Today I delivered my P5 Speech. The original source of the speech is here. I did modify the speech at lot of places to suit my taste. The speech was very well appreciated and I won the “Best Prepared Speaker” for the session.
Is your body dead when you speak, or does your constant motion give your audience headaches?
Does your face signal fear or does it signal excitement for your topic?
Do your hands vibrate, or do they punctuate your words?
The fifth Toastmasters speech project encourages you to make every body movement enhance your speech rather than detract from it.
The project aims at complementing our message with our body during delivery. Specifically, we need to be aware of our:
- body movement,
- facial expressions, and
- eye contact.
If we aren’t aware of our body language, we are missing an incredible opportunity to improve our effectiveness as a speaker. So here goes my speech titled “The Journey“:
One of my friends recently appeared for a driving test in California. After he cleared the test, the officer on duty congratulated him and remarked that he was known for disqualifying Indians in the test. My friend was bewildered and wanted to know the reasons for the same. The officer assured him that he finds most of the Indians concentrating too much on the road. At times, they’re not exactly aware of the fact they can look at places beyond the straight line of traffic. He often finds them not enjoying the journey, but rather going along the traffic.
I, personally, feel that he was right, at least to some extent.
We keep flowing along the traffic, barely realizing where we need to go. I’d go further to say: at times, we’re not even willing to stop for refueling, even when we’re running out of fuel. We fail to realize that our car is not exactly in the best shape and perhaps it seriously requires servicing to cope up with the demands of traffic. Now you may think that I am exaggerating a bit, but actually I’m not.
Dear Toastmasters and Guests, it’s the journey of life I’m talking about. Life’s a journey, the mundane tasks that we keep on doing daily are the road, you’re the car and you’re the driver as well. . What I personally feel is that we’re concentrating so much on the road that we’ve forgotten to enjoy the journey or even to try to know where the road is taking us.
Now think of it again:
Are we not just going along the traffic? Most of us picked science, because this is what the toppers opt for. Then picked engineering because this is what Science students go for. Then, opted for Software jobs because this is where the money is. And yeah, many, many of us wrote GRE or CAT because this is what the best of the engineering students do. Just go back and think, at which point you chose your lane yourself? Oh right, some of us actually did, but most of us, just chose to follow them. Flowing along the traffic has become a second nature to us.
Okay, now you followed the herd and are in a lane, which you try to call as your own. Not a problem, as long as you know how to enjoy the journey. Frankly speaking, I don’t, but I’m trying hard for it. But even for those who do feel that they’re enjoying the life to the max, I sometimes feel that the enjoyment has become too mechanical, having a drink or two with people, having a lunch at a mall, watching a movie at a multiplex are typical ideas of enjoying life for most of us. But what we miss in this fast pace of life are the small joys of life. The small joys, when you see a smile on someone’s face and know that a little appreciation from your side is the reason for this. The small joys, which come along when you do something meaningful without expecting anything in return. And if you try for it, the opportunities are plentiful. Try doing something for your alma-mater for instance. You may not yet be in a position to increase the wage of your subordinate substantially, but sometimes just calling them up and saying “Good job, guys” is all you need to do. A pat on the back can do wonders to them and the joy in their voice may be the joy that you may be looking for yourself. In the words of our Munnabhai, Jaadu ki Jhappi dene ka maangta, Maamu!!!
At times, I find myself running out of fuel. But it’s these small joys that provide me the fuel to keep going. Enjoying the journey can be real hard if you don’t take regular time off to refuel yourself.
And well, even if you choose the right lane and get the fuel regularly, our cars do wear out with time. May be you’re no longer happy about the way the car’s doing. It may be time that it needs some servicing or may be a complete overhauling. And what do I mean by that in real life? Simply that, may be your current skills or life-style are not sufficient for you to move forward or to keep you happy. Try to keep learning. Join a music class, start a quiz club, think of learning a foreign language, write a blog or simply participate enthusiastically in the orators sessions with outmost proactiveness. Keep doing something that helps you polish your mind and makes sure that you’re simply vegetating away. Well, I need not tell this to anybody here; everybody sitting here surely realizes the value of maintenance and that is the reason we all are sitting here. But remember, even for the best of the cars, timely and regular service is mandatory.
Dear Toastmasters and Guests, if you’re the car, you’re the driver as well. The journey can be meaningful only if it’s you who’re driving your car to the right path, get the fuel regularly and get it serviced at regular intervals. Wish you all a very Happy, successful and meaningful journey!!!