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TrophiesLast Friday Dec. 4, 2015 I attended District 20, Division J – Debate contest.  Around 21 Clubs participated competed and enjoyed.  Like every event, this event reflected semblance of tranquility as if event organization was a cake walk.  But like any other event it had its ups and down but dexterity of organizer did not show the dark shadows of hardships.

Every event has five Pillars i.e

  • Planning
  • Teamwork
  • Organization
  • Execution and
  • Feedback

PLANNING: This Pillar is the foundation of an event that constitutes conceptualizing the event framework. Such as

  1. What is the event
  2. who will participate
  3. where will it be held
  4. when will it be held
  5. Defining Roles and responsibilities
  6. Defining time lines
  7. Who is the executive team members and back up team members
  8. Expenses and where to get funds
  9. Check the legal implication of conducting the event including emergency drill.
  10. Risk mitigation and backup plan. ( What if Judges drop out, a team drops out, out of the box protest, internal friction and disagreements and so on – Nominate someone who can address risks)

Rather Planning is thinking and putting the plan on paper for litmus test.  If planning is right the subsequent steps becomes easier to perform.  And if planning has gaps it could result in sinking boat or last minute runs that eventually shoots up your stress level.  Hence spend  2 – 4 days on planning and run it through the key stake holder.

TEAMWORK:  This is the second Pillar, when you bring together the team heads.

  1. Give your executive team the overview and share your vision
  2. Define roles and responsibilities
  3. Define time lines
  4. Give them a free hand to organize their team members and achieve results
  5. Request for their feedback on planning and how it can be executed better in a more efficient manner.
  6. Invite fresh and young blood into the team to add variety and spice.
  7. Having said that meet with them periodically to review the progress
  8. Teamwork is an opportunity for a leader to test out his leadership skills through effective delegation. Rather once planning is done, subsequent activity of a leader should be to give free rein to the team members and to track periodic progress on periodicity.

ORGANIZATION: This involves getting the ball rolling.

  1. Set up a communication systems among your team members
  2. Set up a communication system for audience and performers
  3. Get the team heads and team members under one roof and address them
  4. Organize and invite participation from audience, performers and executive team.
  5. Sharing events details
  6. Creating event awareness
  7. Organize permissions where required.
  8. This block ensure that you are equipped to deliver the plan on the event day

EXECUTION: This is WHERE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD. Execution is about ensuring things happen on time and as per your planned expectations.  And if you deliver within time and exceed expectations; you create a wow factor.  Be positive

FEEDBACK: Request feedback during the event and after the event from audience, participants and executive team members.  The objective is to see what could have been done better, efficient and at less cost/resource.

Good luck for your next event.

EnglishThis morning I messaged Vinod Mattamel to forward me Dreams Toastmasters club meeting agenda.  And he responded I am emailing it you followed by the message “You would like to do a special role?  Or a creative Word Master? What you would like to do?? Or a creative Listener???”

He had responded like a professional; he emailed me the agenda but triggered my curiosity.  I was planning to attend half meeting but ended up attending the full meeting.  I had the role play of Ah counter and listen master wherein the theme of the day wasBACK TO SCHOOL” and word of the day was TUTELAGE.   During the course of the meeting I realized I was falling back on my role play so decided to share my tutelage in English language instead.  And here follows my tutelage.

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IceStep back two decades, I would attend 2 Toastmasters meetings in a month and that were my club meetings.  I had no idea on how the other clubs were performing.  Proximity drove my participation and perception.  Fast forward two decades, now I participate in clubs other than my home club.  I am a click away from every other club in my country and across the globe.  I am connected to more Toastmasters than full circle of 1 degree or two degree connections two decades ago.

And this is the magic of Facebook, Google and many other SOCIAL MEDIA platforms.  I can participate and watch Toastmasters meeting sitting in remote corner of the globe using many video platform including www.ustream.tv

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Story.0Have you ever felt that you delivered your speech and the audience faces were blank with dead pan expressions….  Your speech fell flat………  It has happened to me.

There are many formulas for crafting a speech.  The best seller“Made to Stick” lays a formula called “SUCCES”; success with a single S.  Simple; Unpredictable; Credible; Concrete; Emotion and Story to craft your message.   The speech should be Simple. … Strip your delivery to the core.  A successful defense lawyer says if you argue 10 points, by the time jury goes back they would not remember any”;  Unpredictable…. break the audience guessing game;   Credible…should have reference from credible sources;   Concrete…should have concrete images; Emotion……make them feel something;  Story…tell stories.   Follow the SUCCES principal and you have an attention grabbing speech.

Then, there are gut feel formulas for crafting speech and my gut feeling says focus on three things.  Attention; Engagement and Message or action.  And you have a brilliant piece of delivery.  Crafting a speech is like dating getting your dates attention; engaging in conversation and asking for the next date.

There are various fundamentals to get attention and this could be achieved by asking powerful question, using humor; a prop; a gesture, sharing a personnel story or a mystery not letting the cat of the box and  a powerful quote.

Engagement is the meat and the best way to connect is “as Craig Valentine says 4F’s.  share your First, Fears, Frustration and failure.  And engage them in a dialogue physical or at a mental level.

Message or action.  Tell them what you have told them and show them how and why they should follow the action plan.

Finally remember to add the TITLE to your speech. “Attention, Engage and Message”

Happy Reading

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