Sunday, May 5, 2013

CC Speech #1: Ice Breaker - My Journey so far

"You don't have to be GREAT to START, but you've to START to be GREAT!" powerful words from Zig
Ziglar. If there is something that fuels my passion to achieve my dreams, it is this quote.

(Also read: CC Speech #1: Ice Breaker - My college life)

I was born as a Virgo, in a poor family. My mother is a home maker. My father was employed in a grocery store. When I was a kid, I hardly saw my father at home. He leaves to work before I wake up and he comes back home only late in the night. My father used to work for nearly 16 hours a day carrying gunny bags, and packing groceries. I have a brother and a sister. My father's earnings were barely adequate to just feed the family and take care of our educational expenses. I still remember the days when I went to school with a bare foot because we cannot afford slippers... I still remember the days when I was wearing trousers torn at the back, because we cannot afford new uniforms every year. In fact, I never took a full new pencil to school. My mom buys a pencil, cuts it into two halves and gives a half each to my brother and myself.

Despite all the odds, my parents made the 3 of us study in a convent. While all my class mates attended tuitions for every subject, I studied on my own. My mother had studied up to 5th standard and my father had studied up to 8th standard. So, they cannot help us with studies. I used to get up at 3 o'clock in the morning for studying. My hard work paid off. Year after year, I scored well in studies. I became the Topper in +2 in my school. That was one of the proudest moments in my life. I still remember the day when my parents got a trophy on my behalf, at my school’s annual day celebration, the next year. That was the first time when I realized “You don't have to be GREAT to START, but you've to START to be GREAT!"

(Also read: Competent Communicator Manual Speeches)

I got admission into Government College of Technology, Coimbatore. I did my Bachelors in engineering Computer Science, there. One of my most memorable moments happened in my college. It was the year 1998 and the year of graduation for us. It is a tradition in my college to conduct Mr. & Miss. CSE contest for graduating students every year. I participated in the contest too. My fellow contestants were good looking and can talk fluent English. However, I was average looking and hardly able to talk in English.
During the contests, they asked me a question on “What do you think about Life after death?". My response was "A rose dies... when it is pluck out. However, it still makes all of us happy by staying in our hands. Similarly, leaders like Gandhi, Kamaraj etc., have died. However, they are still living in the hearts of millions of people in this country. To me, that is life after death". The whole auditorium roared and many got inspired by that response. Surprisingly, I was awarded the Mr. CSE title that year. An average looking guy, with half-baked English speaking skills became Mr. CSE that year. That was the second time when I realized “You don't have to be GREAT to START, but you've to START to be GREAT!"

I graduated in 1998 and joined HCL Technologies. My boss Ashok Kumar who is also a toastmaster now, introduced me to book reading habit. He recommended me to read "7 habits of highly effective people" by Stephen Covey. Very few books can transform you... very few books can inspire you… very few books can sow seeds for your future. 7 habits of highly effective people helped me to learn better time management, set personal goals, look at things from other's shoes and taught me to constantly invest time in improving my skills. The book made me to do an MBA, it made me to go to USA and get more exposure, and it made me to join toastmasters.

Life moved on, and I got married in the year 2005 to Divya. We have a beautiful 7 years old daughter.

My passion is to serve the society in a LARGE way. I know that I’m nowhere close to what I want to achieve in my life. But I know, “You don't have to be GREAT to START, but you've to START to be GREAT!"


  1. How many words would you suggest for CC1 speech? I was suggested to write the draft for 600 words. But, while I rehearse, I am finding it difficult to fit 600 words in 6 minutes. Any advice?

  2. Normally, I write 750 words for a 7 minutes speech. 100 - 150 words per minute is the average speaking rate for any speech. However, when you are beginning your speaking journey you may be speaking too fast or speaking too slow. You can reduce the number of words further, if you think 600 words is too much to cover in a 6 minutes speech.

  3. Saro,

    I am unable to see the comments. Is something wrong with the template? Even though it says 3 comments, I am unable to read the comments. Comments are not displayed below the post.

  4. Thanks much ! I'm glad that you liked it.