Toastmasters International is an organisation which strives for improving your public speaking skills, communication skills and most importantly, your leadership skills. It has member clubs all over the world and if you would like to change your life in a positive way, Toastmasters is one such great platform.
There are member clubs all over the world and you can find one nearest to you on their website.

I recently participated in the qualifiers of Master Orator Championship 2017 – a public speaking competition organised by the Toastmaster clubs of Telangana and Andra Pradesh, two South Indian states.
Quoting directly from their website :

Master Orator Championship is a hunt for the best orator in the college circuit of the two states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Nagpur and Raipur cities. The students are sieved through multiple rounds of selection starting from qualifiers to the finale where 10 contestants across colleges deliver 5 to 7 minute speeches that are mentored and evaluated by a panel of experienced Toastmasters.

This was my speech for the qualifier round and it got me through 2100 participants to the final 150 for the semi-finals. I later went on to final 10 for the finals.


Every BOLD word illustrates the stress on it.




A very Good Morning everyone (smile)


Before we start, let me ask you ALL (pause) a VERY SIMPLE question.

RAISE your hand as HIGH as you can if you believe (pause) you can be a Master Orator.


Come on, don’t be shy. Nobody is gonna punish you.
(wait for audience)

That’s awesome guys!!


Can you now raise your hand (pause) a little higher!!
LOVELY energy out here.
Thank you guys.

Respected Contest Chair and judges and MY fellow orators (open arms) (pause).

Today I’ll share with you a very enlightening experience I recently had.

How many of you like cycling? (pause)
(wait for audience)

I LOVE cycling. I am an amateur cyclist and I recently took part in a 200 km brevet.

LONG story short (fast pace) (arms wide then close),

I had to complete the last 10 km in the last half an hour.


Normal circumstances??? Piece of cake (smirk)

But now?
I was completely drained. 0 energy. (Show 0 with hands). And worse, I had run out of both food and water.

Now my mind started playing games with me.


GAUTHAM. You’re gonna DIE


GAUTHAM. You shoudl GIVE UP.


GAUTHAM. This is your LIMIT.

Should I give in to my brain? ( pause)

Should I give up on my goal? ( pause)


I could have told myself that this is my limit and it’s OKAY to give up or (low voice) I could push myself. And I did JUST that.
I pumped myself.(fist pumpI SCREAMED.
People’s stares didn’t matter to me because I was focused on my goal. My goal of reaching the finish line. And I did finish my goal.
I completed the 200 km but sadly (pause) I was 7 min late. Just 7 minutes.
Sad ending right??(smile)

Maybe, but I learned something from this.

The Human mind (pause) works in funny ways.

Whenever we face a challenge and we hit a rough spot, the brain tricks us into thinking that THIS IS IT. NOT ANY MORE. THIS IS YOUR LIMIT.


But (pause)


we are FAR from our limits. We haven’t even reached 40% of what we are capable of.
Think of it. Be it mid way during a marathon or working through a tough coding problem, we ALLL face it.
So what do you DO in these circumstances?
Do you give in to your mind and stay in your comfort zone ?
Ladies and Gentlemen!! ( raise hand up)
THIS is our comfort zone and with

THAT extra effort (raise your hand higher and higher) and

THAT extra push is where (pause) the magic happens. (Palm closes)


Only YOU can Define your limits.

And only YOU can Defy your limits.
Define or Defy. Only you can.

I HEARTILY congratulate you ALL for coming out on this Sunday Morning, ALL the way (pause), to speak in front of so many people.

Definitely out of your comfort zone. ( Take a small dramatic step to your right).

I would like to conclude by quoting Neil Armstrong :

A small step (pause) for the present you. (extend a step to the front)

A giant leap (pause) for the future you. (extend welcoming arms and extend feet too).

I wish you all the very best. (smile wide)
Thank you 🙂

Over to contest chair .



Hey Guys, I hope you enjoyed the speech. The finals will be on August 13th and the venue is ISB Hyderbad. Master Orator Championship 2016 (though I did not participate) completely changed my life. It might change yours too.

Tickets will be available on the website in a short while.

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Thank you