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


Everyone knows that it takes a lot to raise hand, stand up, walk and get up on the stage to speak on a random topic. I believed that I could do it easily. I thought I had it in me, you know, the potential that is just ripened to be utilized. It is not like that I haven’t had any chance to speak on stage till now. I did do somewhat of it a lot of times, for instance, giving paper presentations during Engineering days, or some session on technical stuff, training some thing here and there. But none of those were actual speeches. They were mostly just words blabbered leveraging themselves upon on pieces of paper or some PowerPoint presentation or my technical memory et al. Having took part in a handful of things like a total of 1 Debate, 1 Elocution, 1 Compering, 2-3 plays and skits, that one filler item when you act out selling something (we sold kidneys), 2 acts resembling legless robot dance on actual stages, I thought I had done enough to deliver impromptu speech for a couple of minutes on any topic. I thought, I can speak, surely not for long enough, or not in a way of impressing others. I could just speak without making any mark as such but still speak enough. And delivery, content and modulation of the speech is mostly out-of-place, out of words and out of breath. But still I thought I was okay.


To overcome this inhibition, which is weirdly not the actual fear of public speaking (or Glossophobia as such) but just plenty of procrastination and lack of ample opportunities grabbing on my part to impress others, I thought of joining Toastmasters club running in my office. Having been there twice earlier just as an audience, I clearly understood that the members had far better knowledge and techniques of handling the situations at their disposal when it came to speak freely, calmly and with confidence. I could learn a thing or two and improve on my existing hidden and severely underused talent.

There were table topics going around, which means anyone could come up to the stage and speak on a topic club announced only once you reach the stage. Obviously it is easy to know the topic and then decide whether you want to speak or not. I decided to jump in and speak. I could do alright as I pride myself on knowing a lot of things on every topic under the sun. How bad could it be after all. So I raised the hand and was called onto the stage to speak. I thought they would give me some usual topic about which one could think and speak for a couple of minutes without any trouble. Instead of a ‘topic’ topic, I was given a word ‘Collywobbles‘. Since I am not an American DesiBee kid, I never claim myself to be a know it all when it comes to Vocabulary. I didn’t know the meaning, although, now when I think of it, I should have connected the occasion and figure out some meaning with the context. But I couldn’t. I spoke few words about Tongue Twisters and randomly blabbered something about correlating Colly to Bolly and Hollywoods to get small laughter. I thought I could go on for 2 minutes on it, at least. As it turns out, obviously, I could speak only for 15-20 seconds before I just stopped. Nil. Silence and nothing in mind. Blank. And believe me, when you aren’t prepared, each second there on the stage lasts for eternity when everyone sitting in front looking at your face eagerly. So admittedly,  I am still raw to this feat of going on stage and speaking like the pros and like Jon Snow, I know nothing about public speaking. No qualms in saying that. However, one experienced person in the audience asked me to forget the word and just speak about the most memorable thing in my life. Again I was about to go blank but then I thought I could just retell the story of phone calls from Anurag Kashyap and Irrfan Khan. Since I knew about this, I could speak freely and told the audience about my extra curricular activities without much trouble. Although, if someone would be evaluating me on the delivery and body language, I would have got negative marks.But then it is a start, isn’t it. Now when I have joined it, let’s see where it takes me and how much can I do with it. It would be a coaching/session/training I would take part in after a very long time. Hoping for the best.

Ah, one more thing. I didn’t feel any collywobbles in my stomach though, the word meaning uneasiness in stomach which we usually experience when we are about to take on a territory which is new to us. Probably the butterflies in the stomach had escaped out of the ‘letter box’ which I had forgotten to close after relieving myself and getting ready for the session [Straight face smiley]. I hope nobody noticed and even if they did, I did leave an impression. Right? *wink*