With this, I complete my Competent Communicator Manual speeches. I am feeling proud to finish up a task that was willingly chosen. For sure, I would cherish the journey from my first speech. Consciously and unconsciously I have learnt a lot. Association with Toastmasters gives a platform to understand you better, take best practices from leaders, other aspirants and connects with fine individuals.
I hope to continue this journey to constantly learn. I will keep posting my updates going forward.
Below is the speech I delivered for my 10th project. I was able to comfortably deliver this speech.
Word of Caution: Evaluator’s feedback made me realize that the outcome of my speech was more persuading instead of inspiring the audience.
Project 10 – Invest during difficult times
Yes, invest during difficult times! These are difficult times… Isn’t it?
After having a refreshing weekend, I came to office on a particular Monday morning. Neatly dressed in formals, clean shaved and wearing shiny black shoes it was a nice feeling to start the first day of the week. Expecting a long busy day, just while I was setting up my machine, a colleague of mine came to me. Asked, “Senthil, have you heard the news?” I said “NO!” He whispered, “I just heard that there is a lay off plan in the company”, quoting some X number of people would be losing their jobs. He continued, “Also there will not be any salary increase, bonus. All the travel plans are put on hold.” What a way to start my day?
Globally, businesses are not doing great. Sluggish revenue growth means more trouble for employees, investors, shareholders and even for the whole company itself! Often we start our days with negative and very discouraging talks like these in the workplace. Colleagues and friends sharing latest news about what they heard, what they read, what they thought etc.
Employee morale and loyalty is tested to its limits and the traditional incentives like bonuses and salary increases cannot be expected at all.
In these times, I am asking you to invest! Have I gone mad? Nope, not at all! At least not yet J I am not asking you to stretch your muscles and invest in price ridden stocks, mutual funds and commodities.
I am asking you to invest in yourself! I am asking you to invest in yourself especially during these difficult times. Let me tell you, what do I mean by that?
A leading University in UK recently conducted an online survey to explore attitudes in times of recession. Of the 1,000 odd business managers who took part, 46 per cent said they had either received no self-development or felt that what they had received was insufficient. Furthermore, when asked what their organization could do to retain their most talented employees, the joint second highest response i.e. 52% responses was in need of more personal development/training opportunities.
What does that signify?
During difficult times, people first would like to get their finances balanced. The next thing they want is to equip them to adapt to change, reinvent themselves to newer situations. Why it is important?
- You’ll learn new things and grow as a person
- You’ll gain confidence
- You’ll gain marketable skills
- You’ll be seen as someone who takes initiative and curious to make things better
- Importantly, you’ll make important new connections
Before you begin to invest in yourself, there is one small mandatory requirement. You need to have a positive mind frame. First of all, it is imperative that you get your positive mind frame back. I am going to help you with that right away.
Friends, please close your eyes. Just concentrate and start listening to me. This is your mind speaking now.
Today is a good day. I have everything that I need in my life. My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil. Today, I abandon my old habits, negative thoughts and take up new, more positive ones. I am blessed with endless talents which I begin to utilize today. My ability to conquer my challenges is limitless; my potential to succeed is infinite. My thoughts are filled with positivity and my life is plentiful with prosperity. My life is just beginning.
Friends now, open your eyes!
Often, saying yourself these positive affirmations will change everything that is around you. Staying positive will give you 100 new ways of keeping yourself motivated and encouraging others to do so.
Speaking of investing in you, here are some ways that comes to my mind immediately.
Toastmasters – First of all, give a big round of applause for already doing one of the big things. Difficult times at workplace could lead to two things. It might demand you to work more or there may not be much work. Regardless of the case, start regularly attending toastmasters meetings. Finish up projects one by one in a regular interval. Taking up roles and being part of the committee will give you learning from different perspectives. Participate in contests. Attend conferences and network with fellow toastmasters. The opportunities are endless. It will shape you as a fine leader and a positive influencer in your circles.
MOOC – How many of you are working in the same field you always aspired from childhood? I wanted to be a pilot. Some of you would have wanted to become a doctor, scientist, astronaut, musician etc. It has not happened to everyone. But don’t give up on your hope. If you think you need to make your childhood dreams true, this is your time. Start building those skills. Don’t worry about money. There are plenty of online and offline resources today that are even free to catch up on your lost interests.
Have you heard of MOOC – Massive online open course? MOOC platforms like Khan Academy, Coursera, and Udemy are helping you to gain skills, for free. They are of international curriculum. I have seen free, quality courses on Medicine, Engineering, Astronomy, Music, Art, Dance, you name it!
Reading – Not sure about you! Till recent years, in my entire life, including my school books, I had never read books cover to cover. But recently, I started doing that. It’s fantastic. It’s 100 times more learning and powerful than watching television, surfing through internet or simply chatting in social media sites. Start reading great books. Add flavors to it. Read about culture, languages, past, present, future, autobiographies. You will never know where those readings would lead you to.
Build Your Personal Brand – When you do all the above,youare growing as a holistic personality. Start sharing your plans, initiatives and achievements with others. Use both online and offline mechanism. Do all that you can to establish you as a brand.
Focusing on building your human capital is a lot more productive than worrying about “job security, pay-cuts, no-perks etc.” You are the greatest asset, only you can perform well. So, invest in yourself, during these difficult times.