Bangalore SHG meetup July 8, 2012

Old members:- Chandan, Mayank, Dinesh, Chandrashekar, Kiran, Anandh, Rohit,Abhinav, Biju, +3 others(total 12)
New members:-Pramod, Pradip

The meeting started with a round of introductions, and then an exercise of people giving their names and phone numbers to Mayank(which is itself a key practice area for most of us!). After that, Dinesh and others explained the benefits of regularly atttending TISA SHG meetings, with Mayank sharing his experience of how it benefited him for his interviews and he credited his 2month attendance @ TISA meetings for his new job(for which we expect a treat from him :)). Some key benefits of SHG as discussed in today’s meeting, for the benefit of the new joinees, were

  1. Members cumulatively have tried theraphies/remedies/cures’ etc, so they can give their feedback on what works(and more importantly what does NOT especially the quacks etc)
  2. You do not have the feeling of being lonely/isolated
  3. No need to fake/manipulate words here, and you can practice your difficult areas in this forum to gain confidence. The more you practice and take up oppurtunities to speak more like calling people etc, the more it benefits you. 
After that, the special guest Mr Tarak(member of Daffodils Toastmasters club, invited by Dinesh) shared his experience of how he had managed his stammer, and also about how Toastmasters had helped him. Explaining the benefits of meditation, he said that meditation helps you stay calm(avoid blurting out what you want to say/interrupting others), being ‘aware’ at a micro level(of what muscles etc are exerted when you speak) and also detachment(not being too attached to your speech). Also, the Bhagvad Gita principle of doing your best and focussing on task rather than the end goal/reward is relevant. We can control our speech(to some extent) but not the reaction of others to it(like smiles/impatience/laughter etc). So instead of being depressed/angry, focus on what you can control(i.e practice, detachment, breathing etc). He explained his path from fear, to trying to combat/bulldoze it, to finally the meditation based approach. About how Toastmasters helped him, he said that that was the social activity he enjoyed the most due to its self improvement focus. There, you get feedback on your speech from strangers, realize that everyone has their own speech issues(if not stammering, modulation, language etc) and so you are not alone etc. Likening the Bangalore SHG meetings to Toastmasters, he said that there, people can speak without reactive judgements being passed(instead constructive feedback is given). Lots of food for thought there, though I guess(personal disclaimer) that a certain level of fluency is necessary for joining Toastmasters. Tarak then generously took time to answer queries of the members present. 
Kudos to Jitu for making reminder calls, Rohit for delivering his long awaited speech(actually a joke!) and Tarak for making a 1.5hr drive(each way) to share his thoughts on this Sunday. And of course to Dinesh for coordinating all this, lets hope he won the cricket match for which he left slightly early.
Written By – Anandh Sundar 

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