Thursday, February 24, 2011

My first Toastmasters Speech

To laugh often and to love much
To win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children
To earn the approval of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends
To appreciate beauty
To find the best in others
To give of oneself without the slightest thought of return
To have accomplished a task –whether a healthy child, a rescued soul, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition
To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exaltation
To have known that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; This is to have succeeded;
 this is to have lived fruitfully

Sounding success bells for you a bright and the prosperous future and the idea of its taste is what that dragged me in here. Yes, friends, I am going to tell you what role does this dream of success play in my life.

I was born to a family of academicians and my parents have a major influence on my personality. They thought me to dream high, have great ambitions and aspirations in life. They instilled great confidence in me and inculcated a very important value of appreciating gifts of life. My parents were guardians of my dreams. I remember telling my dad that I want to be an astronaut when I was 5 years old and his immediate reaction was that “Yes, of course, you will be an astronaut I can already imagine you in the spaceship”. However fanciful my dream was, they never told me that it was impractical or is impossible. During my childhood like any other kids, I dreamt of many little things like owning a bicycle, participating in skits, going out on family picnics etc. My parents always protected these dreams and tried to fulfill them and I thought I was the happiest person on earth. As I grew up I realized that dreams and aspiration keep changing and as I grew up I realized that I can no more bank upon my parents to fulfill them and - I and only I am the master of my destiny.

I dreamt of being a doctor. Unfortunately or fortunately that was not fulfilled. For the first time, I felt my dream was shattered it was very difficult for me to accept that. However, I choose engineering discipline for my graduation and pursued engineering in the branch of biotechnology. I got my dream job as a research scholar and moved to Delhi to pursue fundamental research with Tata Energy Research institute. This is where I realized my inherent potential and inclination towards management studies. After a stint of two years with this organization, I moved on to pursue MBA with the specialization in ops research. My life was taking a beautiful turn by then and I got married to a man who is a technocrat and a soft spoken person. Since then he has been an immense moral support to me.

It was a different phase of my life, wherein both my personal and academic spheres were rolling in new routes. Things were very exciting and I got placed with Genpact. Life almost seemed settled as I had a decent job, newly married life, but my conscious always kept telling me that “Have a healthy dissatisfaction with this status quo in life”. I followed my conscious and applied for an executive program in business intelligence and advanced Analytics at IIMB and this course brought me to HP Analytics.

So as dreams and aspirations kept changing with every new phase in life and it has been a fruitful experience chasing these dreams for I experienced victories and failures in the course of the path.

Today I have a new dream a dream that I hold so close to my heart which you all will help me achieve. That is to be a leader and redefine the history of our nation through the power of structured thinking and more importantly by effectively communicating my thoughts to make a magnanimous positive difference.

For I know effective speeches can work miracles and transform the nations by redefining history.
For I know a dream effectively communicated by King Martin Luther installed the new ray of hope and set the basis for reformation
For I know the words “Don’t ask what country can do for you Ask what you can do for the country” by John F Kennedy redefined the nation's perspective
For I know courage exhibited through this speech of “blood sweat tears and toil that’s all I can give” by Winston Churchill lead the United Kingdom through the Second World War.
So today I have dream
To be an eloquent speaker,
To be an extraordinary orator,
To be an effective communicator,
To be a dynamic presenter,
To be a charismatic leader.
And I need your help to achieve this dream.

For I know that if we are willing to learn, lessons await gently in all forms
In the form of your feedback,
In the form of your critics,
In the form of your motivation
In the form of your encouragement.

I would like to end my speech today with this corroborative quote by Confucius:
"To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; to do that we must first set our hearts right and above all "speak right."

Thank you, Thank you one and all.