Below is my second Toastmaster speech. Speech Number 2 – Organize your speech.
The main objectives for this speech are:
- Select an appropriate outline which allows listeners to easily follow and understand your speech.
- Make your message clear, with supporting material directly contributing to the message.
- Use appropriate transitions when moving from one idea to another.
- Create a strong opening and conclusion
Time: Five to seven minutes:
I am going to start the way as a psychologist once did while teaching stress management to an audience.
How heavy is this glass of water?
(Wait for answers)
The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.
According to Eckart Tolle, “We create and maintain problems because they give us a sense of identity. Perhaps this explains why we often hold onto our pain far beyond its ability to serve us.”
15 years later also I remember that one time when my grandparents made my mom cry. It’s like a reel in my mind playing again and again and again reiterating that one day. And its been 15 years that I haven’t talked to them. I have talked to them physically, but not emotionally. That emotional connect is missing.
Am I trying. Yes I am. Am I trying hard enough. May be not.
I am not trying hard enough to JUST LET IT GO!
So how do you let things go?
I am certainly not expert at this but here are few tips that have made it easier for me to let go.
- Ask yourself helpful questions. Questions like: is this helping me or is it just some nonsense or something I’m reliving from the past? Or am I clinging to it because it’s what I have known for such a long time and it seems comfortable and safe even though it is holding me back?
- Give up “being right”. Realize that you may cling to things because they might make you feel right as you replay an argument or conflict over and over in your mind. It gives you a certain sense of satisfaction as the other person is wrong. But you have to give up that kind of satisfaction to move on.
- Let it go if it shows up again. In my experience it’s pretty common that what you let go shows up in your thoughts again. And that’s ok. Just let it go each time it shows up. After a while hopefully it will stop showing up.
We carry with us a lot of stuff. Not in our hands perhaps. But in our minds. It can become like we are carrying half the world on our back. Not very helpful. So we need to let go of things. Not only to move lighter and more freely. But also to be able to fully move forward in life.
To conclude I would like to quote Lao Tzu –
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be”
An icebreaker is a special-purpose ship or boat designed to move and navigate through ice-covered waters. Or it’s the first nerve inducing speech that you have to do for Toastmasters…
Toastmasters is an international organization that helps people develop effective communication and leadership skills. I really want to hone my speaking skills because I have a dream of speaking professionally one day so I wanted to do a ‘speaking course’ and when I found out that the nearest Toastmasters club is only 10 minutes away, I no longer had an excuse to hold my dream back.
According to www.sixminutes.com the Ice Breaker speech has three aims:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
So here’s a transcript of my speech. Hope you enjoy it!
31 Things you should know about ME
When I started writing this speech I thought I would talk about 31 things about ME. 31 because I am 31. Not my roles as a Mother, Wife or Daughter or Teacher but ME. How many of us feel that we have forgot our favorite color, dish or place because it has been replaced by our spouse’s or kid’s choice or a loved one’s choice?
But then while in the process of thinking all about these things about me, I realized that I am incomplete without these roles of mine. I would never had been a good cook if it wasn’t for my husband because the way to his heart goes through his stomach. I would not have been a good time manager if it wasn’t for my toddler son with whom I have to focus on prioritizing stuff and then discarding the less important things.
So my roles define me WHO I Am.
Its not that I lost myself but I found a new Myself!
And now let’s go through the list!
- I was born on March 21, 1984 in Delhi, India.
- I am the elder one, 6 years older to my brother.
- Moved to New York, US in 2001 where I did my undergrad in Biochemistry from Queens College and then Grad in Chemistry Education from Hunter College
- Got married in 2010 in Bangalore and then moved to California in 2011
- I have a two year old who keeps me on my toes.
- I loved being pregnant and sometimes I miss the baby bump.
- I was trained in classical music when I was in sixth grade.
- I have been playing harmonium for almost 23 years now.
- I sing and dance at home by myself when no one is watching.
- Bhangra is my mood elevator. No matter how tired or stressed I am, Bhangra cheers me up and gets me in the mood to dance.
- I have never broken a bone in my body, although I am terribly accident prone. Ask my husband!
- In the last 3 years I have switched 4 jobs. Don’t ask why!
- My first job was as a pharmacy technician at a Rite Aid Pharmacy in NY.
- I always wanted a career in public speaking. Can’t imagine myself in a cubicle the entire day.
- I still haven’t figured my dream job. I am sure one day I’ll figure it out.
- I love hugs. The greatest gift you can give someone else is your smile and your time to listen to them. A hug means more to me than most words. “I’m proud of you,” and a hug is enough to make my day.
- I can rarely say no to something sweet. I have a huge sweet tooth.
- Baking is my stress reliever.
- Cupcakes are my favorite.
- Zumba is my favorite kind of workout
- I love coffee, but didn’t start drinking until I started working as a teacher.
- Taco Bell is my go-to fast food joint, Chicken Crunch-wrap being my favorite
- I think that I can taste colors. Synesthesia. It’s a real thing. Look it up.
- My favorite color is blue. Any shade. It tastes delicious by the way.
- I can get really wrapped up in stories. Netflix has made this all to easy for me. Currently hooked on Private Practice.
- I started blogging few months back. I have a blog called ‘Meet Ashmeet’ – a space for my thoughts and reflections on life. You know that!
- I love calligraphy. I self taught myself that and I am pretty good at it.
- Card making is another self taught hobby of mine.
- ‘Photography’ is a hobby that I recently acquired – thanks to my husband! I love capturing moments, emotions, expressions and then cherishing them later. (Link to my Photography Post)
- I would love to take Photography classes one day to learn the technicalities of the camera.
- I am in love with living. I love being in the present moment and experiencing the world. Even though it gets gnarly at times, it’s because of the tough stuff that you get to the good stuff, and it’s worth it.
Well, this was just a glimpse about me. The fact is that I am a work in progress and I am trying to discover myself. And I am very hopeful. One day, I will be able to introduce myself completely.
Till then Thank you for reading!