More than speaking and
leadership skills, Toastmasters
club is a movement which
helps us to realize our true
inner potential. Chennai
Toastmaster Club leads the
front in doing this. Both inside
and outside the club, our
members exhibit their talent
and prove the world that CTM
is one of the finest clubs in the
Division. With a huge
representation in the recently
conducted Officers Training
Programme, the members have made CTM proud of itself.
“A high tree catches lots of wind” goes a Dutch proverb
and the same happens to CTM time and again. But with
the renewed enthusiasm and energy, the new executive
committee members are doing a wonderful job to convert
the wind to a breeze that just passes by. A member of
corporate club called me and said
that he wish to
become a dual
member with CTM
and the reason he
said was that he believes in the proverb, “If you want to
fly, fly with eagles” . Let us be the Eagles, anytime and every
time and let us soar sky-high.
reeze that just passes by. fA member of
called dme and said
Inside This Issue
Are you ready for a
3 Types of leaders
Children of heaven
Experience in Japan
Aditya Column ..
Mind your Language
The Coloring Room
Be a Child
Are you ready for a Plunge?
DTM Lalitha G
“Look at Reena. She is successful and good in everything she does. I want to be like
her. Can you tell me what to do?” These were the words uttered by Radha, my
young colleague as she looks at her peer who is making great inroads in everything
she does. They had both joined the organization at the same time, but Reena had
made it up the career ladder with such ease that my other colleague was feeling left out. I asked her the
reason for the same, and she said, “Reena gets more opportunities to showcase her talent”.
Opportunities – are they given to us on a platter or do we make the best of what we can? In today’s
world, opportunities are plenty. The only trouble is they come in the guise of problems or issues. In
Toastmasters, contests are such opportunities. I have heard my fellow club members’ state that they
would not contest as the competition is tough. Is tough competition an issue or an opportunity? People
like Reena make use of these opportunities and check out their limits.
There are few myths around contests.
1. Contests are for the best speakers only – I beg to differ. I learnt the art of speaking only after
contesting. I learnt that I had a flat monotone and was totally uninspiring only after I entered
the contest arena. We become better speakers after we enter the contests.
2. We have to win the contests – We definitely have to win… but not
against the competition. We have to win over our fears and
inhibitions and discover a new potential within us. That is the true
essence of winning.
3. The topic has to be something “Great” – Speech topics are available all
around us. We need not rack our brains to find out something extraordinary to create speeches.
4. I do not have a strong personal story to tell – Does this mean that all speakers have faced some
tragedy or the other, and that is why they are winners. Life teaches us many lessons each day –
in sharing, in caring, in supporting, in facing challenges, and in living. Each one is personal as
long as we “feel” it.
5. I am not good at Drama – Dramatic speeches have to be natural, if not, they are more comical
than serious. Do not think of the drama effect at all. Feel the speech and the right range of
emotions and body language flows naturally.
Contests are for learning, discovering our inner strength, having fun, and it is a test of our perseverance
and passion for what we do. It is a test that shows that we care about ourselves and want to be better
than what we are today. It is a journey, and winning is not the destination – Winning is only a by-
product. Contest season is round the corner – are you ready to make use of this opportunity – or are
you going to be like Radha, envying the ones who dare to take the plunge? Come on friends, take the
plunge and discover a new YOU. Enjoy the contest season!!!
3 Types of Leaders
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there
is no path and leave a trail” a beautiful quote from Ralph
Many of us joined toastmasters because we wanted to
develop our communication skills. Later we realized that we
can also groom our leadership skills by being part of
toastmasters and by performing the various roles. In all the
leadership roles that we play in toastmasters, we have an
option to be GOOD or GREAT. What kind of leader would you
like to be?
There are 3 categories of leaders. We can easily identify them anywhere in
this world – at our work, in our family and in our social network.
1) Builders: You give them a vacant land ... they involve a number of people and build
a beautiful castle, plant trees, develop gardens. They do things that benefit NOT only
the current generation, but also the rest of the generations to come.
2) Maintainers: You give them a vacant land; they put a fence around it. They
protect the land. They pay daily visits and make sure that NO HARM is done to it.
However, the vacant land, continues to remain vacant.
3) Destroyers: You give them a vacant land. They don't do anything with it. They
don't care about the land. They let weeds grow. They let people dump garbage and
waste into it. The land becomes a dump yard. People don't love to visit the land,
because it stinks.
Toastmasters, the club is a vacant land given to you today. What kind of leader you want to be - builder,
maintainer or destroyer?! What do you want to do with the club - build, maintain or destroy?!
You may ask, "What do I get by spending time in building the club"? The answer is “NOTHING”
Toastmasters club is a voluntary organization... you don't get paid for your service, you aren't going to
lose your promotion if you don't do your job, and you aren't going to lose your pay hike or bonus when
you fail here.
TM Saro Velrajan
However, if you are able to get members to attend meetings, where you aren't getting paid... if you are
able to motivate your members to complete their CCs/CLs, when you aren't getting paid... if you are able
to build a successful club, when you aren't getting paid...
With all the skills and experience that you gain here, imagine the difference you would make at your
workplace where you are getting paid. Where you are getting paid - to build a great product, where you
are getting paid to build great teams … where you are getting paid to bring the best out of people.
What toastmasters can DO to you is largely dependent on what you DO to
toastmasters. To perform various roles in toastmasters, you don’t need to
have the capability. You can develop the capability over a period of time. All
that you need to have is commitment to do things; passion to achieve
success and willingness to learn. With these qualities of leadership, you can
easily build clubs - where everyone would like to visit, join and realize their
dream of becoming a better speaker and leader.
- TM Saro Velrajan
Children of heaven
This is an ordinary movie, yet no ordinary one.
This is a normal movie, yet “it’s different”.
This movie is about a beautiful bond between a brother and sister which most Hindi and Tamil movies
claim to be about but instead turn out to be a
platform for the protagonist to show his muscle
It is a movie about an Iranian family that is barely
managing to meet its needs. This family comprises of
a 9-year old Ali (protagonist), 7-year old Zahra, a less
than a year old sister and their parents. Ali takes
Zahra’s shoes to get them repaired and on his way
back home, he loses them. He feels very guilty, goes searching for them but in vain.
So the next day, the brother and sister share his shoes. Zahra goes to school in the morning and rushes
back home and then Ali wears the same pair and runs to school in the afternoon. He gets punished for
“Children of heaven”
is an Ordinary movie, yet no
being late to school but his teacher comes to his rescue as he happens to be one of the most intelligent
and studious boys in the class.
In the meanwhile, Ali accompanies his father to the other section of the city where the rich and the
affluent live. They go knocking on each door asking if they can provide any gardening services. This
particular scene shows how money is the biggest dividing factor in the society.
At school, Ali notices that there is a marathon race and instantly gets interested in the third prize, which
is, a pair of sneakers. He does not pay any attention to the first and the second prizes. He works hard
and then the marathon begins. This is the most interesting part of the movie where the director has
built the suspense really well.
Did he win the race? Did he manage to get the third position? Did he get the
Well, he wins the race but does not get the third prize. Yes, he gets the first prize.
His teachers are all exhilarated but he is far from happy. He is sad that he won the
first and not the third prize, how ironical!!
He comes back home to his sister and tells her.
She feels happy for him even though he doesn’t bring home the
sneakers for her.
However, the movie ends on a positive note. Their father manages
to earn some extra money and buys good pair of shoes for both the children and some
most needed items for the family.
It was a very heart-touching movie. Even though it is a short 90-minutes film, it leaves
an impact for much longer time in your hearts.
- TM Sudha Rajesh
““OOvveerraallll iitt iiss aa vveerryy hheeaarrtt
ttoouucchhiinngg mmoovviiee,, iitt lleeaavveess aann
iimmppaacctt ffoorr lloonnggeerr ttiimmee iinn yyoouurr
SShe feels happy f
ssneakers for her.
HHowever, the mov
‘The Hindu’ kind of news
Like a good boy, Vignesh joined TM because his dad told him to do so! But was
the only thing forced, everything else that followed was a matter of choice!
According to him, his 2 favorite speeches were his CC-7 and CC-10. He says its
because he re-worked on these projects and delivered them better the second
time! This makes him believe in the ‘value of research and re-work’! After
winning the elections he feels ‘’proud to be a part of the lighthouse club –
though at the bottom” – I’m guessing this is because he is the S@A – 7th
officer of the club.
‘Times of India’ kind of news
Vignesh boasts of 2 Royal Enfield bikes – one military bullet 1978 model and the
other one – a thunderbird! Climax – he still prefers riding his bicycle, even to
He blames his ‘Single’ status on the girls in his college. According to him, they
have branded his gang as ‘Kutti savaru’ (worth for nothing!) which makes it
tougher to approach the girls. He hopes for better luck in TM!
The first thing that strikes you after talking to Vignesh is simplicity of thought
and humor! He answers are simple, to the point and frank! And somehow, he
ends up sprinkling humor in his sentences.
Vignesh has an openness to learn and ask feedback – a great skill. It is because
of this he has been able to achieve significant visibility in just 6 months of
JAPAN & I
It was a December morning. The plane had landed at
Tokyo airport and I came out of the airport to catch a bus. There
was Japanese standing in a queue outside so I joined them. All had one
thing in common. They were smoking cigarettes. I was also smoking but I
didn’t even need a cigarette….
….The weather was so chilly (my breath was turning to smoke)!
I worked for an export house in Osaka. One day our director told my colleague
Bhagwan and I plan a trip to Australia to sell shoes as we needed to explore new
markets. We landed in Darwin and after our first meeting with aboriginals, I faxed
“NO biz, returning tomorrow, as natives don’t wear shoes FULLSTOP”.
My colleague Bhagwan on the other hand sent another message:
“Quck, send all sizes, as natives don’t wear shoes FULLSTOP. “
I learnt how to keep a positive attitude from him.
When I started learning the Japanese language I had a tough time.
In the office I used to feel they were always talking about me as I was the only odd ball not knowing
their language. And, they hardly knew English.
I would ask: Anata no shumi wa nan desu ka (What are your hobbies?)
Reply would be: My hobby is…..instead of replying in Jap.
Finally, when I was confident of my Japanese I could tell them:
Nihongo wakarimasen ka (Don’t you know Japanese?)
I stumbled many times and was often ridiculed for my rusty Japanese language for the first few months.
However, I never gave up.
Eventually, my never say die attitude led to me to gain proficiency in the language.I continued my
studies after returning to India and have made Japanese the source of my livelihood.
Much later on, I started teaching Japanese at an IT company in India. One day a
student asked me to buy him a book entitled “Japanese for Dummies” as
he could not spare time for the classes. I found the title bit insulting as it
was calling him a dummy. I visited the bookshop but couldn’t find the
Instead I bought him “Guide to Japanese language” and on the first page I
wrote: “Baka no tame”...pause… which means “for a fool”.
em All had one
ng to smoke)!
““NO biz, returning t
MMy colleague Bhagw
“Quck, send all size
I was rolling over the carpet laughing.…..….
Now I mentioned that I stumbled many times with my language, but sometimes I also just literally
stumbled. First I need to tell you that in Japan the doors of buses and trains close before they move. This
was not only amazing and amusing but damaging too. I was rushing to catch bus outside my bldg and
before I could reach the door had closed and I tripped and stumbled damaging my right foot.
I learnt the lesson hard way: Never to run for a bus or a train, or for
that matter…. … even a girl.
All will arrive in your life at their appointed time……
After I got married and my wife Neena came to Japan, I thought my life
will be easier, we all men think the same way isn’t it? In many ways
it helped, but I used to get few calls everyday: “ I don’t understand
what he or she is saying, could you talk to the person”. Soon I
enrolled her in Japanese classes.
One day, my mother–in‐law called to check how we were doing in
She asked Neena: Do you get milk over there?
Neena replied: Yes mama, there is a cow standing below our bldg.
I was rolling over the carpet laughing.…..….
That holy cow was none other than a Vending machine.
‐ TM Ramesh Daswani [ACG Project 3 speech]
“That holy cow was none other
than a vending machine.”
- TM Thanigashwara A
I attended the OTP session on 22/01/2012(Sunday).
What a useful session it is? Nearly 200 toastmasters attended
the full day session. Couple of years back, the OTP sessions was
attended only by the club officers, now the entire scenario has
been changed. Non-office bearers are attending the OTP knowing
the importance of it. This is due to education sessions by the elite speakers. Kudos to Division G
organizers for the education sessions by the gems of Division G DTM Nina John, DTM
Lalitha Giridhar and Area G1 Governor Kartick Srinivasan. Incidentally all of the
gems are from our club. They all stand testimony to how one can grow if
we take the toastmaster movement sincerely. We should be proud that we
are also belonging to the same club as the elite speakers. By seeing them, I
felt the importance of attending and participating in the club meetings
regularly to reap the benefits of this wonderful movement.
MIND YOUR LANGUAGE
- TM GowriShankar
A heteronym is a word having a different pronunciation and meaning as another word, but the
same spelling. Sometimes the stress is on a different syllable and sometimes the stress remains the
same, but only the pronunciation of the vowel changes.
The boy received a present from his grandmother. (noun)- pre-zunt
We are going to present our idea at the meeting. (verb)- pri’zent
The treasure hunter discovered a valuable object in the tomb. (noun)- ob-jikt
Lawyers often object to questions during a trial. (verb)- ub’jekt
They had been lost in the desert for almost a week. (noun)- de-zurt
The soldier decided to desert the army one day. (verb)- di’zurt
BE A CHILD
Children are always known for their exploring and exciting
nature. They are spontaneous, progressive and joyful. They
see the world through the eyes of someone who never gets
tired of learning new. They never feel contented and
continue their exploring and progressive thoughts on
whatever they see and love to see.
Adults normally hold back themselves due to the fear of
losing, but a child is never worried about the failure. They just concentrate on learning
and not on the failures; this is why it is scientifically proved that we learn a lot when we
are kids. The quality of resilience is abundant in kids which allow them to perform a task
till they attain perfection.
The innocence in a kid provides him the freedom to explore things many times in a
I love to be kid again just to acquire the innocence and exploring nature. Hope you will
also not miss it given a chance.
- TM Arumugam Mariappan
t concentrate on learning
at we learn a lot when we
ow them to perform a task
THE COLORING ROOM
We think it’s cool to sit in an armchair with a
cup of coffee in our hand and say “Ah! School…
those were the days…” We look at somebody’s
kids (or our own) and think “My God, they are
smart! Was I ever so innovative and shrewd??”
Well, for a grown-up, Childishness borders on
being moronic. But being CHILDLIKE is a whole
As kids, we were all ‘Creative’. Growing up, we
just forgot about it because it was not tested in
the million-or-so exams we wrote.
Thankfully though, creativity is not a glass of
milk to rot away. It’s more like a switch in your
head that can be turned on and off at will. Our
tube-lights may flicker awhile before rendering
light but we can take solace in the fact that
they will glow eventually -
In an attempt to train the flickering light bulb, I
write this article, sharing one small technique I
learnt from other sources.
There is method to everything. Even chaos
(which has no pattern) has a method to it (go
Google ‘Chaos Theory’). Likewise, creativity can
be methodical. Of the several methods known, I
wish to share one – The Mind Map.
Brainstorming is a term we are all familiar with.
It is a method where several people put their
heads together and come up with ideas
(however impossible or improbable), list it all
out and then get real. The Mind-Map is
somewhat similar. It can be a hand drawn chart
of ideas flowing in a specific pattern and color
coded to signify something. Or it can be a giant
doodle. Or it can just be something you draw in
your mind to organize your thoughts and
convey them in a coherent way.
Let’s say you have been asked to talk on a
topic “Pizza arrives in 30 minutes – the
Ambulance takes an hour”.
The first impulse is to feel a host of
emotions like outrage, concern, laughter at
the sheer comedy of the situation and anger
at the inefficiency of everybody on the
planet. Now add to this the “fear” of
wanting to impress an audience with your
insightful talk. Seems like too much
‘feeling’?? Hang in there.
Now let’s take the next step. Identify the
Characters involved in the scene. We have
1. the Pizza-Delivery Guy
2. the Ambulance Driver
Now what logical difficulties exist in the
x The ambulance is bigger than the
Pizza-delivery bike (4 wheeler vs 2
wheeler) – BUT, the ambulance gets
a siren and traffic privilege over the
x The Pizza-delivery guy’s job depends
on how fast he can reach the
destination – but the Ambulance
driver has a more secure job. Even if
he is too late to save the patient, he
can simply blame it on traffic.
x Pizza is a business. Ambulance is a
x The Pizza delivery guy might get a
performance incentive or ‘Employee
of the month’ award for maximum
deliveries. But the ambulance driver
is treated like a driver. His
contribution is often overshadowed
So what Ideas do I get about fixing the
x Using better van’s for an
ambulance service as opposed
to the ancient Maruthi-Omni
types might be a start. Pizza
delivery guys use bikes with
x Ambulance drivers must have a
sense of urgency. If they don’t
feel like they have something to
lose, they may not work hard
x Having advertisements for
calling emergency services on TV
(like we do for dial-a-pizza)
x When an ambulance is
approaching with sirens on,
please give way on the roads.
x Giving the diligent ambulance
driver his due incentive and
x When all else fails, if you live
alone, have a heart-attack and
need help, order a pizza and tell
the guy to take u to a hospital.
Now imagine mapping these ideas with
Red – Emotion
Green – Character
Black – Logical Thinking
Blue – Ideas
If that seems too complicated, just bullet the
points in your mind.
Pizza Delivery Guy
o If he is late, the pizza will be free for the
customer – taken from his salary
Make the system kinder to
o Of losing job
Make it fair and performance based
o Of meeting with an accident while
hurrying on the streets
Deal with traffic violations and
speeding severely, the company has
to learn to respect lives of its
employees and other people on the
o Gets appreciation and awards for
performing, hence tends to be
Make it less fierce. Life is more
important than the food. We don’t
want the pizza delivery guy to need
an ambulance himself.
At the end of this exercise, you’ll have thought
out the topic from the perspective of all
characters involved. Now you just have to
thread them together.
Weaving a speech on the spot is a skill that
comes with practice. Watching some good
English-movies or reading books with well-
crafted dialogs and trying to be as articulate in
daily life will improve your diction a good deal.
Thinking on one’s feet is not easy – but it’s not
too difficult either. Some topics may flood
your head with ideas.
In such cases, picking the best points,
organizing them quickly in our mind and
articulating them well is a challenge.
In other cases, the topic might leave us
stumped. Consider something like “Beauty
is as beauty does”. It means beauty is
judged by a person’s actions as opposed to
their appearance. But if this meaning
evades you, just latch on to the key words
in the topic “Beauty”, “is” and “does”.
Take it from there and you are good to go.
It is widespread knowledge that a
cluttered brain can’t really think straight.
So can we completely empty our heads to
be creative? I doubt it.
The ability to be creative, despite all the
worries that clog our thinking is a lot like
rearing a lotus plant in a swamp. Lotus
grows in marshes. The plant has the innate
ability to take the best nutrients out of the
slush and create the most beautiful flower.
Its leaves are non-sticky, even water won’t
stick to their surface. If our heads are
swamps of a million thoughts, creativity is
that lotus plant – untouched by the muck,
drawing only that which strengthens it.
I wish you a happily creative and fulfilling
journey through life. -
- TM Sandhiya Rajaraman
District Level Champion – Table Topics
Thoughts on Perseverance
- TM Veknash
Perseverance - The one quality which separates
great men from the average ones. The leaders
from the followers.
If there is one single virtue which depicts
masculinity, it has to be perseverance. The ability to
hold on long after everyone has quit is typical alpha male thing to do. It is the
symbolic representation of the contagious combination of passion and
Perseverance is also a quality found among top entrepreneurs, explorers and
adventurers. They’re the crazy ones. The animal spirits. The real life super
mans and spider mans and Tony Starcks. These guys lead a very turbulent life.
They’re the out casts. But their courage of their convictions and love for jobs
make them persevere. They’re the ones who make all the difference in the
end. They’re the ones who move mankind forward. They’re the ones who
make the world a better place.
From Richard Branson’s legendary battle with British Airways to Steve Jobs’s
war with the big bad blue IBM. From Ted Turner’s struggle to keep CNN afloat
to Sheikh Mohammed’s endurance to build the city of dreams, Dubai.
They persevered. They stood their stand when things got rough. They created.
They changed. And that made all the difference in the world.
So, go forth!
male thing to do. It is the
tion of passion and
Do you wish to be a humorous speaker? An inspiring speaker? A great
leader? An able communicator? Or self-discover yourself? Then your pill is right
Toastmasters International (TI) is a non-profit
educational organization that teaches public speaking and
leadership skills through a world-wide network of meeting
locations. It is not just an organization but a movement to
make public speaking and leadership skills a worldwide
reality. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita,
California, the organization has more than 270,000
members in more than 13,000 clubs in 116 countries. And,
we the Chennai Toastmasters Club are the first club to be
started in Chennai.
At every meeting, you can witness humorous speeches, debates, quizzes
and lot more. At every meeting, members get to play different roles according to
the structured learning process of TI. In Toastmasters, learning happens at his or
her own pace and no one is forced to do anything. An invaluable part of being
part of Toastmasters is the opportunity to network with people
from diverse backgrounds. You may even end up meeting
your friend of a lifetime! Here are people who will share the
same interest as you in developing their toast mastering skills
and through this mutually supportive environment achieving
your goals might just be a street away. Once you are part of a
toastmaster family, you are free to attend toastmaster meeting
across the globe.
Come and be part of the family! - By Aneesh
At every meet
aand lot more. At ever
tthe structured learni
hher own pace and no
ppart of Toastmasters
from diverse backgrofrom diverse backgro