Ice Breaker at Toastmasters

Yesterday I presented my first ever "toastmasters speech".. which was by rules, the introductory speech and I spoke about myself only..

I am very happy to become the very first speaker of our club - Crystal-Talk. I am even happier of the fact that people like my speech very much and i got huge applause when I finished it.. it was a great feeling..

Here is the script of my first speech.. I will always regret that I missed to record my first speech. Anyways..

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Good evening fellow toastmasters. I am back.. I am really very sorry that I will not be able to break any ice today because the block of ice I brought with me has melted.. 
Thanks to the AC in our office..

awe.. it was a bad joke..
Friends, I am Abhishek Jain… I am a simple boy inspired by a simple yet very well known fact that - The only thing that doesn’t change in this world is the tendency to change.

The 1st change happened to me some 29 years ago when I was comfortably enjoying my life in the heaven and suddenly one day God told me that I have been relocated to the Earth. I welcomed that change and soon arrived in a lower middle class family of 1980’s of India where my grandmother was a school employee, my father was a clerk in a bank and my mother was a house wife. We all were living in a similarly lower middle class locality where every 2nd person was aspiring to be an auto driver or a bus conductor.

When it comes to vision and outlook, my family was no exception. One of the school teachers of my father pushed him to take up commerce in high school and study at least up to MCom because he knew that my father was good in studies but not good in choosing what to study. In some part of India, unknown to my family, NRN and Nandan Nilekani were founding Infosys. At that time my father was escaping his promotion exams just to avoid getting transferred from Ajmer. Thankfully that was the only time when he misunderstood the importance of the balance of professional and personal priorities.

His acceptance of the fact that changes are necessary for one’s growth was the deciding factor of my life. Then he got promoted, moved out of that locality, saw places, made new friends and finally we arrived at Jaipur where I saw, spent and lived my formative years. Almost 80 % of my current personality traits were developed in Kendriya Vidyalaya of Jaipur where I spent 8 years. Along with the highly qualified teachers and awesome infrastructure, my school gave me something which became an integral part of my school and college life and that was the Stage.

I started with my 1st stage appearance at the age of 10. I forgot to say ‘thanks’ when my speech finished and judges thought that I did not complete my speech. However they didn’t realize that this boy has found his passion. After that there was no extra curricular activity left in my school in which I didn’t participate. The list of my prizes and awards is not very long however the list of my participations varies from speeches and debates to drawing and painting, music to sports and not to forget the theatre. I tried my hand in everything which comes on way. I had formal training in Guitar and I can play 4 different musical instruments. I played sports also and that too at inter collegiate levels. I didn’t have the formal coaching in any sport but I can safely tell that I have completed beginner’s level in almost every sport that was accessible. Let’s not talk about ice hockey and golf please. 

In my engineering days, I expanded my portfolio of non-studies related activities even more and I found that managing events are much more difficult than simply participating in them. Then started the era of marking presence in almost every possible back stage activity. Be it arranging accommodation for participants of university level sports tournaments, deciding the field plan for the college fest or choreographing the fashion show. From working on grass root level as a volunteer to leading the school house and college community as president, I have experienced every horizontal and vertical of big processes.

My interest in various fields may have restricted myself from being an expert in any one particular hobby. But it was beneficial in many ways. It was not actually like leaving one thing in between and jumping to another. It was always about learning across functional areas and making me more available to different yet related fields. The knowledge of many things makes me capable of estimating the complexity of managing all of them together. In simpler words Tendulkar may be the best batsman of the world but when it comes to perform as a captain Ganguly was proved far better than him.

Why ?? Any one ??? It’s a one word answer.. Leadership qualities..

I realized how important one’s leadership qualities are for success.. and that too in the corporate world when I started my career. I observed the way an organization works and how different verticals work together for the common goal of profit and growth. I noticed that a leader is someone who can make these verticals work together. Even an individual can not achieve his personal goals by concentrating in one particular direction. He must act as a leader in managing all of his activities in order to finish his task.

This fact inspires me to keep fuelling my desires to do and learn newer things, take up newer roles and opportunities as they come. I never limit myself only to the work assigned to me. I observe the surroundings and notice the opportunities where I can learn and contribute. I believe this characteristic will leverage my career to the level I want it to reach.

The boy of that lower middle class family, standing today in front of you fine people, comfortably discloses that he wants to go through the various aspects of project management on his way to the senior leadership roles where he can propel his organization to its next level of success. Be it directly related to profession or personal character, the key to success is constant evolution.

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1 comments:

yasha September 18, 2009 at 9:49 PM  

wow ! really a nice speech ...