Toastmasters Competent Communicator Manual Speech 8 – Get comfortable with visual aids
Speech Title – The losing art of handwriting!
What are certain things that make humans very different from all other species in the planet? Friends, encourage this new speaker in your club with a couple of responses 🙂 Yes, 6th Sense? Love? Smile? Yes, thank you!
All those answers are right! But I am going to talk about something that is very unique to us, only us and I can bet, that no other species have that. And that is HANDWRITING!
Dear President, Toastmaster of the day and fellow Toastmasters!
While communicating abilities of all other species are not fully studied, perhaps we are the only species that has multiple ways of communicating. We started with gestures, uttered sounds, developed those sounds into words, then we spoke, introduced grammar, drew pictographs in rocks which finally evolved to modern handwriting. Just imagine the hundreds of languages we have with written forms and multiply them by the number of writing styles one can imagine. Isn’t it something magnificent?
I still remember how much beating I took from my Mom to get my handwriting right! She used to lock me with the writing desk, and then gave me numerous exercises on 4 line notebooks to influence a legible handwriting. That was apart from my daily homework. It could be because my Mother had, still has a very neat handwriting. My sister naturally got her own style. I never got it right.
But the handwriting I had was good enough to write fast and score top grades. Once my mother reduced her influence a little bit and that was it, my handwriting became bad and my grades were worse!
Naturally, I increased my handwriting speed to write enough during exams. Looking at me speed, even teachers chose me to write in the black board while they dictate. I was feeling very proud for such a privilege.
Today, I am not proud about my handwriting. Apart from my scribbling notes during my office meetings, I am not at all writing. Why because, it looks like this! In recent years, modern technology has dramatically changed the way we communicate through writing.
As a matter of fact, I am ashamed of my handwriting and even scared to write! Yes, I am not exaggerating! I am not able to put my signature in a uniform manner. My cheques are getting rejected for signature mismatch. It is even considered as an offense. Had I repeated that for a couple of times I could have been jailed. Now I stopped issuing cheques, rely only on online bank transfer and stay away from all those tempting schemes that ask for post-dated signed blank cheques. Though I was relieved when I heard I am not the only one, am truly worried about how to solve the issue at hand.
Will give you another example on how much importance this handwriting plays in our life. Recently my Grandfather showed me an old letter. Without a clue, I opened it and started reading. Well, it was written by me during school days. My handwriting was pretty okay. There were spelling mistakes, strikethroughs and even a blot of ink. But it had a personal touch. Anyone who reads it would connect to my feelings, thoughts, complaints and excitement even if it was about trivial things. Now, that was my identity. It is not anymore. I don’t write to him. I occasionally text him in phone or call him. Not sure, how much he could connect with me though. But he has certainly cherished my letters.
Golfer’s Elbow, Tennis Elbow, and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Repetitive stress injuries like these are very common due to excessive usage of wrists, improper posture of arms while using computer mouse and keyboards. I am sure some of you have faced such symptoms or heard from your friends. Not only for sentimental or emotional reasons, but also for your health reasons start writing with your hands, importantly write with a fountain ink pen.
Today, how many of us make an effort to write? How many of us write every day? How many of us write at least 400 words a day? How many of us write with a fountain pen?
The process of handwriting promotes clear thought and natural structure. Being so close to the page means that translation of thought has less opportunity for deviation. The mental processes involved in handwriting are connected to other important learning functions, such as storing information in memory, retrieving information, manipulating letters, and linking them to sounds. Research shows that you remember information better when you write it by hand than when you type it. Handwriting improves hand-eye coordination that will enhance many aspects in our life.
While researches explore facts that confirm handwriting is both hereditary and an acquired skill. No two people write alike. Our handwriting is as unique as our fingerprints! We are definitely losing our identities in many ways. But friends, my request is let it not happen at least through handwriting. Let us pledge to write every day to ensure we don’t lose this unique skill.
Without fail, on your way to home buy a fountain pen, an ink bottle, a notepad and a bunch of Inland Letters or post cards. Start capturing every day’s moments in your own writing style and share with your friends, family and relatives. It is less expensive but will fetch you high net worth.
Over to you toastmaster!