Report: Interpersonal Skills Development Session

IEEE IAS DA-IICT Student Branch Chapter organized an interpersonal skills development session in association with the members of Toastmasters International on 19th March 2018 in CEP 110, DA-IICT. Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization, internationally recognized for the purpose of helping students improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. The session was taken by the toastmasters Mr. K. P. Jani, Mr. Amit Gulati and Mr. Rhythm who made it valuable and fun learning for all the attendees.

The session started with IEEE IAS DA-IICT Student Branch welcoming the toastmasters and introducing them to the students. The stage was then taken over by Mr. K. P. Jani, a retired Indian Navy Commander, and a 1971 War Veteran. He has been a Toastmaster since 2002, first enrolled while in the USA and has since won trophies at various speech contests. He is an Advanced Toastmaster (gold), a Motivational Speaker and TV Commentator on Defence matters.

Mr. K P Jani addressing the crowd

He explained to the students the need of communication, different means of communication and the importance of communicating correctly. He shared a few techniques of ideating speeches. Alongside Mr.Jani, Mr. Amit Gulati very intelligibly described the different scenarios where one can be asked to address the public. The Toastmasters took to an innovative teaching method by asking the students to observe and learn. They gave each other table topics, one of them would give an impromptu speech on the assigned topic following which the other toastmaster would analyze it and suggest the key points to keep in mind to make it more effective and flawless.

Maintaining eye contact with the audience, using hand gestures and using humor to connect with the audience are some of the tips students learned from their interactive teaching method. The most important thing they described is that the speech should have a distinct and defined introduction, body and conclusion. In order to give a clear speech according to the toastmasters, one should avoid using filler words, take pauses to emphasize a point and modulate your voice according to the emotions you want to portray. They explained the importance of building a rapport with the audience and structuring one’s speech on the basis of what the audience expects. Two students from the room then volunteered to give an impromptu speech and to the speakers’ surprise, they performed really well.

The topic of discussion then shifted to the matter of personal interviews. The toastmasters explained the mindset with which one should face the interviews. A great advice for the students was to make sure that whatever they speak is consistent with the image they’re creating of themselves in front of the interviewers. It should be in accordance with their resume. Every gesture should show confidence, and one should learn beforehand about the company, their vision, and requirements. The session continued for thirty more minutes before it came to an end.

(Left to Right) Ms. Raksha Rank, Mr. K P Jani

(Left to Right) Ms. Pranjali Maru, Mr. Rhythm

(Left to Right) Ms. Anery Patel, Mr. Amit Gulati

Ms. Raksha Rank, Ms. Pranjali Maru, and Ms. Anery Patel graced the toastmasters with mementos while Ms. Neelanshi Varia gave a closing speech by thanking the speakers for their invaluable time. Following the session, the students proceeded for the high tea with a smile of contentment after having spent the two hours productively.

The session served as a great learning opportunity for the 100-120 students who attended it and helped all those who were too shy to break the ice in public. All the attendees took away with them great pieces of advice that will help them throughout their lives. It was indeed a fun learning session.