Club newsletter

Toastmasters Indiranagar Pride
Club # 3078424
Area 5, Division C
District 92 (

June 2014 (Volume 4)


Editor's Note From the President's Desk
Experiences So long..
Articles Highlights

Club details/Contact Info

Pratibha Singh
VP - Membership
Editor's Note

- Pratibha Singh
From the President's desk

- Kausthubh Rajendran

        Another quarter is over and, as promised, weíre out with the latest edition of our clubís newsletter. I hope youíve had an exciting couple of months. We at Indiranagar Pride sure have had. The months of April and May brought with them the Division Level International and Table Topics contests. After winning the Area Level contests in both categories, our members went ahead and made their mark at the Division Level as well. In fact, one of our speakers was adjudged the Runner-Up in the Table Topics competition!

        We didnít just stop there. June has seen many of us focusing on completing all projects in the Competent Communication manual, and with great pride I share that our club is now a Presidentís Distinguished Club. That is quite impressive for a club that was chartered just a year back!

        At the same time, members who have recently joined us continue adding shades to the kaleidoscope of talent that cuts across diverse walks of life; something that is synonymous with Indiranagar Pride and its existence. However, we also saw some key members bid farewell to us as they left Bangalore to pursue higher education or move up the career ladder. We thank them for their support and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

        So, here we are with our newsletter to give YOU a taste of what surely has been an eventful couple of months for The Pride. Weíll be back next quarter with even more excitement and victories to share.

        Till then, happy reading!

        We live in a world satiated with immortal heroes and eternal legends. Our history and past are stocked with immortal feats of heroes who won battles that sketched the world as it is today and who waged wars for the freedom of man. Our sentience and conscience are replete with literature that preserves, in words, the eternal glory of the great minds of our race.

        Undoubtedly, we live in a world filled with inspiration. Ironically, this abundance of inspiration makes us feel incomplete and unhappy because we aren't everything we can be. Inspiration is a glimpse of who we can be. To get there we need motivation. Motivation is the inner drive to achieve a goal; one step at a time, consistently. This past year, having served two terms as the President of the Pride, I have been overwhelmed by the transformation I witnessed in my fellow members who are inspired by what they can be and who are motivated to relentlessly reach their true potential.

        Fellow Toastmasters, we are on a journey; every step is as important as every other step and there is no room for complacence. Remember we are what legends are made of. We are what history is written about. So never stop and be all that you can be.

Member Experiences
First Milestone Crossed!

Jitesh Dattani

Abilash Gunta

        The month of June marks an important milestone in my journey with Toastmasters. For it is in June that I completed all 10 projects in the Competent Communication manual. I find myself extremely honored and excited at this moment. I have learned a lot about speeches and presentations but most importantly, I have learned a lot about myself. My journey so far has been filled with crests and troughs, and this in turn has provided me with an unforgettable and unmatchable learning experience. I look forward to applying these learnings in both my personal and professional lives. I am now even more determined to cross other milestones that lie ahead.

        At this juncture I would like to thank our President and mentor TM Kausthubh Rajendran for his invaluable guidance and support. It would not have been possible for me to cross this milestone without the inspiration and motivation provided by him all along.

        It took me 3 visits to speak in front of an audience (table topics) at a friendly neighbourhood Toastmasters club. A club I happened to chance upon on a rainy indoor-stuck browsing escapade! Little did I know then that I would spend a good part of every Sunday then onwards at this club, changing quite a few things about my speaking skills and confidence! Among the many things my club TIP helped me with, two things right up there are getting over the nerves and taking those bold, adventurous steps with the intent of making my audience laugh.

        A few months later, the speaking competition loomed over us and that, along with the encouragement from our President and constant mentor Kausthubh propelled me to work on a speech almost every week. Somehow all this effort culminated in me being able to successfully host a Ďtoastí- like black-tie event for a local gathering of 90 in my city to a great applause! Toastmasters is and are the best!

        Thanks to all the wonderful efforts of President Kausthubh in keeping the club going and also taking out time every week for mentoring me, for Iíve finally completed all 10 projects in the competent communication manual!

So Long FarewellÖ
Off to IIM- Ahmedabad!

Varun Srivastava
Off to Mumbai!

Nikhil Gopalakrishnan

        Close to a year back, I was a nervous guest, attending my very first TIP meeting, unsure about what to expect from the meeting. Improving my public speaking skills had been on my mind and from the group's description on an online website, my goals seemed quite closely aligned with the purpose of the meeting. Over the course of the past year, I have received a lot from Toastmasters and I would like to share a few of those things here.

        Most importantly, I have learnt to overcome the anxiety of approaching the stage. This had always been a daunting task for me. I never used to enjoy being in the limelight and hence being on stage was leagues out of my comfort zone. So, when I concluded my first speech at The Pride and was greeted by a huge round of applause, I was quite pleasantly surprised. I feel that Toastmasters provides a great support system for beginner speakers like me. The admirable introductions, abundant applause from the audience and positive feedback from the evaluators, all serve as great motivators for trying again. Increasingly, I felt more confident and would jump at any opportunity to speak in the meetings, whether it was a speech in the Table Topics session or taking up a leadership role.

        Secondly, I learnt to be spontaneous in my speech. I used to weigh my words several times before saying them out aloud. The Table Topics sessions forced me to think faster on my feet and be more spontaneous with my thoughts. The TIP support system makes it easier to make mistakes and hence reduces your threshold for being ridiculous. Thanks to the coaching by fellow members of the club, I was gradually able to speak for longer durations and with better content.

        Thirdly, I got to meet lots of people from varied backgrounds and learn from their experiences and expertise that would be shared in their speeches. The topics have always been diverse and this allows for a lot of serendipity, something which is getting lost in this new age of recommended content. Regardless of whether I was performing a role or not, I always try to attend the meetings in order to listen to the interesting speeches being presented. It is clearly a delightful way to spend a Sunday evening!

        Last but not the least, I received a lot of positive and constructive feedback, which helped improve my speaking skills. I am still far from perfect, and given that we can always improve, I am looking forward to a long and enriching journey with Toastmasters. One specific feedback I had received was that I had a good voice and this motivated me to start recording myself singing while playing the guitar. The few songs I have recorded so far have been quite well received :)

        To sum it all up, The Pride has been a great place to become more confident and making lots of new friends and learning life lessons at the same time. I never expected to receive so much from TIP and I sincerely feel that entering that meeting room as a nervous guest was one of the best decisions of my life.

        Iíve been associated with Indiranagar Pride right from its inception- first as a guest, and then impressed with its performance, a member. Here Iíd like to share how joining it helped me in various ways.

        I held the office of the Sergeant at Arms for 2 consecutive terms. Hence it was my responsibility to start the meeting at 5 pm every Sunday for almost one year. I didnít realize it then, but it helped me in becoming more organized and ensuring everything was well planned and executed on time. At the same, it implied that I had to deliver a crisp, yet effective speech, to an audience every week. This played a key role in my becoming a more confident and articulate speaker over time.

        I made a lot of friends at Indiranagar Pride. Getting the opportunity to meet at least 2 to 3 new faces every meeting gave me a lot of joy. As a community club, The Pride has always been blessed with people from different walks of life. This was an enriching experience. I learned to accept and appreciate all sorts of people, irrespective of the language they generally conversed in or the states they hailed from.

        Of all speeches delivered by members, the ice breaker speeches were my favorites. It gave me an insight into the depth in everyoneís lives and their experiences.

        I have only good, happy memories of Indiranagar PRIDE. Now it is time for me to bid adieu to Bangalore as Iíve taken up a job in another city. I sure am going to miss the wonderful time I had every Sunday evening. At the same time, I am inspired to find another club in my new city, Mumbai and pass on whatever I have learned at The Pride to others!!

Member Article

The Contest You Must Win
- P K Nishanth
Member Article

Thoughts on Completing my CC
- Chimmu Kutty

        In our lives we have participated in many contests, some out of choice like the recently held Toastmasters prepared speech contest, and some where the choice was not entirely ours, like the examinations in our schools. Either way all of us have been participants in contests. However, what ties all of these contests together is the fact that a few people are given the power to judge, evaluate and grade the performance of the participants in the contest.

        We find ourselves having the choice to participate in these contests but we do not have the choice of winning them.

        There is, however, one contest where we do not have the choice of participating, but we do have the choice of winning and we all are in this contest at all times.

        In fact, this contest can be seen in nature. In nature, each tree, each plant and each blade of grass is constantly competing for resources. They donít have a choice and they donít compete on selected days. They have to either compete or perish. Therefore they donít hold back, they donít give up, they give it their all. In the process they become all that they can be, the best that they can be.

        Nature has not gifted these beings with the power of choice but they do the absolute BEST that they can. Why is it that we who have the power of choice, end up not utilizing our full potential? Why donít we give our all in everything that we do? Why do we hold ourselves back and just do what is Ďrequiredí?

        We have been taught to believe that it is alright to do what is the minimum to get through. We are even expected to do the same. That is how we repeatedly lose the contest, the one contest which we cannot, must not, should not lose. The contest, my friends, is the contest against ourselves. We are constantly competing not against each other but our past selves.

        When I deliver my speeches, I am not competing against the other speakers but against my previous speeches. The evaluators are not competing against each other but against their previous evaluations. Each table topics speaker competes against his previous table topics speech. This contest is not a choice, this is a compulsion, this is life, and this is evolution.

        When we consciously strive to become better than our past selves, we evolve into a higher self. Donít we owe this to ourselves? Donít we owe it to ourselves to make today better than yesterday? Donít we owe it to ourselves to do our jobs better today than we did them yesterday? Donít we owe it to ourselves to inspire, motivate and transform our current selves to a better us?

        Now back to the competitions we have at Toastmasters, do we need them? Why do we need to participate? I participate so that I am forced to work hard to ensure my current speech is better than the one I last delivered. Perhaps I can do it without the competition, perhaps I donít really need the trophies or the certificates, but then I donít push myself to do ALL THAT I CAN until these competitions come along. The competitions make me deliver the speech better, make me become the best speaker I can be.

        In fact, I am a better speaker today after having taken part in the contest than I was before. It is never about winning but undergoing the rigor to become a winner. The contest makes me stretch as much as I can. It is an opportunity for me to become all that I can be.

        Becoming better than what we are is the eternal contest. It is the contest we MUST win.

        When I joined Toastmasters, way back in September 2013, my only objective was to get comfortable speaking in front of an audience. What I got, however, was a roller-coaster journey of triumphs and discoveries.

        I was encouraged to deliver my first speech early. I gave my Ice Breaker speech in October. During November and into December, in spite of a tail-bone fracture, I delivered my Project 2 and 3 speeches with a gap of 2 weeks each. The focus to prepare and write the speeches helped me take my mind off the pain.

        December and January went by in a blur of holidays and club elections. Our President Kausthubh gave us his agenda for the coming 6 months. There were 5 or 6 of us all stuck at Project 03 or 04. He encouraged us to go for the GOLD Ė finish our first 6 projects in the next 6 weeks so that we could all participate in the International Speech Contest. Thus encouraged, all of us spent the following weeks focused on delivering speeches, ensuring we all participated in the contest in March.

        To my surprise, out of 5 contestants, I emerged as the winner! I was even more shell- shocked when I was declared the winner at the inter-club level as well! Thatís not all! I was adjudged the winner of the Table Topics contest as well! Hey! I could speak man! This boosted my confidence level to giddy heights.

        What goes up must come down. I did not even place 3rd at the Division Level contest (Sniff!). So much for contests!

        Again, our President pulled us back on track in May after the contest fever ended. Our deadline was June 2014 to finish the remaining speeches. This encouragement and gentle pushing is the main reason I was able to deliver my remaining speeches.

        I am proud to say that on June 8th I COMPLETED all projects in the Competent Communication Manual.

        All this would not have been possible without the help, support and encouragement of President Kausthubh, my mentors- Manjula Devi (for the first few speeches) and Kavya Gowda (for the latter half). The strong family unity of our club whose members gave us positive feedback and inspiration to complete our projects was another major factor.

        Toastmasters gave me a lot more than confidence to face an audience; it gave me a new way of life!


The Pride

Division Contests - Int'l Prepared Speech & Table Topics

Nishanth P K (Runner up for Table Topics)

Chimmu Kutty (Speech contestant)

Nikhil Gopalakrishnan (Contest Chair)

Pride was the top sponsor of the event.

President     JITESH DATTANI
VP Education     CHIMMU KUTTY
VP Membership     PRATIBHA SINGH
Secretary     AKHILA S

We meet every Sunday
from 4:45 PM to 6:30 PM
at Indiranagar Rotary House of Service, near Lohitha Hospital

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For more details visit our meetup page
Triumph with Pride