Don’t Ask Where I’m From, Ask Where I’m Local

This video resonates with my internal struggle, of the concept of my nationality, expressing patriotism, and how I identify the roots of my history.

The speaker, Ms Taiye Selasi, like many of us in this generation, was born in a different country to where her ancestors were born, and has moved or migrated overseas at some point, identifying as a part of whichever society they assimilated into.

The neat word ‘Multinational’, as ms Selasi points out, is better suited to conglomerates than human beings, She critiques the idea of being a national of any country in fact, as countries are concepts of institution. We are conditioned to think of countries as eternal and constant.

She points out that in her own lifetime, she has seen countries disappear – Czechoslovakia, countries have been reborn – Estonia , and Countries have failed – Somalia; so they are not as permanent as we think, and certainly not a good measure for where a person’s real history comes from.

She exemplifies that an answer like “I’m from Paris”, conjures the idea of the stereotypical Parisian and their cliches, it encourages others to categorize us and assume the myth & legend of Paris.

She suggests that an answer like “I am local to Melbourne & London” creates a more true to character description for those whom have lived abroad.

The key here is that we do not borrow any stereotype as our own representation of personal background, but we paint a more accurate impression by stitching the varied metropolitan cultures that we have been lucky enough to experience.

3R’s= Rituals, Relationship, Restrictions

Her proposition is to replace our assumptions by seeking to understand the 3 defining elements of a person’s culture in the context of their address/ homes.

Rituals are the celebrations, customs, the traditional recipes and so on.

Relationships are the people that shape your weekly emotional experience, best friends, family, face to face contact.

Restrictions, moves away from where are you now, to why are you not where you were? gives a clearer understanding of how the person reacts emotionally to the undesirable elements of their surroundings.

Its not about the specificity of the answer you wish to get, but moving the intention away from simplifying the introduction of a new person, to seeking a deeper understanding of a complex human experience.

What are we really seeking when we ask the question , and what do we hear when they answer with a country.

The usage of countries implies political power and hiding behind a national identity rather than reveal our real, personal multi-faceted identities.

It is when we understand each other’s vulnerabilities and challenges, that we come to recognize each other as human equals.

So where are you local?

FOLLOW-UP VIDEO: THE DANGER OF A SINGLE STORY

Taking Responsibility VS Taking Control

Dear Learners,

My father recently sent an article to me titled “Take Responsibility For Your Life”, it is a motivational speech given by Chris Ross, and you may listen to the audio clip here.

If you are the type to play the blame game,
To play victim,
“Bad things always happen to me”
“I’m not where I want to be because of this person or because of this event”
If you are this type of person, you will never get on in life.

Taking responsibility doesn’t mean relinquishing control of your life.
It means taking control.
If someone is stepping over you, 
If a circumstance keeps pulling you back, 
Be able to see it for what it is!
and take MASSIVE ACTION to eliminate that person, or thing from your life.

It means accepting that you ABSOLUTELY played a part in all the negatives in your life to this point, and rather than complain and moan about what went wrong, FIGURE OUT HOW TO FIX IT.

What can I do NOW to beat this problem
What can I do NOW to create a life of SUCCESS, a life of ABUNDANCE.
What are the SUCCESSFUL people doing right now and how can I emulate their actions to MIRROR their success.

Taking responsibility is not the same as taking control of your environment. It is about controlling your reactions / response; that’s why it’s response-ability.

I think the best response is to acknowledge that there is no control over things outside of the Self and how others act.

That response is a form of wise humility, knowing the limits of our own capabilities and then working to improve from there, regardless of how other people react to you, and despite your environmental changes.

Those who seek control will find chaos, but those who understand that chaos is the pattern of the universe will find solutions in your own response.

You cannot control and change a ball’s direction once it is already thrown in your direction, you can only respond by hitting back, or dodging it.

A fool cries that he cannot stop the ball and wishes it would not hit him, then gets hit anyway; A wise man sees the reality and knows to instantly seek the right response regardless of how much control he has over the situation.

This, my proteges, is the wisdom of response-ability.

 

General Public Speaking Tips

Most people suffer from stage-fright, terrified of speaking in front of a large crowd. Many of us worry about how we would look in front of so many people. This makes it more difficult for a speaker to deliver a strong, confident presentation. Fortunately, there are so many ways that could help a person overcome his fear of public speaking, allowing us to deliver a strong, convincing speech.

To overcome this fear, one should consider taking up public speaking lessons. This is beneficial since you would be thought about the key principles related to effective public speaking. Moreover, you will also be taught simple tips and techniques that will boost your self-esteem when facing a huge audience.

In a public speaking lesson, you should expect the instructor to teach these basic principles in public speaking:

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  • Dress to impress – One the most important things you should note in public speaking classes is how to dress when making a presentation. The first thing your audience would notice and pay attention to, is the way you carry yourself and the clothes you are wearing. You should dress in a manner that speaks of professionalism, confidence and neatness. Like buying a product, we decide the quality of a product based on its packaging.
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taken from: (blog.shiftspeakertraining.com)

  • Bond to the crowd – How to bond or connect to the crowd? This is one of the most essential elements in public speaking. A sense of connection could be simply done with making strong eye contact to the audience. This shows your audience that you are speaking directly to them with authority and confidence. Yet there are tendencies to look away when we are thinking or trying to remember something, and sometimes, we forget to spread our eye contact evenly across the crowd, making some feel ignored

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  • Limited and organized presentation – You should remember proper organization of your presentation. Most speakers tend to stuff their presentation full of details and figures. This can really confuse your audience and make them lose sight of your main points. Having too much to speak about can also force a speaker to lose time and even worse, lose your audience’s attention.

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  • Proper Tone – Another thing that should be covered is the proper volume and correct pronunciation. This is the common mistake for most speakers causing his audience to be unable to discern what he is trying to convey. This is can render your presentation ineffective. Public speaking classes will teach you to use your voice as an instrument and project it in a clear, articulate way. Estimate and adjust the tone appropriately, according to the venue where your presentation will take place. If you are close to the crowd in a small room, it would be silly to shout, so you should use a low tone of voice and speak with clarity. In addition, you should always keep on speaking at an appropriate pace; avoid speaking too fast or too slow so that your listeners can follow.

This is another short lesson brought to you by The Eloquence Academy!

How To Write A Speech – WikiHow

Good Day To You,

As I am always writing speeches nowadays, it’s always good to review the basics of speech structure and story writing. The main difference is, your material will be presented by you verbally instead of read, So I prefer speech writing because I don’t really worry about the exact grammar but concentrate on making points simple, well explained and entertaining.

http://www.wikihow.com/Category:Speechwriting

Another one : http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Speech

Each article has excellent tips if you ever have a case of Writer’s Block.

New batch of Cool Communicators

We are happy to announce the graduation of a new batch of Cool Communicators. From Left to Right: Eddie learnt the importance of networking and preparing an impressive introduction, Terrence achieved a newfound confidence. Syazana learnt the great habit of giving compliments to others and May learnt negotiation skills that immediately got her a better paid job the next day! We are so happy to be making a positive difference in each of their lives. Terrence has returned for the Fear Fighter class too and we look forward to share more with you all 😀

Challenge, Change & Contribute.

Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life

Jane McGonigal (which sounds suspiciously similar to Harry Potter’s Professor McGonagall)  may have found a very real type of magic. One that extends a person’s life!

Jane sets up a very simplistic but effective framework. She went through an unfortunate accident that left her with a concussion that caused side effects such as headaches, memory-loss, disorientation, dizziness and other head trauma related symptoms. From this, she was put to bedrest and forbidden to play games (tough for a game designer), read books, watch TV or anything that would stimulate her mind as it would aggravate her symptoms.

She began to lose her will to live, without her raison d’être, she soon desired death to claim her.

It is in these horrible moments that genius strikes. Jane decides to create a simplistic game called Superbetter :

https://www.superbetter.com/

It is based on the studies conducted on human life span extending activities. The statistics are extensive yet it is simple enough to understand at face value. Firstly, she defines the top 5 regrets of those on their deathbeds.

  1. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  2. I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends.
  3. I wish I allowed myself to be happier.
  4. I wish I had the courage to express my true self.
  5. I wish that I’d led a life true to my dreams and not what others expected of me.

Jane proposes that games can actually facilitate better relationship management, social interaction and even confidence boosters. Personally I think that the next generation can relate so well to games, that it is second nature for them to accept an imaginary framework to view their personal challenge.

She designed Superbetter to allow normal people to adopt a secret identity, complete small tasks or challenges that improves one’s confidence, practice their willpower and even train positive reinforcement and build a social support system. This helps them battle their own chosen obstacle such as cancer, terminal diseases or post-traumatic disorder. It became post-traumatic growth!

She then takes the same phenomenon to improve a person’s survival resilience, and made them the goal practices that are described here for you work on everyday:

  • Physical Resilience: Such as holding your hands above your head for 5 seconds, every moment your body is moving, you are improving your health.
  • Willpower Resilience: This could be as simple as snapping your fingers for 50 times which improves your brains determination
  • Emotional Resilience: Googling for an image of Baby _______ (type of favorite animal) which invokes powerful positive emotions.
  • Social Resilience: Text, email or facebook a quick thank you as appreciation to boost oxytocin in your bloodstream  (the trust hormone)

If you’ve just done these four simple actions. You’ve just gained 7 minutes of extra life. If you do this daily, you are statistically likely to live 10 years longer than you would have if you did nothing about it. On top of that, you will avoid having the top regrets of someone on the deathbed because you have been spending your time doing just the opposite.

 Cest Magnifique!

Royce Hosts the SME Recognition Awards 2012

 

Royce Tan was invited to be the Emcee host for the SMI Association’s annual Small/Medium Enterprises Recognition Awards. The event was attended by multitudes of savvy business owners, members of the media and even guests of honor such as The Deputy Minister of International Trade & Industry, YB Dato Mukhriz Mahathir (also the son of the longest serving Prime Minister- Dr Mohamad Mahathir), Tan Sri Dato Sri Megat Najmuddin Khas, SMI President Mr Teh Kee Sin, Her Excellency Lourdes Puma Puma – Ambassador of the Republic of Ecuador and many more.

Each supporting organisation was given a token of appreciation for their years of loyal support. The aim of this launch was to signal the start of nominations for any small to medium businesses in Malaysia to compete for an award within the 16 categories such as Product Excellence Award, Brand Excellence Award, Service Excellence Awards and more. The nominees are judged based on rather strict criterion set by independent auditor group – S J Grant Thornton.

For More Photos – Please Click Here

The Power of Vulnerability – Brene Brown

Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.

Great quote : “Maybe stories are just data with a soul

Brene is an inspiring and sincere speaker, you can hear that each word comes from her heart without reserve. She does this because she is primarily a scholar. She likes to give order to things and that is why she chose her profession as a researcher.

Her framework begins with social connection. She believes that human beings are ultimately driven by our need for social belonging and acceptance. She chose this area to research and stumbled upon a specific emotion that unravels social connection.

Shame & Fear.

The fear of disconnection : Is there something about me that will cause others to disassociate me from themselves?

Brene theorizes that the underpinning issue was vulnerability. She thought that she could champion a movement to oppose or reject vulnerability and after six years of research, even wrote a book on her theories. However she felt that something was not right.

From her research she found that those that has a strong sense of love and belonging simply believed that they were worthy. From this she wanted to do more research on why these people were so secure in themselves. She found that they had this in common : Courage.

Courage : came from the word Kuhr (which means heart) and the original definition meant – to tell your story with your whole heart.

That sense of feeling worthy to be loved, came from courage to be imperfect, they had the compassion to be kind to Themselves first and then to others.

The great lesson in Brene’s research that stumped even a professional like her, is that people whom had a stronger sense of self-worth only had one real difference in their thinking: They were willing to let go of the person they thought they should be, and embrace the person that they are.

They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. It is about the willingness to say “i love you first”, they are willing to put themselves out there for others to accept them or reject them but always in the knowledge that it is fine because they are flawed and therefore it is okay.

Brene initially had a breakdown trying to understand this, because that meant you had to give up control. It also meant that what she thought was the enemy was actually the cure. You can hear her having lots of “em…” and “ahh..s” during this portion because she is practicing what she preaches.

She ends with the point that our society is now trying to numb the part of us that feels vulnerability. However this is also the birthplace of love, kindness, compassion, understanding and connection. We use alcohol, food, and bad habits to fill that hole but the fact is, that hole is meant to be there, like our own mouths, the more you stuff into it, the more harm you’re doing to yourself.

The cure :

To allow your inner-self to truly be seen.

To love wholeheartedly even though there is no guarantee that your love will be returned or even appreciated.

To practice gratitude for being able to be alive and feel at all.

Finally, it is to BELIEVE I AM ENOUGH

The Top Comedians & YouTube Personality Channels

Today let’s take a look at some online personalities that you could possibly model yourself after…or maybe just to stare at blankly and get confused.

The point of this exercise is to encourage whichever style of humor you possess to blossom into a laughing gas releasing flower.

I know there are probably a thousand and one multiplied by a million comedians out there, but let’s start with the kings and queens of giggles on YouTube.

After a long and arduous research of 5 minutes, I have come up with the following list:

Michael Buckley

http://www.youtube.com/user/WHATTHEBUCKSHOW/videos?view=0

Comedic Style: Ultra Gay, ultra quick and super commercial

George Carlin

http://www.youtube.com/user/georgecarlinofficial?feature=results_main

Comedic Style: No nonsense, I’ve-lived-longer-than-you-so-I’m-right, Controversial

Lewis Black

Comedic Style: Controversial, Lecturer, Sarcastic, Angry fits, Logical.

Kevin Wu/ Kev Jumba

http://www.youtube.com/user/kevjumba?feature=gb_ch_rec

Comedic Style: Teen humour, guy interests, Asian

Natalie Tran

Community Channel / Natalie Tran

http://www.youtube.com/user/communitychannel?feature=gb_ch_rec

Comedic Style: Young adult humour, Female interests, Australian-Chinese.

Wanda Sykes

http://comedians.jokes.com/wanda-sykes

Comedic Style: African- American, Adult humor, Sarcastic Tone, Funny voice.

Russell Peters

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn5jlrxcpkI

Comedic Style: Racial comparison, Funny expressions, build up, american born indian, impressions.

There are obviously much much more. Feel free to suggest your favorites. I’ve got plenty more comedians that I am a fan of these are just those that I’ve had the time to put together in five minutes (I have a life you know).

Most importantly do enjoy them as laughter is medicine and a great fat burner too 😉

Royce’s Icebreaker Speech

Intro:

Good day to all my fellow toastmasters, new visitors and friends. My name is Royce Tan and I am here today to properly introduce myself as a new member of the TTDI Toastmasters Club. I am also going to  give you an idea of my life so far and hopefully get a head start on our future friendships.

Body:

Part 1: Today is special for me as it marks the beginning of another journey, my journey as a Toastmaster. Let me share with you though, about my experience with Public Speaking as a skill. There was once upon a time not too long ago, when I was known as the quietest boy in school. As a child I was an introvert and shy of character. It also didn’t help that the color of my skin was very dark, I wore large 80’s grandpa glasses that covered half of my face and I was shaped like a small prepubescent sumo. My nickname was the ‘Black Doraemon’.

Part 2: As you can imagine, I did not have very much self-confidence with social interactions let alone public speaking. In primary school I would walk into the canteen and stand near the vending machines to buy drinks and pretend to look at my watch for the tenth time just to avoid any human contact. I would prefer to get lost in my world of Enid Blyton books than interact with the world around me. Due to this apparent love for stories, my mother thought “hmm you should be a natural story-teller then.” I was unaware that it was the sentence that would bring about one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.

Part 3: I was only 8 years old, clueless to the idea of human rights and standing up for yourself. My only thought was that I had no choice and I am supposed to do what I’m told. My mother chose for me the story of the Mooncake Princess, which I was completely unfamiliar with yet taken by my mother’s rendition of it. I tried practicing my storytelling but memorizing a whole story was extremely difficult at the time. Then came the deadline, the venue was the National Library of Malaysia itself! I remember waiting for my turn amongst hundreds of people. They called my name and I tried running to the exit. My mother grabbed my hand and, with a furious undertone, demanded that I go on stage. I stepped into the limelight and stared at the crowd of shadows. My legs were not just shaking, they were vibrating; and my heartbeat was in my throat. I only managed 3 sentences. “Good morning judges, parents and all my friends. T-t-today I want to tell you about…er..the Mooncake Princess and the legend.”

*Loong Pause*

I was close to tears and muttered “Thank You” and ran off stage as fast as my jelly legs could. That experience scarred me for life, yet strangely became my motivation to avoid ever enduring such humiliation again. At 13, I hit puberty and looked less like Doraemon, I started high school where I met like minded friends that helped me feel more accepted. My mother enrolled me for a short course in public speaking which became a gradual practice for most of my teenage life. The skill fully blossomed when I went to college and was recognized enough to be made emcee and then given a job during my university career.

Conclusion: 

Many years later I stand before you, still a little boy at heart but with much more enthusiasm to do this and a lot more confidence to keep me from running for the door. I know my journey is far from over and I am here because I know there is so much more to learn. I appreciate your time for listening and I hope for us to get to know each other better as each meeting comes and goes.

Thank You.