Lessons learnt from World Champion Public Speaking 2015 Runner-up DTM Aditya Maheswaran


In the past four years as a Toastmaster, I have had the opportunity to listen to some of the greatest speakers of all time. A few weeks back, I was a part of a Toastmasters Division level conference. We had around 700 registrations for the event that included 20 humorous speech contestants and 20 evaluation contestants. The icing on the cake was the keynote by DTM Aditya Maheswaran who was the 1st runner up at World Championship Public Speaking 2015 that was held at Las Vegas.

In most of the events, the keynote sessions are talks given by eminent speakers about the topics that are close to their heart followed by a few questions from the audience. But here we were in for a surprise. He asked us to shoot questions and assured us that he will answer each question from his experiences and learnings.

DTM Aditya Maheswaran - Keynote

DTM Aditya Maheswaran – Keynote


Let me share a few questions and his responses to the same.

Q : What is the one thing that should be included in my speech to make it world class? What makes that difference between a good speech and world winning speech?

A : Its really very simple. Always concentrate on what message you want to drive home and what impact your speech must create in the minds of the audience. If you have figured that out clearly in your speech, the rest is easy.

Think of what you can leave the audience with rather than what you can should include to make your speech better.

Q : How do I become better at Toastmasters?

A : Toastmasters is an amazing platform where in whatever you do here will make your life better everywhere. This helps you to become greater at work, life and much more.

Q : When I give a bad speech, I get disappointed and become very reluctant towards giving my next speech. How do I overcome that?

A. The only place where you can fail and fail successfully is at Toastmasters.

The only time you need to feel bad is when you feel you have not given your 100%

Q : How can I make the most of being in Toastmasters? 

A. Let me ask you a question. I take everyone of you to a beach and ask you to bring water from the sea to me, how much of water can you bring?

(Random answers : 1 litre, 2 litres, 10 litres etc )

The amount of water that you are capable of bringing back from the sea totally depends on what you carry along with you to fetch the water. It can be a small glass, a large jug, a bottle or a bucket and depending on that, your quantities vary.

Similarly how much you can take back from Toastmasters depends on what vessel you bring along to take that.


It was one amazing session where words of wisdom were shared in abundance and I am sure every Toastmaster would have thought about his first step into Toastmasters and how it has been fruitful ever since.

Coimbatore Toastmasters with Aditya Maheswaran

Coimbatore Toastmasters with Aditya Maheswaran


DTM Aditya Maheswaran, World No : 2 of Public Speaking 2015 would be here with us @ Coimbatore Toastmasters for the very first time on November 14, 2015

You can follow this page for more details.


Unconference @ GOA

Naren, Me, Gopal, Hari, Anil and Shanthakumar. And of course that's Balaji :)

When I first came across the title ” The Goa Project”, I was pretty excited for two reasons because I had never been to Goa before and I was very sure there will be a lot of fun-loving people around to interact with. I was not disappointed at all. Goa is a place which is perfect for Unconference as the city is well known for its informal nature. I was surprised to see a few of the speakers in casual attire and that set the tone for the 2 day event.

I left from Coimbatore on Wednesday afternoon along with Anil and Gopal of Mypromovideos. Though we were in different compartments, we managed to spend quality time together setting our expectations for the event. We also managed to watch a movie in the train ( Thanks to sub-titles – we could not hear a thing). We reached Goa at 4 in the morning and we set out to meet our friend Sabarish who was already in Goa along with Vinay and Sibi from Coimbatore.

I was informed by Anil and Gopal about the Mixer party that evening. When we reached the venue we were really surprised by the atmosphere. Loved the way the venue was perched on a rocky terrain that leads down to the seas.

Came downhill from the Venue and here we go

Came downhill from the Venue and here we go


One more astonishing fact was the number of people who were from Tamilnadu. You casually talk to your friends like ” Dai. Ennada panalam? ” ( Hey. What next)  and half a dozen people look back at you and ask ” Neenga Tamilah ” ( Are you Tamil) with a welcoming smile. That’s how we got acquainted with Naren, Hari, Shanthakumar, Balaji and a lot of other people. Back here in Coimbatore when i go to certain parts of the city I feel a little left out as there are a lot of people who speak Hindi. Here I am 900 kms away from Tamilnadu and there are a lot of people speaking Tamil. That served as a ice breaker and we got along with a lot of people really well.

After the mixer, we went straight to the beach along with our new friends and went for long walks until 1.a.m. We were lucky to get a good accommodation right on the Bogmalo beach. We were like 157 steps away from the beach. Are you thinking that i am making this number up? Nope. You should have attended the session ” Couch potato to 100 km”. You can know more about the speaker here.

Our Accommodation was right on the beach

A View from our Room

The Keynote speakers were cool and the especially the one by Arjun was inspiring. Really admired the grit and determination of the youngster and I am sure when i hear Summer of 69 again, I will get reminded of his adventures.

The Success of Lucia, the first ever Kannada crowd funded movie and the keynote of Director Pawan Kumar deserves a special mention. This was one of the biggest takeaways of the event for me as the power of the people and the power of social media when rightly used can create magic was explained in a interesting manner. Really looking forward to watching the movie soon.

With the Director of Lucia - Pawan Kumar

With the Director of Lucia – Pawan Kumar


Anil and Gopal finished their respective sessions and we were happy to see the packed house for both the sessions despite a few glitches during the same.We explored the venue a bit and had dinner next to pool a little far from the actual dining area.

The second day events started a little late and I tried Google Glass for the very first time. A gentleman was kind enough to lend us the Glass for some time and he also helped us with the tit bits about the Glass. We left early that day even before the party got started and from the pictures i see, I guess the second day’s party was rocking. We headed to a casino called Deltin Royale and had a sumptous dinner. We also tried our luck with the games and ended up losing more money than we actually won. However, this case does not hold true for our good friend Balaji who was lucky not once not twice but thrice.

Naren, Me, Gopal, Hari, Anil and Shanthakumar. And of course that's Balaji :)

Naren, Me, Gopal, Hari, Anil and Shanthakumar. And of course that’s Balaji 🙂


The success of the Event was in bringing all these people together under one roof and let them do their networking and getting along their way. As always there is always a scope for improvement in every event and I am sure TGP will come back even stronger next year.

Cheers 🙂






Ink Live 2013 – Experience

Dream come true

This blog post is dedicated to all those organizers who put their heart and sweat in making this event happen.

Ink Live 2013 happened in Kochi and starting from the Venue which was easily accessible and the friendly smiles with which i was received in the Registration Desk deserves a special mention. For the first time, I felt I belonged there when I wore my Attendee Card. The way in which the card helps us to flaunt about what we are interested in clearly indicated we were about to experience something different.

I loved it

The ID Card

One of my favorite authors Varun Agarwal interacted with us to start off and that moment when i told him that his book was the only book which i completed in one go and the approving nod and smile from him will be cherished forever. Had enough time to click a picture with him as well 🙂

Dream come true

With Varun Agarwal

For any event or experience to be memorable/special, you need to have good company. Not everyday you come across people who like what you like. This time its not so. I got three good friends @ INK Live 2013 – Danny Simon, Surbhi Bafna and Dhanya P. Had a great fun attending the talks together, clicking pictures, exploring the places. If you guys are reading this – A big Hi

The Speakers coming from diverse backgrounds shared their ideas / journey / future plans. Really enjoyed listening to Singer Usha Uthup. She proved she could give any English pop star a run for money by singing Skyfall by Adele. Her sense of humor was profound and I was listening to her with my mouth wide open. Some speakers were inspirational, some were innovative, some were very informative. And Ink Live team was very thoughtful in bringing few of the Speakers for the Speaker Interaction sessions.

Ever wondered how it would be when there were more than 300 drummers playing at the same time like Pros. Had been to a drum jam session earlier but this one was splendid. Vasundhara Das and her partner took us through a fun filled session. The Hall was filled with smiles and the smiles were the end product of the realization that even we can play music without any practical training or lessons.

Though the website said only one workshop was allowed per person, when there was room for a particular workshop we were given a chance too and that’s when the below picture came into existence. Made new friends and the workshop facilitator was so kind enough to hand us some models to take back home.

Hippo and Elephant

Hippo and the Elephant

The Contests were so innovative that everyone wanted to give it a try. This helped us to engage ourselves all the time. Though I did not win any contests, I was really content to have participated in the same. The Coconut Juice Stall which could have very well been a workshop was our hangout. Weird Combinations were awesome :P.

If all the above was informative and interesting, here comes the fun part in the form of our host Kenny. He nailed it totally when he came up with a song with the random words we came up with. Presence of Mind Level – Veteran. I will always remember him saying ” All this while, You were dying to say Dustbin ? “. And Sarthak part was hilarious.

It was a fitting end to the Event when the host team was introduced to all of Us. I clapped like crazy because this event has changed the way i think about Writing, introduced me to exciting ideas, gave like minded friends, fun filled sessions and it wouldn’t have been possible without the Host Team.

Once again you gave your best for all of Us and a BIG Thank You from a INK 2013 Attendee 🙂

Looking forward to contribute in one way or the other for the next edition.