Categories
Speeches

Popit

Photo by Anna Bondarenko from Pexels

I asked my daughter why does she like the new craze in kid toys – “POPIT”

She gave me the answer in a triad.

Firstly, the POPIT is FUN

I ask myself, are my speeches fun?

I catch myself adding humour after the speech has been written out.

I catch myself adding a funny anecdote to lighten a long process discussion.

I catch myself adding an agile game which is fun during a multi-day hackathon.

FUN is so important but very often an afterthought.

“Secondly, the POPIT fights BOREDOM”

What are the different things we do to fight boredom? If we are bored, are we enjoying what we do. Let us give that a break and assume we are bored for the sake of argument.

I fight boredom by walking to the coffee dispenser even when I am wide awake.

I fight boredom by reading some news between two important meetings.

I fight boredom by pinging a colleague on slack and asking them how they are doing.

BOREDOM is a reality that needs to be fought.

“Thirdly, the POPIT comes in bright colours, makes a pleasing sound and provides a nice touch feedback”

Do our speeches speak to different senses?

The POPIT is very often made in bright neon or rainbow colours.

When you press each convex surface, it makes a pleasing POP sound.

It also provides a nice touch feedback when you have POPed a POPIT and you want POP more.

When our speeches can be filled with FUN, fight BOREDOM and speak to SENSES we have a winner.

Go get a POPIT and start your next speech!

Categories
Speeches

Spoons and Forks

The heavenly smell of spices reminded me of home.

The rice and shining red curry invited me in for a feast.

My stomach purred like a cat in anticipation.

I was 18 years old at the college canteen in the north of India.

We were given cold stainless steel spoons and forks to eat with.

I was hungry, but angry at the same time as I did not know how to use spoons and forks.

Satisfying my hunger was so near yet so far.

Contest Chair, Guests, Toastmasters and those who love eating with your hands

It was my first day at college and it was dinner time.

Rice and curry was on the menu.

My face lit up like a 5 year old welcoming a Happy Meal at McDonalds.

Everyone around me was eating the rice and curry with a spoon and fork.

Coming from the South of India, we eat with our hands.

I did not know how to hold the cutlery.

I felt ashamed.

Have you ever felt ashamed when people around do something differently or better than you?

Have you ever felt that you had to hide your true self?

I wanted to be true to myself.

But, what will they think of me?

Will they think that I am not sophisticated?

I was afraid of the fork hurting my mouth.

I am Indian but had NOT done the sword swallowing training yet.

I stuck to the spoon alone and finished my dinner quickly, in only 2 hours.

One of the boys sitting in front of me asked

„Don‘t you have spoons where you come from?“

Another boy chimed in

„Look at your head move while eating!

That is quite a sight!!“

I felt my face go red not because of the spicy curry.

I felt ashamed.

Many years later, I attended a cultural awareness session in Germany.

In Germany, (nod head up and down) means YES

In India, (move head up and down and sideways) also means YES.

With Indians working in Germany you had to do cultural awareness sessions.

Our trainer Klaus told us something that has stayed with me ever since.

Eating is universal but cutlery is cultural.

Only if Klaus had told us when we were in college that eating with hands was cultural, I would have felt sophisticated.

He made me understand that we had no reason to be ashamed of what the people around us can do differently or better.

We don’t have to hide.

We can be true to ourselves.

A few years later, I was promoted and invited to a fancy dinner in a fine restaurant.

The place had wooden panels all around.

There were different wines arranged in fancy racks.

We were seated around a vast mahogany table with mahogany chairs.

This was an opportunity to impress the Senior management.

You would think I had learnt my lesson about being true to myself. Looking at the dining table –

There were TWO forks and TWO knives. And TWO spoons.

I broke into a cold sweat.

Will my college nightmare repeat itself?

Nobody was interested in my eating skills.

They were interested in the teamwork and the synergy we had by being different but better together.

I realised that the by being true to myself, I had been true to my colleagues, my company, and my clients.

Maybe this realization can help you too.

By being true to yourself you are being true to the people around you.

I live in Munich in Germany now.

At the beer garden, I put aside my spoon and fork and use my bare hands to dig in and eat.

How many of you have eaten with your hands?

Why don’t you give it a try today!

Donald Winnicott – the psychoanalyst says that

„It is a joy to be hidden, and disaster not to be found.”

Come out of your hiding place and

Be true to your self.

Categories
Evaluation

Evaluation

Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
Evaluation
/
Categories
Humorous

Remain or Leave

Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
Remain or Leave
/
Categories
Speeches

One banana at a time

Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
One banana at a time
/
Categories
Speeches

My Grandpa and my hobbies

Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
My Grandpa and my hobbies
/
Categories
Speeches

Meow

Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
Meow
/
Categories
Evaluation

Evaluation contest

Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
Evaluation contest
/
Categories
Workshop

Evaluate to Motivate

Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
Evaluate to Motivate







/

The second Toastmasters Club Officer Training in 2018-19 provides educational sessions for the benefit of the club officers.

I had an opportunity to do an workshop on “Evaluate to Motivate” from the Successful Club Series.

I had fun preparing and putting together the material for it.

I took some motivation from Mel Kelly for Evaluation speech templates and Florian Mueck for Feedback formulas.

We had a fun and interactive workshop with club officers from 4 to 5 clubs from Munich and Rosenheim.

Here are some pictures and the presentation itself:

 
  Presentation as PDF: Click here
Categories
Humorous

Two Left Feet

Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
Ranjith Venkatesh | Speaker Shine
Two Left Feet







/

Two left feet

I was born a great dancer.
Let me show you some sexy steps.
Contest chair, fellow toastmasters and guests!
I firmly believed I was a great dancer.
Don’t you think so?

In the last year of university, we had one chance to dance with women.
The dance that we had to do was a step to the left and step to the right.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it!
This is how, it looked on me.
Step to the left and step to the right.
Step to the left and step to the right.
Step to the left and step to the right.
Every time I took a step to the left, my right went along.
The dance club members made fun of me and said –
No, you cannot dance. You have two left feet.
They even called my dance moves “the duck walk”.
Until then I thought I could even do the moon walk.
Thank you.
Has anyone told you that you can’t dance, that you can’t do something that you love?

After university, I moved to Germany and I got a job.
In IT.
Like all Indians.
My love life was going nowhere.
How would it? In India, my mother would have found a woman for me.
My friend told me that you can meet women in dance schools.
I signed up for the basic course in Salsa, which would make me dance like Antonio Banderas.
The guy signing us up for the courses gave me one look and said:
No, you cannot dance. You do not have a dance partner.
In walked an Italian goddess. She was the teacher.
She looked at me and said – You look cute. You can dance with me. I know, I used to look cute when I was much younger.
She gave me a chance to dance.
Every time my right foot moved to the left, she moved to my right. When I saw her move to right, my right foot magically moved to the right too.
She had fixed my two left feet. It is amazing what Italian women can fix for you.

Charged with Italian charm, I went to dance in a bar to try out my moves.
I walked across the room, to a woman and asked her – Would you like to dance?
She told me she was thirsty and having a break.
Then I was looking out for somebody who did not look thirsty.
I walked to another woman and asked her – Would you like to dance?
She told me that the room was too hot to dance.
And I said, is it hot in here or is it just you? She didn’t seem to like that line. I don’t know why!
Finally, one woman took pity and danced with me. Halfway through the dance she stopped dancing with me. I don’t know why!
That crushed my male ego!
I took a LONG LONG break from dancing.
Did you take a break from something you loved and never got back to it?

Two years passed. I had forgotten the pain. I went back to another dance school.
There was no Italian teacher, but I saw this woman standing alone looking for a dance partner.
She had a drink, so she was not thirsty.
The air conditioning was on, so she was not feeling hot.
I asked her – Would you like to dance?
She looked down and said that she had two left feet.
Really! – “That is my line”.
Come on, let us try to dance.
Step to the left, step to the right.
Step to the left, step to the right.
This was working.
German women can fix things too!
Step to the left, step to the right.
Do four left feet make two right feet?
In our case it did, and we are still dancing.
Two people with two left feet got together and made it right.
 “Go out there, find your dance and give your dance a chance”