A Brief Guide to Public Speaking in Nepal (Updated 2019)

If I am able to influence 1 person, s/he can be my client or my customer. How about influencing the mass?

Great. Isn’t it?

Now, it is one of the biggest myths that people fear public speaking more than they fear death. For me, it is certainly not true because I have never feared to speak in front of the mass.

In fact, I get more energy to speak seeing the people in front of me.

Maybe because I feel that I am expressing something that’s within me, which I cannot do in front of the computer.

Public Speaking is more of an art than it is science. The way someone puts his/her thoughts completely differs from one another.

Priyanka Chopra on Public Speaking

Let me quote Priyanka Chopra, one of the leading Bollywood Actresses – “There is only one you because there is no one like you.”

Nature is creative enough to make every one of us unique. Every one of us has a different style of speaking, our own way of persuading people. Even our sense of humor differs from one another. We need to accept that not everyone is Jim Carrey. 

Before I share my experience of how I got into public speaking and provide you few pieces of advice to get better as a speaker, let’s know what public speaking is.

What is public speaking?

It is speaking in front of the public, right?

Yeah. That’s true. But the story doesn’t end here.

Public speaking is more about influencing people through the words. And, that’s what makes it different from other forms of expressions like essay writing.

I know. I know. Our speech needs to fulfill other jobs than influencing as well. For instance, to informwhat you have researched or to entertain the audience.

However, the most important part of the public speech is “influence”. Because your speech is not for you, it’s for your audience.

The truth is that “Your speech has to appeal to the audience”. Every word that you utter, your movement, hand gestures or your topic has to appeal to your audience. At the end of the day, it is them who will decide if it was even worth their time.

Why is public speaking important for me?

Once upon a time, I came up with a video on youtube that said: “The Speech That Made Obama President”. I recommend every one to watch this video at least once.

“The Speech that made Obama President”

Immediately after watching the video, I began to wonder – “Is it speech what makes a president?” Or his experience.

As someone digs deeper into this subject, he or she knows it better that influence that I can make in front of matters in my career, no matter what profession I choose to be in.

This speech won Obama the votes that were crucial to make him the president. Maybe you don’t want votes. But at some point in your life, you have to win the hearts of the people.

That’s what makes us human. Unlike any creatures in this world, we are able to influence other’s decision through our words.

What makes a great speech?

A great speech is the one which does its job well.

If the audience gets what you are trying to say and is convinced that your speech was worth their time, then your job is done as a speaker.

Nevertheless, here are few important points to note if want your speech to be great:

  • Focus on your content, mannerism comes next. Wherever focus goes, energy flows. Focus your energy on crafting the great content.
  • Be audience-centric, not speaker-centric.
  • Show the audience that you are confident about the topic.
  • Simplicity wins. Practice the art of simplicity.
  • Engage the audience so that the audience does not get bored.

Of course, there are many factors to consider while crafting a speech. The list goes on and on and you get better with practice.

How to influence the Mass?

Do you like watching movies? I love south Indian movies. Here’s the harsh truth – “These movies have influenced me and I am not alone”

How do they do this? One word – “Story”.

No one likes to listen to lectures, but everyone loves stories. That’s how our brain is structured. When someone recites their story, our brain cells become more receptive and we begin to relate it to ourselves.

That’s the reason Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Inc. started his commencement speech like this:

“Today, I would like to tell three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just 3 stories.”

Almost everyone today agrees that no commencement in the history of the world has such grace than the one from Steve Jobs.

Imagine how many people Steve was able to influence form 1 single speech. This is the power of storytelling.

Now that you understand – A story well presented helps you influence your audience more than anything. The only question that remains is “How do you present a story well?

Let’s get back to the basics – Every speech should appeal to the audience. The more they are able to relate it at a personal level, the higher the influence you will have on them.

This is one of the reasons Barack Obama was able to win the heart of the millions of people. No one likes to listen to a president, but everyone loves to listen to a normal citizen. And, he convinced citizens of America the same thing with the power of his story and examples.

My Personal Story – How I got into Public Speaking?

Two years back, I joined a public speaking club in my town named “Smart Club”. Please don’t be afraid of the word – Smart.

Since then, I have been completely transformed not just as a speaker, but as a person.

I did not have any vision of being a public speaker back then. I just joined the club to learn new that would impact me. Slowly I began to become involved in speaking activities.

The more I spoke, the more I loved me and appreciated me as a person.

The first speech that I delivered was on the topic “Whether or not to promote investment in Space Exploration”.  I did not win back then, but the comments that I got from my friends were really inspiring. Everyone seemed to like the way I speak, my confidence and content in the speech as well.

This very fact motivated me to participate more in the club and take more roles like an impromptu speaker.

My weakness at the time:

Although no one noticed it, I had a few weaknesses in my speeches. One of which was “the lack of structure”. Since I used to take the more impromptu roles, it was difficult for me to structure my content in 10-15 seconds that I got.

When it is a prepared speech, the structure is not much of a problem. It seems to be a problem for an impromptu speech. One solution for this is to think of three points and describe these in details and not to deviate from these points.

Getting Rid of Fear during Speech

It is “internal game”.

Public Speaking in Kathmandu, Nepal

There is not a single technique or exercise to get rid of this kind of fear.

Here’s my take on it – “If you want to get rid of fear, then you have to dive deep and know what causes fear within you.”

Deep deep down, far far in. Fear is all about chemicals within a body. When you start being comfortable in front of the mass, your body starts to release happy chemicals like Endorphins. That’s why I say it’s an internal game, not an external one.

Why do people become afraid in front of the mass? Acceptance.

We have not simply accepted ourselves the way we are. The day we accept ourselves the way we are, there is no power in the world that can stop you from being a better speaker.

My personal suggestion

There is nothing to lose and everything to give when it comes to public speaking.

So, speak with confidence, speak as if you are the expert in the field.

I like this quote very much – “Everyone has that heart of the lion. Let that lion’s heart scream out of you.”

Everyone gets better and better with practice. All the best on your journey. If you have some experiences regarding public speaking, please share it in the comment section below. 👇

Life As A Smart Club CCT – Reflection

… it was a fine morning.

Every morning is fine by the way – not the ‘fine’, but fine 🙂 This was a special morning – a normal one – turned out to be a special one. It was a valentines month (beginning of February) and a Saturday 🙂 I woke up, did meditation and regular activities and was eager to attend pravachans from Dr. Yogi Vikashananda at Samakhusi – but something came on my mind all of a sudden.

I had heard of a club named smart club since the days of my A-levels. And I was completely aware that one of my friends, Manjil goes to the smart club on a regular basis.

Now, I began wondering …

What happens at this club – must say that I was fascinated by the name ‘Smart’ – pretty smart, right? I’ve always been a person who decides based on the instincts and right at the moment – this was no exception. Most of the time, it turns out to be the right decision. Immediately, I called my friend, Ashish, and we visited the smart club (location was Anamnagar at the time), On that day, we reached at around 6:50 am – no one was there.

I thought, maybe it’s not happening today.

But, after 10-20 minutes of waiting, people started to come – the first who came were two of my neighborhood friends – Pranzal and Krishna. Much to my delight, they were among the speakers that day – before that day – we used to have a conversation about science, philosophy and everything but the smart club. Never before, we had a chat about the club and here they were as the speaker – to my surprise.

That day, I did not attend pravachan. I still go to pravachan by the way – but not on Saturday – because Saturday is ‘Smart Club’.

Positive Vibrations

The first thing I noticed about this club was the positive vibes that radiate out through the people that this club touch – I don’t remember much about the topics that people spoke on that day – nor the OCA (Overall Critical Analyst) – I remember few of the jokes from Pranav though, about the valentines 😃

… truth be told, I did not care about the ‘public speaking’ part of it.

I just liked the frequency that I was in – people around me – everyone sacrificed their Saturday morning to be at this club – this day, I found my home – where I wanted to be no matter what. No goals, no objectives, not any vision – I just wished to be there – somewhere my spirit felt – I belong here, it could be an integral part of my journey.

Fast forward to today, (after almost 4 years), CCTs have changed, people who come to the club have changed, the venue has changed, banners have changed, the way we interact through social media has changed, everything has changed – except my love for ‘Smart Club’. It’s been my home – this club has a special place in my heart.

Extroverted Nature and Introverted Feelings

Imagine walking into the room, seeing a group of people – only to realize that one person is speaking for 90% of the time, usually, that person is ME.

I project words.

And not feelings, in these aspects, I’ve been a reserved person. A couple of times throughout my journey, it has impacted me to a huge extent. As a competitive person (who used to be the first among the class every time), I went to speak for around 2 years taking different roles and winning nothing – felt something was not right, maybe the way I am speaking is not working out, something which I’ve not figured out till now.

I remember my friend, Bipin saying as a commentator – I’ve 2 friends named ‘Rajit’, whom if you meet outside is a super chilled guy with a big smile and on the stage – he is a nervous guy, with … (I don’t know – whatever)

Despite not having any developments in the ‘speaking’ aspect, this club has blessed me with a group of friends that I’ll never be detached from.

New Generation Of Brothers and Sisters

I like the word – ‘DAI’

They call me ‘dai’ and I love it, sometimes in a sarcastic manner – to keep reminding me that I’m older than them. But there’s something deeply satisfying to hear that from these groups of people. While they keep reminding me of the fact that I’m single – I love to joke about it.

2018-19 has probably been the best of years at this club.

Mostly because I’ve found myself interacting with my younger selves through others.

Tenure Right Before Mine

The tenure right before me was Prajwal and the team’s tenure – he was the guy who personally pushed me to work hard for this club. Even though sometimes, it was painful because of the time constraints and all, it was fun working with him at the same time. Now, as I reflect upon our tenure – must say that he gave his best to the club as well.

I’m much thankful to him that he even made me an OCA during the last session of his tenure.

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Transition to Being a Convener

The journey of being a convener was more of a thing that happened rather than a CHOICE.

After some beautiful years at the smart club, I thought it was time to contribute to the club through something that I can do – and that’s lead a project. After all, there’s nothing to lose – the only thought came to my mind at the time was let’s try and even if we fail – let’s fail in a beautiful manner. Even that choice was based on instinct – I just did what I felt right at the moment.

During the speech election, I clearly mentioned the following thing:

“The decisions that we make over the course of 6 months will decide the future of this club, let’s work together for the betterment – anyone can do it, but only through the harmony among us – the members”

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Even before the election, Pukar and Sujan, they chose me. Till today, I’ve no idea what they saw at the time – all they had to say was ‘you’ve to be our convener and that’s it’. No logic, no comments. hahahhaha – one of the mysteries of life we cannot solve, but also cannot ignore.

In the end, the voting was over.

I was super chilled, no matter what. The result did not matter – because it’s been always my home – I had worked before and will work afterwards, no matter what.

In the end, it all worked out – I got one of the best teams that I ever saw in this club – I’m much grateful for that. I have to personally thank every of my core CCT team:

Pukar, Pratik, Swikar and Sujan.

Not to forget – Sanbaj.

If you ever think our tenure was enjoyable or productive, then it’s only because of these guys working in the background.

Few Improvements That We Brought

Maybe the major improvement that we brought to this club was to record the speeches. After many years I spent at this club, I saw this need of recording or at least documenting the speeches of the speakers – so that they could learn through those videos and keep improving. Hence, that’s the thing we implemented from the very first day.

The other things are the subtle improvements which often go unnoticed.

For example, banner, we improved the design of the banner and printed a standee banner, which made the sessions look more professional. We started a LinkedIn page named ‘Smart Club’ and started sharing videos through those platforms as well. Not to forget, we started a youtube channel for this club. In addition, we recorded a few podcasts bringing in the alumni of the club.

The improvement in me is that I’ve become smart at flirting.

We also mentored many students going through the schools and training them and facilitating them – urging them to speak confidently – in front of the mass.

Few Memorable Moments

Deusi Bhailo

Deushi Bhailo session was the standout moment for me.

The reason being, deusi has always been close to my heart – the year I miss deusi – I always feel something missing that year. I could not miss this chance to play deusi for my beloved club. That’s the reason, we did deushi despite a few difficulties – for instance, high transport costs, few participants, mostly because half of the members went out of the town, and so on. It was a bit risky at the time – but somewhere, I knew it would be hugely rewarding and personally satisfying.

Image may contain: 21 people, including Shishir Ghimire, Sita Niraula Bhattarai, Ervin Berry, Swikar Sita Bhattarai, Sanbaj Ansari and Suprabha Bhusal, people smiling, people sitting

Demo Hike

This is the special thing that we did – many of us don’t even know that we went for the demo hike before the regular hike on Saturday.

Thanks to the bonding between all of us – we CCTs (4 of us) went to the demo hike – just to find out the trails to reach Namobuddha 🙂 it was not necessary – but much fun.

We had left Swikar’s bike on Dhulikhel – which remained there throughout the day. The funny thing is we reached Namo buddha at 6 pm. It was already 7 pm when we left the place – because of the bike and the time. We booked a cab – but then realized the cab owner was drunk and could not drive that day.

All of us walked singing a song: ‘Dhoka dine laai ke bhanau ra khai, timi hasa ho mai bachau laa roi’

Fortunately, we found another cab on the way and the next funny thing happened – we did not have enough money. All we had was Rs 500 and the cab owner asked for Rs 1000 to reach Banepa. In the end, he agreed – because even if he did not agree, we did not have money and he knew he was traveling alone through the jungles. It proved a win-win for both of us.

We kept teasing Swikar – ‘What if the bike is not there?’

Fortunately, it was there. Pukar and Swikar went on bike. When I reached home, I heard that they nearly went on a hole – as it was the first long ride from Swikar and night time, so bike almost fell down 🙂 Again, that did not happen – the demo hike experience was overall worthwhile experience.

Second Sessions from Sanbaj

I have to personally thank Mr. Sanbaj Ansari, for being there when we needed him. Every time we needed a moderator – he was there – he was ready for the challenge. Even if his plan was something else, all we needed to do was call him and he showed up. Thank you for making every session humorous, beautiful and raising the energy in every session.

Thanks for reading my boring post – get back to your life – do double, but don’t trouble your mother.

All the best for the new CCT Team:)