Project Summary : For the first speech project, you will introduce yourself to your fellow club members and give them some information about your background, interests and ambitions. Practice giving your speech to your friends or family members, and strive to make eye contact with some of your audience. You may use notes during your speech if you wish. Read the entire project in your competent communicator manual before preparing your talk.
- To begin speaking before an audience.
- To discover speaking skills you already have and skills that need some attention.
Time Limit: 4 to 6 minutes with a minimum qualification time of 3 minutes 30 seconds and maximum time of 6 minutes 30 seconds.
Gautam to Toastmaster Gautam
DISCLAIMER : Whatever I’m gonna speak for the next 5 minutes is purely about me. Any relevance to anyone alive or dead is pure co-incidence.
Fellow toastmasters and guests, I’m Gautam Sharma and I work for JPMC account in TCS Chennai-One unit.
There are two significant questions which people ask me often and I find it really difficult to answer them. The first question is.. “Where do you belong to? (or) what is your native place?” My mom is from Palakkad. She hails from a typical Kerala family. My dad is from Kovai and he hails from an orthodox tamil family. I was born in Vizag in Andhra. Raised in Delhi, Thrissur, Kovai, Erode, Namakkal and finally landed in Chennai. So all I can tell you is I am an Indian.
The next question which I find very challenging is, “Gautam.. How did you grow so tall?” All I can tell you regarding this is, “Am not responsible for natural calamities”.
Though there are so many things about me that I would love to share with you all, I thought it would be appropriate for me to tell you the story of how a reticent kid transformed into a budding toastmaster. Wondering what reticent is all about? You will understand in sometime.
Right from my 5th grade till I completed my school life, I was a resident of one or the other rural areas of Tamil Nadu.
From 5th to 10th grade I lived in the outskirts of Kovai and was enrolled in a small school there. As a school kid I did participate in elocution competitions and speech competitions but on one condition. I had a
book with me called “100 school essays for you”. If the topic that my school prescribed was one among the 100 I would participate. Because all I knew was to memorize and reproduce.
During my 11th and 12th grades I had to shift to a place called Varahoorampatty. I wonder if any of you have heard this name. My dad is a bank employee and his bank says that atleast two years of rural area service is mandatory for any employee. And those two years of rural service happened when I was in my 11th and 12th grades. My English teacher there was a scholar. Let me share you one incident about my English teacher to provide you an insight about the level of English that I had come across.
One day, my teacher got too frustrated because we all were making a lot of noise in the class. None of us had performed well in the examination as well. So he started advising us. The advice went on for almost half an hour with a lot of sentimental touches in it emphasizing the statement that we all are eventually wasting our parents’ money by not studying well. At the end he concluded saying.. “Students!!!! You should understand. There are only two people who are very important to us in the whole world. 1. Your mom and dad ……and 2. Your parents !!!!!!
I too laughed along with everyone else, but never realized that even my level of English was more or less the same. I never felt different because the entire society around me was the same.
I came to Chennai to pursue my under graduation. Only then, I started feeling a little inferior. I couldn’t communicate. I did not even have enough courage and communication skills to say hi and talk to people for few minutes. I couldn’t initiate a conversation. I was good at academics though. Looking at my academics, my maths teacher Mr. Uma Maheshwaran advised me to present some research paper. I told him about the problem with communication I had. He said “Nothing is difficult. Just try this. Stand in front of the mirror and blabber something every day. At some point in time you will start communicating well”.
That did happen. And that’s how I am able to speak something in front of you today. To make myself better I found Toastmasters to be a nice platform and I landed here.
There is one quote which my friend had told me and it caused a 360o shift in the way I look at things. Though I have already shared it with a few of you let me re-iterate. “Success is not the key to happiness. But happiness is the key to success”. It doesn’t mean that you will be happy if you are successful. But if you are happy with what you do and if you really love what you do, you will be successful for sure. At this moment I am loving whatever I’m doing. And I believe that I’ll be a successful toastmaster in future !!!!!!!!