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June 2007: The ESCF toastmaster’s was set up to add value to the Emirates supply chain forum.  I recall their first few meetings that were resounding successes and even the venue was a full house.

Years later, when I got a call from then Area Governor to mentor ESCF Toastmasters Club, I was taken aback and was curious to find out how a club could go from such a high to being resuscitated?  During my first meeting with the Excom, I met members who were resolute and wanted to bring back the glory to the ESCF Toastmasters club meetings and would never say die.

Now when I look back, I truly believe it has been a successful year for ESCF Toastmasters, new blood, regular fun meetings, healthy members and guest participation.  We are not there yet, but, we are moving forward on the right track.  There is one thing I would like to share with the Toastmasters community. The ESCF progress has been possible due to the step by step progress made by the Excom following DIP [discipline, initiatives and perseverance.]    Having said that, this would not have been possible without the help and support of the Toastmasters community, because, you came forward when they needed you the most. Be it for educational sessions, evaluations or mentoring programs.

I would say that success in toastmasters or in life is about getting the right team in place.  Like Jim Collins said in his best seller book “Good to Great” …….  “The first thing level 5 leaders do is –  Get the right people on the bus and others off the bus.”   As of December 2010, ESCF has an enthusiastic Excom team on the bus under the leadership of TM Alok Singh that drives at full throttle on the highway.

I wish them a wonderful and successful journey ahead.

Vinod Mehra


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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