This is another speech I’ve given at Valley Toastmasters, and it’s part of Competent Communicator manual, project #6: “Vocal Variety”.
As a reminder, the objectives of the project are:
With that in mind, here’s the speech I delivered:
This is something that’s been bugging me for quite a bit now to be honest to the point where it’s getting into becoming an obsession: are we using writing (and reading for that matter) for all the wrong reasons? Is it still needed? Or is it an archaic way of communicating — and as such won’t be needed soon? I know, crazy idea right?
Here’s the thing — my handwriting nowadays is terrible (not that it’s ever been that great!), in fact I can type on my laptop much (much!!) faster than I can write something by hand. Arguably, this is because my job sees me doing a lot of typing daily — however, looking at others, I don’t see them handwriting that fast. So while that plays a part in it, I don’t think it’s the crucial factor.
Also, I read relatively ok — especially when reading to myself (we all know that reading louder is a slower process, right?); I am in fact assuming based on own observation that my reading speed is average.
I had an interesting discussion recently with a friend of mine about titles and terminology used nowadays in business, and it prompted me to continue my trail of thoughts on this on my blog. We talked about how a lot of companies label themselves rather proudly as startups — an idea which my friend was not too fond of.
Twitter, as we all know, is still sort of looked upon as a startup — even though they just IPO’d … well, under a year ago. Facebook, also, even though everyone knew the goal was for an exit of 100 billion, was proudly waving the flag of being a startup, my friend reminded me.
Pretty much, any company that operates in between I-280 and US-101 nowadays will label itself as a startup — I was told. And these startups give birth to a whole plethora of titles, such as CEO, CTO, CMO, CxO — my friend argued. But the reality is, they just create fancy titles and hiding under the title of “startup” allows them not to create a viable business — because, after all, they are still starting up, right? They don’t have to bring in revenue or have a solid business plan… At least that was my friend’s argument.
I’ve been to a bunch of conferences, meetups and other technical (or not!) events recently and some of them have touched me enough to deserve some comments on my blog, as you might have noticed. Looking back now at the last 5-6 months or so and all the events I’ve been attending — and needless to say some of them were exceptionally organized, while some of them were terrible — it occurred to me that it matters a lot how you target your audience.
When you deliver at such an event, you need to really know the audience when you take on the stage. I know it’s such a common advice you read everywhere on the net, but still, despite all that I see this mistake being made a lot.
I’m going to tell you about one of these events where the presenter really didn’t strike one chord with the audience, just so you can see how important this factor can be.
I use Evernote a lot — I am a big fan of the tool for day-to-day use as well as of their platform and the services they open to the developers community. (For those techies reading this check out my previous post about storing lists using Evernote by the way. Not that I’m bragging :D)
I thought until recently that I used most of their app functionality — but only found today that there was at least one bit I didn’t know of — and I want to share that with you.