Table Topics: Diwali dhamaka

Table Topics prepared for 1st November, 2014: Diwali special at Bombay Toastmasters by yours truly.

  1. If life were a Rangoli, how would you design it and why?

  2. Diwali is all about noise and air pollution. I hate it. What about you?

  3. The sights and sounds of Diwali makes my heart sing and soar. Does it do the same for you?

  4. Diwali is not Diwali without ….

  5. Diwali is about new clothes, sweets and holidays. Nothing else. Argue for or against.

  6. Diwali is just another shopping festival. It’s just so crass and commercial. Argue for or against.

  7. What are your memories of your first ever Diwali? When and where? What was special or not?

  8. If you were to use one word to describe your Diwali, what would it be and why?

English: Rangoli, decorations made from colore...

English: Rangoli, decorations made from colored powder, is popular during Diwali. සිංහල: Rangoli, decorations made from colored powder, is popular during Diwali. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Paolo Cardini: Forget multitasking, try monotasking

5 Reasons Leadership Falls Flat

Buying credibility: A look at the FTC's transp...

Buying credibility: A look at the FTC’s transparency-in-blogging regulations (Photo credit: opensourceway)

You can read a dozen books on leadership and attend just as many leadership seminars, but your employees won’t follow your lead if you make any of these five common errors:

1. Trying to lead before establishing credibility.

People will only follow you if they believe that you know what you’re doing. Credibility doesn’t come from a job title or your position on the latest organization chart. Neither can it be “willed” into existence simply because you wish it were there.

Fix: Credibility, like trust, can only be earned over time. If you’ve got a track record of success, you’ll need to communicate clearly why that success is still relevant. If you’re new to the job, you’ll have to grow that credibility from scratch. Good luck!

2. Trying to lead before there’s a relationship.

Even if you’ve got a truckload of credibility, people won’t follow your lead if they don’t feel a personal connection. If you’re the manager, they may obey direct orders so as to keep their jobs, but they won’t go the proverbial “extra mile” that true leadership inspires.

Fix: The only way to build relationships is to truly care about them as individuals and frequently showing honest curiosity about them, their ideas and the work that they’re doing. This takes time, effort, and one-on-one attention.

Continue reading on…

Hannah Brencher: Love letters to strangers


Let your silence speak for you

I found recently that there is a name for the fear of public speaking: glossophobia. Nervousness at having to deliver a speech is common, and is found even in great speakers. It is said that Winston Churchill tried to gain confidence by writing out and memorizing his speeches, but gave up, and turned to impromptu presentations.


When you are required to make a speech in public, you first think of preparing the text of the speech, with questions such as gathering material, library work, how to memorize and rehearse the speech, whether and how to use notes.


Getting your script ready and memorizing your speech can be only one half of the project. The actual delivery is a different cup of tea.


Continue reading on…


English: Sir Winston Churchill.

English: Sir Winston Churchill. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Candy Chang: Before I die I want to…

TED (conference)

TED (conference) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


In her New Orleans neighborhood, artist and TED Fellow Candy Chang turned an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard asking a fill-in-the-blank question: “Before I die I want to ___.” Her neighbors’ answers — surprising, poignant, funny — became an unexpected mirror for the community. (What’s your answer?)


Candy Chang creates art that prompts people to think about their secrets, wishes and hopes — and then share them. She is a TED Senior Fellow.



Preparing for death is one of the most empowering things you can do. Thinking about death clarifies your life.” (Candy Chang)