speeches RajManohar presented his project-4 enumerating “Out of the box thinking”. He seems to have great buisness knowledge and gave us lot of examples of out of box strategies. For most of the time he was refering to WaltDisney,Jack Welch .. He started with the story of Dell. Thanks to him for stating it once more that the biggest loosers and gainers are those who dared to things which no one else dared to do.
Next it was my turn.There I am after nearly 10 months of break in the middle of a podium.I have prepared the speech only today morning hence I was really nervoud (Though didnt have dinos i had some butterflies in stomach.!) I also did my project -4 and I spoke about wanna be dreams (I will have a separate post for discussing about it). But I did notice Nina Mam taking her pen while I spoke and that was enough for me to conclude that I have uttered some useful words:)! I always make sure that my speeches should have some value and the challenge was to convey that value effectively to my fellow toastmasters. This time I was to tell them its okay to not achieve your dreams but its important to get something out of your dreams. I couldnt judge wheteher I took that to the people’s heart (I had to rush to end my speech and hence I couldnt shape the conclusion as I wanted it to be). I finished sharply at 7 minutes 29 seconds..there I go If I had taken even a second more I would have been disqualified.
Then it was Indiras turn ! She was emulating a interview and Vandhana did a perfect job as her interviewer. That young lady has charming smile which makes most of her speeches beautiful. Veteran Indira played the perfect guest – evoking classic humour and handling questions in a diplomatic manner.
Then it was table topics time and we had some real fun here. TM RamPrasad was our TT master for the day and he centered the first few topics on teachers day. Zac was asked to speak about his FIRST TEACHER. Gosh this man brings too much humour in to what ever he does. He told that his mother was his first teacher. And all through his life he was with teachers – mother,sister and wives:) (He also told that he had two wives -the real one at home and the other toastmasters wife :)) Sure did he ..He loves being a toastmaster and I am glad that I am part of the club where he attends!
Then came a young man Rohit who was asked to speak on his favourite teacher. He seemed nervous at first but since he spoke straight from heart ,it was not difficult for him to give a splendid speech. He spoke about the teacher who serves him as a mentor till date. Boy who earned my respect and admiration for it. Welcome to the Toastmasters fraternity and I am sure you are going to enjoy your stint with Medley Toastmasters.
Nina Mam was asked to speak specifically about Newton and apple but she ended up speaking on coconut:) Gosh..If it had been a coconut tree the complete human history would have taken a different shape!
Aditya was asked what he can learn from ants. This chap is brilliant and adept in bringing in instantaneous humour.He questioned back the TT master why should he look at ants when he had time to look at lot of a(u)nts (Pardon me Aditya:)I assume your college girls look like aunts). He deserved three cheers for his frolic speech for which he expediently got the best speaker award.
We had similar humourous speech by Mr. Venkatesh who told its not good to learn from ants.Dr.Anumpan gave an excellent speech (Because he used the word of the day as promised!)
TM Shanthi from Medley closed the session by speaking about the satisfaction she gets from being a teacher. Folks once again I observed here that when you speak straight from the heart it becomes naturally beautiful so that you need not take extra care in preparing what you utter.
When it was time for evaluations TM Hari evaluated TM RajManohar. TM Aditya evaluated me – He did a splendid jon by finding some matching patterns with the project objective (Well done Chap..Actually It was all accidental..:) Thanks for finding me matching with the goal) He also asked me to add some pauses and slow down a bit (Thomas Sir actually congratulated me for slowing down a bit:) ) Thanks Sir and Aditya I am aware of it and will try to be normal in a speech or two.Shanthi evaluated Indira and she was in all praise for both the role players. She insisted that eye contact should be made with the camera while giving such interviews.
Our GE TM Ravi Baskran spotted out some lacunas in the way President and ToastMaster of the day did their roles. And he also requested TT Master to be specific with the topic. But here in toasmasters we are free to do our mistakes as long as we do it only once and learn from it! TM Ravi is a complete toastmaster (I wont bother if lose my manual..I will ring him and ask for what I wanted to refer in the manual!)
With Nina giving a special address marking the rebirth of Wordsmiths we came towards the end of this resurgence meet. President Jyothi closed the meeting after announcing the winners. I got my first “Best Speakers” award and Aditya was rightly given the best TT speaker and evaluator awards. With that the president closed the meeting mentioning Sep 20 as our next meeting date.
I opted to fill the Sergeant@arms role – an extra burden to carry that bag – But I agreed to it because I am staying close the club and in a selfish way it will make me attend meetings regularly. If I am not there the entire meeting may get a halt:)
Thats it the comeback meeting was action filled with lot of light moments and hope. The venue is really cool and should be crowd puller. I should complete maximum projects before the slot booking gets a heavy rush.