Swami Vivekananda

On this exact day, one month and 125 years ago, a young monk, with no money, in saffron robes, humbly, addressed an audience of over 6000 people at the Fullerton Hall, at the now Art Institute in #Chicago.

At the World’s first Parliament of World Religions and without any real credentials, this man received a standing ovation for his eloquent oration and impactful #speech on tolerance and universal acceptance.

I am honoured to have stood in the very room where this magic happened, as it takes great courage to not just stand in front of people, not just to convey a message, not just to be an excellent #communicator, but that too on a foreign land, with impeccable clarity and #philosophical substance.

Swami Vivekananda, in 1893, paved the way for modern societies to begin to understand the breadth and depth of our ancient civilizations and the vast knowledge, wisdom and Vedanta that is ready to be unlocked. His unprecedented success opened the way for dialogue between eastern and western religions.

As an aspiring public speaker and proud #Hindu, this room, this hall and the feeling within it spoke volumes to me, difficult to convey into text, yet a feeling within and a calling to grace such stages and impact #humanity for the greater good, with plurality, liberalism and an increased #dharmic aptitude.

Arise, Awake, Stop not till the goal is reached!


Empoword Workshop

Local award-winning spoken word group run a series of workshops to up-skill Slough creatives

Following the success of two recent workshops led by local poets, Award-winning spoken word group Empoword will welcome guest speaker Sumit Sharma (@SpreadWisdomUK) to deliver a Stage Presence workshop as part of an upskilling programme for Slough creatives.

Former Toastmasters’ president and public speaking coach Sumit Sharma said: “the workshop seeks to increase the confidence of attendees through impromptu speaking activities and public speaking exercises”.

He will be sharing the art of eloquent oration and tips and tricks on how to own the stage, to help local poets with their nerves and confidence when representing Slough on national poetry platforms.

By day, Sumit is a passionate Solutions Architect for a Cloud Computing company. Alongside his love of tech, he runs Vaani Speakers Academy, committed to the spirited learning, growth and development of public speakers.

The event will run from 3:30pm – 5:30pm on Saturday 1st September at the YES Shop in the Queensmere Shopping Centre, Slough.

Followed by an open mic session where members of the public have the opportunity to present to a captive audience in three-minute slots, the workshop has a handful of spaces left.


Follow @EmpowordSlough on all social media platforms for updates and to secure your place.





Grateful for the opportunity to present an interactive public speaking workshop with Cloudflare at their London HQ recently.

During my preparation, I realised it would be too easy to present the same material I am used to delivering.

I decided to challenge myself, and like I ask my clients to do, step out of my own comfort zone, I presented in a style I had not yet tried before, yes I was nervous, yes there were some hurdles, but it paid off in exposure and experience.



Public Speaking Workshop in Warwick

This weekend I was at the University of Warwick, leading a workshop on public speaking for the 2018 interns on the Youth For Sewa platform. These dynamic individuals are at the start of their journeys, ready to challenge their perceptions and beliefs, pushing their boundaries and striving to flourish as individuals.
My workshop led them through exploring their own passions and interests to discover what Sewa means to them and channelling that inner voice to find the real reasons behind the stories they want to share.
The most engaging part of any speaking workshop is Impromptu speaking, being asked to speak on the spot, mostly without subject matter, the request to sometimes simply make stuff up! This is not always easy at first, but always fun to get involved with. Shaking off those barriers, that fear of not knowing what to say or perhaps saying the wrong thing. I love #coaching this session, explaining that this room, under my supervision, is a safe and encouraging environment, where you cannot make mistakes, where you can really try and test out different methods.
Public speaking isn’t a prescription, it’s about a journey and finding out what works for you; I really enjoy helping individuals to step out of their comfort zones, to be bold and to be brave and to confidently take the stage. These skills develop you not only in impromptu speaking situations but in general life too; being able to effectively communicate in the reactions and interactions with people, friends and colleagues and in impromptu situations all around us all the time. The workshop provided plenty of opportunities to get involved. A friend from a workshop last year, let all the delegates know here, that if you do not volunteer yourself, then Sumit will be picking on you, I humbly request immersion, get involved to reap the benefits!
There were lots of laughs and giggles, especially through the eye contact exercise, I ask my mentees to stare at each other for a minute, this is always a pleasure to watch, as individuals cycle through emotions, glancing away or blinking excessively. We learn multiple lessons here. Firstly, that things are uncomfortable, sometimes weird or complex situations do arise, or are just difficult to do. Through practice and a calm mind, we can get over these obstacles. Also, learning to be able to give people eye contact, it’s important to let your audience feel like, whilst they are paying you attention, that they too are also being paid this attention, that whilst they are focused on you, you are graceful enough to have a focus on them.
We curated the beginnings of what their polished speeches will look like, some were bold enough to give us their opening lines. Once they come back from their 6-week internships, I am sure they will have many a story to tell. Discovering their personal messages and crafting that into a presentation will be something amazing to see, I look forward to their return and helping them on their public speaking journeys further.
Youth For Sewa is a 6-week, unpaid summer internship programme offered by Sewa International UK & National Hindu Students Forum, focusing on self-development through the service of underprivileged communities. It is an opportunity for young adults to contribute their time to a larger movement of serving humanity. Please read more and support them on http://www.youthforsewa.org.uk
Special thanks to all the contributors, supporters, organisers, mentors, mentees and team.