International Speech Contest — Round 3 Speech take-away

Hi,
This is for polishing the story/speech for Round 3. I and my coach/mentors met for few hours and we decided one of my experiences we want to use for next round of International Speech Contest Round 3. We have the script, but it needs to be polished. What I request from you is:
  1.     What is your take-away message after reading this story?
  2.     What, if any, questions is unanswered or any question you have and is not covered in the story?
  3.     What are your suggestions to improve the script
      Please overlook grammatical errors as of now, just concentrate on the message strength and quality. 
      Thanks for your comments, 
      Pulkit

The Transition

Life is a journey, you travel from place to place, in this journey you sometimes meet people whom you just can’t forget. Among these unforgettable ones, there is always that one person who takes away your hopes and spirits, who always sees a glass as half empty but never fill that glass. And when you try to fill that glass, they drink water from that glass to make it half empty again?
                On my way to 21 years of age, I was the most pampered child of my family, well most because I am the oldest one, oh wait, the youngest one, no wait ….. I am the only one child of my parents, youngest in my generation and slimmest of them all. I was all set to begin my next journey; I was so excited when I got my ticket for LAX Airport for 6th of August, 2007. All my excitement turned into a big question mark when this 5 feet, 2 inch tall, fat lady said to me – “All life-long you lived like a prince at home, in US you will just become a guttery boy. Get ready to do work like cooking, laundry, cleaning restroom, driving, and studying – umhmm, you are the only child of your parents, you have never left home, don’t you have enough to eat and earn here? Why do you want to go? You won’t find Indians there. You won’t be able to make it. Don’t go or you will regret forever.” I thought – “I have no answer for you now lady but hey Indians and potatoes are everywhere.”
                August 6, 2007, when I reached at the airport, I realized there was no one to carry my bag outside the airport, I was further upset, how will I go on? I reached home, next day when I cooked – O My God, I made Indian food which tasted like Australian – tasteless and yucky. She was so right, I never cooked even once in India- my Mom used to feed me. Next week, I cleaned my clothes and ironed them – back in India, I had servants and cleaners – back at home, I never had washed a cloth, not even folded them, no cooking, no cleaning dishes, not even driving – I had driver for our family. She was so damn right – I was such a failure at everything. This journey of my life changed my life entirely ! I continued to live like this, ended up getting a good job, position and independence. 
                January 24, 2012 – I got chance to meet her again, in India. She said with a pride– “So, You are still your own servant – you still cook, clean, iron, drive, earn, do the dishes for yourself – its so funny, I told you these things 5 years back, you never listened and still doing these menial jobs.” How could I have replied to her, she was damn right that I was cooking, cleaning, ironing, driving, earning, doing the dishes and all other jobs which she called menial. Even though, I completed my Masters, I earned my own job and getting independent, I could not answer her. Because the answer there was not for her, the answer was for myself <Long Pause> This was the time when I had realized the value of hard-earned money my Dad used to earn, the value of food which my Mom cooked for me. But more than that, I realized the value of efforts of my maid made in cleaning and keeping my home shining, the value of sweat my cleaner shed for washing and ironing my clothes, the value of labor my driver put-in to drop me in any and every condition on time and safely. No work is menial but importantly, no individual is “menial.” If I would not have wear their shoes, I would not have felt their pains, if I would not have done the same tasks which they all were doing for me years after years, my connection with them would have been – me and a maid, as me and cook and as me and a driver. I realized that I no longer see them as maid, servant, cleaner, cook or driver – but I now see these people as PEOPLE. This was my transition from I and You to “WE”.
                More often than not, we distinguish a person based on their work, as a person of other color, as a person of other country, as a person of “OTHER CATEGORY”. But there is just one CATEGORY- People, rest all are just the borders between our hearts. We are people first, and then we belong to a workgroup, race, religion or country. The world can survive with the borders among the nations but this border between our hearts needs to be erased. I have erased mine – you are my people, Am I Yours ? 

Too2 Yesterday to Too2 today – International Speech Contest Round 2

Rehearsed, Recorded, Re-wrote and Rehearsed again this speech more than 50 times and then I heard those magical words — “Please welcome Pulkit Gangwal, who will compete in next round of International Speech Contest on April 29th, 2012.” I am on my dream run !! 🙂 
Thanks for your support by far, my next speech should be ready by 31st March, please continue adding your valuable feedback and suggestions on this or on future projects. Following is the script of my story which I presented on March 10, 2012. 😦 I wish they would have recorded it because this was my best speech by far 🙂 My comments/expressions are in red. 
Pulkit


August 1991, St. Paul School, an audition for Parents Day Function Speaker, among first graders is about to begin. In their classroom, Murga voice, Meow, Bow bow Gun – dhiskhiauu, Bomb-boom.  “Silence!” The 6-foot, bald Head-teacher enters the class. “You First graders are behaving like first graders. You fat boy! <Pointed to a fat lady in the audience> Come over and start Audition. This boy nick-named as Too2 came forward for the audition. “Good Morning Teachers, Parents and all my dear friends — ”
Fellow Toastmasters, Madam Contest Master and most welcomed guests – this was not just a failed audition for Too2, who always wanted to become a good speaker. This was the beginning of his journey of leaving the speeches incomplete, the beginning of his journey of reading the speeches verbatim from the page, the beginning of his journey of participating in all speech contests that he could and never qualify. The journey which continued for 12 years and then he made a decision which all of us make at least once in our lives. He decided that he is not going to face it anymore.
February of 2003, teenaged Too2 and his tall dark handsome father were having an after dinner-conversation, on a day before Too2s graduation and farewell from St. Pauls –
Too2 – “But Dad, we talked about 4 times and I told you that I am not going to give a farewell speech tomorrow. Do you want me to be the guy who started with an incomplete speech and ended with the same?
Dad – You know Too2, often times we don’t regret what we lost, but we regret when we realize why we lost it? We regret when we realize that we could have made it, only if we would have faced it. We regret when we realize that we could have won the game only if we would have played the game. If you won’t speak tomorrow, it will not matter to you that you never completed a speech in your school, but then someday you will realize that you never stepped up to complete it, and you will regret it. Prepare the speech Too2. Don’t lose the game without playing. To win, playing is mandatory – so, Just Go and Play the game.”  Too2 was afraid but he still started writing and practicing for speech next day.
Next day when he reached school, he begged, pleaded and finally convinced the angry bald, head-teacher to give him a chance to deliver a farewell note. He was invited on the stage – “Will I be able to complete my speech? What was my first line? Shall I read from the notes? No, what will I tell Dad then?” Nervous, but he started speaking, slowly and shaky, then he was calm and confident and finally he delivered the last line of his speech and completed his speech. He made the graduating batch stood up on their feet, applaud and make the same wacky noise which they all were making in the audition room in 1991. That day Too2 realized that if you want to win the game, then you have to play the game.
March 10, 2012 – After that day Too2 continued to speak even till today. If he would not have spoken that day, he would not have had the courage to walk the stage and speak and I know this, I know this very clearly and clearer than anyone else because because my nickname is  2-2 Often times we come to a stage in our lives, when we decide that we are not going to face it anymore. Often times we regret not what we have lost, but why we have lost. Often times we lose the game, not because we did not win, but because we have not played. If you don’t play the game, you cannot win. Play the game Fellow Toastmasters, just play the game.

International Speech Contest — Round 2 Speech topic selection

Guys,

This is for Round 2 of International Speech Contest to be held on March 10th. As Craig Valentine says — “What got you here wont get you THERE”, I have to improve at every step. I have more than one story telling options, all can be expanded into a classic speech but I would like to know which story touches you the most, or which story creates a curiosity in your head. Following are the brief intro to all of them, please get back to me either by commenting here or by mailing me on pulkit1010@gmail.com. I truly appreciate the time you give for this. Please try to respond by Friday – February 17, 2012.

Thanks

1. From Bye to Hi:

Reaching the destination is not a problem ….. but when you reach there, who all stands with you. Because people with whom you started your journey had their own paths which does not crosses yours any longer. What happened on the way? Why you are not together today? What can you do ? Will you take first step to get back? Will you wait for them to call or will you take a step forward, amend the relationship, express your love? 
This could be developed into a story to inspire people to get in touch with all their old friends. Clear their side of guilt with them. Tell them that they are being missed (I will share any of many of my personal stories to support this.) This could be developed into a humorous-inspirational speech and usually these kind of speeches leaves a good impression.
2. Hope:
I saw this friend of mine so sad today. Taking her hands into my own hands, I started explaining to her that I can read future and started saying –“Your Mars look powerful and Jupiter is retrograde, definitely you are going to bounce back … in less than a minute :)”. Her smile was back.
I can create a scene and transform it to how she stood against the flow once again. And I wont reveal until middle of the story that this future telling character is me (Surprise element !! ). Having two characters in story gives variety and life to words and expressions. This story could amaze people and hidden message of hope should fly. My Dad has good hands in Astrology and for the story I can mention him or something from his experience in the speech.


3. The story which brought me to Round 2: One More Time
A boy sees his father as a perfect speaker. At home he holds remote and imitates his Dad. His first speech “Good Morning Friends, My name is …. and he forgets everything after those 6 words. Failing and trying multiple times — this guy is finally able to complete the speech. In the end this guy turns out to be me. The scene created for this completed speech, the fear and failures on the way won hearts.
The story needs to be brushed up, but being in the speech competition, people could relate to it easily and it would be easy to put humor and motivation in the speech. This will make a good speech, giving me a chance to demonstrate two sides of me — Dull, fearful, afraid of getting up on stage and Boom — a new me, one who smiles on stage and speak his heart out.


4. Coming out of Comfort Zone:
All major transitions came to the people who went into an uncomfortable situation and then got up and faced it. Do you recall how uncomfortable you were at the first day of work you are doing right now, but you kept on learning step by step and today you are comfortable — but don’t stop. Growth is about going from one uncomfortable stage to another, from one failure to another. When you get comfortable – even if you are at the top, you cannot improve ,,, you stay there.

By far this is the best topic I could think of. I could support it with my transition from Wireless Engineering to Business Analysis. Narration of tough moments testing my mettle could help me here.For eg. Talking to mirror and giving inspiring dialogues, waking up and saying some same (inspirational) words daily. Can introduce tragic scenes and make a message out of emotional story. It will be difficult to add humor in this story which is why I am hesitating to pick this one up, but let’s see. Other than that, I can combine Topic 3 and Topic 4 and come out of the uncomfortable zone.

Please pick/vote any of these stories if you can. Pass on any suggestion comments or questions. Your point of view matters to me !! .. 

Facing the Facebook

This is the text of my speech on increasing use of Facebook and its effects on society. This was my 7th speech since July 2011. The objective was to research a topic and the assigned duration was 5-7 minutes. Some changes I made up on lectern based on Audience reactions. Comments and Suggestions on the speech organization are welcomed.
  
Facing the Facebook
Facebook is like a jail – You sit around and waste your time … you write on walls … and anyone who comes and goes … pokes you . What has Facebook done to us? Fellow Members, Guests and Madam TM, today I am going to talk about three effects of Facebook – three effect of Facebook on people like you, me and even Tom, Dick and Harry.
Facebook Effect #1 – Controlling your behavior
Facebook has changed the dimensions of Fun and Friendship. Few years back we used to play real games with real friends on real basketball courts , but now, it is all about playing Farmville with virtual profiles and in the Farm which doesn’t even exist . A survey was conducted this year which quoted a term – Facebook Envy. People tend to post happy parts of their lives on Facebook. Happy moments like a promotion, new car, vacation and the list goes on, but nobody ever posts the “not-so-happy” part of life on Facebook. People who are on Facebook start comparing their lives with the “Happy” life posted by their friends on Facebook and thinks that their life is lacking something.  They try to look better, do bigger and post even catchier. People like these are prone to depression and have lower self esteem and this status of mind is what they call Facebook Envy.
May be this is the time to realize who is controlling whom?
Facebook Effect # 2 – A complete … complete waste of time
An average user spends 23 minutes a day on Facebook. Just 23 minutes a day adds to 144 hours per annum. 144 hours – the number of hours you work in the month of February. That means an average user wastes one month worth of Work-life on Facebook, no wonder recession is still going on .
There are 800 million  users on Facebook. 50% of these users, when they wake up in the morning  — Look how Andrea is laughing, she is in those 50% people about whom I am going to talk now. 50% of these users including Andrea  the first thing they do when they wake up is see how many comments and likes they got on their last status message which they updated last night before sleeping. And user updates – I don’t understand why are people interested in knowing which of their friends is taking a nap right now, which of them took “Which Friends character are you quiz?” and why are you so curious to see the picture of what your friend in Australia cooked today.
May be this is the time to check the time you waste on Facebook.
Facebook Effect #3 – Well, I don’t know what to call it, but I know I am more popular than anyone in the room right now … you know why – because I have 542 Facebook Friends
Yep, the feeling the more Facebook friends I have, the more popular I am. 27% profiles on Facebook are fake. And I would like to share an instance related to fake profile which happened with my best friend.  He had a crush on this girl and to his surprise, she added him on Facebook. They kept in touch for few months and then she asked him to meet in a café.  He was excited and happily he went to meet her. Do you all want to know what happened in that café? The girl didn’t come is just one side of the story, in her place three guys showed up and  …. One of them was me. I created a fake profile to fool my best friend . That profile was created with intention of fun and humor, but who knows the intention of million other fake profiles? August this year, in UK, a common man like you and me, not a hacker,  was able to steal money from his neighbor’s bank account just by using info his neighbor posted on Facebook. He shared his DOB, maiden name, Hometown, Family Name etc. Surprised ?? 40% profiles on Facebook have information sufficient to open a new bank account.
May be this is the time to reconsider your friend list, your security settings and your information on Facebook.
Conclusion: Everything I shared with you in last few minutes is just a tip of the ice-berg. If you dig more, you will find more. And definitely, this is the time to reconsider, who is controlling whom?, how much time you spend on Facebook and your security, but more than that its time to realize that …………. You are much more interesting person than your Facebook profile………..  that you are much more beautiful than your Facebook profile picture ….. and that you are much more than just a Facebook profile. Think about it !!