Speechless by Roshan and Siddharth
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It would be stating the obvious to say that Roshan Abbas and Siddharth Banerjee are well-known and well-loved personalities in India. They handle being on stage with such ease that one just wants to learn their trade secrets and implement them. While having practical lessons isn’t something that everyone can get, there’s a book called Speechless: What Would You Say If Your Life Depended On It? written by these two gentlemen that will help you hone your public speaking skills.
Speechless, as mentioned, is a nonfiction book that talks about how to improve your public speaking skills with a lot of tips, tricks, stories, and examples. The illustrations are quirky, but nothing that will catch your eye. However, it is filled with smart tips for people looking to make their presence felt in the public eye with their oratory excellence. An excellence that takes time to polish and garnish with enough confidence to put it out for the world to see.
While there are a number of points to keep in mind while writing a speech, the most important is that you should be aware that you’re not here to preach. The most effective speakers connect with the audience by making them sit back and relax and indulge in a mutual, quirky exchange of knowledge. It is not in their nature to make it look like they are the be all and end all of everything about the topic they are talking about. It is this message that this duo puts so effectively in this book – just a small example of how amazing they are in articulating their thoughts, be it in speech or in the written word.
With such useful information, books tend to become preachy themselves while propagating the importance of not being preachy, Speechless is a wonderful deviation from those books. As well it may, because there are quite a few mentions of Shah Rukh Khan and all the examples of when he owned the stage. And we know, without needing proof that he is as witty as witty gets and a great example of how to ace public speaking. Yes, it does sound like a fan account, but hey! The country is full of fans, ready to lap up any mention of the superstar.
The book, Speechless, in addition to the many useful tips and tricks, has a number of interviews with renowned Indian presenters, emcees, and TV personalities who have owned this like no other. Reading about their experiences and about how they emerged from tight spots is an experience in itself. It’s a peek into the hard work that goes into presenting on stage and giving a speech, and how you need to accept the fact that sometimes, things go out of control and terribly wrong, even for the experienced. It’s how you handle it that shows your true character.
Personalities like Mini Mathur, Harsha Bhogle, and Mandira Bedi have some important tips to give you. But the most important advice that comes from an interview that this book holds is from actor-anchor Gaurav Kapoor. Here’s what he says: “(You are) in a country where people like Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar, and Shah Rukh Khan have people who don’t like them. Then, why you? You are always going to be below them in the food chain. So let the people who don’t like you, not like you. Service the people who like you instead of focusing on the ones who do not.”
All in all, Speechless is a book that gives you enough motivation that you don’t go speechless at times that matter the most. Highly recommended!
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