Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Interpretive Reading (Project 3) - Om Shanti Om (Let there be Peace Everywhere)

Om Shanti Om (Let there be Peace Everywhere)

[Three compositions  on World Peace]

Universal Soldier
(Lyrics: Buffy Sainte-Marie)
He’s 5 foot 2 and he’s 6 feet 4
He fights with missiles and with spears
He’s all of 31 and he’s only 17.
He’s been a soldier for a thousand years

He’s a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain, A Buddhist, and a Baptist and Jew.
And he knows he shouldn’t kill,
And he knows he always will kill 
You  for me my friend and me for you

And He’s fighting for Canada. He’s fighting for France.
He’s fighting for the USA.
And he’s fighting for the Russians.  And he’s fighting for Japan
And he thinks we’ll put an end to war this way.

And He’s fighting for democracy, He’s fighting for the reds
He says it’s for the peace of all.
He’s the one, who must decide, who’s to live and who’s to die.
And he never sees the writing on the wall.

But without him, how would Hitler have condemned him at Dachau?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone
He’s the one who gives his body as a weapon of the war.
And without him all this killing can’t go on

He’s the universal soldier  And he really is the blame
His orders comes from  far away no more.

They come from him. And you and me.
And brothers can’t you see.  This is not the way we put an end to war

(Lyrics: John Lennon)

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

You, you may say
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

You, you may say
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will live as one

  Sarve Bhavantu Sukhina (May all be Happy) 
(A Mantra from Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad (1.4.14))

May all be happy; may all be free from disease
May everyone see good in each other  and none have misery of any kind.

Let there be Peace, Peace & Peace

Om Shanti Om !

[Date delivered: August 10 2013

Advanced Communication Manual - Interpretive Reading
Project 3 - The Monodrama
  •  To understand the  concept and nature of the monodrama
  • To assume the identity of a character and to portray the physical and emotional aspects of the character to an audience.
Time:  Five to Seven  Minutes


This project on monodrama was somewhat outside my comfort zone. 
Firstly my speeches are generally without  theatrics . But here the requirements of the project demanded that I indulge in some sort of drama . 
Secondly as per the manual I was , preferably not supposed to read the text . But I simply did not have the time and inclination to memorize a long  literary piece .  
Therefore I chose two short songs and one translated version of a mantra from Upanishads  which I  already  knew  by heart and which had a common underlying theme - the World Peace. I then interpreted them in a monodrama format under the title Om Shanti Om.
It was well received and I was chosen as one of the Best Speakers of the Day.
But my evaluator though  very impressed with my delivery was of the opinion that the compositions  chosen by me  were rather obscure (almost metaphysical ) for the audience consisting mainly of youngsters.
I too feel that I could have explained the context of the compositions a little more in details (though by doing that I would have overshot the 45 seconds limit , the manual suggests for this purpose).
So I am trying to make some amends here by providing the audience who happen to read this post , some links which they can refer to:
Finally some links to the You Tube videos of  the  songs

Thursday, March 14, 2013

4 Years of Toastmaster Speaks

 5 Most Popular Posts during the Year 4  (Mar 1 2012 - Feb 28 2013) of this blog:

    1.  Mobile Phones - Early Days: (1159 page views) This was my CC Project 2 speech. At that time I was working for Freescale and our business unit was developing wireless software for mobile phones. So I had enough background to speak on the story of how mobile phones evolved.
    2. Struggles of a Genius: (979 page views) This is a Project 5 Speech from the Story Telling Manual. It describes the struggling days of the world famous mathematician S. Ramanujan.
    3. Project 10 Speech - The Three Essential Qualities of a Toastmaster: (958 page views): I spoke about how I prepared and delivered all the 10 speeches from the CC manual and what qualities a Toastmaster needs to have to achieve this feat.
    4. Ragging - A Learning Experience (881 page views): This was my CC  Project 5 Speech, where I spoke about how I was ragged as a first year engineering student at NITK, Surathkal (then KREC, Surathkal).
    5. Cherished Childhood Moments: (646 Page views) This was my Icebreaker Speech from the CC Manual, where I relived my  good old carefree childhood days.
Other Statistics:
  • Unique Visitors: 6236  i.e. 17 visitors per day [Last Year : 5202  (14-15 visitors per day).]
  • Visitors came from 120 countries [Last Year: 107]
  • Page Views : 11336 [Last Year :   9843]

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Interpretive Reading (Project 2) - The Pied Piper of Hamelin

 (Abridged Version of the Poem by Robert Browing)


Hamelin’s Town in Brunswick, By famous Hanover city;
To see the townsfolk suffer so From a vermin, was a pity.

They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
 And Bit the babies in their cradles,

And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
 Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
 And even spoiled the women's chats, by drowning their speaking
 With shrieking and squeaking  In fifty different sharps and flats.

 At last the people in a body To the Town Hall came flocking:
 ``It’s clear,'' cried they, ``our Mayor's a noddy;
 ``And as for our Corporation -- shocking ! ``Rouse up, sirs!
Give your brains a racking ``To find the remedy we're lacking,
``Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!''
 At this the Mayor and Corporation

Quaked with a mighty consternation.

 An hour they sat in council,
At length the Mayor broke silence:

``It's easy to bid one rack one's brain --
 ``I've scratched it so, and all in vain
 ``Oh for a trap, a trap, a trap!''
 Just as he said this, At the chamber door was a gentle tap

 ``Come in!'' -- the Mayor cried, looking bigger
 And in did come the strangest figure!

 He advanced to the council-table:
 ``Please your honours,'' said he, People call me the Pied Piper.''
 ``And as for what your brain bewilders,
 ``If I can rid your town of rats
 ``Will you give me a thousand guilders?''
 ``One? Fifty thousand!''  was the exclamation 

  Of the astonished Mayor and Corporation.

 Into the street the Piper stept,
 Smiling first a little smile,

As if he knew what magic slept  In his quiet pipe the while;
 Then, like a musical adept, To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,
 And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled,

And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered,
You heard as if an army muttered;
And the muttering grew to a grumbling;
And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling;
And out of the houses the rats came tumbling.
 Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
 Brown rats, black rats, grey rats, tawny rats,
 Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,
 Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,
 Families by tens and dozens,
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives -- Followed the Piper for their lives. 

From street to street he piped advancing,
And step for step they followed dancing,

Until they came to the river Weser Where all plunged and perished!

 You should have heard the Hamelin people

Ringing the bells till they rocked the steeple
 -- when suddenly, up the face Of the Piper perked in the market-place,
 With a, ``First, if you please, my thousand guilders!'' 

 A thousand guilders! The Mayor looked blue;

So did the Corporation too.
Said the Mayor with a knowing wink
“Friend, we're not the folks to shrink ``
From the duty of giving you something to drink,
 ``And a matter of money to put in your poke;
 ``But as for the guilders, what we spoke
 ``Of them, as you very well know, was in joke
``Beside, our losses have made us thrifty.
 ``A thousand guilders! Come, take fifty!''

 The Piper's face fell,and he cried, 

``No trifling! I can't wait!
 ``Folks who put me in a passion 

 ``May find me pipe after another fashion.''

 ``How?'' cried the Mayor ``You threaten us, fellow?

Do your worst,  ``Blow your pipe there till you burst!''

 Once more the Piper stept into the street,
 And to his lips again Laid his long pipe of smooth straight cane;
 And ere he blew three notes
 There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling
 Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hustling,
 Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes came clattering,
 Little hands clapping and little tongues chattering,
 Out came the children running.
 All the little boys and girls,
 With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,
 And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,
 Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after

The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.

That joyous crowd at the Piper's back,
 When, lo, as they reached the mountain-side,
A wondrous portal opened wide.
And the Piper advanced and the children followed,
And when all were in to the very last,
The door in the mountain-side shut fast.

Alas, for Hamelin! 

The Piper and the children were gone for ever.

[Date delivered: February 16 2013

Advanced Communication Manual - Interpretive Reading
Project 2 - Interpreting Poetry
  •  To understand the differences between poetry and prose.
  • To recognize how poets use imagery, rhythm, meter, cadence, and rhyme to convey the meanings and emotions of their poetry.
  • To apply vocal techniques that will aid in the effectiveness of the reading.
Time:  Six  to Eight  Minutes


I chose this poem for interpretation for the following reasons:
a) It is based on a very well known fairy tale which I thought audience would remember and relate to.
b) The language is simple and quite contemporary considering the fact that it was written way back in 1842.
c) It is known for its  vivid imagery, wordplay and jingling rhymes, thus meeting almost all the criteria for this project.
d) Has a very simple yet powerful message - Keep up your promises; else face dire consequences. (Some Toastmasters expect every project speech to have a message !)

The original poem is three times longer than what I read out. I edited it to conform to the time limits specified for this project. 
The unabridged version is available at http://www.indiana.edu/~librcsd/etext/piper/text.html

I also found an audio rendering of this poem at http://media.libsyn.com/media/blogrelations/Audio__Pied_Piper_of_Hamelin.mp3. 
It was very useful  for my preparation for this project.

To convey the mood of the poem ,I began and ended my reading by whistling three notes.
These notes are actually the opening notes of Richard Strauss's composition "Also Sprach Zarathushtra" (1896) which was inspired by  Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophical treatise of the same name. This tune was also used as the opening theme for  the movie 2001: Space Odyssey.
You can hear this musical piece (from 0:20 onwards) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLuW-GBaJ8k
 Incidentally these are the very notes (Sa-Pa-Sa) which a beginner in Carnatic Classical Music learns. Take a look at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQNbME26SrI

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Interpretive Reading Project 1 - Four Wives

[I have came out of  the one-and-half year hiatus and have resumed delivering project speeches. My goal is to achieve Advanced Communicator Silver (ACS) by mid -2014. This speech is the first step towards this goal.]

There was a rich merchant who had 4 wives.
He loved his 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best.
He also loved his 3rd wife very much. He was very proud of her and always wanted to show her off to his friends. However, the merchant was always in great fear that she might run away with some other man.
He loved his 2nd wife too. She was a very considerate person, always patient and in fact was the merchant's confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and tide him through difficult times.
However, the merchant did not love his first wife. She loved him deeply, but he hardly took notice of her and neglected her totally. 

One day, the merchant fell very ill. He knew that he was going to die soon. He thought about his luxurious life and said to himself, "Now I have 4 wives with me. But when I die, I'll be alone. How lonely I'll be after my death!" 

He asked the 4th wife, "I loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company wherever I go after I die?" He expected her to say yes. But she answered, “My dear husband, I know you always loved me. But you are going to die. Now it is time for me to separate from you. Goodbye, my dear”. The answer cut like a sharp knife right into the merchant's heart.

He called his third wife to his sickbed and begged her to follow him in death. He said, “My dear, you know how much I loved you. Sometimes I was afraid that you might leave me, but I held on to you strongly. My dear, please come with me.' "No! Dear husband, how can I follow you? You loved me only for your own selfish sake. Life is so good over here! I'm going to remarry when you die!” replied the 3rd wife. The merchant's heart sank and turned cold. 

He then asked the 2nd wife, "I always turned to you for help and you've always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?"  The 2nd wife replied, with tears in her eyes, “My dear, I pity you and I feel sad for myself. But I'm sorry; I can't help you out this time! I can only accompany you till the graveyard.” The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated. 

Three wives had refused to follow him after his death. Now he recalled that he had another wife, his first wife. He had not cared for her very much. He had treated her like a slave and had always showed much displeasure with her. He now thought that if he asked her to follow him to death, she would certainly say no. 

But his loneliness and fear were so severe that he made the effort to ask her to accompany him to the other world.
The first wife gladly accepted her husband's request. 'My dear husband,' she said, 'I will go with you. Whatever happens, I am determined to be with you forever. I cannot be separated from you”.
The merchant looked at his first wife closely. She looked sick from neglect and malnutrition. Greatly grieved, the merchant regretted, "I should have taken much better care of you!”

And then he died! 

Actually, we all have 4 wives in our lives. 

The 4th wife is our body. We love our body day and night. We keep it clean, well dressed and well fed in the same manner the merchant kept his fourth wife.  But unfortunately, at the end of our life, the body, the 4th wife cannot follow us to the next world.  No matter how much time and effort we spend in making it look good, it'll leave us when we die. 

Our 3rd wife?  The third 'wife' stands for our fortune, our material things, money, property, fame, position, and job that we worked hard to attain. We are attached to them. We are afraid to lose them and wish to possess much more. There is no limit. At the end of our life these material possessions cannot follow us to death. When we die, they all go to others just as the third wife told her husband “I'm going to remarry when you die!'

The 2nd wife represents all our near and dear ones - parents, sisters, brothers, wife or husband, relatives, friends. They are all helpful and sympathetic to us when we are alive. But no matter how close they were to us when we were alive, when we die at the most what these people can do is to go as far as the graveyard or cremation ground with tears in their eyes.

The 1st wife is in fact our soul, often neglected in our pursuit of material, wealth and sensual pleasure. Guess what? It is actually the only thing that follows us wherever we go.  Let us cultivate and strengthen our soul NOW rather than to wait till we're on our deathbed.

[Date delivered: January 19 2013

Advanced Communication Manual - Interpretive Reading
Project 1 - Read a Story


  •  To understand the elements of interpretive reading.
  • To learn how to analyze a narrative and plan for effective interpretation.
  • To learn and apply vocal techniques that will aid in the effectiveness of the reading.
Time:  Eight  to Ten Minutes

I chose to read this story  because its message closely resonates with my own views about life.
The author of the story is anonymous.
There are many versions of this story available on the internet. I combined the following two versions and  I created the content for my speech by combining two such versions. These two versions are available at:

Friday, March 23, 2012

3 Years of Toastmaster Speaks

 5 Most Popular Posts during the Year 3  (Mar 1 2011 - Feb 29 2012) of this blog:

    1.  Mobile Phones - Early Days: (1428 page views) This was my CC Project 2 speech. At that time I was working for Freescale and our business unit was developing wireless software for mobile phones. So I had enough background to speak on the story of how mobile phones evolved.
    2. Ragging - A Learning Experience (980 page views): This was my CC  Project 5 Speech, where I spoke about how I was ragged as a first year engineering student at NITK, Surathkal (then KREC, Surathkal).
    3. Project 10 Speech - The Three Essential Qualities of a Toastmaster: (639 page views): I spoke about how I prepared and delivered all the 10 speeches from the CC manual and what qualities a Toastmaster needs to have to achieve this feat.
    4. Wisdom, Wisdom Everywhere: (626 page views): This was my CC Project 8 speech. A few days before I gave this speech I had read the book , "Like the Flowing River " by Paulo Coelho. It had several soul-stirring stories and articles, some of them formed the basis of my speech. I have posted my review of this book in "Bookworm Reads", the other blog I write.
    5. Theme of the Day Speech (621 page views): This was my speech as a Toastmaster of the Day on the theme "If Liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they don't want to hear(George Orwell)"
Other Statistics:
  • Unique Visitors: 5202  i.e. 14 -15 visitors per day [Last Year : 3462  (9-10 visitors per day).]
  • Visitors came from 107 countries [Last Year: 83]
  • Page Views : 9843 [Last Year :   7961]

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book Review - Confessions of a Public Speaker

Last month I happened to read the book Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun. 
In this book he expresses his personal opinion on  the art of public speaking through a string of humorous behind-the-scenes stories and anecdotes based on his decade long personal experience as a public speaker. He also provides guidance on how to develop an appropriate mind-set for public speaking.
It is the easy, honest, witty and conversational style, and the fine art of storytelling which makes this bestselling book an entertaining read even though similar pieces of advice  have been offered in many other books. Therefore even if you know all the tricks in trade this book it is still an enjoyable read.

Recommended for anyone who is connected with public speaking.

 Key Points from this Book:

Chapter 1: I Can't See You Naked
  • Best speakers make tons of mistakes. As long as message comes through, audience  overlook many things. People with clear ideas and strong points are the ones we remember.
  • Mistakes will happen - what matters is how you frame your mistakes. Two ways to do it -
  1. Avoid the mistake of trying to make no mistakes.
  2. Know that your response to a mistake defines the audience's response.
    •  Many of the mistakes you make while performing do not prevent  you from keeping the audience entertained and providing a learning experience. It's the mistakes you make even before you say a word that matter more for e.g., not having an interesting opinion, not thinking clearly about your points, not planning ways to make those points relevant to your audience. 

      Chapter 2: The Attack of the Butterflies
      • It is quite natural and good  to have some nervousness or anxiety  before one begins speaking before an audience.
      • Fear of failure gives us energy to proactively prevent failures from happening.
      • Know your  material so well that  you are very confident about it.
      • Confidence comes from practicing and it makes it possible to improvise and respond to unexpected things - like hecklers, tough questions, bored audiences, or equipment failures - that might occur during the talk. 
      • No matter how prepared you are your body will be somewhat stressed. That's OK. There are many ways to reduce such stress for e.g. getting to venue early, walking around the stage, sitting and/or talking with the audience before your speech etc.
      •  If you can talk comfortably to people you know, then you posses the skills needed to speak to groups of people you don't know. 
      Chapter 3: $30,000 an Hour
      • There is some economic value to what good speakers on right topics do for people. It depends on how valuable the people in the room are to whoever is footing the bill.
      • It's more likely that people will come to an event featuring a famous person - even one they suspect is boring to listen to - than hear the best public speaker in the world (if that's his only claim to fame)
      • Speaking fees not only takes into account the time spent on delivering the talk. It also compensates for the time and effort the speakers spend in - gaining the expertise in their field,  preparing  and practicing for their talk and logistical issues.
      Chapter 4: How to Work a Tough Room
      • Most venues for speaking and lecturing in the modern world are dull, grey, uninspiring, poorly lit, generic cubes of space. Such venues can change lukewarm audience into tough ones.
      • Lecture rooms should be like theaters - semicircular rooms, not a square; stage a few feet higher than the front row, both to make the speaker on the stage easier to see and also to help them feel powerful; every row of seats higher off the ground before it to give everyone a clear line of sight; free of poles and blind spots; good lighting; soundproofed from the  noise outside.
      • Density Theory of Public Speaking: The size of the room or the crowd becomes irrelevant as long as the people there are sitting together in a tight pack (however small), experiencing and sharing the same thing at the same time.
      • However tough  the audience is,  there is always one person who is least  hostile towards you. Identify him and look at him for support whenever needed.
      • Sometimes speaker wrongly presumes that the audience is or will be hostile and behaves unpleasantly. This makes an imagined hostile audience a reality.
      • A tough crowd has to be interested in you to hate you. A hostile crowd gives you more energy to work with than an indifferent one. If you can figure out what it is they're interested in early on, it's possible to connect with them.
      • Audience are generally angriest about speaker's dishonesty. Show some integrity by speaking the truth on the very thing that angers them or even acknowledging it in a heartfelt way.
      • Great speakers are connection-makers, sharing an authentic part of themselves to create a positive experience for the audience.
      • An audience of just 5 interested people looks bad, yet it is better than having 50 uninterested people who want to leave the room but won't.
      • If you are truly afraid that you will be speaking to an hostile crowd, prepare yourself by asking the host how large the crowd is likely to be and what common questions might get asked. Make a request to speak beforehand to three people who are representative of the crowd. This will clarify whether your fears are real or imagined. During the speech mention the names of the people whom you talked to and what you heard from them.
      Chapter 5: Do Not Eat the Microphone

      • The problem with most bad presentations is - lack of good private thinking by the presenter and  not the speaking, the slides, the visuals or any of the things the presenter obsesses about.
      • As you plan your talk remember that the people in the audience have come because they - want to learn / wish to be inspired/ hope to be entertained/ have a need they hope you will satisfy/ desire to meet other people interested in the subject/ seek a positive experience they can share with others. Start with the goal of satisfying these needs.
      • The term "eating the microphone" is used in the speaking trade for speakers who are unprepared and wander away from anything the audience cares about in their talk. Avoid this situation by use your preparation time to strongly think through your speech beforehand  so that most audiences are satisfied  despite some minor mistakes during the delivery.
      • To prepare well:
        • Take a strong position in your title.Such a title should highlight what you would tell if you had only one single point.
        • Think carefully about your specific audience. 
        • Make your specific points as concise as possible.
        • Know the likely counterarguments from an intelligent, expert audience.
      • Create an outline of your presentation which is a narration in sequence of points that effectively support the title of your talk.
      Chapter 6: The Science of Not Boring People
      • A speaker must set the pace for the audience if he wants to keep their attention. For e.g. he can say "I have 30 minutes to talk to you, and five points to make. I will spend five minutes on each point and save the remaining time for any questions."
      • Start with a beat. Think of your opening minute as a movie preview: fill it with drama, excitement, and highlights for why people should keep listening.
      • Practice your material in front of a clock until you get the timing right. Remember if you're too lazy to practice, expect your audience to be too lazy to follow.
      • The simplest natural way to draw attention of the audience is to tell stories.
      • If people give an hour of their time to talk to them, they expect you to be confident in what you say and do.
      • Speak louder, take stronger positions, and behave more aggressively than you would do in an ordinary conversation but do not appear phony. Instead be a passionate, interested, fully present version of yourself. That's who your audience came to hear.
      • Transition between the slides are critically important. You have to know what's coming up next and summon the audience's attention at the right time to make sure they are all looking at or listening to you when the next thing you are going to say is funny, important, or powerful.
      • If your talk consists of several problems important to the audience, and you promise to release the tension created by those problems by solving each one, you'll score big.
      • Get the audience involved. Some ways to do so are:
        • Ask for a show of hands whenever you need some information or opinion from the audience.
        • Ask some trivia questions and let people shout out answers.
        • Give them a problem to solve.
      •  Always plan and practice to end early.
      Chapter 7: Lessons from my 15 minutes of fame
      • We are always performing. Most people say they're afraid of performing for an audience, but this is bullshit. You have an audience every time you open your mouth. It's just the question of doing it at the right level for the environment you're in.
      • Success often stems from the ability to make whatever medium (TV/ radio/ theater etc.) you're in feel like something simpler and often less formal. It's the art of making the unnatural seem natural.
      • Any time you are videotaped or recorded live without an audience, whether it's for TV or the Web, it's far worse being in an empty room than a tough room.  The secret to speaking to an audience without one actually present is to forget the studio and ignore the cameras. Go to a place in your mind where you remember the last time you spoke to a live, friendly, interested group, and match that style of behavior and enthusiasm. Speak as if the same audience is listening, and you'll be fine.
      Chapter 8: The things people say
      • Things people say often mean something other than what you think they mean.
      • Feedback from the audience is a one-shot deal - either you make sense of it or you can't.
      • Any attention at all means you did something of value. But sorting out the value is not easy to do.
      • Most often people give mixed messages. You're on your own to sort out which bits of feedback matter, and more importantly, the differences between how you feel about how you did and how the audience seems to feel.
      • When talking to a speaker after his talk, most people will say nice, simple, positive things. As a result, there are thousands of bad public speakers running around under the impression that they're doing OK.
      • Considering how much we talk, we suck at both being honest with others and at listening openly and non-defensively when others are honest with us.
      • What people want from lectures is different from what they say they want, or what the organizers want them to want. 
      • While listening to a lecture, most people are quite happy to just be entertained. A speaker can satisfy many audiences without providing much substance, provided he keeps them entertained and interested. The best teachers use entertainment as a way to fuel teaching, not simply to make their students laugh.
      • People are willing to assume credibility based on how and by whom the speaker was introduced.
      • Your appearance, manner, posture, and attitude matter. Every audience expects certain superficial things, and if you deliver them, the rest of your job is easier.
      • Enthusiasm matters. By being enthusiastic and caring deeply about what you say, you may provide more value than a low-energy, dispassionate speaker who knows many times more than you do. 
      • Some of the real feedback speakers need:
        • How did my presentation compare to the others?
        • What one change would have improved my presentation?
        • What questions did you expect me to answer that were unanswered?
        • What annoyances did I let get in the way of giving you what you needed?
      • Speakers can be set up to fail if they are asked to speak to people who hate them, or on a topic they do not care about.
      • A savvy speaker must ask the host,"What effect do you want me to have on this audience?"
      • The organizer must be clear about:
        • What they want from the speaker.
        • What the audience wants from the speaker.
        • What the speaker is capable of doing.
      • Everyone - the speaker, the audience, and the organizer - should know how the speaker is going to be evaluated.
      • Some questions to ask the attendees after the talk:
        • Was this a good use of your time?
        • Would you recommend this lecture to others?
        • Are you considering doing anything different as a result of this talk?
        • Do you know what to do next to continue learning?
        • Were you inspired or motivated?
        • How likeable did you find the speaker?
        • How substantive did you find the speaker's material?
      • Don't ask people to listen to something you haven't listened to yourself.

      Chapter 9: The clutch is your friend
      • All successful teachers must consider these four important questions:
        • How many understand?
        • How many will remember later?
        • How many try to apply the lesson in the real world?
        • How many will succeed?
      • Anyone can teach anyone anything if you have two dedicated, reasonably intelligent people, one interested in teaching and the other wanting to learn.
      • Anyone trying to teach must:
        1. Make it active and interesting:
        2. Start with an insight that interests the student
        3. Adapt to how the student responds to #1 and #2
      •  Making  it active and interesting:
        • The teacher can achieve this through exercises, games, and challenges where he plays a supporting role rather than a primary role.
        • If your goal is to keep people interested, give them permission to let you know when they're having trouble following and are about to tune out. A speaker who wants to teach should see this kind of questions not as a sign of failure, but as an opportunity.
        • Keep the audiences' minds feel active by telling them  relevant stories or showing them short and relevant movie clips 
      • Starting with an insight of interest:
        • There is always a way - if one is as much as expert as he thinks he is - to forge a path for anyone to follow into a subject or skill. If he can't make that path, he doesn't understand his topic as much as he thinks he does.
        • Keep your hard-earned knowledge in mind, but simultaneously remember how it felt to be a complete novice. It's rare to achieve this balance, but it's what makes a teacher great.
      • Adapting to how students respond
        • You should build your lecture so it is possible to ask yourself, at different points during the presentation:
          • Do they know this fact or lesson already?
          • Do they need me to explain this point in a different way?
          • Are they saturated with information and need a break or a laugh?
          • Are they too cocky and need a challenge?
        • A few days after the lecture you can contact the audience again to find out:
          • Do they have any new questions now that they're back at work?
          • Did they use anything you said? What happened?
          • Is there a topic that now, since they're back at work/life, they wish you'd covered?
          • Can they suggest ways to make the experience they had with you more active, engaging, or interesting?
        • Good teachers listen as much as they talk, improving their material based on what they hear and studying to see if it had the positive effects they hoped. A bored teacher is merely someone who's forgotten he must keep finding ways to learn from his students, even if it's simply to learn where he has failed them as a teacher.
      • If you want to learn the secrets of any performer, see his show twice. Then you'll notice how much of what seems improvised truly is.
      • There is value in something that's been said before being said again in a different way, or by someone new who can get away by saying truths insiders can't.
      • Someone has to leave the lecture, go back to his everyday world, and take the risk of doing something different with what he has learned. No speaker can ensure this happen.
      • Most of the research points to 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., high-volume, short-break, full-day seminars as a bad learning environment.
      • There will always be a shortage of good public speakers in the world, no matter how many great books there are on the subject.
      • Humor and insight come from paying attention, not from special talents.
      • Making connections is everything. It starts by either getting people interested in your ideas or showing how interested you are in theirs. The easiest and fastest way to do so is to be honest.
      • Expressing ideas is often the only way to fully understand what ideas are, and to know what it is you really think. Expression makes learning from the criticism of others possible.
      The little things pros do
      • The confidence monitor - a device put on the front of the stage to show the speaker what slides are being projected on the screen behind his back. Helps in maintaining continuous eye contact.
      • The countdown timer - to check the time and calculate how much time is remaining for you to conclude your talk.
      • The remote control -to give complete freedom to move around the stage.
      • Give away stuff - to fill the front row
      • Microphone - best when clipped on to a shirt and the wire run under the shirt.
      • Badges - not needed for speakers
      • Work the camera - strike a rapport with the cameramen; while preparing, craft your material and slides with the web audience in mind.
      How to make a point
      • The basic time-tested toolkit for making a point - Logos (Logic), Ethos (Character), Pathos (Emotion)
      • You can change the point you are making simply by changing which word you emphasize. Good speakers have a range of emphasis methods.
      • Being overly dramatic often kills the goal of connecting with an audience.
      • Sometimes when a room is silent, people pay more attention than when you are speaking.

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