Image generated by DALL-E / Bing Image Creator
Cosmos Toastmasters Club
Friday, April 14 2023
(Take laptop to podium, plug in headphones. Close laptop, take out headphones.)
That was the Zoom meeting last week which lasted 1 hr, had 8 participants and I spoke
0 words in the meeting. It was meeting about a cross team project and I was the lead from our team, along with my manager.
Soon after the meeting was over, my manager asked to speak with me. Sure.
(Plug in the headphones again. Nod head. Understood.)
My manager said to me
Darpan you need to speak in these meetings. When you don’t speak, people meeting you first time will think that you’re disinterested in the project. That you don’t have enthusiasm and that you don’t care.
Now, I know that none of this is true. So I want to encourage you to speak up more often and share your thoughts. I am sure you’ll have many.
I want to give a brief background on how I got here.
When I started my Primary School, I was the most outspoken person of the class. I kept blabbering and asked questions without any brakes. That school was in a remote village of India.
Then for high school, I moved to a city school where I was scared of all the sophisticated city kids. Even the teachers were intimidating, so I thought if I can get through my classes just fine without uttering a single word, why not continue it.
Now I’m in undergraduate and I realized the only time I have to speak up in front of people is when those once in a year presentations. Yes I was scared of presentations but they happened infrequently.
Over the time, this shaped my personality to be an this introvert person who remained in back and didn’t speak much.
Then I came to US and same story continued.
Fast forward to today.
I currently hold a leadership role at my work, which requires effective vocal communication and sharing of thoughts. To improve my communication skills, I looked to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, and his 2014 book “Hit Refresh”.
Nadella is known for his technical expertise combined with a human touch, often using personal anecdotes to connect with his audience on a deeper level.
He also frequently employs analogies. Another key aspect of his communication style is open dialogue and active listening. He regularly takes long walks with other Microsoft executives, sharing his own experiences to encourage others to open up as well.
Trusting your team members example,
Cricket, he was one time performing so poorly that his captain took him out of the game. Minutes later, he was given one more chance.
“Google is the 800-pound gorilla of search. But at Bing, we want to wake them up and make them dance.”
Satya is great, and I could talk about him for hours on end. However, at this point, I am happy that I started this journey to “speak up”.