Lead by Communication

Lead by Communication

Lead by Communication

Nishani Pigera

A great leader is not someone who merely makes him/herself heard. A great leader is someone with the exceptional skill of inspiring followers to believe in his/her vision, values and ideals with the use of effective communication.

History bears ample examples that, from constructive leaderships which developed nations into world economic power houses to destructive leaderships that lead troupes to wage wars against other nations were all driven by one factor; skillful communication that convinced people to join the force, be it labor or the military.

A closer look at the legendary leaders from the past like Martin Luther King Jr., Winston Churchill or Margaret Thatcher, to present day leaders like Barak Obama will show you that they all have one quality in common, which is their exceptional ability to address their audience in a manner that is inspiring and resounding. It is no secret that even the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler captivated millions of people in over 5,000 of his persuasive speeches, and to date, is remembered as one of the world’s most influential orators. Read more

Reverberation 16 team

Reverberation 2016: The Wave Of Celebration

Reverberation 2016, a wave of celebration hit us all with beautiful memories! 4th November 2016 was probably just an ordinary Friday for a lot of people.  But, it was a weekend with a lot of memories, especially for a group of students in this small town called Vellore at this college called VIT University.

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What makes humor tick?

Humour exists not just for its own sake.

It can be thought of as the brahmastra that helps in making any speech powerful. The genius of the device is such that it can be used to convey any feeling, be it love, hate, anger, grief, jealousy, disgust, cynicism, and so on, and ironically, it can also be used in bringing down the impact of those very feelings, when deployed in a different way.

All the same when used well, it can work wonders by effectively communicating any subject. Case in point: Comedian John Oliver’s weekly show “The Last Week Tonight”.  While Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert established the style and foundation for satire and  sarcasm laced examination of “serious” subjects, it was John Oliver,  in this author’s opinion, who popularized it so much that his show is considered  a serious contender in the  category of mainstream journalism despite the anchor’s vehement insistence that it’s just a  comedy show. Oliver’s brand of humour  takes the form of sarcasm,  slapstick, innuendo and self-deprecation,  many a time. But it also  succeeds in telling the story of the day. It manages to  CONVEY. That’s a near perfect demonstration of what humour can do to any kind of  messaging.   

What makes humour work? For the sake of brevity, let’s examine the most important  components in a speech that gets humour working.   

  1. Conflict For any story to work, it has to stay within the boundaries of logic, even if its  basic premise is as unearthly as possible.  Conflict, a.k.a the second act, gets the audience’s’ interest and keeps them guessing until resolution, i.e. the climax.  A humorous speech or  story works along the similar lines. Even if the idea  is to  make the audiences laugh, a humorist should also get  them to  care. Once the laughter dies out, they should still be interested in  knowing  what  happens to the story.    
  2. Characterisation A corollary to the previous point, great characters help in making a story  interesting.  Great characterizations make humour a lot more situational. Those situations  can be made more relatable with the use of localisms, and cultural references easily  identifiable to the audience. It’s here that a humorist strikes the chord.    

While writing this piece, I was wondering if I should make it humorous for the reader, just as  a way of presenting the purpose of the article in a subtextual  manner. And that’s when I remembered another cardinal rule ­ No humour is better than bad humour. Bad humour,  short of getting a  few laughs, can create  controversies. Nothing leaves a worse aftertaste  than forced or misplaced humour.   

Unless an individual is very skilled, including humour in speeches takes serious thought and  preparation. When it’s done right,  it’s an excellent tool  to have in one’s communication arsenal.  

This article was first published on the Deccan Chronicle VIT’s blog section.



How Ex-Com roles influence your career

How Ex-Com roles influence your career? – Part 1

What positive influence has being an Executive Committee (ex-comm) member had on your career?

Everyone has a reason to join Toastmasters. As evidenced by countless speeches, it leaves a mark on every individual’s life. We were curious about the extent of the part it played in helping members in their professional lives – whether in networking, finding a job, furthering one’s career, finding new opportunities, solving problems, showing leadership in times of crisis et al.

Toastmasters places a lot of emphasis on leadership. A good leader also needs to be a good communicator. An aspiring leader’s journey starts at the club level. Those are the Toastmasters’ equivalent of grassroots. It is where the real leadership training starts. Being part of a club’s executive committee requires the ability to have a vision, to shoulder responsibilities, to be empathetic, to be a good mentor/guide, and to carry the club baton forward from the previous team. These are some of the qualities that organisations expect from their employees. Having demonstrated them in a formal setting such as Toastmasters can potentially have an incredible impact in one’s career.

Therefore, we asked the past executive committee members of various clubs about their experiences in performing their roles. Let’s see what they have to say… Read more

International President Elect, 2015-2016

District 82 with DTM Mike Storkey, Toastmasters International President-Elect

DTM Mike Storkey,
International President-Elect, 2015-2016.

“I urge everyone to step outside their comfort zone, step up to the challenge and seize the opportunity”

1. What was your first Toastmasters meeting like? Please describe it to us. And what convinced you to become a member?

The first Toastmasters meeting which I attended was the demonstration meeting of the Whitsunday Club in North Queensland, Australia. Lesley, my wife, and I were encouraged to investigate and found an enthusiastic group of young potential members together with a team of existing members from the sponsoring club all having a great time. Unfortunately the timing was not right for us and in fact it was two years later when we actually became members. Neither of us joined to improve our public speaking or to become leaders, but as we lived in a resort holiday town on the Great Barrier Reef there was little social life after the sun went down so the reason was do something socially together. We have not been disappointed.

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Toastmasters Leadership Institute

Toastmasters Leadership Institute

The Toastmasters Leadership Institute helps Toastmasters across the district to come together to network, share ideas, and be inspired. It’s where newly-elected club officers receive training on how to best serve their clubs. TLI not only helps the current club leaders – but also to anyone who may be interested in becoming a club officer in the future or those members who just want to learn more and groom themselves in their Communication and Leadership skills, who want to contest and also to know about our wonderful organization.

TLI events are one of the most important and sought after events in District 82, where Toastmasters from all walks of life, meet each other to train and mentor newly installed club officers, and also get a fresh perspective on club officer roles from the attendees, to coach the contestants for the upcoming contests and help the clubs organize their contests. Attending TLI is very essential to be a successful club officer, to organize the contests effectively, to help oneself train to be a proper Judge and know the updated rule sets from the Toastmasters International. It helps ambitious toastmasters meet their leadership goals efficiently. Read more

D82 Featured Image (1)

Conquering a conference

Planning and organizing a conference can be a challenging task. I had the privilege of donning the mantle of Conference Chair for the Division A Mid-Year Conference last November, and it proved to be a great learning experience. Here are my Top Three Tips to help you create a successful conference.

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