Thursday, August 16, 2012

ToastMasters's Speech - Project 1 (Introduction)

I gave my Project 1 speech for ToastMasters today. For people who do not know what ToastMaster is all about, they should definitely visit the link - at least once. I am happy that I got to be a part of Toast Masters as every session is a unique learning experience for me. Not only do I get the privilege of talking to like minded people but also get to learn a lot from each and every one of them.

Talking about my P1 experience, it was really great. Even though I am not new to public speaking, having participated in a lot of debates/elocution contests in school, yet I still could feel my stomach churning right till the moment my name was called. As I walked to the podium, I could feel my legs shaking and had to take the support of the table placed infront of me just to maintain my calm. But as I started and went on I became more comfortable and began enjoying my speech. I knew, I got this.

For interested people here is my ToastMasters P1 speech. I know there is a lot of scope for improvement and although I have completed P1, I'd still welcome any and all reviews.

Project 1 (Introduction Speech)
“No Regrets, One life to live” is my motto for life. I believe in living in the moment and doing whatever I want to do at that moment. I am always on the lookout for learning something new. Good Afternoon Toast masters and friends.

I am Ankit Rastogi, from Meerut, U.P. I am an only engineer born into a family of doctors. I completed my B.E Computer Science from BITS Pilani. I am an amalgamation of values and experiences accumulated from living in a lot of cities all over India. Till now I have never stayed in a city for more than 4 years. Maybe that is why I have an inherent wanderlust, a thirst for adventure and a curiosity to know different cultures and people. It’s either that, or my dislike for cricket which makes me run from place to place. God has a wicked sense of humor. So he decides to make me an Indian, born into a family of cricket maniacs, in a place like Meerut where cricket is the way of life, blesses me with terrible – terrible hand eye coordination and just for the heck of it, decides that yours truly shall abhor cricket. Seriously!! Are you kidding me? You cannot imagine what I have to go through everyday. Well I have managed to live 24 years with it, I suppose I can manage another 24 hopefully.

One thing, however I am grateful to be blessed with is my love for reading. I vividly remember reading Pride and Prejudice, an innocent kid in 5th standard and not understanding a word of it. It was sometime later and with some experience and lost innocence, I realized the reason for this. Jane Austen was a girl. Anyways, it created in me a passion for words and gave fuel to my imagination. I must admit that this child like passion still exists in me every time I pick up a new book. I suffer from self proclaimed Obsessive Compulsive Reading Disorder. Not only do I read feverishly but for the duration of the book, I live in that world. I can recall this one incidence when I was still reading the Harry Potter series where instead of applying my bicycle brakes before colliding head first with a car, I kept on repeating “Impedimenta”, “Impedimenta”. For Harry Potter illiterates, this is a spell to slow down a moving object. But this being damned reality, the bicycle didn’t slow down obviously and I still met with the accident.

I cannot complete my introduction without discussing about my passion for teaching. I started teaching underprivileged kids as a part of NGO called Nirmaan during my time at BITS Pilani, and it is this experience above all else that makes me who I am. I learnt more from those kids and from teaching them what little I could, than I have learnt from anything else till now. “Joi de Vivre” – I learnt the true meaning of this phrase from those kids. Even if they didn’t know where there next meal was coming from, they never gave up on smiling. My best accomplishment till now is teaching one of them how to write his name. I am currently working for Samarthanam an organization for disabled children.

To sum up, I am a reader, a poet, a thinker, a renegade, a philanthropist and in the future I want to add a social entrepreneur and an established writer to this list. I am enjoying being all that I am.
The past is past, the future is ..but the present..
And living in the moment is all I have..
So let me fill this moment,
With all the vibrant shades..
For the dots are mine, as are the colours
And as are the choices I make.
On this note, I’ll take my leave. Hopefully you know me a bit better.

 P.S. - Although this in essence is the speech I delivered, I made quite a few Impromptu changes and additions in the speech, just to engage my audience even more.


1 comment:

jayanth said...

great lines to end the speech i guess this would have had the desired impact.pretty impressive lines and gives a lot of things about u, i have some things in common with ur life, especially the reading disorder