February 06, 2013
The training is getting more interesting and I am getting very involved. I am gaining in confidence.
Manoj spoke about the aspects that make people effective in life. One has to concentrate on the following to live life to the fullest:
Health, family, society, financial prudence, emotional well-being, intellectual growth, spiritual realm.
While speaking about Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Manoj said books such as this has to be read several times to assimilate the learning. I made a mental note to buy Covey’s inspirational book and go through it again and again to internalise the learnings.
Manoj is very good at organizing games to keep the energy levels high. The first game was a tool intended to remember names. Forming an Impression of the person’s features is the first one. Repetition of the name cements the impression. Association of the name with someone else or something is the last step. For example, you can easily remember Gopi by looking at his eyebrows which meet, then repeating his name a few times and then associating his name with Gobi Manchurian. Now I know the names of every participant. And I always thought that I was very poor at remembering names.
He led every one into a jig shouting, Impression, Repetition, Association.
Another game he conducted is aimed at inducing good energy levels especially after a lunch break. It involved chanting thrice each, in a rhyming way – water melon, pine apple, bana-na-na-na and then fruit salad, with elaborate actions to match.
Towards the end of the class, the participants were asked to speak on any subject of their choice. I spoke about the influence of media. I thought I did well though it could have been better. I should not have used the word ‘polarise’ more than once. I could have also used Shakespeare’s phrase – full of sound and fury signifying nothing – to drive home the point that many discussions in the media create more heat and less understanding.
I should focus more on expressing my thoughts rather than on impressing people with my language. When I try to impress, I block my mind and heart and words do not flow as easily as it should.
Manoj’s concluding session about the important aspects of public speaking covered the most important aspects to hold the attention of listeners.
Eye contact is very essential. Eye contact should not be with the entire group, it should be with individuals in the group.
Communication is from the communicator to the receiver of communication. Often, the communicator ends up communicating to himself without bothering whether the listeners are connecting to the message.
Hand movements are also very important. In my talk, I noticed my hands moving, but I have this typical upward and downward cutting movements of my arms. I should learn to use my hands and arms according to the context of the speech to express my thoughts.
Too much of movement on the stage could end up distracting the listeners.
My brother Joychen called me this morning to find out how the training is going on. I told him I was enjoying myself. Then he told me that people in Mannanal family, including himself, had the gift of talking eloquently without putting the lessons into practice. I offered to train him during my next visit. The disrespectful idiot suggested that what he said applied to me as well.
Then he said that during family meetings, everyone especially the young crowd could learn from the experience of others. Because, beyond the good food they share and the good times they all enjoy, there should be sharing in order to keep the family together in growth. I agreed with him. So physician, heal thyself before healing the family and the society.
That reminds me, I really have to give up smoking. And I have to focus on the work in the office without getting distracted. After all, the essence of training is walking the talk. Otherwise, words, however well they are communicated, are mere empty shells. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.