Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Talented Bangalore Student!!

21-year-old Gayathri, a computer science student who wants to join the IAS, drives an auto and does part-time modelling for a living. Knowing how to handle bigots and boorish men comes with the turf, someone Bangalore’s much-pestered women could take a leaf from…

Gayathri S, a Computer Science student who wants to join the IAS, drives an auto and does part-time modelling for a living

Gayathri S is petite, but behind the demure exterior is a strong-willed woman. This 21-year-old computer science student from Sri Revana Siddeshwara Institute of Technology, Chikkajala had to put aside her dreams of a career in the administrative service and drive an autorickshaw to support her family. Everyday, her work takes her through the lanes of Malleshwaram, Palace Gutthalli, Vyalikaval, and MG Road, and she has learnt to ignore unpleasant situations or, if it so warrants, to confront them.

Considering the fact that her work is male dominated, she is often singled out by her co-workers. “The younger auto drivers do make unflattering comments sometimes. I don’t have time to react to them and frankly I don’t care. The older men are kinder. They keep asking me why I had to do this, it’s not nice and all that,” said Gayathri. “See, I don’t park in the stands anyway. Since the auto is my family’s own, we park it next to my house. That way I get to keep my interaction with my fellow drivers minimal,” she added.

She, however, knows how to protect herself from lecherous men. “Most of the time I take female passengers and college girls. I try not to take men, especially younger ones, some of whom seem to assume I am fair game,” she said.

Gayathri with mother Rajeshwari


Gayathri’s father left the family when she was in class 10, but as an innately proud person she refuses to paint herself a victim. Her father used to be an auto driver himself and she first learnt to drive an auto from him when she was still under-age. “When I was in class nine and 10, just for fun I would drive the auto, and I am glad I did it so that now it helps me put food on the table,” said Gayathri.

This young woman started driving for a living only eleven months ago and the decision was propelled by the falling heath of her mother, Rajeshwari. “After my father left, my mother would somehow manage to make both ends meet by making incense sticks, but then her health started failing and she had to stop,” Gayathri said.

It was then that she decided to take things into her own capable hands. “We already had the auto and I knew how to drive it, so it was a natural choice. Initially, there were some hiccups. While attaining my licence the inspector told me that I cannot drive in my auto because he thought that I would have modified some parts to my benefit. He gave me another auto for the test drive and I cleared the test. That’s when I got my licence,” she added.

Besides driving, she manages to attend college three days a week.


Gayathri has big dreams but her immediate plan is the education of her younger brother, Purushottam who is studying in class 10, and her sister, Usha who is in sixth standard. “I have to take care of their education, and after my education I want to pursue IAS,” said Gayathri. There are also debts to repay
“We have a Maruthi van that we bought on loan. In the morning I leave home by 6:15 and pick up school children from Malleshwaram, Kavalbyrasandra, R T Nagar and Hebbal and drop them off at St Joseph’s school,” said Gayathri. She also has a driver who brings the children back from school. But doesn’t she miss her own classes? “Yes I do. I am barely able to attend three days a week. But there is an accountant called Ramesh in my college who helps me a lot. He knows my problems and helps me with finances whenever I have to pay money for attendance shortage,” said Gayathri.

On an average, Gayathri gets to earn about Rs 15,000. “But out of that, Rs 2,500 goes for rent, Rs 2000 is given to the driver. My mother’s doctors bills and medicines cost about Rs 2, 500 to Rs 3,000 and my fuel costs about Rs 4000.

Whatever I do the money never seems to be enough,” she said.

This IAS aspirant also takes up a number of promotional jobs apart from part-time modelling. “In fact a Tamil TV serial director, Ramesh wants to make a serial on my life and wants me to act in it too. I only have to work during the weekends for the serial, which will appear in Vijaya TV,” said Gayathri. This young brave heart goes on to add that, “Sometimes I don’t get sleep at night. I keep thinking I do so much but still money is never enough. But then I console myself because I know problems are never permanent.”

Article from:


Sunday, June 21, 2009


If your body is low on oxygen, your mouth opens wide and tries to suck more in. Yawning is a way to regulate the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in your blood. Unfortunately, yawns are nearly impossible to stifle.

Eye Twitches

Serious eye twitches can be a symptom of neurological disorders, but often there is a more mundane explanation. Common causes for eye twitches include stress, lack of sleep, extended staring or eye strain. Before you get frantic, try reducing your stress level, cutting back on caffeine and catching up on sleep.


According to Dr. Plasker, our skin most often gets itchy because of dryness associated with the environment or over-washing—water and soap can strip skin of its natural oils, thus sapping moisture. Face or body lotion should be able to keep these types of itches under control; also look for body washes and soaps labeled “moisturizing.†If you still have itchy patches, you may be experiencing an allergic reaction to a chemical, plant, food, animal or drug. See an allergist if the itching is persistent.


If you’ve frequently got a case of the hiccups, try slowing down when you eat and drink, suggests Dr. Plasker. Doing either too quickly causes your stomach to swell; this irritates your diaphragm, which contracts and causes hiccups. You may also get hiccups in emotional situations or if your body experiences a sudden temperature change. In both of these cases, the hiccups are a result of a glitch in your nerve pathways, which is why a sudden scare—which might shake up and reset your nerves—can sometimes end an episode.

Goose Bumps

Those tiny bumps that cover your skin when you’re cold or scared are actually a defense mechanism. Goose bumps occur when the arrector pili, a tiny muscle that connects the hair follicle with skin, contracts and makes the hair stand on end. If you had more hair—like cavemen did—the upright hair would trap air to keep you warm or make you look bushier and therefore more threatening to predators.


Sneezes happen when your body is trying to expel an irritant from the nasal cavity. If you have allergies, pollen or pet dander is usually to blame. If you have a cold, your body makes mucus to trap the virus, and sneezing helps force it (and the sickness) out of your body. An over-the-counter allergy or cold medicine helps suppress your reaction to allergens or reduce mucus production, which should prevent sneezing fits.


A cough is another mechanism your body uses to get rid of irritants. There are special cells along your air passage, says Dr. Plasker, that recognize irritants and force them out. Common colds, sinus infections and pneumonia all increase your body’s mucus production, which triggers coughing. Smoking and asthma also tend to irritate the cells. To help cut down on chronic coughing, exercise regularly and practice good posture to keep your air passage open.

Charley Horses

These sudden, super-painful muscle spasms can be blamed on several things, including dehydration or electrolyte imbalances—often from strenuous exercise. After a demanding workout or an extra-long run, sip a sports drink to keep your system running smoothly. If you experience this type of cramping, walk around to help relieve the pain.


Shivering, says Dr. Plasker, is full-body muscle twitching. When your temperature drops too low, your body shakes all over in an attempt to generate heat. The only way to cure these kind of shivers is to get your temperature back to 98.6°F.

Ear Ringing

Ear ringing, or tinnitus, can happen for two reasons. If you have fluid or an infection in your middle ear, you may hear a constant buzz. However, the more common cause is damage to the microscopic ends of your hearing nerves, which often happens when you’re exposed to loud noises. To prevent permanent damage (and preserve your hearing), wear earplugs at concerts and sporting events—or even when you mow the lawn.

Stomach Rumbles

As food, liquid and gas move through your digestive tract, your stomach muscles and intestines contract and cause rumbling noises—borborygmi is the scientific name. Everyone’s stomach makes noise during digestion, but if you have extra-loud rumbles, a teaspoon of olive oil or a cup of herbal tea with lemon may help ease them, says Dr. Plasker.

Limbs Falling Asleep

When there’s consistent pressure on part of a limb—like when you sit on your feet or rest your head on an arm—the pressure squeezes your nerve pathways and scrambles messages sent to your brain. The mixed messages make you lose feeling in the squished body part because your brain has trouble telling it what to do. To prevent a case of pins and needles, avoid sitting or lying in positions that compress your nerves.

Seeing Stars

If you stand too quickly, suffer a blow to the head or are stricken by a migraine, there’s a good chance you’ll see stars as blood surges to different parts of your body. Generally these tiny flashes of light will fade in a few seconds. If you see stars for more than a few moments, you could have a tear or tiny clot in your retina, and you should consult a physician immediately.

Ear Popping

The Eustachian tube in your inner ear is responsible for maintaining equal pressure on both sides of your eardrum. When you experience a rapid change in altitude—during takeoff in an airplane or when riding an elevator in an extra-tall building—the Eustachian tube opens to release pressure, and you hear a pop. To force the tube open (and “pop†your ears), squeeze your nostrils closed while exhaling forcefully through your nose.

Chant:Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.& be Happy

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gita importance in our day to day life!!

Bhagwad Gita - Importance of Bhagvadh Gita

Sri Krishna, our eternal companion, invites us to sit in the chariot beside Arjuna. We hear the tumultuous sounds of drums, conchs, the war cries and as the chariot moves on we slowly realize that we are being conveyed to an entirely different world - a world of reassurance and inspiration and peace bestowed by a profound knowledge about ourselves and our relation with the universe.
The Bhagavad-gita is the famous philosophical discourse that took place between Lord Krishna and the warrior Arjuna, just before the onset of the great Bharata War. Although widely published and read by itself, the Bhagavad-gita originally appears as an episode in the Sixth Book of the Mahabharata . In this treatise of 700 verses, Lord Krishna systematically surveys the major Vedic dharmas and shows how each directs a person toward the ultimate conclusion, the "most confidential of all knowledge." He analyzes the performance of sacrifices and the worship of demigods; He discusses the yogas of work, meditation, and knowledge. In each case, Krishna shows how it leads to the "most secrets of all secrets, " pure loving devotional service to God. "Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer you homage unto Me." This, Krishna says is "the most confidential part of knowledge."

bhagwad gita, places and temples of krishna, maps of vrindavan and braj, krishna's birth placeThe Gita is the cream of the Vedas and the essence of the soul-elevating Upanishads. It is a universal scripture applicable to people of all temperaments and for all times. It is a wonderful book with sublime thoughts and practical instructions on Yoga, Devotion, Vedanta and Action. It is profound in thought and sublime in heights of vision. It brings peace and solace to souls that are afflicted by the three fires of mortal existence, namely, afflictions caused by one's own body (disease etc), those caused by beings around one (e.g. wild animals, snakes etc.), and those caused by the gods (natural disasters, earth-quakes, floods etc).

It contains the advice given by Sri Krishna about the duties of life as well as spiritual obligations. Sin arises not from the nature of the work itself but from the disposition with which the work is performed. When it is performed without attachment to the result, it cannot tarnish the soul and impede its quest. True Yoga consists in the acquisition of experience and the passage through life in harmony with the ultimate laws of equanimity, non-attachment to the fruits of action, and faith in the pervasiveness of the Supreme Spirit. Absorption in that Spirit can be attained along several paths; and no path is to be preferred exclusively and none to be disdained. The Gita emphasizes the importance of knowledge, charity, penance and worship, and does not decry life as evil.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Don't copy if you can't paste!!

A popular motivational speaker was entertaining his audience. He Said : "The best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman who wasn't my wife!" The audience was in silence and shock. The speaker added: "And that woman was my mother!" Laughter and applause.

A week later, a top manager trained by the motivational speaker tried to crack this very effective joke at home. He was a bit foggy after a drink. He said loudly to his wife who was preparing dinner, "The greatest years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman who was not my wife!"

The wife went; "ah!" with shock and rage. Standing there for 20 seconds trying to recall the second half of the joke, the manager finally blurted out "....and I can't remember who she was!"

By the time the manager regained his consciousness, he was on a hospital bed nursing burns from boiling water

Moral of the story: Don't copy if you can't paste!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How does the Customer influence of Quality ?

Most definitions of ‘Quality’ are very esoteric, quantitative, or routinely bookish and highly cliched. We struggle to connect those definitions to everyday life objects, actions and experiences. We all say that we want quality, but how do we really relate our daily actions to those theoretical definitions? Do these everyday actions effectvely demonstrate our love for a specific aspect of quality - something that we would not have done otherwise? Of course, we surely do several things. Choosing brands is one - in our mind, a great brand invokes strong emotions of reliability, safety, childhood memories, family bonds, hygiene, fairness, value for money…the list is endless (and another endless list for negative emotions that lousy brands invoke !). Apart from choosing a specific brand, does our behavior refelect what we consider as ‘quality’ in everyday life.

In my view, Quality is that differentiator in a product or a service that:

  • makes me drive a few extra miles just so that I could buy or experience something I really like even when other, relatively cheaper options are available nearby. (= willing to sarcifice reasonable amount of time and effort to get something I truly value). There is a great water park on the outskirts of Bangalore, known as Wonder La. Even though some options are available within 10-15 kms of where I live, I am willing to drive ~50 kms and perhaps pay 2-3 times what I would pay at some other place, I still make it a point to only visit that place. Why ?
  • makes me choose one over other even when, everything else being rather equal, the one I choose might be costlier but not exorbitantly priced. (= availability of other alternatives, freedom and ability to choose what I want). Actually, it even need not be costly. Sometimes, the best things comes at the most unbelivable rockbottom prices. But sticking to the point here, the key is freedom and ability to choose an option that I like and at the price-point that I am willing to accept at this point in time.
  • makes me patiently wait in a line for my turn to come (= sacrificing my comfort to get something that I believe is worth it). Many of us would recall the news stories about people lining up overnight to get the first few iPhones. Another recent example is Tata Nano - more than half a millions people have already booked at car at something like $78 booking amount even though only about a fifth (or is it a tenth ?) of them will be able to get the car this year - and that too after a 3 month wait!
  • makes me pick up a product blindfold (= blind trust, but not trust blindly; reliable everytime). Why is it that anyplace, anytime, you can choose a Toyota car blindfold, or that none of the copycat Post-Its come anywhere close to the real Post-In Notes ?
  • I can recommend to my friends and family (= what is good enough for me is good enough for people I care)

I am very comfortable with these ‘working’ definitions of quality. They tell me what is it that a customer is willing to do (and equally important, what s/he is not willing to do) in terms of concrete actions in order to get a quality product or service. These represent a customer-centric view of what s/he desires and not what the manufacturer or the service provider does assuming that is going to create a quality product or service. In most cases, a manufacturer’s view and a customer’s view of quality is aligned, but quite often, there is a serious misalignment as well. I believe it is high time we rewrote the philosophy of quality keeping such customer-centric view in mind. Perhaps, a new type of GQM model could be created that identifies customer’s behavior as the goal to be achieved, and strives to align all internal steps and checkpoints towards the end-customer behavior!

So, does your quality model encourages you to ‘just do it’ because that’s what the process manual says, or it is backed by customer-centric view of What is Quality.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Secrets to be the best Project Manager!!!

Qualities of a good Project Manager / Secrets to be the best Project Manager.

This mail provides you a scale of 11 marks to let you rate and measure your manager against it and find out whether you are working under a right person or not ? To succeed as an IT manager, and to advance one's career into the executive sphere, one need some very specific traits--11 to be exact. From needs assessment to team building, these are the skills a manager need to be at the top of your game. Basic qualities to be a suitable manager are

· The ability to assess, acquire, liberalize and reciprocate needs

· The ability to build, maintain and retain the team

· The ability to implement change management processes

· The ability to implement a client service mindset

We might have realized that in recent times, many good IT managers and a few excellent ones. I've also seen a fair share of poor managers. I believe there are 11 traits that must become the core competencies of any IT manager who wants to have a successful IT management career. While some may argue that there are more, or other, skills that are just as important, I believe from my years of experience that these are the most crucial traits managers need today.

Ability to assess needs : All IT managers need to know how to assess the needs of their company as it relates to their technology responsibilities. It doesn't matter what level you are; you have to be able to discover what the real needs and issues are so you work on the "right things." Too many managers develop an "IT agenda" because they don't make the effort to discover the objectives and tangible issues of the company. Developing the ability to quickly assess the technology for your area of expertise positions you for more responsibility. Managers who develop initiatives that "miss the target" because they lack strong assessment skills cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars. Assessing technology needs plays a major part in helping your career advance.

Ability to create a vision : To lead, you have to identify your target and create a vision for your staff of where you want to be. To lead, you have to take charge and point the team to the desired destination. Managers who can develop and articulate a vision to their staff can accomplish great things because people will follow them. Communicating a vision tells those around you that there is focus and that you are committed to take the organization to a specific destination.

Ability to create the plan : Once they know where they want to be, successful managers know how to develop a plan that will get them there. That means choosing the right priorities for the situation and developing plans that are aggressive but achievable. Planning is an essential ingredient for a "high achiever" manager, but too many managers fail to plan. Instead, they react, accomplishing much less than what the organization is capable of. Having the ability to develop a plan that addresses company goals and objectives positions you for more responsibility. Planning denotes a sense of being proactive vs. reactive.

Ability to build the team : Successful managers know the importance of building a team that has depth as well as skill in critical areas. A successful manager must know how to improve an existing team, as well as how to build a new one from scratch. Every good manager I've seen has the ability to build the right team for the issues at hand and can anticipate what will be needed in the future so that the team is prepared for new challenges. Strong career managers are effective career builders of people. They understand the importance of career and use career building as a tool to develop a stronger team capable of operating more independently.

Ability to focus the resources : Focusing IT staff, money, and technology resources on key priorities of the company is essential to achieving success. The technology resources must be focused on initiatives that are in sync with company needs and objectives, and they must deliver in a productive, cost-effective manner. Career-minded people at any level understand the need for strong focus.

Ability to implement a "client service" mindset : A high level of client service is essential for any IT organization. Successful managers create a culture that places customer issues first—whether the customers are internal users or external clients. Great IT managers know the reason they have careers is because people need the technology and support services that they provide, which is why successful IT managers build excellent client relationships.

Ability to manage projects : The cornerstone of any IT manager's j o b is that the organization can deliver project initiatives in a predictable and cost-effective manner. Effective project management discipline must be a key part of any manager who expects to succeed. Regardless of your career direction, strong project management skills will enhance your opportunities.

Ability to implement change management processes : Technology, by its nature, demands rapid change. Every IT manager needs to be able to understand how to effectively implement change, whether it's swapping out a PC, upgrading an entire network, or developing and installing new software. Failure to manage change effectively will cripple any manager.

Ability to lead and motivate : IT organizations don't get a lot done unless they are motivated. IT managers who can create significant momentum by virtue of strong leadership and motivation techniques always achieve more than those who can't. Getting things done through others is a key skill required for management success.

Ability to communicate effectively : Successful managers can communicate on many different levels with all types of people. More than ever, career success is highly dependent upon effective communication skills. Getting your message across to technical staff as well as non technical clients, being able to manage expectations effectively, and "netting out" issues and project status with senior managers are necessary skills that prevent many managers from achieving high levels of success. IT managers who achieve the greatest career success are those who can communicate effectively with all levels of people: employees, peers, internal and external clients, vendors, and senior management.

Ability to track and measure performance : It's important to set objectives and be able to measure your progress. Successful managers establish specific measurements that tell them and others how well the organization is doing and provide feedback that helps managers "zero in" on issues that will improve the organization's performance.

In conclusion
The best managers, and the ones with successful careers, have each of the above-mentioned skills, and their competence transcends the technical organizations and companies that they work for. Granted, there are other skill and career traits that promote advancement and success, such as working proactively, having strong follow-up skills, and being able to negotiate with vendors successfully. But when you dig down into the core competencies of a successful IT management career, these 11 tend to stand out. Forging a successful IT management career is one of the most challenging feats in any company, because the role is constantly changing and being heavily scrutinized by all. Developing each of these 11 traits as a core competency within your personal makeup will help you achieve much higher success levels and will position you for greater career responsibility.

To be a successful Lead Professional in IT Industry!

A team lead is like that spicy middle stuffy part of a sandwich where in the breads at either side get toasted to crispy and the middle part just enjoy the warmth, but the goodness of the sandwich is the taste of the middle pack. Thus in a project the overall success of the project is how better or best the lead coordinates the team and get organized the higher management. The most challenging among all hierarchy of roles in an IT workforce is middle man, the lead. So here we present a strategy of how you can best lead a project. To be a successful team lead :

 Always maintain a two column check list of all your activities to do on a note pad copy with a pen intact thats handy at all times. One column for Project related activities and the other column having program related operational, management and administration activities. Project related activities can be network issues, application issues, tasks, Follow ups, pending tasks, Short term and long term road maps.

 This copy first page should contain all important information like names of team members with cell number, names of managers and cross functional counter parts with their numbers, Global telecom number and participation or moderator ID details, national free phone numbers for teleconferencing and video conferencing, emergency contacts of IT help desk, Admin, HR, Payroll, SQA, front office and security. You being a lead need to have these numbers at your fingertip.

 Maintain rigorously your calendar and task pane in Outlook to keep all your scheduled tasks and personal tasks and follow ups. This will reduce half of your stress of remembering when to do what.

 Have a firm stand on work ethics, culture, organizational disciplinary policies, corporate level confidentiality, mailing manners, reporting structure, Daily operational planning and procedure and time discipline. Never allow either regularly irregularity or Irregularly regularity of resources.

 Ensure a continuous improvement in the team. Monitor and measure their productivity. Ensure that if a resource was taking X amount of time for a task last years should at max be spending twenty percent less time to do the same work. Introduce smart work replacing hard work. Thus you give a twenty percent more margin to the business with the same work force and thus same Investment yields 20% more return on investment.

 Have a detailed meeting tracker maintained from the back side of your handy note copy. For all meetings you attend take notes of discussion headlines, action items and key takeaways. Every meeting you documented should have a header ( meeting name, attended by, date ).

 Keep record of who working on what in your team members. Maintain this probably from pages right to the centre of your handy note copy. Maintain your data in columns like Resource name, Working on , Planned scheduled, Actual forecast, Deviation, Load. One example is Prakash, Server side scripting for MM01, 19th Apr, 21st Apr, 2 days due to waiting time, 5/8 hours. This means Prakash is working on Server side scripting on MM01 scheduled for 19th but will finish by 21st with a 2 days delay and he is loaded for 5 hours out of 8 hours a day.

 Have a fair techno functional understanding of the assignments and tasks that your team members are doing so that you can coordinate and mentor them better. This also helps in linking every individuals tasks to frame your complete image of the overall progress. Thus your can predict whether the project cloud is heading towards the right direction or not.

 In the same way have a sound working knowledge of the operational, planning, budgeting, strategic, managerial and administration tasks that your manager doing so that you can adequately assist him at his crunch stress times and thus push him from behind to progress ahead while pulling the team from front to march ahead.

 Maintain a clear transparency among all stake holders. Ensure that all communications must be marked to designated recipients with CCing to all casual audiences. Any communications or conversions going into bitter flavor immediately stop the chain mail and invite all to a discussion or discussion telecom over global bridge and immediately resolve the issue by negotiating and hosting the discussion.

 Monitor all the official interactions and communications of your team to outside the team. Guide them to maintain a descent and fruitful flavored manner of communication. Always Protect your team members from any incoming threats from out of the team by shielding them. In case of any mistake your team members have done, officially confess the same as a team and not blame any individual for this. Then internally do a root cause analysis and take corrective and preventive measures.

 For an improved secondary management providing ample scope for the senior resources of team in tailoring their career path in a long term down the line, internally cluster the team in small partially operational independent segments based on Business wings and headers with equal distribution of senior and junior resources and designate the senior most of that cluster as the cluster focal. Although to the higher management you are the lead internally these cluster focals will be shouldering your activities in still lower level.

 Identify all the major periodic activities and deliverables in your territory, delegate and distribute them among all these cluster focals as they are the senior most resources of your tram.

 Make a periodic schedule of boosting the team moral with appreciations and gratitude. Ensure this not spark others ego. Identify high spirit, motivated, most energetic resources in your team, give them extra challenges like maintaining QA, internal Reviews, Mentoring the new joinees, Cross functional knowledge management activities.

 Occasionally arrange team events, distribute T shirts with Team Logo or motto, outings, lunch or dinner sessions or even short trips. This events boosts and recharges the teams and sparks their energy level thus optimizing productivity.

 Always look out and reach out for all issues, grievances, complains and any behind the wall gossips. Anything being cooked behind try to resolve them immediately and strictly never allow such things in your territory. Assure a neat and clean environment for all resources. No demarcation in terms of religion, castes, native or language difference should be accepted.

 Rotate tasks and assignments regularly among your clusters or even swapping of resources across your clusters. Thus you can maintain knowledge base multiplied with introducing work flavor across resources and making them diversified in handling assignments.

 Have a Buddy concept for all new joinees. A new joinee induction kit presentation file along with a primary buddy for any new joinee will reduce your build up time and thus will ensure any new joinee productive soonest as possible.

 Listen to every one, Invite and appreciate new new ideas from team, consider their recommendations that has business values and scope. Identify out of boundary scopes and business expansion opportunities and work out with your manager to spread into those areas by expanding your team.

 Identify noise in the project. Noise refers to any or all activities or individuals that impact your productivity. Correct them immediately. Apply your intelligence to deal with them as situational. If its controllable then all fine else gently escalate it to higher management and softly get it corrected.

 Monitor the overall team image from the birds eye view. Boost the team for cross organizational and corporate level activities and initiatives. Project them to onshore platforms, provoke them to file patrons, write white papers, associate with world technical forums and blogs or groups, increase human networking.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chetan Bhagat @ Pune Symbosis

Thanks to Ramanan uncle for sharing this speech.
Earlier, in this blog, I've written an honest review about Mr Bhagat's latest book. That still holds true.
But this speech really makes a lot of sense. Fabulous!!

Thanks Chetan. You're a fabulous speaker!

Good Morning everyone and thank you for giving me this chance to speak to you. This day is about you. You, who have come to this college, leaving the comfort of your homes (or in some cases discomfort), to become something in your life. I am sure you are excited. There are few days in human life when one is truly elated. The first day in college is one of them. When you were getting ready today, you felt a tingling in your stomach. What would the auditorium be like, what would the teachers be like, who are my new classmates - there is so much to be curious about. I call this excitement, the spark within you that makes you feel truly alive today. Today I am going to talk about keeping the spark shining. Or to put it another way, how to be happy most, if not all the time.
Where do these sparks start? I think we are born with them. My 3-year old twin boys have a million sparks. A little Spiderman toy can make them jump on the bed. They get thrills from creaky swings in the park. A story from daddy gets them excited. They do a daily countdown for birthday party â€" several months in advance â€" just for the day they will cut their own birthday cake.
I see students like you, and I still see some sparks. But when I see older people, the spark is difficult to find. That means as we age, the spark fades. People whose spark has faded too much are dull, dejected, aimless and bitter. Remember Kareena in the first half of Jab We Met vs the second half? That is what happens when the spark is lost. So how to save the spark?
Imagine the spark to be a lamp's flame. The first aspect is nurturing - to give your spark the fuel, continuously. The second is to guard against storms.
To nurture, always have goals. It is human nature to strive, improve and achieve full potential. In fact, that is success. It is what is possible for you. It isn't any external measure - a certain cost to company pay package, a particular car or house.
Most of us are from middle class families. To us, having material landmarks is success and rightly so. When you have grown up where money constraints force everyday choices, financial freedom is a big achievement. But it isn't the purpose of life. If that was the case, Mr. Ambani would not show up for work. Shah Rukh Khan would stay at home and not dance anymore. Steve Jobs won't be working hard to make a better iPhone, as he sold Pixar for billions of dollars already. Why do they do it? What makes them come to work everyday? They do it because it makes them happy. They do it because it makes them feel alive. Just getting better from current level s feels good. If you study hard, you can improve your rank. If you make an effort to interact with people, you will do better in interviews. If you practice, your cricket will get better. You may also know that you cannot become Tendulkar, yet. But you can get to the next level. Striving for that next level is important.
Nature designed with a random set of genes and circumstances in which we were born. To be happy, we have to accept it and make the most of nature's design. Are you? Goals will help you do that. I must add, don't just have career or academic goals. Set goals to give you a balanced, successful life. I use the word balanced before successful. Balanced means ensuring your health, relationships, mental peace are all in good order.
Ther e is no point of getting a promotion on the day of your breakup. There is no fun in driving a car if your back hurts. Shopping is not enjoyable if your mind is full of tensions.
You must have read some quotes - Life is a tough race, it is a marathon or whatever. No, from what I have seen so far, life is one of those races in nursery school, where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first. Same with life, where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth it if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.
One last thing about nurturing the spark - don't take life seriously. One of my yoga teachers used to make students laugh during classes. One student asked him if these jokes would take away something from the yoga practice. The teacher said - don't be serious, be sincere. This quote has defined my work ever since. Whether its my writing, my job, my relationships or any of my goals. I get thousands of opinions on my writing everyday. There is heaps of praise, there is intense criticism. If I take it all seriously, how will I write? Or rather, how will I live? Life is not to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like a pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worke d up? It's ok, bunk a few classes, goof up a few interviews, fall in love. We are people, not programmed devices.
I've told you three things - reasonable goals, balance and not taking it too seriously that will nurture the spark. However, there are four storms in life that will threaten to completely put out the flame. These must be guarded against. These are disappointment, frustration, unfairness and loneliness of purpose.
Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don't go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades â€" how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it's life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember - if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that's where you want to be.
Disappointment' s cousin is frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don't know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me fi ve years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved â€" movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result â€" at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan â€" I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life - friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.
Unfairness - this is hardest to deal with, but unfortunately that is how our country works. People with connections, rich dads, beautiful faces, pedigree find it easier to make it â€" not just in Bollywood, but everywhere. And sometimes it is just plain luck. There are so few opportunities in India, so many stars need to be aligned for you to make it happen. Merit and hard work is not always linked to achievement in the short term, but the long term correlation is high, and ultimately things do work out. But realize, there will be some people luckier than you. In fact, to have an opportunity to go to college and understand this speech in English means you are pretty damm lucky by Indian standards. Let's be grateful for what we have and get the strength to accept what we don't. I have so much love from my readers that other writers cannot even imagine it. However, I don't get literary praise. It's ok. I don't look like Aishwarya Rai, but I have two boys who I think are more beautiful than her. It's ok. Don't let unfairness kill your spark.
Finally, the last point that can kill your spark is isolation. As you grow older you will realize you are unique. When you are little, all kids want Ice cream and Spiderman. As you grow older to college, you still are a lot like your friends. But ten years later and you realize you are unique. What you want, what you believe in, what makes you feel, may be different from even the people closest to you. This can create conflict as your goals may not match with others. . And you may drop some of them. Basketball captains in college invariably stop playing basketball by the time they have their second child. They give up something that meant so much to them. They do it for their family. But in doing that, the spark dies. Never, ever make that compromise. Love yourself first, and then others.
There you go. I've told you the four thunderstorms - disappointment, frustration, unfairness and isolation. You cannot avoid them, as like the monsoon they will come into your life at regular intervals. You just need to keep the raincoat handy to not let the spark die.
I welcome you again to the most wonderful years of your life. If someone gave me the choice to go back in time, I will surely choose college. But I also hope that ten years later as well, your eyes will shine the same way as they do today. That you will Keep the Spark alive, not only through college, but through the next 2,500 weekends. And I hope not just you, but my whole country will keep that spark alive, as we really need it now more than any moment in history. And there is something cool about saying - I come from the land of a billion sparks.
Thank You.!!!!

Excerpt from the Speech given by Chetan Bhagat at Symbiosis.

Life is one of those races in nursery school where you have to run with a marble in a spoon kept in your mouth. If the marble falls, there is no point coming first. Same with life, where health and relationships are the marble. Your striving is only worth it if there is harmony in your life. Else, you may achieve the success, but this spark, this feeling of being excited and alive, will start to die.

One thing about nurturing the spark - don't take life seriously. Life is not to be taken seriously, as we are really temporary here. We are like a pre-paid card with limited validity. If we are lucky, we may last another 50 years. And 50 years is just 2,500 weekends. Do we really need to get so worked up? It's ok, bunk a few classes, goof up a few interviews, fall in love. We are people, not programmed devices.

"Don't be serious, be sincere."

Start Enjoying from moment...............

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Difficult Decision Indeed ....

~~:Become A Good Leader!!!!!:~~

~:A Lesson Learned:~

I was speaking to a group of mixed ages on the topic of making difficult decisions. My teenage daughter was with me, and I introduced her to the audience while sharing that we were working on making the difficult decision of choosing a college for her to attend in the fall.

While I was fielding questions afterward in the foyer, a young man walked up to me and complimented me on the presentation. He shared that he, too, was working on making a difficult decision. I encouraged him and he, rather sheepishly, asked if I had a business card with my phone number so he could contact me if he had further questions. Eagerly, I handed him my card. Whatever this young man needed, I was sure I could supply. I handed him my card.

He thanked me and walked away, then stopped and turned back to say, “I really appreciate this and I’ve made my decision. I’m going to call your daughter sometime.”

Talk about deflating my ego…and making me stand a little closer to my daughter next time she travels with me!

Healthy leadership always moves along a positive path.!!!!

Forget about those age-old images of the stern, dour-faced manager, cracking the whip and doling out punishments and hard work to embittered employees. In today’s world, great leaders are recognized by the positive effects they have on people. They promote teamwork, encourage excellence, foster growth and even offer criticism in a productive way.

Toastmasters provides many opportunities for members to practice positive leadership skills. Many corporations around the world encourage their current and future managers to join. If you’re looking for a good place to work on your leadership skills, why not give Toastmasters a try?

Laws of Positive Leadership..
How to be a leader others want to follow:-

Examples abound of poor leadership. Who hasn’t had a teacher or boss who invoked feelings of disrespect? A positive leader is someone who inspires, motivates, energizes and unites, while generating loyalty and producing results. In his article for the Toastmaster magazine, Victor Parachin offers 10 rules on how to be that kind of leader:
  • Give more than you expect others to give.
  • Combine optimism and perseverance.
  • See everyone as a diamond in the rough.
  • Express appreciation; accept responsibility.
  • Keep your ego in check.
  • Show respect for the people around you.
  • Treat team members as family.
  • Be a source of inspiration.
  • Stress cooperation, not competition.
  • Maintain a sense of humor.

How to Find Leaders:-
Want to find leaders for your organization?

John Maxwell, Ph.D., is an expert on leadership and author of more than 30 books on that topic. In his monthly e-newsletter, Leadership Wired, he answers the question, “How can I be sure to hire the right person?” To accomplish anything of significance, you must have the right people by your side. Finding a great hire often goes hand in hand with identifying potential leaders. Maxwell credits his friend Fred Smith with helping him arrive at these 11 questions to ask when looking for a leader:
  • Does the person question existing systems and push for improvements?
  • Do they offer practical ideas?
  • When they speak, who listens?
  • Do others respect them?
  • Can they create or catch a vision?
  • Do they show a willingness to take responsibility?
  • Do they finish the job?
  • Are they emotionally strong?
  • Do they possess strong people skills?
  • Will they lead others with a servant’s heart?
  • Can they make things happen?
Requiem for the Heroic Manager :-

Ideas about effective leadership are changing.

In the past, the heroic archetype was the most popular image of corporate leadership. According to this image, a good manager was a rugged, decisive individual, capable of single-handedly driving a business to success and glory. But as Dave Zielinski points out in his article "Requiem for the Heroic Manager," the heroic archetype of leadership is on its deathbed. In its place, leadership research conducted in the past 20 years paints a very different picture. According to recent scholarship, good leaders:
  • Focus on the success of the organization rather than their own personal success.
  • Enable success in others and share the glory of success with the group.
  • Acknowledge personal weaknesses as well as strengths.
  • Celebrate the accomplishments of employees and make them feel like heroes.

Speak Like a Leader:~
Communication and leadership skills go hand in hand.

There are many good reasons why Toastmasters teaches both communication and leadership skills. People with good communication skills are more likely to be promoted to leadership positions, and good leaders need communication skills to be effective.
In other words, if you want to be a leader, you have to learn to speak like a leader. And Toastmasters is here to help.

Motivational Speech Techniques:-

Five simple strategies to motivate your listeners...
One of the most important elements of leadership is the ability to motivate people. Without motivation, even the most skilled team of seasoned professionals is unlikely to achieve great things. A highly motivated group of talented people, on the other hand, can move mountains. While it’s true that motivating people involves more than just changing the way you speak, there are some simple guidelines you can follow to help build team motivation with only your words and your voice:
  • Be enthusiastic. Enthusiasm is contagious! Before you present your ideas, think about the aspects of the subject that you find most interesting, and don’t be afraid to let that interest come through in your voice.
  • Use quotes, stories and anecdotes. Along with their obvious entertainment value, quotes and stories can lend authority to your topic and provide concrete examples that people can relate to.
  • Speak with confidence. Deliver your message loud and clear. Maintain eye contact with your listeners. Don’t mumble or slouch.
  • Say you and we, not I and me. Instead of telling people what you want them to do, present ways for them to work together to achieve their goals. Involve listeners in the success of the group.
  • Keep it simple. People aren’t motivated by what you say; they’re motivated by what they understand. The best way to ensure audience understanding is to break down complex ideas into simple components.

The 10 Commandments of Communication:~

How to speak like a leader?:-

  1. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Aren’t these two phrases the same? No indeed: “Say what you mean” is about telling the truth, “Mean what you say” is about making a commitment, keeping your promise, honoring your word. Have something meaningful to say. Step to the lectern with the intention of making a difference to your audience.
  2. Use the fewest words with the fewest syllables. I run afoul of this one all the time. It’s the main reason I rewrite so often, looking for big, two-dollar words I can swap for a single 10-cent syllable. Delete therefore, insert so. That’s real economy in writing. Remember that the basic unit of communication is not the word but the idea.
  3. Align with your audience. We may consider it our task to speak to the audience, but it is sometimes more important to speak for them. Express those thoughts and feelings that you share with them. Even if you think they are wrong and you are the advocate of sweeping change, you must first understand and articulate their feelings. Great leaders know that leadership begins with the pronoun we.
  4. Be specific. Use stories, anecdotes, parables and examples rather than generalities and abstractions. This is a tough one for some people. They love to wander through a topic in the abstract, scattering generalities as they go. The great teachers and speakers pepper their talks with vivid, detailed examples. “He seemed upset as he left” is general. “He blew his nose, kicked the dog and slammed the door” is specific.
  5. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action. Don’t say “I’m glad to be here” while looking at your wristwatch. Be aware of your non-verbal communication. Your gestures, posture, facial expressions, energy, tone of voice, and a thousand other tiny, unuttered elements actually carry the true and specific meaning of your communication. We can understand the words “I love you” well enough. But their true importance, their actual meaning, is all wrapped up in how they are spoken, and by whom.
  6. Structure your speech. One valuable way to make your talk memorable is to speak to a structure and make your listeners aware of it. Share with them the form of your thoughts as well as the content and they will be able to follow more complex ideas. It will be easier for you to remember, too. People appreciate the scenery more with a glance at the road map every now and then.
  7. Speak to be understood. Have the courtesy to develop your voice so that all may hear you. You groom your appearance, so why not cultivate your voice? With a little effort it can be strong, crisp, clear and various in texture, color and range. It’s sad when speakers expend their energy to create a vivid, well-constructed talk and then whisper, mutter or mumble.
  8. Speak for the benefit of others. Serve your audience well by keeping their interests foremost in your mind. This is the golden rule of speaking. As an audience member you can easily tell when a speaker is self-serving. Nothing communicates more clearly than intention.
  9. Speak from your highest self. The highest self is where hope resides. To lead effectively requires a courageous, positive, optimistic view. As any astronaut will tell you, if you get high enough you will be in perpetual sunshine. There must be a caveat attached to this rule, however: Beware of elevating yourself with a high horse. Be humble. Having an opinion is a meager accomplishment. On most occasions a modest demeanor improves communication.

Delegating Authority:~

The best way to wield power is to share it responsibly.
A leader is only one person and can only do the work of one person. In order to best accomplish the team’s goals and objectives, he or she must carefully delegate authority to team members. Why we don’t delegate Some leaders hesitate to delegate authority for the following reasons:
  • They think they can do it better themselves.
  • They fear others will make mistakes.
  • They think team members won’t like them if they give them a lot of work and responsibility.
  • They’re afraid the person will perform too well and make them look bad.

Truth is, the careful delegation of authority is one of the most important aspects of team building. When done right, it plays to the team’s strengths and gives team members valuable experience. It also gives people the opportunity to shine while freeing up the leader’s time for more important or appropriate activities.

How to delegate
While delegating authority and responsibility is crucial to team success, there are a few guidelines that should be followed:

  • Choose the right person. Select someone who is capable, able and willing to take on the responsibility.
  • Make expectations clear. Describe the project or task to be completed, the results expected and the timetable.
  • Establish how and when you want feedback on progress. Do you prefer daily reports? A weekly e-mail?
  • Give appropriate authority. Don’t give a team member a project that he or she does not have the power to complete! For example, don’t assign someone a task that requires access to a database that they can’t get into.
  • Get the person’s agreement. The team member should commit to and be willing to carry out the work.

Turning Team Conflict into Team Harmony:~

How to get people to rally together for a common cause.

Whether it’s in school, at the office or on the playing field, being a “team member” is a challenging role. How do people with diverse backgrounds, aptitudes and belief systems set aside their differences and start “rowing together as one?” Elusive as good teamwork may be, there are steps organizations can take to ensure their work teams are high-performing and well-adjusted. Zielinski cites team-building experts who offer advice on how to be a team leader, leading volunteer-based teams, and what to do when your team isn’t working. For example, Zielinski says a team’s chances of success depends on the leader’s ability to:
  • Use “people skills.”
  • Set precise and measurable objectives.
  • Provide regular and actionable feedback.
  • Promote peer pressure as a tool for accountability.
  • Offer meaningful rewards for good performance

Learning Leadership:~
The best way to learn how to lead is to become a leader.

Take a quick look at your local bookstore’s shelves and you will likely find hundreds of volumes about leadership. Scan the table of contents of a handful of them and you’ll find that there are many different – even contradictory – theories about what leadership is, and how to be a good leader. No matter how good some of these books might be, there’s no arguing that it’s difficult to advance your leadership skills without actually taking on leadership roles yourself. So if you’re looking for a place to put some of those leadership ideas you’ve been reading about into practice in a safe, supportive environment, give Toastmasters a try.

Leadership Track:~
Learn to lead with practical practice
Members working in the leadership track learn and practice leadership skills by serving in club roles. The Competent Leadership manual is the core of the leadership track. It features 10 projects, which you complete while serving in various club meeting roles. An evaluator will give you feedback on each project, helping you to improve. When you complete the manual, you are eligible for Competent Leader recognition. Complete the CL application in the manual and ask your vice president education to submit it online to World Headquarters. You'll receive a CL certificate and, if you wish, World Headquarters will send your employer a letter about your accomplishment. Advanced Leader Program After earning the CL award you can further refine and develop your leadership skills by working in the advanced leader program. Members working in this program are eligible for Advanced Leader Bronze (ALB) and Advanced Leader Silver (ALS) recognition.

~Leadership Essentials(Imp Topic)~

Leadership is difficult to define. It’s an abstract concept that evokes as many different reactions as there are different kinds of people. Yet most of us know good leadership when we see it, and we can often tell when good leadership is missing by the way a team or organization struggles without it. At Toastmasters, our leadership training program identifies the following areas as essential to quality, effective leadership:
  • Mission. A clear mission helps the leader to focus the team so that they can ignore distractions and pay attention to what’s most important.
  • Values. When a leader demonstrates values that are in sync with the company’s mission and the team’s goals, everyone benefits.
  • Planning and goal-setting. With clear goals and effective planning, leaders make their expectations understood and team members know what to do at all times.
  • Delegating authority. The job of leadership is usually too big to handle alone. By sharing responsibilities with the team, a leader instills a sense of purpose and empowerment.
  • Team building. Establishing trust, playing to individual strengths, encouraging people to work together – all are important aspects of team building.
  • Giving feedback. Constructive, concise and timely feedback is essential to each team member’s success, and to the success of the team as a whole.
  • Coaching team members. A good leader must take on the role of trainer now and then, providing expert advice, encouragement and suggestions for improvement.
  • Motivating people. By providing a good example, learning each team member’s needs and giving rewards and incentives when appropriate, a leader can inspire people to achieve higher levels of performance.
  • Working for the team. Great leaders encourage participation, facilitate communication and provide an environment where team success is more likely to occur.
  • Resolving conflict. Conflict between team members is inevitable, and not always a bad thing. A leader’s job is to resolve the conflict in a just and reasonable way so that productivity and morale do not suffer.

Fear Factor~

Fear and loathing on the podium.

Believe it or not, your chances of dying of stage fright are extremely slim. You might feel as if you are dying on the stage, but chances are good your audience won’t even notice your wobbly knees and sweating armpits. Even the best speakers were once terrified novices, feeling the same symptoms as you when facing an audience. Fear no more! This Blog is the best place to learn, to build your confidence, and to push yourself outside your comfort zone. It’s a safe place where there is no penalty for failure!

What You Should Have Said
The value of planned spontaneity.

Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and usually at the worst possible time. Therefore, as a speaker, you need to be prepared, armed with clever lines that prove you are not only in control, but you can think on your feet. As any good comedian would say, be prepared – with some witty lines in case something doesn’t go according to plan. The microphone goes dead:

  • “Evidently, someone has heard this speech before.”
  • “Let me have a show of hands: How many of you read lips?”
  • “This is carrying Silent Night a little far. (Holiday time)”

Feedback from the microphone:

  • “If I wanted some feedback, I would have asked for it.”
  • Stare cautiously to the left, while listening to the microphone buzz. Then say in a concerned tone, “Whatever it is, it’s getting closer.”

When the lights go out or flicker:

  • “I’ve often had people doze off during my talk, but never an entire chandelier.” – Gene Perret
  • “I do my best work in the dark.”
  • “This lighting really plays tricks on your eyes. I’m actually a lot more handsome and skinnier than I look.”
  • “Everyone's a critic.”

Loud noises:

  • “Mom, can you be a little more careful?”
  • “That concludes the musical portion of the program.”

Fire alarm or bell:

  • “Time to take my pill.”
  • “So that’s what happened to my wake-up call.”
Slide is upside down:
  • “For those of you standing on your heads...”
  • “This is the Australian part of the presentation.”

Writing on flipchart and you run out of ink:

  • “Obviously, I've come to the dry part of my presentation. “

Participant walks out:

  • “Look, my first walking ovation.”
  • “It gets better, I promise. I walked out of my first talk.”

The Habit of Courage~
Act confidently, and soon enough you’ll feel confident.

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin Most people come to Toastmasters to overcome their fear of public speaking. So at Toastmasters meetings, what you’ll see – among other things – are demonstrations of courage. Standing in front of a group of attentive listeners makes most people feel vulnerable. It also adds a burden of responsibility, expectation and opportunity. This can be overwhelming and downright scary. In Toastmasters, members acquire the habit of courage through encouragement and support. Just as Outward Bound programs teach the habit of courage by putting people in life-threatening situations, Toastmasters is a sort of “Inward Bound” program. As with sky diving or rock climbing, speaking before an audience becomes easier the more often you do it. He recommends the following four tips to alleviate that internal demon:
  • Become “other-conscious.” Don’t focus on yourself and what the audience might think. Instead, replace your self-consciousness with other-consciousness. Try to focus on your audience! Find a single person in the audience and make eye contact with him or her. Stay with that person long enough to deliver a full sentence or complete thought. If you take responsibility for the audience’s understanding of your message, you will soon forget your sweaty palms and knocking knees.
  • Anxiety feels worse than it looks. If you can refrain from calling attention to your fears and anxieties, nobody will know about them. “It’s a classic case of fake it 'til you make it,” Landrum says. “Act confidently, and soon enough you’ll feel confident.”
  • Make it look easy. The audience wants to hear the speech, not worry about the speaker. Be humble: This is not about you – it’s about your speech! Your ideas and thoughts, and how they benefit the listeners are the most important part. Deliver these with grace, style and enthusiasm, but avoid ego-building enhancements. A speech easily delivered is gladly received.
  • Let yourself be encouraged. Don’t be self-effacing or overly modest. Embrace the supportive atmosphere of a Toastmasters club and nourish visions of success! “Learn to give yourself the benefit of the doubt that you so easily would extend to anyone else!” Landrum says. “Persistence is the most useful virtue of the human heart. You are never beaten until you admit it.”

Consider the example of Eleanor Roosevelt, who was by nature timid, introverted and terrified of speaking in public. But because she was married to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, she had to speak in public often. She faced her fear and became one of the great speakers of the 20th Century. Let her words inspire you on your journey:

“You can gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along’… You must do the thing you cannot do.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Finding Your Voice~

What to speak about and how to define your message.

Once you manage to stand behind a lectern without fainting, then what? You need something to say, and you want it to be interesting to the audience. The age-old excuse people have for avoiding public speaking is, “I don’t have anything to say. My life is boring.” You don’t have to have a life-and-death experience or be an Olympic champion to have a story to share. You may not think so at the moment, but you do have a message to share. And as Toastmasters’ 2006 World Champion of Public Speaking Lance Miller shares in an article for the Toastmaster magazine, the more personal and passionate your story is, the better.

How to define yourself and your message
Look at who you are. What are your passions and interests, what do you struggle with? What challenges have you overcome? Here is a list of questions to ask yourself:

  • What is your philosophy? By what values do you live your life?
  • List the defining moments of your life. Any special lessons or experiences that profoundly affected you? For example: learning how to ride a bike, moving to a different city, taking on a new job, becoming a parent.
  • What subjects and issues are you certain about? The test of this is, How easily can you be convinced to change your mind? Have you discovered the best way to motivate a child to read? To make flowers grow? To create world peace? Then share your expertise with the world!
  • Find the extraordinary in the ordinary. You won’t inspire an audience if you live a negative life. Find the blessings in life and bring them to life for yourself and your audience!
  • What makes you laugh? Share your favorite sources of humor.
  • What makes you angry? Share how you would change the world for the better if you could.
  • What are you struggling with right now? Speak about what captures your attention at the moment. If you have “speaker’s block”, speak about your inability to come up with a speech topic. Don’t have enough time in the day for all your work? Give a speech on that topic! It will help you give a passionate speech and perhaps solve a problem.

So, what do you have to say? Challenge yourself and discover your voice!

Dread Giving a Speech?
You are not alone! Here are time-tested tips on how to overcome your fear of public speaking.

Despite actor George Jessel’s assertion that “The human brain starts working the moment you’re born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public,” there are many things you can do to make your presentations less nerve-wracking. In this article from the Toastmaster magazine, Joanne McCabe shares her own story of getting her butterflies to fly in formation. Here are some of her recommendations:

  • Don’t procrastinate!
  • Always look for a speech topic
  • Choose a topic you care about
  • Organize your speech in a logical sequence
  • Create an attention-grabbing opening
  • Rehearse!
  • Visualize success
  • Know your equipment needs
  • Familiarize yourself with the setting
  • Wear comfortable and professional-looking clothes
  • Concentrate on the message; not the audience
  • No matter how nervous you may feel, don’t tell the audience!
  • Use visuals and stories relevant to your topic
  • Speak clearly and audibly

When Things Go Wrong~
Dos and don't for when the mike won't.

When things beyond your control go wrong, the only thing you can control is your reaction to them. Just as the sailor at sea is at the mercy of the elements, so is the speaker. The sailors batten down the hatches in rough weather; what does the speaker do in when the microphone won’t work? Or when the lights malfunction? Or when the music in the next room is too loud? Among his dos and don’ts:
  • Don’t: Blow your cool.
  • Do: Maintain your dignity.
  • Don’t: Surrender to the situation.
  • Do: Your best under any circumstances.
  • Don’t: Continually refer to the problem.
  • Do: Keep your sense of humor

10 Tips for Public Speaking~

Feeling some nervousness before giving a speech is natural and even beneficial, but too much nervousness can be detrimental.

Here are some proven tips on how to control your butterflies and give better presentations:

  1. Know your material. Pick a topic you are interested in. Know more about it than you include in your speech. Use humor, personal stories and conversational language – that way you won’t easily forget what to say.
  2. Practice. Practice. Practice! Rehearse out loud with all equipment you plan on using. Revise as necessary. Work to control filler words; Practice, pause and breathe. Practice with a timer and allow time for the unexpected.
  3. Know the audience. Greet some of the audience members as they arrive. It’s easier to speak to a group of friends than to strangers.
  4. Know the room. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.
  5. Relax. Begin by addressing the audience. It buys you time and calms your nerves. Pause, smile and count to three before saying anything. ("One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand. Pause. Begin.) Transform nervous energy into enthusiasm.
  6. Visualize yourself giving your speech. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and confident. Visualize the audience clapping – it will boost your confidence.
  7. Realize that people want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They’re rooting for you.
  8. Don’t apologize for any nervousness or problem – the audience probably never noticed it.
  9. Concentrate on the message – not the medium. Focus your attention away from your own anxieties and concentrate on your message and your audience.
  10. Gain experience. Mainly, your speech should represent you — as an authority and as a person. Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking. A Toastmasters club can provide the experience you need in a safe and friendly environment.

Mastering the Laugh~

You won’t croak if you tell a joke!

Let’s face it. Humor is hard! Even experienced speakers struggle with knowing how to (appropriately!) tickle their audience’s funny bones. We all enjoy listening to a funny speech –the problem is, we typically don’t think of ourselves as being funny speakers. Members of Toastmasters are no different; that’s why we have assembled a wide range of resource material on this topic. Toastmasters exist to help your audience laugh with you, not at you!

Humor has many benefits. It can:

  • Help establish a bond with the audience
  • Win over a hostile audience
  • Keep the audience interested
  • Emphasize or illustrate a point
  • Help people remember you

Here are some tips:

  • Be yourself. Think about what types of humor you appreciate, then create a library of such items. Don’t like jokes? Try a humorous anecdote or a witty observation from your own life.
  • It’s OK to be mildly amusing, rather than eye-dabbingly funny.
  • Use humor sparingly, like a spice. At first, try using a humorous opener to your speech. A quote or offhand observation can be a good icebreaker.
  • Keep it relevant to your speech topic.
  • Avoid retelling jokes found on the Internet. Chances are good others have already heard or seen them.
  • Keep it clean! Humor is supposed to make people feel good – not embarrassed, insulted or offended.
  • Make it readily identifiable as humor. But in case no one laughs, prepare a comment in advance or just move on.
  • Keep it appropriate to the audience and the situation.
  • Self-effacing humor is safe –a little of it goes a long way. The audience would rather hear about the time you fell on your face than when you won the race.
  • Work on your delivery. Practice using vocal variety and gestures.
  • Timing is everything! Pause before the punch line.

10 Biggest Public Speaking Mistakes~

Top executives often fall flat on their faces as speakers.

How come intelligent, business-savvy people end up boring their audiences? They fail to recognize that public speaking is an acquired skill that improves with practice and honest feedback. Speaking for 20 minutes before the right group of people can do more for your career than spending a year behind a desk!

Rob Sherman, an attorney and public speaker in Columbus, Ohio, says in an article in the Toastmaster magazine to avoid these mistakes:

  • Starting with a whimper. Don’t start with “Thank you for that kind introduction.” Start with a bang! Give the audience a startling statistic, an interesting quote, a news headline – something powerful that will get their attention immediately.
  • Attempting to imitate other speakers. Authenticity is lost when you aren’t yourself.
  • Failing to “work” the room. Your audience wants to meet you. If you don’t take time to mingle before the presentation, you lose an opportunity to enhance your credibility with your listeners.
  • Failing to use relaxation techniques. Do whatever it takes – listening to music, breathing deeply, shrugging your shoulders – to relieve nervous tension.
  • Reading a speech word for word. This will put the audience to sleep. Instead use a “keyword” outline: Look at the keyword to prompt your thoughts. Look into the eyes of the audience, then speak.
  • Using someone else’s stories. It’s okay to use brief quotes from other sources, but to connect with the audience, you must illustrate your most profound thoughts from your own life experiences. If you think you don’t have any interesting stories to tell, you are not looking hard enough.
  • Speaking without passion. The more passionate you are about your topic, the more likely your audience will act on your suggestions.
  • Ending a speech with questions and answers. Instead, tell the audience that you will take questions and then say, “We will move to our closing point.” After the Q and A, tell a story that ties in with your main theme, or summarize your key points. Conclude with a quote or call to action.
  • Failing to prepare. Your reputation is at stake every time you face an audience – so rehearse well enough to ensure you’ll leave a good impression!
  • Failing to recognize that speaking is an acquired skill. Effective executives learn how to present in the same way they learn to use other tools to operate their businesses.