Project Summary : Every speech must have a general and a specific purpose. A general purpose is to inform, to persuade, to entertain or to inspire. A specific purpose is what you want the audience to do after listening to your speech. Once you have established your general and specific purposes, you’ll find it easy to organize your speech. You’ll also have more confidence, which makes you more convincing, enthusiastic, and sincere. Of course, the better the organization, the more likely it is to achieve your purpose.
- Select a speech topic and determine its general and specific purposes.
- Organize the speech in a manner that best achieves those purposes.
- Ensure that the beginning, body and conclusion reinforce the purposes.
- Project sincerity and conviction and control any nervousness you may feel.
- Strive not to use notes.
Time limit: 5 to 7 minutes with a minimum qualification time of 4 minutes 30 seconds and maximum time of 7 minutes 30 seconds.
Missed calls in life
The majestic sun was busy painting the sky in neon orange before fading into the mighty ocean. The birds were busy in the transit towards their homes. I was walking along the shoreline of the Bay of Bengal. With waves kissing my feet and my favorite songs queued in my mp3 player, I was admiring the beautiful scene of the sun sinking into the horizon. I was so lost in the exquisite charm of nature, that I did not realize that my mobile had been ringing for a long time.
After a while, when I took out my phone, I found 6 missed calls, all from the same person “Raghav”. As I was looking at the screen, I saw my mobile displaying “Raghav Calling…” for the 7th time.
Before I attend this call, let me introduce to you whom Raghav is. I am going to take you back in the time-line by 7 years, to a beautiful place “Coimbatore”. A lovely town in the foothills of Western Ghats where you can inhale the aroma of fresh Indian soil during rains. Those were the days when my dad had just got transferred to Coimbatore and I was a 5th grade kid by then.
One day after getting back from school, I was busy unpacking my bag when I heard someone knocking at my doors. When I attended, I saw a wheat skinned guy, almost as tall as me, with huge eyes and couple of bunny teeth in the front.
The guy had ashes smeared on his forehead, with a small vertical streak of sandal paste upon the ashes. With a small tuft of extra hair like a mini pony tail, he looked like a Hindu priest dressed in shorts and tees. He introduced himself as “Raghav” and I introduced myself too. I had a million thoughts in my mental buffer by looking at his appearance. Is he a priest who has come here to invite me for a pooja? Or is he an astrologer who has come here to tell me about me fortune. Before I could think of anything worse than this, the guy spoke “Shall we go and play cricket”? I was flabbergasted because there was no connect between how he looked and what he asked.
We went out to play cricket and before the match ended, we had talked a lot about each other and exchanged a lot of “Where-are-you from” and “how-long-have-you-been-here” type of questions. From that day onward, Raghav would be there at my place every evening to invite me to play cricket. We formed a small gang there and played all possible games.
Days passed and I learnt more about him. Raghav was a very spiritually oriented person and used to attend spirituality classes on Friday evenings at that young age. After a few days, we started going to Friday classes together and enjoyed the feeling we got, when we sang songs and chanted hymns in praise of the almighty. Days, months and years passed and we became very close friends. We enjoyed each other’s company in every aspect. May it be playing cricket, may it be attending spirituality classes, may it be a cycle ride to the remote parts of the town to look at the breathtaking sight of the Western Ghats or may it be a cycle ride inside the town to take a look at the colorful sights there!!!
Time had come for me to bid good bye to Coimbatore and Raghav as well as I moved to another village to pursue my higher secondary education. I missed all my friends there. I couldn’t contact them as and when I required because it was the time when Nokia black and white mobiles were just entering the markets. There was no Facebook and Orkut was just under construction. Every time I got a chance to go to Coimbatore, I would go to the place I lived and meet Raghav and my other friends there.
The distance between us grew ever bigger as I had to move to Chennai to pursue my under-graduation. By now both of us had mobile phones of our own and we started calling and texting each other whenever we found time. As I scaled up the ladder of life, responsibilities had invaded me and I hardly found time to send messages and so did he. Now and then we used to exchange hi-hello-good-morning-good-night type of messages.
The distance grew even bigger when we started ignoring each other’s calls and messages with the thought of talking to each other later, which we never did. The distance became almost infinite when we nearly stopped calling each other.
And now, after such a gap of almost 6 months, I stand alone on the seashore, looking at my mobile which says “Raghav calling” for the seventh consecutive time. My joy knew no bounds and I attended the call quickly and yelled “Hey Raghav… How are you.. Ages since we had spoken man.. How’s life”….. There was absolute silence. After a dozen of seconds, I heard a soft voice which said “Gautam. This is Karthik. Raghav’s brother. Hope you remember me. I called to inform that Raghav passed away this morning”!!!!!!!
I was shell shocked, unable to digest what I had heard. In the last six months, I could have attended his call once, he could have replied to me SMS at least once. But we didn’t. We called ourselves busy. Busy with studies, busy with work, busy with life and busy with what not!!! I was filled with a feel of guilt and sorrow as I had lost my beloved friend that day.
Fellow toastmasters and guests, close your eyes!!! Just raise your hands for the questions that follow!! Do you ignore messages and calls from your beloved friends, with a thought of getting back to them later? Can you imagine a life without these souls who make your life beautiful?
The emphatic point here is that never ignore texts/ calls from your beloved ones. May it be your friend who is calling you, your dad who is texting you, your friend who is mailing you, your brother, sister, anyone who loves you for that matter!!! Never ignore. Who knows what happened in my case can happen to anyone anytime. As we all know life is full of uncertainties.
With a heavy heart I came back home. As the Sun rest its head in its pillow – the ocean, I rest my head on my pillow with an ocean of tears inside me. Now and in the past, what Raghav has given me is “PAIN”. Those were the stomach pains due to laughing. And this …………. !!!!!!
the watch the speech video of “Missed Calls”