Toastmasters:Project 10 “Talent is overrated”

* To inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives and challenging the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement.
* Appeal to the audience’s needs and emotions, using stories, anecdotes and quotes to add drama.
* Avoid using notes.
* TIME: Eight to ten minutes.

Neil Armstrong lands on the moon.
Hillary and tenzing climbs mount everest.
Sachin tendulkar scores his 100th century.
Viswanath Anand wins yet another world chess championship.
ARRahman wins two oscars.
And my friend and colleauge next door gets promotion hike and a beautiful girl.

Respected president, TM of the day fellow and future toastmasters Good evening. These are some good news about great people.- Super achievers. When I hear such news I feel happy for a second , jealous for a moment, ambitious for a while and then run for lame excuses on why Its fine for me to not attempt any such things. I always draw a line of demarcation between me the common man and they the super achievers. Even if have dream or desire to step in to moon inherently there is a voice saying to myself “No Deepak .. You cannot..You aren’t born to a astronaut.!” You dont have the magical talent to compose Jai Ho!

Ladies and gentleman whats going on in my mind is a Talent crisis. A crisis which has arised because we are not tapping our individual strengths and that we do not yet have enough faith in each person’s ability to punch above his or her weight. We love reading many such news about super achievers. We love being spectators when such super achievements are made but when it comes for us to enter the arena we have doubts on our own ability. We doubt our ability to attain a goal of such heights. We dream big but hardly do believe in them.We are afraid of failures.

People fail more often than they succeed. Hence they say its good to learn from failures. But at the same time we overlook success and read very little from them. Rather misinterpret success and attribute their success to a abstract term called talent.

Now say if I have a dream of being a astronaut, what stops me from entering a ISRO or NASA. I dont have good grades at college. But little did I know that Neil Armstrong the moon man was also an average student while at college. He secured admission into MIT the temple of knowledge. But he happens to be the first graduate from his family and the only engineer whom he know advised him not to go too far for his studies and hence he took up a school near to his place which offered him a scholarship on a condition that he has to serve three years in navy after completing his studies. That made him chose aeronautical engineering and that how he started flying. But he didnt have an iota of ambition to Land on moon. Do you know that the man who stood on Mount Everest was the weakest kid in his class?

They were all in diverse fields spreading across various countries but there was a common denominator which divides successful people from unsuccessful. Practise. Practise Practise. On a average it takes 10 000 hours to make a successful grandmaster.

A good practice is something where you have a well defined goal to aim at, the task should neither be too easy nor be totally out of your reach. And you should have the opportunity to make and correct mistakes. And some kind of feed back mechanism to correct your faulty steps.Above all a desperate need to succeed.

You dont get this inside paid classrooms or in the cosy comfortness of a multi millionaire .SlumDog millionaire AR Rahman started flirting with the keyboards when he was 11. His dad who run the business of renting music instruments died when ARR was young and hence ARR came in to the trade. He was in the crew of illaya raja. There were so many who were so in those days. But what made arr stand apart. It his passion for music and the rigurous practice he put in. In his book “OutLiers” Malcom Gladwell mentions that it takes on an average 10000 hours to make a grandmaster.

Same is the case with super achievers.Their practice would be slow, painstaking and error-focused.Coyle describes a tennis academy in Russia where they enact rallies without a ball. The aim is to focus meticulously on technique. By practicing in this way, performers delay the automatizing process. The mind wants to turn deliberate, newly learned skills into unconscious, automatically performed skills. But the mind is sloppy and will settle for good enough. By practicing slowly, by breaking skills down into tiny parts and repeating, the strenuous student forces the brain to internalize a better pattern of performance.

You hardly can err after having such a practice.With a focussed vision and deliberate practice you are sure to hit the success. Oh 10000 hours to be a grandmaster , typing programs from age 5 and keyboard from age 11 cricket from age 4 .. Does it what takes for a super achivement. I am 24 and I dont have a concrete vision? Is my life doomed because I dont have a vision? Am I going to be a looser till death.

No a vision is an enlightenment. Things remain the same before and after this lightning. But its we who get changed by this sudden enlightenment. There is a famous zen saying “Before enlightment Chop wood carry water” After enlightenment chop wood carry water. No matter what you do do it with perfection and consciousness. Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success. Success is when preparation meets opportunity. Be ready with the ticket called practice so that you dont miss the opportunity bus which takes you to the destination called success. No matter what you do today , you can take something out of it for your tomorrows work.

There are people who work hard and stay mediocre. Its because they work hard within their comfort zone taking predictable steps. When you have a big dream you must be prepared to bet on certain unpredictables. Victory or Success doesnt happen all the time. But yet its those failures which increases your value for success. Life is a roller coaster ride.Not a merry go round.

But no matter whats going around. Apply yourself to what you do fully. Going to bed everynight with a feeling that I am better man than what I was in the morning gives you a healthy sleep. Practice not only makes us perfect but confident. Toastmasters is a testimonial to it. I would like to mention a little about TM Anupam here. Public Speaking is a challenge to all of us. But for this man even speaking was a challenge. People were apprehensive about his speaking skills and raised their eyebrows whenever he took the stage. But he used every opportunity to hone his skills and we raise our eyebrows even now in awe and inspiration.

For those who had been part of your cultural shows you will be aware of the rigorous practise they would have put in before the show. A musician practices his scores over and over again. A dancer goes over and over the steps necessary for fluidity. An actor plays his part till he masters his dialogues. What we see at the end is just the refined final output. We the audience arent aware of the umpteen rehearsals which went beyond the screen.

It is perhaps attitude, not aptitude, that gives us altitude in life. Practice beats skills. Think of the never die attitude of Rocky, Think of the perseverance of Mahatma gandhi, think of the tolerance shown by Mother Thersa. Thats what makes them what we are and that is what it takes for us to be a super achiever. Practice makes 0000you to utilise your potentials to the fullest which can transform your self. People aroud get inspired and emulate you.The next time when you hesitate to take some thing give a thought on how much you have practicer. Talent is overated .Practise is overlooked.. Anything is possible. Nothing is out of the reach of our hands…! No matter where you are the opportunity rests on your shoulders to change your lives and change the world we live in it.


16 Responses to Toastmasters:Project 10 “Talent is overrated”

  1. Great speech!! Enjoyed reading it. I can very well relate to your post. We draw a line within ourselves that we are fine with being mediocre/good but not become great. The “limitation” as you say is not external but internal.

    The author of the Dilbert Comics “Scott Adams” worked for 10 years without taking a single day off. That’s dedicated practice. No doubt Dilbert is one of the famous and favorite cartoons of many.

    The examples you quote are very good and inspiring. Looking forward to see your video.

  2. Vivek Radhakrishnan says:

    Deepak Pandian CC, I could very well visualize you doing this project in front of me as I read keenly word after word, sentence after sentance…. I felt pride and proud… being part of your entire toastmasters journey.

    One mile stone conquered and many more challenging you. I am proud of you. All the best. Awaiting your video…

    TM. Vivek Radhakrishnan.

  3. Deepak says:

    @saraswathi Thanks for the interest you shown in this speech inspite of being a non-toastmaster.

    Yep. The limitation is within our selves.I realized it strongly while preparing for this speech. All i wish is a chance for you to attend a toastmasters meeting soon! Because you have lot to give and take from it.

  4. @TM Vivek Thanks for your wishes. I understand you had a tough week at work else we could have crossed this milestone together. I missed your presence greatly on this day.

    Many more to go.. true.We are starting a new business year at Wordsmiths with 3 CC’s. Video soon!

  5. Akshar says:

    So true. 🙂
    This was a long read but very satisfying.

  6. Priyanka says:

    I love you speech. Its amazing!

  7. FLORENCE says:

    woow i love the speech easpecially this time am preparing myself for the 10th project in cc this sarturday.

  8. Ali Raza Abidi says:

    ITs really a nice piece of speech, i thoroghly enjoyed. you should rate your speech on another parameter which is not given in the TM Manual that even the readers of the speech are getting inspired! so one can imagine the way you must have delivered the speech…. Congratulations
    I take it as a challenge to deliver my 10th project after Practice.. Practice.. Practice..

  9. Vinutha says:

    What a co-incidence !
    I am on the brink of completing my CC and 10 proj is my last stone . I too wanted to speak something on the very same subject !!
    Success is a very eternal subject and that is what people die for . Inspiring them about something like this calls for conviction.
    U have it loads 🙂
    Well written speech . Keep writing !


  10. @Vinutha Thanks for stopping by and the warm words. Cheers! Project 10 is very very special, Its the first mile stone one crosses in the long journey of toastmasters and as with every other first’s in life it brings in lots of hope,confidence and joy.

    Would love to read your speech. All the best for yours!

  11. Amit Gulati says:

    It was really a rich content. I wonder if you completed all in 8 to 10 mins. The way I approach an inspiring speech, this would have taken me 15 – 18 mins.

    I would have loved to hear your real life experience than any others as It would have been even more inspiring as you were the speaker.

    Your research is really amazing. I loved the line “Success is when preparation meets opportunity”.

    However I found the theme cliched. A new thought or an untouched topic could have scored more definitely.

    An 8/10 from a person who himself is on project 10 🙂
    It was a nice smooth read. Thnx for sharing 🙂

  12. Free music says:

    Free music…

    […]Toastmasters:Project 10 “Talent is overrated” « Nuggets of nonsense[…]…

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