Monday, December 22, 2014

CC Project #5 - Body Language - Take me with you

Introduction – Longing to visit beach

“We are going to the beach!”… When my uncle said this, my excitement became uncontrollable. I haven’t been to beach before… though I have heard about it in radio and television. I always wanted to go to beach… but I was too small and I couldn’t go on my own. Someone has to take me with them. I was longing for that day when I can go to beach… and the day has come.

Good morning fellow Toastmasters and guests…

How many of you would love to go to beach? I was like you…

City of Birth

I was born in a city where there was no beach… in fact, the city was so dry that you could hardly see any water outside of your home. They used to bring water to our home in huge tankers and lorries. So, the thought of going to beach… and seeing large quantity of water in one place was simply unbelievable to me.

Kid’s excitement & getting ready to go

The moment my uncle said “We are going to the beach!”, not only me… but my uncle’s kids Priya & Gautham, also got very excited. They were literally jumping in joy. I wanted to jump too… but I was too small and I was afraid that I might fall down and break my crown.
I can see everyone running around in a hurry and getting ready to go. Priya, who was just 6 years old started packing all of her toys to play on the beach sand. My uncle’s son Gautham, who was 8 years old packed his Frisbee and Ball. My aunt made sure that I’m also ready to go. I was happy that someone took care of me.

Car Journey

We got ready, locked the door and squeezed into my uncle’s brand new Maruti car. Priya, Gautham and my aunt occupied the back seats. I was thrown into the front seat. I thought I will also sit along with them and play with them at the back seat. But, I didn’t know why they wanted me to sit alone in the front seat. The only company that I had was the bag full of toys near me.

We were listening to one of those Ilayaraja melodies. When it comes to music, nobody can beat Ilayaraja. How many of you love Ilayaraja music? I too love his music.
I wanted to see the road and Chennai traffic… however, I was too small that I could hardly see anything outside of the car. I was patiently sitting in the front seat, eagerly waiting to reach the beach.

Reaching Beach

After a short drive, Priya & Gautham screemed … “We’ve reached the beach”. I got very excited to see the beach for the first time in life. My uncle parked the car and all of us got down. My aunt carried me with her. Priya & Gautham were running fast on the beach sand. I wanted to run too. But, my aunt didn’t let me down. What can I do?

Beach Experience

Finally, my uncle selected a place for all of us to sit… facing the water rushing to the short. Priya & Gautham were playing with the sand by building castles and with all the toys that they brought from home. I was happy watching them play with the sand. I was sitting near my aunt on the sand. The cool breeze made me to feel cold. I started enjoying it.

Breaking the surprise

After playing for 30 minutes, Priya came to my aunt and asked her “Mom! I’m very thirsty. Give me something to drink”. My aunt lifted me from the sand and gave to Priya, for her to drink. Priya pierced a straw into my head… and emptied me in one full gulp. When she realized that I’m empty, she threw me on the sand again.  My uncle said “Kids! Let us pack and go. It is getting dark”. My aunt picked up all the toys and packed them up. I was eagerly waiting for her to carry me. But my aunt completely ignored me. They all stood up, dusted the sand on their legs and started walking towards the car. I shouted “Uncle… Aunt… Priya….Can you take me also with you… please… don’t leave me here”. But, they hardly could hear my voice. I started crying … but, it didn’t bother anyone.


Dear toastmasters… did it bother you? The next time you go to beach and see me there… will you please take me with you? TMOD…will you take me with you? 

CC Project #4 - How to say it - Make it theirs

“If an egg is broken by a force outside, life ends. If an egg is broken by the force inside, a new life begins”. During my Division Governorship in Toastmasters, I learned a number of leadership lessons. One of them was “to motivate members”. I thought I had mastered the art of motivation and I can motivate anybody to do anything. My self-confidence became overconfidence, when I thought I can even motivate an unhatched egg and make it fly.

Also read: CC4 - Good to Great (How to Say it)

Good morning Toastmasters and Guests,

Let me take you back to the year 2012… almost 6 months since Chennai Communicators Club sprouted in Velachery. It was a beautiful Sunday evening and the meeting was supposed to start at 3 pm. However, the time was already 3.15 pm and only a few members had come to the meeting. I was nervous and was walking back and forth on the corridor, like a hungry dog. None of the role players were present and 3 guests were already in the meeting hall. I am a man of punctuality and I always wanted to start the meeting at 3 pm … no matter what. But, we had only 3 or 4 members and it is absolutely impossible to run the show with those new members. This was the scene in Chennai Communicators club for nearly 6 months in a row.

I had tried all of my “usual techniques” in the first 6 months… I tried talking about the benefits of starting the meeting on time… I tried to write lengthy inspirational emails about punctuality… I tried commenting about late start time, whenever I played the role of a GE … I tried, I tried, I tried… until I became really tired.

One day, I lost my patience. I called the perpetual late attendees outside of the meeting hall and gave them a real bash. I said “Each week you give a fancy excuse for coming late. I’m coming all the way from Choolaimedu to Velachery for the last 6 months and I’ve never come late even once. If you are signing up for a role, you should be here 15 mins before the meeting. If you can’t come on time, don’t sign-up for a role. Do you think I don’t have any other work to do and I’m coming to CCC meetings just for time pass? With members like you… the quality of the meetings are getting affected. Either come on time or leave the club”. If somebody other than me had done this, I’m sure the club members would’ve deserted the club and left. However, I realized that the members had lot of respect for me. The average age of the Club was just 23 … literally college kids. I believe they might’ve seen me as a passionate professor in the college who wanted his students to learn & grow.
After this incident, I stopped attending CCC meetings a few weeks in a row. I told the club officers that I want to distance myself from the club. I unsubscribed from the club officers’ mailing list. I asked them to approach me only when there is a REAL NEED. I let them conduct the club officers’ executive committee meetings without my presence. I stayed away from the club for nearly a month.

One fine day, I gave a surprise visit to the club. I was at the venue by 2.45 pm. While I thought, I will give them a surprise, I was pleasantly surprised. All the members were at the venue ahead of time… the role players were preparing for their roles. When the clock struck 3, the meeting started … yes, on time. Because the role players were well prepared, the quality of the meeting was also very high. I learned from the club officers that they are starting the meetings regularly for the last 3 weeks in a row.
That is when I learned another technique to motivate members “Making it theirs”. When you make it theirs…they’ll take it to great heights. All along, I have been indirectly passing-on the message to everyone that “CCC is my baby”… so, members & officers didn’t get a sense of ownership.

Whenever I try to motivate & persuade them, they thought “If I don’t do it… Saro will find someone else to do it”. By distancing myself from the day-to-day affairs, I passed on the message that it is YOUR CLUB and YOU DECIDE ITS FATE. That technique worked… Our youngsters have REMARKABLE capability to achieve success. If you can bring the sense of ownership to them, they can even move mountains and walk over the seas. When you MAKE IT THEIRS, THEY’LL TAKE IT TO GREAT HEIGHTS.

Also read: CC4 - Rhetorical Devices (Ideas & Examples)

Fellow Toastmasters, this technique is not only for youngsters. It works well for others too… the next time your kid doesn’t do her homework, the next time your spouse  doesn’t keep the house clean, the next time your team mate doesn’t take work seriously… when you MAKE IT THEIRS, THEY’LL TAKE IT TO GREAT HEIGHTS.