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Archive for the ‘Vocal Variety’ Category


The sixth Toastmasters speech project guides you to harness the power of your own voice.

The aims for this speech project are to use your voice to complement your message by enhancing your:

  • pace,
  • pitch,
  • power, and
  • pauses.

Your voice is the best tool in your delivery toolbox. You must learn to use it effectively to enhance your presentation.

My Speech was titled “Business Etiquettes” and though it is drawn from here, it has been modified a lot to suit my taste.

Last week, I went to the Forum Mall. On my way back, I stopped-by at the Men’s Room. It was late in the evening and the place was quite deserted.

As soon as I took the stance (act: sitting down), the gentleman in the next stall called, “Hey how u doin’?”. I was like “awwww”. In my entire life, I had never struck a conversation with anybody, while doing such an important business. I have no idea what got into me that I responded back, “I’m fine”. He was encouraged by my response and said, “So, what’s going on?” I was like – What do people do inside a loo (act: murmur). I said “Not much. Business as usual”. Then he said, “Hey, can I come over to your side, right now?”. Now I “panicked”. I decided to pack up and take the nearest exit. I said, “Hey Man I’m getting really late … maybe some other time …”. He said (act: talking on the phone) “Listen, I’ll call you back later. There’s an idiot in the other stall, who keeps answering back all my questions.”

This takes me back to another interesting incident a few months back. During a casual online conversation with a female friend, we got into an argument. Her point was “Men lack rest room etiquettes”. My first reaction was, “How do you know? Do you peep inside men’s room to see all the action?” She explained, “Not really, but whenever I’m passing by a Men’s Room, I find men coming out doing all sorts of things – buckling up, zipping up or even adjusting their underwears. It’s so Gross.” The first thing that came into my mind was Sachin Tendulkar in the cricket pitch but deep within me, I knew that it was true to some extent. Honestly, I was embarrassed. But I wasn’t quite convinced that it was an etiquette thing. I had a feeling that there was something else to it. I decided to do some research. Over the next few days, I talked to several male and female friends, relatives and colleagues. I even did some research online. The results were quite “astonishing”. Let me explain how.

Dear Taostmasters and Guests, the Ladies Room is somewhat of a “Cocktail Party”. Women go there in pairs and sometimes groups, they chat, they mingle, they gossip, they giggle. They even primp themselves. Some Ladies Rooms, even have waiting lounges, with nice sofas, music and magazines. Now, you might think did I ever peep inside Ladies rooms? Well, Tom Cruise has to enter when he was wooing his girl in “TOP GUN” and I am not even Tom Cruise. So, I had to try harder. You can try your imaginations go wild but let us come to Men’s room, things are totally different. I’m not talking about the obvious differences but the whole social thing. When it comes to the Men’s Room, it is all about one thing – BUSINESS – you go in, do your business and get out ASAP. There is absolutely no “socialization”. Just like there are “Rules & Etiquettes” in any business setup, Men’s Room also has its own set of “Rules & Etiquettes”.

First of all, the “General Rules”:

  • Do not invite your buddy to go with you. It sends the wrong vibes around you.
  • Do not make eye contact.
  • Do not initiate any conversations once in the Men’s Room.

Next comes, what we call the “Urinal Etiquettes”: As you enter the facility, you must quickly familiarize yourself with the layout and make a decision as to which urinal you will use. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • If there is a row of urinals, you must take the one farthest away from the door of the rest room.
  • If this urinal is taken, you must take the one furthest away from it.
  • When encountering an empty group of three urinals, never take the middle urinal. This will render the rest of the urinals unusable and is the height of rudeness.
  • Never ever take the urinal in between two other men. *Exception: Crowded sporting events or a Movie Theatres.
  • Only enter a stall if you need to do big business. Entering a stall simply to urinate will cause others to wonder what you are afraid of. It is considered “unmanly”.

Going back to the original question, do you still think that men lack rest room etiquettes.The answer is a firm “NO”. It’s not about etiquettes, it’s about “Business”. From the early childhood, we men have been trained to follow these etiquettes and our tendency is to do our business and exit the facility ASAP. Many a times, in this hurry to exit the facility, we fail to fully cover up.

This reminds of a very famous book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” by John Gray. In this book, the author says that men and women are like two different species from two different planets. They really need to take time to understand each other better. Dear Toastmasters and Guests, that’s the ‘mantra’ to happy relationships.

Just for FUN, you can try this questionnaire to understand your urinal behavior and whether sciety could help you. Do let me know how you fared in case you do take the test: URINAL ETIQUETTE TEST.

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