Sunday, April 19, 2015

Speech craft – A Journey of Discovery

One of the speech craft participant commented in the final session “Speech craft is a place where one learns not how to become a speaker but how to become a crafter”. And truly so at the end of 6 week Speech craft session at L&T Construction, HCI (Heavy Civil Infrastructure) IC, the participants had become Amazing Crafters; Crafters of words into mesmerizing speeches, Crafters of ideas to powerful thoughts & Crafters of personality. The whole journey proved to be of immense learning & discovery both for the participants as well as for me.

I would like to share 3 insightful learning which I had for myself during the course of coordinating the speech craft sessions. Hopefully, you find it useful as well.

1.       Camaraderie by Senior Toastmaster members: One of the unique selling proposition of Speech craft was the educational talk in each of the 6 week sessions. Whoever I had approached right away agreed instantly to come over as the educational speaker in spite of the fact that all of them had a busy schedule & had other commitments. My sincere thanks to TM Sridhar Ranganathan, DTM Lalitha Giridhar, DTM Nina John, DTM Saro Velrajan & TM Rajesh Natarajan, whose sessions were quite valuable for the participants.

2.       Assumptions Challenged: The Speech craft program was done for senior managers & Deputy General Managers and hence when we begin, I had a lot of assumptions. That
  •     they may be have a mindset of know it all types,
  •     they may not be able to commit the time required for the session amidst their busy schedule,  
  •     they will not be regular in attending all the meetings,
  •     they will be least interested in knowing about Toastmasters

Almost all of my assumptions proved to be wrong. All the speech crafters were excited about the opportunity to become more competent speakers and took each session seriously by putting immense efforts to give the speeches in every session. In fact, other than 3 members who dropped out since they got shifted to other location after the first session, the remaining 12 members gave a speech in all the sessions. Plus, 2 members became members of our Toastmaster club in the midway of the program. It made me realize that most of the assumptions which we carry about people may not be always true.

3.       Expressive Communication - Competitive Advantage: Even though the speech crafters were senior managers and had large teams under them, they exhibited extreme enthusiasm & commitment in taking part in the speech craft and for the right reasons. And as one speech crafter said “Speaking is important so that the talented gets to express his work to top management. “Most often, a talented person remains unnoticed due to lack of communication skills. If one needs to be successful, one should know not only how to speak but how to communicate the right message in a right way.  Hence, as long as you can communicate well, you have a strong competitive advantage over others. And Toastmaster helps you gain that advantage.

Especially for a corporate, the outcome of the speech craft is directly proportional to the support extended by the top management of the company. Iam thankful to Mr.Srinivas Remella (Technical Training Head) & Mr.Anil Kalaga (Training Head) who were enthusiastic about the Speech craft program right from the start and extended complete support to ensure the participants are benefitted from the program. I also thank Division D Governor Deepa for her continuous support & personal interest in ensuring the program success. My heartfelt thanks to my Toastmaster friends who supported in the successful execution of the program.

I enjoyed & learnt from the session as much as the speech craft participants. The transformation which we saw in each of the participants in the final session was amazing. Overall, the 6 week journey has been truly fulfilling & of immense learning.I strongly recommend anyone who wants to start a self development regime to start attending Toastmasters, there are plentiful of opportunities to develop yourself on multiple dimensions.

As the quote goes “Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends…” The travel will continue, so would be the voyage of learning & discovery.


Destination Infinity said...

Wow this is cool. I've heard about Toastmasters but I haven't had any personal experience with them. Should check out one day.

Destination Infinity

Prashant Sree said...

Hey Rajesh,

There is a community club near Anna Nagar Tower park, in the Towers Club. meet every Saturday 4-6pm. you should visit them sometime. You will find it engaging :)