It so happens that today I received my CC certificate from TM International. Means, I am a certified Competent Communicator. (Must be the first 50+ housewife to crack it hahaha)! The problem is, I have not always seen a correlation between the levels or certifications and the degree of proficiency that has been demanded of the hierarchy as you climb up the ladder of Toastmasters. Sorry, I had to wait for this date to pour here my frank opinion on TM. I have enjoyed the journey no doubt about it, but I am kind of wary of the phoniness sometimes. For me, each and everyone of us must truly DESERVE being there, merit every single step we take forward to becoming DTM or whatever…. If I hadn’t believed so, I would have been a CC in 6 months. I took long pauses because I thought I needed to honestly grow up to the level I would move to. I felt I should truly belong there. I am a grammar police as well and I can’t stand rambling or nonsense substance sugar-coated in glamour. I believe in stuff. Worthy stuff. But I don’t deny having listened to some well crafted beautiful, moving speeches on the other hand in these last 5 years I have been into speeches. These rare ones are true life stories sans exaggerations. In any case, public speaking is not my forte, my passion is for the pen.
Not that i am a voracious reader or writer, yet writing to me is cathartic, therapeutic. That’s why I pour down my words into blog posts. Started with my Malaysian days to fill in long lonely days after leading an extremely busy (working mother) life until then. That was upto 1998.
Words give a definition to raging thoughts that swirl into phrases proper and then settle into short and long sentences and finally amass into sensible neat paragraphs. What a work of art this is. A lot of editing and re-editing follow but that’s the ecstasy, with words tangoing one over another into unorganized piles and hence the resorting and rephrasing and re-paraphrasing. The net output may be entirely estranged from what originally was the germinated idea that led to the torrential outpour of your imagination. We swerve, we reconnoiter, we evolve and then we emerge! That’s how at least my posts flipflop and make it to publishing point! May be had I honed this skill I would have ended up least as a sleazy reporter in a yellow magazine! But then I need no audience, no reviews – and had it been not for stats in the blog I wouldn’t have even bothered to check who is reading from where. Earlier I used to be wary of uninvited visitors, now I have come to accept the inevitable reality that there is no privacy online. That you are fully exposed. So even for me there needs to be a kind of restraint now, i try to not divulge too much personal details but it happens otherway around. Because, when you write from heart, you write real life stories which is not really a figment of your imagination…. I need no window dressing, I need no commissioning. It’s just plain me all the way…! So when you are that direct, what is there left to conceal….
Whatever, nowadays reading amateur authors whose simple prose is to only relate a hearty story sans frills, with no intention to impress readers with the clout of their English language proficiency, I am smothered by this feel-good factor, because I see a potential amateur secret writer-publisher in me hahaha! This is how you write from heart I suppose! Two hoots to these good samaritans! I am not for the icing in the cake always, i would better take a big chunky bite of the cake first!
Writing even if as an amateur, naturally made me wonder about delivering speech on stage, the next logical step. This is how I got into trying out my luck with speeches. My personal speech journey has not been good at all! The gratification I derive out of writing from my heart goes missing when I have to act out in front of a select set of audience. It is somehow too very cosmetic but then I didn’t want to leave it untried. The tailor-made speeches to score a point with a bunch of speakers who are on the same boat as you hardly made me feel good about myself. But what it did manage to do was bolster my self-confidence. I became much more outgoing from being a little awkward much more vocal (than already!) and more conscious of the use of conjunctions, pauses etc. I learnt the knack of continuity mostly.
The plus with a short speech is that, you can keep your audience engrossed without the risk of boring them with a long speech. Attention span is better and you are 100% received.
But then after listening to India’s political speakers who are so mic-savvy, I knew a good speaker is born, never molded or made. We are pros here in India, we have naturals who need no brushing up or memorizing. Who transcend all borders and who colour their elocution with such awesome quotes that you know you cannot afford to miss a single word when they are on the dais. These men and women set the stage on fire with their matchless oratory skills and histrionics. Inspiring speeches that shake you and leave you in a sweet mess!
I guess only democracy spawns this breed of bold courageous outgoing speakers who resonate and ring like the very thunder! Do they really script their speeches?
Descending to the lesser world of officeroom kind, speech drapes a different outfit in such organized settings. It is mild, inoffensive and peppered with civil greetings.
Speech to me still remains a sore point. We speak to impress audience and that somehow hits at the base of my need to find fulfillment in expression. When we address a crowd, we cater to their whims and fancies, we limit our natural rhythm and flow, we become unnatural. We set ourselves boundaries. We are not to touch taboo topics, we have to play upto the arena and we cannot infringe upon many a sensitive territory. I have tried to master the art of delivering a truly good speech but have failed miserably I must say. Reason is chiefly this. Animation without substance beats me. Substance without emotion trips me. Emotion that is faked again stumbles me. I am unable to walk out of this trap and hence I can hardly make a decent eloquent entertaining and more than all a CONVINCING speaker.
Allow me the vast uninterrupted online space to fill a 100 pages, I can do it no time. I can make a mincemeat of anyone and everything shedding my inhibitions, shredding their false shrouds to smithereens in no time. I am a self-certified keyboard warrior over a certified CC really.
This is my hometurf. Who is here to stop me.