Toastmasters Speech # 4 ‘How to be a Superhero’

Speech 4 of Toastmasters Competent Communication manual: How you say it!

Now this one was special. I delivered this in my club and was asked to repeat it as it was not very effective (going by the objectives of Speech 4). My evaluator didn’t feel that I had done any justice to the speech. Sigh. I felt it was fine and I had felt good after delivering it. But very bad after the evaluation. Nevertheless, I went to another club and delivered the same speech there. But there, a mishap happened. I went blank for about 10-15 seconds in the middle of the speech as I felt my mouth had completely dried up. I couldn’t speak anything. And when I regather myself to speak, I forgot where were I. But, my evaluator did something fantastic. She praised my confidence, my content and even the delivery (which was far from perfect). She encouraged me to not get discouraged from dry-mouth sort of things and keep it going. I felt so nice after that. Moreover, the club presented me with ‘best speaker’ ribbon award that day. I can’t imagine how that happened but probably they wanted me to feel better.

In Speech 4, one has to use proper grammar and incorporate usages of rhetorical devices to enhance the message of the speech.

Do you ever wish that you could do something that could change the world or make it a better place?
Do you wish that you had Some Sort of Superpower to do Something Special?
Do you ever wish to become a Superhero?

Mister/Madam Toastmaster , fellow toastmasters and welcomed guests.

Just picture this:

It is quite late at night. And a girl is walking back home. All Alone and Afraid. She walks. The street she walks on is dark , dingy and dangerous. She wants to reach home as soon as possible. She hurries. She knows that it is too late to be out at night for the night is dark and full of terrors. She takes a turn. And all of a sudden out of the blue someone appears in front of her. It’s big as a bear kind of figure. That is a Goon!!!!!! , a Goon with a knife , a Goon with a criminal intent. She is shaking. She is terrified! She shrieks for help. The Goon is about to pounce on her.

Now , If I happened to live nearby and if I possessed a Six Sense Superpower like Peter Parker The Spiderman or Amazing Abilities and senses like Matt Murdock the Daredevil, I would have got alarmed. I would have quickly changed into my superhero gear and jumped on to the scene. I would’ve beaten the pulp out of the goon and saved the life of the girl using my Superhuman abilities. People would have gathered thanks to the noise. And they would’ve clapped and praised my name. And eventually told the stories of my bravado to their kids. And may be the girl would’ve fallen in love with me too, who knows!

But but but this is all Nonsense. I don’t have any superpower. Neither I am that brave. Nor I want any girl to fall in love with me , now that I am married. Too late! And also, I don’t like to wear underwear over my pants.

So , what really makes one a Super Hero? Candidness? Candor? Courage? Costume?

So what do you wish to have your superpowers like?

Invisibility? Invincibility? Integrity and strength? Yes or no?


I believe , most of us , want to do something good for the society. Many of us , work with NGOs. We donate money to charities. And we also change our Display Pictures on Facebook for some cause or the other. All that is good indeed except changing DPs. But there are some other ways also , by which you can do good for others.

I can tell you about one of the easiest way which can make you a superhero.

Blood Donation.

Marian Academy Blood Drive 2014 #9

(Pic via Marian Academy Blood Drive 2014 #9 by *Amanda Richards via Attribution Engine. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.)

There was a blood donation drive in our office recently. Initially people felt reluctant but later few went and donated. Still I feel that everyone should have participated in the noble cause. But people didn’t. They ignored it like they ignore ‘Read Me’ or ‘Terms and conditions’ documents before installing any software. Let me clear some common misconceptions about blood donation.

Do you know , that it takes a maximum of 20 minutes to donate blood. And they take only 300 ml to 400 ml. The body regains the lost blood in just 36 hours and the overall quality of blood in mere 3 months. And one feels absolutely no difference before and after the donation.

In our office , many people donated, the gatekeepers donated , canteen staff donated , sweepers donated , both men and women donated. Although some were sent back because of them being anaemic. But it’s the gesture that counts , isn’t it?

C’mon people , let me assure you that this is the easiest way to help someone. And it helps you in return too , in case you need Blood yourself , you will be given free of cost for the next 6 months. Of course, you donated Money in charity , but who knows where is it going? I am sure , your donated blood will be used to only help someone in need of blood. As far as I know , there is no Dracula or Vampire who also needs blood. Best part is that , you needn’t know who is getting benefited by your this gesture.

And believe you me people , once you donate , you feel good . What a lovely feeling that is , as if you have accomplished something . I have myself donated 7-8 times and it is, for me , as satisfying as getting a infinite sheet of bubble wrap for popping.

Also , after they take the blood out , they provide snacks and juices. So at least for that you can donate blood no? Remember friends, one hand forwarded for donating blood, is equivalent to pulling someone out of a life threatening ditch.

Even Subhash Chandra Bose will give you blessings if you know what I mean.

So from now on , if given a chance , please
Go donate blood!
Go help someone in need!
Go and be a Superhero!

Rhetorical Devices used in this speech:

Alliteration- words beginning with same letters to create a rhythmic effect
Triads – combination of 3 words to emphasize something / Rule of three
Parallelism – drawing parallel between 2 unrelated things
Paraprosdokian – Sentences with unexpected ending
Simile – as big as, as good as, etc
Anaphora – repeated words to stress on something

ORA*TORS award
These are my achievements as of now. The Orange one is the most precious though as I received it for this speech even when I didn’t deserve it by any stretch.

BTW, if you have been to my blog earlier, this speech was a slightly modified take on this.

Featured Photo by Raj Eiamworakul on Unsplash

Toastmasters Speech # 3 : Impact of Hobbies / Hobbies do wonders

Imagine this scene.

It is a usual Monday Morning and your mood is right up [gesture low hand pointing to the ground] here.

You come or rather drag yourself to your workplace and a Colleague asks “Hey man… how was the weekend? Anything interesting?”

Most of us just shrug and whimper with a dull reply, “The usual”.

Happens, right?

I’m sure that you wouldn’t have shrugged if you had spent your weekend doing something which you enjoy.

Mister / Madam Toastmaster Fellow Toastmasters Distinguished Guests

Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, once said,

“You never lose a dream , it just incubates as a hobby.”

Today I would talk about Hobbies. Hobbies are activities which you “USED” to enjoy doing in your leisure time. But now you are simply “BUSY”.

Most of us do have something or the other as our hobby. Everyone likes to do something when they have nothing else to do right?
Some like to solve puzzles or crosswords, some like to sing or dance , some like to read and some like to play. Some like to do Gardening. Some like to cook.

And then there are some, who just like to eat and sleep or ‘Netflix and Chill’. And they’re , indeed, living the best life.


Do anyone here like to share some of THEIR hobbies? Anything unique?

See, We all lead a very busy life. So we need something to unwind ourselves. To take us to back to our roots. To do things which makes us feel happier. Don’t we?

Today, I would share with you the impact of hobbies which I had on my own life.

I Like to indulge in visual arts. As in, I sometimes Draw Cartoons , Click Pictures , Spend Hours on Photoshopping them. Also I create Posters , Design Logos and so on on so forth.

5th Jan, 2012, a hindi movie “Mr. India”, was being shown on TV. I used to love that movie as a child. So I decided to create a small poster for the movie. Just as a tribute.

Mr. India
Mr. India Minimal Poster

This shows Anil Kapoor and Sridevi through a red glass. Those who have seen the movie would get it easily. Those who haven’t , just hold on. This is a Minimal Poster where very little or just the core of the story is shown.

What happened after, is that I shared this on my blog, Facebook and Twitter and got a very positive response. This prompted me to create some more posters for some more movies and TV shows. I enjoyed making them and my friends continued with the praise. I wasn’t doing anything special . I was just passing my time by creating minimalistic tributes to the movies I had enjoyed myself. Just to feel nostalgic .

Some of the posters

Then I created more posters . Now in non-Hindi languages as well. I’ve created close to 200 posters by now.

When the blog got popular, it finally got noticed by some movie makers and then some journalists. Then this started happening.

Newspapers and Magazines
Newspapers and Magazines articles

I got popular.

I got interviewed many times. My posters have been published in numerous newspapers and magazines. I am not saying that I am very good at it. Far from it! Just that I kept pursuing my hobbies and others liked that. It made me famous and gave me something to brag about and encouraged me to keep doing it over and over again.

My point is , who knows where your hobbies could lead you to. You are doing it just for fun . But you never know , what impact could they have on you and people around you.

Thus, I would just encourage and request you all to take some time out and do what you like, other than usual working for 8 hours a day.

Take out that old guitar which you always wanted to play but never took time out. Go join some dance classes and start flying again. Lately, there has been no Philately but who is stopping you from collecting stamps again. You like to cook? Be better at it and who knows you could land into Masterchef one day?

Even if you don’t, at least you’d have spent your time in doing something you liked and enjoyed. Isn’t that good in itself?

I would depart with the following quote from Warren Buffett, often called the world’s richest man,

“Whatever YOU like to do , make it a hobby and
whatever the WORLD likes to do , make that a business.”

Here’s a rehearsal recording of the speech:

Toastmasters Speech # 2 : Catch’em All

So I’ve finally joined Toastmasters International, an organization which helps one to become a better public speaker. I have joined a corporate club which happens to be in my office itself so it is easy to go there and attend every week. I will give a detailed account of how it helps or helped me, once it does. Till then I am planning to post the speeches I gave in the club.

1st speech is the Ice Breaker in which one has to basically talk about themselves for 4-6 minutes. So there is no point putting that speech here. You guys have no interest in knowing me anyways.

2nd speech is called: Organize your speech.

Basic idea behind this is to make your speech easy to follow by having a good opening, lucid body and supporting conclusion. For this speech, I thought I should tell something about something which is making news nowadays. Now one is advised to refrain from speaking about sex, religion and politics. So I chose to speak about latest obsession of people:

Pokémon Go

To try first and then speak, I decided to download the apk file (as it is yet to be released in India). And then it took over my life. I kept playing it for a week before they made the maps blank in some parts of India till it releases officially. Probably they don’t want to get extra load on their servers, which keep on crashing because they never expected this much amount of success. I played, walked for hours, also rode on bike to reach Pokéstops at places like Silk Board, Lakes and some gardens. So here is my speech which I delivered on July 27th, 2016. Please note that when I actually spoke, I did miss a few lines and spoke few which aren’t mentioned here. Nevertheless, here it is:

Title: Catch’em all

Pic via Pawel Kuczynski

People often ask here: “Who all have kids here?” (People do ask this in my club)

Let me rephrase and ask a different question to you:

“Who among us here believe that there are still just Kids mentally in adults’ bodies? The one who don’t want to grow up ever?”

I think most of us want to stay as kids, don’t we? The joy we used to have back then.  Ah lovely! We could eat everything and anything without a worry! We read Comics and watched Cartoons. We could play all day long. Both outdoor and indoor games.

Talking of Indoor games, I am sure, most of us here would have played video games. Some still do. Your ‘Xboxes and PS4s’ are still running daily.

Many of us also loved watching cartoons, right? The people here, who are the younger millennials or “the 90s kids” must be familiar with the cartoon “Pokemon”. Pocket Monsters?

You know about Pokemons right? At least you must’ve seen or heard about Pikachu.

[showed picture of Pikachu on phone]

Yes, that’s a pokemon alright.

For the uninitiated [pause] Pokemon is a very popular Japanese cartoon show created by Satoshi Tajiri in ‘95. In it, the protagonist aims to be a “Pokemaster” by catching numerous Pokemons of different powers, shapes and sizes. Each Pokemon is unique and has some particular superpowers. Some are good and cute like Pikachu. Some are evil like Houndoom.

The protagonists collect good pokemons and fights them with antagonist’s evil pokemons. The one with better powers win.

That was the cartoon though. Later came some videos games and some movies.

But that was then.

On July 6th, a game was released, called ‘Pokemon Go‘. Anyone has heard about it?

This game is developed by Nintendo from Japan which had created Mario, you remember? In collaboration with the Pokemon Company and Niantic a company formed by an ex-Google employee John Hanke.

This game has shaken things up in smartphone world and believe me people have gone CRAZY. They (people of all ages) are playing this all the time. Day or night, home or street, you name it!

Pokemon Go is unique in the sense that is an “Augmented Reality” Game. It uses your phone’s GPS, Camera and clock to detect your location and the time. Then Pokémons “appears” around you (that is virtually on your phone screen) so you can go and catch them and be a Pokemaster. Instead of a CGI surrounding which is fictional in traditional games, the real world is your stage.

You have to literally move physically and catch them using buttons on your phone while the display shows a pokemon and the background is usual street captured live by the camera.

As you roam around in your locality, more pokemons of other kinds will appear, again depending on location and time. YOU HAVE TO CATCH THEM ALL.

Now, Augmented Reality is an interesting thing. The pokemons will be located in your actual locality. I mean to say that you step out of office, roam around this campus start this game and you could see a Pokemon right outside this building.

The basic idea is to travel around the city and catch as many pokemons as possible before someone else catches that. This game has elements of cartoons, video games and treasure hunt.

The more popular locations such as parks, shops, etc are called “Pokestops” and would have more probability of Pokemons lurking around (And collect pokemon iteams). Some even popular places like temples are called as ‘Gyms’ in Pokemon lingo where you could fight with other people’s pokemons.

Probably when you walk around a lot trying to catch Pokemons, and come back home with some weight loss, people might ask, ‘Have you joined a Gym?”.

The game is available on both iOS and Android. However, it has not been officially released in India yet. But you could still download the APK file and play it right away. Time to be a kid again!

It is all fun. Right? Yes. But not without some downsides.

You are giving away few things to this game.

Your location. Your contacts. The control of your camera.

And your mind. Seriously.

There have been accidents that have happened in real life.

Before this Pokemon Go even came about, in December 1997, more than 600 Japanese children were admitted to hospitals with epileptic seizures because the TV show had too much light and sound all at once.

Now as the pokemon Go has become famous there are other weird things popping up.

– Accident on a Road happened in some US City when one guy went out to catch a Pokemon while his car was still on the road and no handbrakes were used.

– The Arlington National Cemetery in Washington has asked users not to play there because that place is a Holocaust museum and a Cemetery.

– One teenage girl even found a dead body while looking for Pokémon in someone’s backyard.

It’s so popular now that it has taken over Facebook and Twitter in terms of daily active users on iOS.

But each technology has its boons and banes. This Augmented Reality is really great. It could be used in fields of Education, Museum, Medicine and what not? The limits are endless. Till then we have the game. Give it a try.

So, I will go now and try to catch a Pokemon or Two. Gotta catch ’em all!

Here’s a rehearsal recording of the speech:

Featured Photo by David Grandmougin on Unsplash