Project Summary: An inspirational speech motivates an audience to improve personally, emotionally, professionally or spiritually and relies heavily on an emotional appeal. It brings the audience together in a mood of fellowship and shared desire, builds the audience’s enthusiasm, then proposes a change or plan and appeals to the audience to adopt this change or plan.
- To inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives and challenging the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement.
- Appeal to the audience’s needs and emotions using stories, anecdotes, and quotes to add drama.
- Avoid using notes.
Time Limit: 8 to 10 minutes with a minimum qualification time of 7 minutes 30 seconds and a maximum time of 10 minutes 30 seconds.
Bye Bye Pooja !!!
“Gautam… This is not our job… Just keep going?”, shouted Pooja.
The year was 2006. I was studying 10th standard. Rainy evening. Serene Climate. Something that is perfect for a lovely cycle ride. And I was happily riding on my cycle along the streets of Coimbatore. Of course Pooja was with me.
Few metres ahead, I saw people curving around a particular spot on the road. “Must be a pothole”, I thought. We all know what Indian roads are famous for Bumps, potholes and speed breakers everywhere. As I went close by, I found that it was not a pot hole. It was a small, cute street dog, who was badly injured. I could see blood oozing out of his leg. Nobody was ready to care for that creature and that is why people curved and went by. I didn’t want to be like them and I stopped my cycle near the dog to help.
Good evening fellow Toastmasters and Guests…
That is when Pooja shouted at me and asked me to get going. I looked at Pooja and said
“Pooja, the poor creature is much injured. And my heart doesn’t let me leave it unattended”
“You think you are smart? Generous? Kind hearted? After all a dog. Just keep going”
“What if something happens to the dog? It is unable to move being in the middle of the road”
“If you think you are smart call the blue cross, they will come and take care. Wasting time for a dog is something I can’t agree to. Can you start pedalling your cycle and keep going?”
“Do you also see that you are wearing a new shirt? Do you want to spoil this nice Allen Solly shirt for this useless creature? Do you think you are mother Teresa? To win a noble price for peace and being kind hearted? Or do you think you are emperor Paari who cares for plants and animals on road?”
“Poojaaa…stop….. I give up. I am not helping this dog. I wonder how. Every time I try doing something good, you stop me. And you are so good in arguing, that I lose to you every time and give up. God knows when you will let me do what my heart says.. Let’s go”
Fellow toastmasters and guests, meet Ms Pooja… My… My…. My…. “Alter Ego”. Pooja is my alter ego. For those of you who do not know what an alter ego is, “An alter ego is a personality within every human being who generally stops you when you try doing something good, scares you when you try doing something noble and threatens you when you try doing something great. How many of you have experienced this situation where you thought of doing something good, for example starting a business and a voice from within says, “Do you think you can do well? What if you lose money? What if you fail?”, and many such questions. That is alter ego my dear friends. Right from childhood, whenever I wanted to make a good decision, Pooja was there to spoil that.
For a long long time, I was disturbed by pooja and was craving for an opportunity to get rid of her. The next day after this incident, I went to school and met my class teacher, Mr Senthil, a simple honest and friendly teacher. I explained the whole incident that happened the previous day asked him, “Sir, Every time I try doing something good, a voice from within stops me. Have you faced such situations in life and how did you overcome”. He smiled at me and said, “Gautam. The only way to say good bye to your pooja, is to focus on what is right and never let your thoughts wander”.
Frankly speaking I never understood what he meant by focus, until a time came when he himself proved to me that all we need is to focus on what is right. It was the time when we were left with just two months for our 10th class final examinations. Senthil sir had 2 goals. One was to get a 100 % pass status in a class, where many students were from financially poor conditions and illiterate families. Second, he wanted me to be the school topper as I was his favourite student. He tried all possible ways of making us study properly. Scolding….beating…..punishing. Nothing worked and none of us showed progress. Finally he decided to choose a different path. He started motivating us to do well. He showered unconditional love believing that would make us study well. Every morning he would get up at 4 AM, and call each and every student to wake him up and make him study. After a few days we started thinking, “When this person can get up at 4, just for making us do well in our exams, let us study well at least for his sake”. We started improving in our academics. After a few days, he even started organizing evening study sessions for all of us, wherein he would make us stay in school till 9 PM at night. And yes, he would get us yummy snacks for us to eat… at his own cost. We thought again, “When he does so much for us, let us study better for his sake”. And finally through kindness, he achieved his goals of getting a 100% pass status and making me the school topper.
I went to him and asked, “Sir, how did you do this. Didn’t you hear an inner voice which said – Don’t waste your mobile bills by calling everyone everyday at 4 AM? Or.. didn’t get you an inner voice telling you not to spend money every day and get us something to eat? Don’t you have a Pooja like me?”. He smiled as usual and said, “Gautam. You need to just focus on what is right and never let your thoughts sway towards anything else. What is right for me as a teacher is to make you study well. I focussed on it. When you focus, you find different ways of doing things. I found my way through love and I achieved”.
His words struck me so powerfully this time. I took this lesson from him and started focussing on what is right for me. Soon after finishing school, I wanted to choose computer science group. Pooja came in between to suggest me something different. I focused on what I felt is right. I still chose computer science and I am here in TCS. Soon after I entered TCS, I wanted to join Toastmasters. Pooja came in between to ask a hundred questions, “Do you really want that? It costs a lot, is that ok?”. I focussed on what I felt is right, joined toastmasters and I am here before you as a speaker. And now, it is long time since I met Pooja in my life.
Ladies and gentlemen, each one of you would have come across such situations, when you want to do something really good. Something really worthy. But a voice from within threatened you and stops you from doing what you really wanted to do. You might have thought about starting a business. You might have thought about coming to our club meetings regularly. Or you might have thought about becoming a great inspirational teacher like Senthil Sir. And all of you might have a Pooja in your life who stops you from achieving your dreams. Next time you encounter your Pooja, all you have to do is FOCUS on what is right and say “Bye Bye Pooja !!!”
Click here to watch the speech video of “Bye Bye Pooja”