Blog Toastmasters - Speech 9 - Persuade your audience

Toastmasters Competent Communicator Manual Speech 9 – Persuade with power!

Treasure your knowledge base!

Two senior citizens in a retirement home were sitting on a bench under a tree when one turned to the other and said:

‘Manik, I’m 83 years old now and I’m just full of aches and pains. I know you’re about my age. How do you feel?’ Manik said, ‘I feel just like a newborn baby.

Sivam curiously asked ”Really! Like a newborn baby?’ How? Manik Responded ‘Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I have just wet my pants.’

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Hope you enjoyed that! Here is another one.

A grandson ran up to his grandfather and asked him he could croak (sound) like a frog.

“Of course not,” said the grandfather.

A few minutes later, his granddaughter ran up and asked him the same thing.

“No, of course not! Now, why are you both asking me this?”

The granddaughter looked up at him and said “Dad said that when you croak, we all can go to Kashmir on a long vacation.”

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I am glad you had a good laugh with those jokes! These are only a couple of civilized senior citizens jokes that are revolving around younger generation and highly liked by them.

I am sure, every one of us have heard bed time stories from our grandparents, utilized their time to start practicing walking around the park, gained wisdom through our artillery of questions, got their help in completing our creative assignments and got dropped and picked up daily from our school. Every one of us was highly attached to our grandparents.

Today, does that remain the same? I don’t think so. I used to write regular letter, send greeting cards for my grandparents during my school days. In a later time, I found they still cherish those letters. But today, I occasionally text them or call them. Not sure, why this gap had come between us.

The concept of nuclear families increased residential separation of older people and has broken the connection between generations. Our society has been segregated by age, so that young generation’s contact with elders is almost exclusively within the family (and even that is limited).

Also you can widely see negative images in the media, jokes about elders and people asking this question – What good are old people?

But the truth is ever since the birth of our race, elder generations played the critical role of advisors and with only their knowledge and wisdom generations have flourished and we are existent. Only in the last 100 years people have turned to anyone else other than the oldest person they knew to solve life’s problems.

Let me give a real-time example from my own family. My Mom works as a deputy director in a Government Institution. In her role issuing memos, receiving petitions and facing court cases are highly common due to not-working unions, not-at-all-learning students, non-cooperating staffs and ever-delaying vendors. There was one such case from a retired staff member demanding compensation for an apparently delayed arrears payment along with interest from the period of 1990. While no one single person from Administration cannot be blamed for this, my Mom was the sole answerable authority. Now Government rule doesn’t have provisions for an institutional officer with funds to face court trial charges… need not be told about the other niceties expected by advocates and visiting judges. My mother had been running around behind a legal team and was highly depressed. She couldn’t think straight on how to get rid of that exhausting trauma.

That was when my Grandparents came to stay with us for a month. Looking at my mother’s running around, my Granddad asked about the issue. Upon my mother’s explanation, my granddad took the case papers and read through the history. He also asked my Mom to bring the government rule book along with a few government orders that were passed recently. Upon going through the entire set for 2 days, he had given back a neatly written case paper with specific pointers and arguments. With just that as the base, the case was dismissed the 3rd day imposing a fine on the petitioner for causing false charges.

That case paper was highly appreciated even by the advocates when they asked, which lawyer had helped my Mom with the case paper. For all this, my Grand dad was not even a graduate. He had only passed 12th standard and dropped out of his graduation to earn for his family. He was working as an accounts officer when he retired. My Mom realized that due to his experience in handling adversaries and patience in reading through lengthy rule book he could do that wonder.

This is how wisdom is left unearthed among our elders in the society. There are an estimated 100 million senior citizens living in India. It is likely to grow to 180 million by 2020 and 240 million by 2050. That’s a lot of stories to be told, and a lot of experiences to be shared.

Friends, do not alienate from the Elders any further. Get closer to them. Spend time with them. Ask their story to be told, advice on the lessons they learnt, principles with they live, blunders they did, un-fulfilled dreams they have.

They say, “When an elder person dies a whole library burns down!” Let’s treasure our own knowledge base by all means. Add flavor to their life and am sure our lives will be fantastic and fun-filled!

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