I participated in two International Women’s Day celebrations this year. One was in a recording presented at my alma mater, College of Engineering Guindy (CEG), Chennai.
Recently a friend’s iPhone got damaged in the heavy rain. He has limited funds and wanted to spend as little as possible for a replacement, but because of his attachment to Apple, wanted to buy only an iPhone. After looking around on the web, he spotted an iPhone 6s, which was available in Best Buy. He got on Best Buy’s web chat, which is usually a very good place to discuss their offerings, and determined that the store closest to him has it in stock. The Best Buy support person assured him if he went to the store in person, he should be able to pick it up. But alas, the ghost (phantom) inventory struck.
There is a misconception among non-native English speakers that their schooling in vernacular language makes them less suitable for corporate jobs. This is a sentiment expressed by many youngsters from Tamil Nadu, the region I come from. I see it in Facebook posts and in movie themes. It is claimed that even though they may be smart and intelligent, they feel less confident and feel out of place in a predominantly English speaking corporate culture in India, especially in Information technology.
Pete Carey says:
“I joined Toastmasters to get a grip on public speaking, which, while I did a bit here and there, even before very large audiences, was almost always nerve-racking. I always enjoyed talking to groups – during and after, but not before! I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was my reluctance to speak before an audience that was the cause of my nervousness, for with repetition comes ease.
Toastmasters has given me a place to keep up my game, and – a dividend most non-members are probably unaware of – it has given me a little “leadership” experience – running meetings, chairing contests and so on. But there’s more!
The goal of Toastmasters is to make us better speakers. By working through a curriculum
and receiving evaluations by other members, I’ve learned to break some bad habits and have acquired a few skills that make for better presentations.”
John McGowan, CEO, Mathematical Software, who has been a Toastmaster since the 1990s, says:
“I joined Toastmasters in 1997 shortly after starting a new job at NASA Ames Research Center. I was looking for a way to meet more people at Ames outside my immediate work group. Ames had a printed newsletter which had a list of meetings of various groups. Ames has a program to sponsor extracurricular activities such as Toastmasters. I found Jetstream Toastmasters which dates back to the 1950s and started attending.
Many leaders, including technology visionaries, often use soundbites to make a point. Unfortunately, many of them could be misleading, if you don’t get past the soundbite.
Stephanie Charles who has been a member of Early Risers since 2000 says:
“I joined Toastmasters in 2000 because I was a docent at Henry Coe State Park and wanted to improve my presentations to the public. I checked out three convenient Toastmasters clubs and settled on Early Risers Toastmasters because the members were very diverse and very welcoming. I’ve been a member ever since.
I have now been a member of Toastmasters for more than 18 months. My icebreaker speech was in June 2017. Since then I have delivered several speeches, have done several evaluations of speeches and fulfilled numerous roles in the weekly activities of my club, Early Risers 2117 in Palo Alto.
If you are like me, you are seeing tons of articles and blog posts on how great AI is. Most industry leaders cannot make a presentation or a speech without acknowledging AI. The media whips up everyone into a frenzy. Is AI good for us? Will AI take over the world? Is Google evil for wanting to make an intelligent virtual assistant sound human? It goes on.
During my yearly visits to India, I was struck by the fact that many urban children do not have access to fresh vegetables and fruits. The price is exorbitant, but more importantly, there is very little awareness of the benefits of eating vegetables. I wondered if it is possible for these children to grow their own greens and vegetables. I no longer wonder.