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Posts Tagged ‘ToastMaster’


I participated in the Area L1 Humorous Speech  contest on the peak of my busy month – October in 2010. I went with almost no preparation. September, October and November have been real busy months for me. There were lot of things at stake and still they are. Anyways, I am traveling in train back to Bangalore as you read this post. So, this post was pre-written than its usual time it was posted.

I did not win the contest but it was a pleasant experience. First of all, presenting my 50-member club felt so good. Secondly, competing with some toastmasters who were TMs for 5-7 years was a great experience. The learning I drew from the contest was immensely unique. Honestly speaking, I am bad at humorous category. So, this speech was really a contest for me: to challenge myself and attempt a humorous speech. Unfortunately, I am not able to get hold of the video recording but as soon as I get it, I will update this post. I am going to come stronger next time in the contest and hopefully be a better speaker than I am today.

Here is the script of the speech:

From ashrams to modern day schools and colleges, from obedient Rama to today’s Hrithik Roshan, from Kings to Khans, from Luv,Kush to Darsheel Safary, we, kids, have developed with India. But here is the catch 22: do we go to school only to study and be good?

Contest Chair, Esteemed Judges, Fellow Toastmasters and Guests, I, too went to school and that’s when I realized that: I know you might be thinking that I found my passion for computers and decided to become an IT professional but wait wait wait, that’s when I realized that I am a boy in true sense. You might think how? Well, in today’s world, genders are not decided by birth but by behaviors later. So, I realized I am a boy in true sense when I had my first crush on my lady teacher in Standard 5th.

From thereon, there was no stop. Shaher ki Ladki-Raveena Tandon to California Gurlz, Kate Perry disturbed my dreams until I landed up in Bangalore for my engineering. Dreams became true and I had my Kareena Kapoor. We all know “nothing come free in this world” but I never knew Girl-Friends come at a price just like a designer collection clothing line-up. Every weekend, instead of finishing my assignments, I had to wait outside to pick my girl up and in no time I had to run my hired bike, of course at the mercy of jealous yet friends, to go to places like Forum, Brigade Road, Dinners at Dominos: Poor chap going more and more poor every weekend. But here is the dilemma: Girl-Friends are like the menus of Leela Palace. No matter what you order to eat, you always tend to look at what others are eating. So, the moment I am in the Brigade Road, I see Katrina Kaif. All the three monkeys of Gandhiji desperately tried to empower me; don’t watch, don’t listen and don’t talk. Don’t watch because she was hotter and sexier than my girl, don’t listen because every time I opened my ears, she whispered:

Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don’t you???

And Don’t talk because as a human tendency to always have better things in life, I would break up. That’s when I realized Dating is like a Pandora box. But I am a guy, after all. The ears opened and I heard her say:

I know you like me. i know you do

Then the second monkey freed himself and my eyes became binocular trying to get her as close to me as possible. And finally, the third monkey. I said to my girl: hey you are too costly, if I have to afford sonata, then why not give it a try for Mercedes. Aakhir yeh aaram ka maamla hai. After all, it is a matter of comfort. At that moment I realized from where Christopher Nolan stole the idea of “Inception” and made millions of dollars. The very next weekend I am back at my best: Reebok glasses on, sporting Denim Jeans and a cool T-Shirt driving the Honda City trying to find my Mercedes on the roads of Brigade Road.

As time passed, reality chained the fun. I got enchained in marriage. Honeymoon period is awesome when it is a love marriage. I could always find her saying:

I know I’m on your mind, I know we’ll have a good time;

I’m your friend, I aint lying, Look at me, you aint blind

But do honeymoon lasts forever? Nopes. I am at Brigade Road again and the scene repeated itself. I saw a hot girl in the Westside showroom and she was my ex but this time I had my wife with me. The girl whispered into my ears:

See, I know she loves you, I understand

I’d probably be just as crazy about you If you were my own man

Poor Deepak can’t help this time. No matter how hard 2 monkeys act, the third monkey completely empowered me making me speechless and dump.

My world suddenly became dark with no slightest of hope. I closed my eyes to evade the nightmare but it got opened only to realize that my nightmare was just a dream. Ammmo!!! What a relief!!! I am still a bachelor. Next day morning, it was a Sunday and I put on my Reebok glasses, sport denim jeans and a cool T-Shirt and I am back on the streets of Brigade Road. And the scene repeats itself with a little change (pulls up a chair and sits on it). I am the only judge of the fashion contest where every other girl approaches me on the fashion ramp and says to me but loudly:

Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don’t you????

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Yesterday, I gave my first ToastMaster speech – The IceBreaker. The only drawbacks in my speech were the pauses and oscillating around the podium like a pendulum. I hope I will improve on it in my upcoming speeches. My Speech was not original and was tweaked from this post to suit my requirements.

There is a lot of similarity between the two speeches but I prefer not to write my own speeches because even though I am a good orator, which I feel I am, I am not a so good writer.One another reason is the lack of time.  So, people familiar with the above post can ignore reading below unless they want to know a little bit more about me. I hope you like the speech and will incorporate this into your own speeches. During the course of speech, I had to cut down a lot when I saw the first yellow card in the third paragraph of the speech itself but on the whole, I am now researching on the topics and ideas for my speech 2.

Let me tell you all a little bit about The IceBreaker Speech and its goals before taking you through the speech itself:

Ice breaker (or Icebreaker) is a term which describes an activity which reduces tension and anxiety in a group. The Ice Breaker speech has three aims:

  1. Introduce yourself.
    Your ice breaker speech topic is you – something about your life, your job, your hobbies, your unique interests, your family, or any combination of these. You are an absolute authority on this topic, and everyone in the audience will learn something about you.
  2. Begin to conquer the fear of speaking in front of a group.
    It is nervewracking when speaking in front of a new group. If you feel this nervousness, remember that a Toastmaster audience is always supportive and understanding. Nobody is grading you, and nobody will mind if you stumble through 99 “Um”s and “Ah”s. If you get up, say something, and sit down, you have succeeded in this project.
  3. Provide a “base line” of your current strengths and weaknesses.
    Some new members have no public speaking experience, while others have years of presentations behind them. No matter where you fit into this spectrum, your goal is to improve from your starting point. This first speech helps club members gauge your current strengths so that they can make specific recommendations to help you improve.

Hello everyone my name is Deepak and I think life is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you’re gonna get… Well almost.  If you’ve watched the movie Forest Gump then you probably recognize the quote.  To be more precise, I think life is like a box of chocolates and it is our job to find the sweetest and tastiest chocolate in the box.  This is a philosophy I live by and today I would like to share how it has shaped my life.

I was born in West Bengal, grew up in 6 states of India – Orissa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Maharastra. As a child I grew up with an insatiable curiosity and a love for stories.  Naturally I gravitated towards movies, television and video games.  I loved to dream about epic medieval battles between knights and wizards, passionate romances between princes and princesses, and the bold and courageous deeds of superheroes.  I’ve always been interested in stories and adventures, but it wasn’t until I reached high school that I began to understand that it was possible to bridge the gap between reality and my beloved world of dreams.

My story starts with my father, who came from a small remote village to city to pursue his dream of becoming, famous, wealthy and influential; he studied Medical and eventually stumbled upon what we call the world of living GODs.  As a child I remember watching my father constantly working in a government hospital amidst improper infrastructure and support; the only time he wasn’t in the hospital was the time he used to find to play with us, help us with our studies, dining or sleeping. It was his dedication that I never went for tuition ever in my whole life.  Though I didn’t understand my father’s work, I remember how focused he was and how he excited he used to become whenever someone used to ask him about his operations and the new machines he used to get for the hospitals; during middle school he developed the bad habit of forcing my friends to sit down and listen to him talk about his inventions.  My father’s passion was so contagious that during my final year in high school, I decided to work with him on a the devastated areas of Orissa Super Cyclone and that was the first time I understood the power of passion; through his passion for helping my father was able to develop unbelievable relationships with most people; it was his passion for helping in whatever possible way for a better world that gave him the power to turn his ideas into reality.

During those times, I stumbled upon the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, a famous American philosopher and writer who wrote a well-known essay Self Reliance; in it Emerson says: “Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession.”  His words became the impetus for self discovery and I began to pursue my own interests and passions – Computer Science. There were instances when I had to fight with my father for not taking up medical stream.

Over the years I’ve come to understand myself much better and I’ve also learned a great deal from my mistakes.  Looking back I realize how immature I was in not accepting my father’s wisdom and advice; but at the same time, I understand that I needed to walk my own path even if it meant upsetting my father.  Life truly is a long and bumpy roller coaster ride.  However, it is because of those bumps and turns along the way that I have been able to find my passion in life, which is to develop software for such a great company like Oracle.  There is nothing more important to me than that. The world we live in today is so complex and so full of possibilities that interesting discoveries can be found almost anywhere if we are only bold enough to look.

Though I’ve only lived for 27 years, by following my interests I’ve had the good fortune of stumbling on a number of truly fascinating people in my life: I’ve met a man who changed the picture of India in the world in the field of Information Technology – Mr. Narayana Murthy; I met people in remote villages of my state where forget about the road and basic amenities but in fact, they could barely manage food once in a day; I’ve met a man who was a mafia gang member, got arrested and sentenced for 5 years and then became an entrepreneur and today owning one of the most famous hotel of Bhubaneswar; a lady who devoted her whole life to the well being of the people around – Mother Teresa.

I like to think of life as a treasure hunt in which we are all participants looking for the biggest, brightest and most beautiful treasure of all.  If life is like a box of chocolates, like Forest Gump says, then our duty as treasure hunters is to find the very best piece of chocolate in the box.  The piece I am searching for is a life of interest marked by challenge, success, passion, love, and service.  We are all treasure hunters of life looking each searching for their own unique gem.  Thank you for listening to my story and I wish you all the best of luck on this treasure hunt called life.

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