Sunday, March 8, 2009

Toastmaster Project 8: Get Comfortable with Visual Aids

Visual aids help an audience understand and remember what they hear; they are a valuable tool for speakers. The most popular visual aids are computer-based visuals, overhead transparencies, flip charts, whiteboards and props.

The type of visual aid you choose depends on several factors, including the information you wish to display and the size of the audience. Visuals must be appropriate for your message and the audience, and be displayed correctly with ease and confidence.

- Select visual aids that are appropriate for your message and the audience.
- Use visual aids correctly with ease and confidence.

Time: Five to Seven minutes.

P8: It has to be Tiger

(To hold a can of "Tiger" beer.) No I am not talking about Tiger Beer even though everyone of us here is above 18 of age to join the Toastmaster Club. And we are not toasting at least not now. (Smile and pause.)

Good afternoon Toastmaster of the Day, District Officers, fellow toastmasters, friends and guests, This is Tiger Woods - the most successful golfer on earth today. Borne on December 30, 1975, Tiger Woods is an American professional golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers of all time. Currently the World No. 1, he was the highest-paid professional athlete in 2007, having earned an estimated $122 million from winnings and endorsements - a cool amount.

About a year ago, I picked up the game of bent sticks. Golf is a very tough game. Of course, I bet all other sportsmen will lay claim that their choice sport is the toughest of them all. For one, marathon runners will point to their well-developed leg muscles. Table tennis players will assert that the trajectory of the ping pong balls could even teach expert geometer Euclid a lesson or two about geometry. But with golf, a typical game of 18 holes will take around 5 - 6 hours - very, very much longer than a game of ping-pong balls. Unlike runners who need no mastery over any instruments, we need supremacy over a range of disparate clubs - so marathon runners, please put your hands down.

Why am I telling you about Tiger and golf? There are three takeaways which we could use in the current economic downturn.

The first is belief drives action. How many a times have you heard of people lamenting that they are too old to learn something. Golf is a difficult sport to start with. In my initial few golf lessons, I could not even hit the ball. My eyes would be fixated on the ball, my body positioned in the golf stance, then I swung and shouted "BALL!!" - That was a precautionary measure so that people nearby could scramble for cover. And I was peering over the fairway, trying to catch a sight of the ball. There it was, still at ground zero. It was so near and yet so far - the ball was so elusive, I could not even hit it. But if you believe that you can do it, you will ultimately be able to do so one day. Just like, now I am able to drive the ball.

So the point is if we can change our belief, we can do wonders. This does not always mean seismic change but just a little tweak in the way we see things. For example, this phrase is "Opportunities nowhere!", now if I were to add a space, it becomes "Opportunities now Here!" [Need visual here].

The second is the exponential power of compounding. There are 18 holes in a golf course. So if you were to bet 10 cent for hole 1, doubling it to 20 cent for hole 2, doubling again to 40 cent for hole 3 and so on. Guess what is the amount of the bet at hole 18. [Show a slide of the increasing amount.] It is an astronomical sum of $13,107.20! So the lesson is we just need to target little but consistent improvement to make a BIG change.

So what about Tiger? All golfers, including myself love Tiger Woods - the way he played golf. With a club in his hand, he would gaze down the fairway. His face was devoid of emotion while his mind was busily calibrating the shot. Then like a skilled technician, he executed that perfect swing. Yes, he may be a prodigy. But he is also known for putting more practice than the most golfers. It is his perseverance that give him the greatness he has today.

In Geoff Colvin's "Talent is Overrated", Colvin purported that greatness is NOT in the genes or some natural ability given by God, but a result of deliberate practice, feedback and time. It takes roughly 10 years to find excellence. I see this in Tiger. He started to learn golf at a young and tender age of two but the older he got, the harder he worked with one idea alive in his head with crystal-clear clarity "Greatness is in no one's hands but his".

Ladies and gentlemen, I have shared with you three things which we can takeaway from golf. 1. Belief drives action "Opportunities Nowhere!" to "Opportunities Now Here!". 2. Compounding Effect. A 10 cent bet at hole 1 ballooning to a whopping $13,107.20 at hole 18. And the most important point here is if you want to be great like Tiger Woods, you will need perservance. There is no other way.

Toastmaster of the Day.

1 comment:

Sons of Jorge said...

wow... beautiful speech, indeed.

congrats for the success of your project #8. looking forward to read about your next speeches.