“Sister and Brothers of America!” so were the audience addressed by one of the delegates to the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago more than a century ago. The address did indeed strike a chord among those who got used to the familiar, hackneyed, “Ladies and Gentlemen!” At one stroke the speaker embraced the entire assembly in what is called Vasudeva Kutumbakam. For Swami Vivekananda, all human beings, be they Hindus, Christians, Muslims’ or Buddhists, were part of one family. Vivekananda’s oration set every member of the august audience thinking about the incomprehensible sweep of religion.
Of all the speakers at Chicago, Swami Vivekananda made the most durable impact on the audience. It was the beginning of a long journey during which the great Indian spiritual leader familiarized the people of America with all the subtle nuances of Vedanta and Indian thought.
In the phraseology of modern management gurus, Swami Vivekananda’s communication reflected his supreme confidence, clarity of thought and depth of knowledge. This is striking example of what the youth must possess, clear thinking, confidence, and a commanding grasp of the subject he is handling to come off successful in interviews and careers.
You can’t afford to take life casually; every aspect of life has to be giver the importance it deserves. It is said that a driver behaves on the road the same way he lives. If he is a disciplinarian, he takes care of every road user, the driver of a truck who thinks he is the king of whatever he surveys, the jaywalker, the school child who crosses the road at will, the scooter-wallah who takes a U-turn whenever he chooses, in fact, everyone who breaks the law.
Despite all provocations he keeps his cool. Likewise you need to be your best, if you want to succeed. You can’t put up appearances, for you will be found out. When you are at your best, you will communicate effectively, bringing out your personality in full measure.
Add a bit of subtle humour or biting sarcasm, you add to your stature. In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Mark Antony exposes, in biting sarcasm, the character of the killers of Caesar at his funeral oration “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.”
Ironically, Mark Antony is all admiration for whatever Caesar has done for the welfare of his countrymen. While referring to the fatal wounds inflicted by Brutus and others on Caesar, Antony still calls them “honourable men”. And the message is not lost on the Roman crowd that goes on the rampage immediately after the speech.
One remembers a group discussion that preceded the selection of Executives for a PSU located at Udyogmandal in Kerala in the 1960s. The subject was “Obscenity”. One of the candidates boldly remarked that while total nudity was not acceptable, people seldom raised any objection to partial exposure. The members of the Selection Board chuckled and the candidate was selected not merely by his performance at the Group Discussion but on the basis of his overall performance.
Tata Consultancy Services CEO and MD, Mr. S. Ramadorai recent”, remarked that if India is to retain or increase its share of the global mar kepi ace, the country will have to address the question of making available candidates “employable”. He concurred with the predictions that have forecast a shortfall of half a million employable graduates by 2010, but clarified that the shortfall would be of “employable” graduates, not of graduates themselves. There would be a large number of graduates in the market, but they would not possess the skill sets recruiters would look for.
Currently, India commands a market share of 65 percent of the outsourced IT service and 46 percent of the outsourced BPO services. If one were to draw a list of skills lacking in new recruits, human resource managers would probably put lack of communication skills on top of the list. “Once you are in the market place, communication is a critical factor.”
And today, as never before, command over spoken English is a must if you want to succeed in your career. You possess a technical degree or you are a B. Tech, but feel ill at ease with both written and spoken English. In April, 2006, the English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) Division, University of Cambridge, clinched a deal with the Kerala State IT Mission.
As per the deal, the IT Mission will spearhead the implementation of the Business English Certificate (BEC) examinations of the university in engineering colleges in the state. The basic idea is to raise the English language skills of the students to internationally accepted levels. Similar steps are being taken up by the various other State Governments.
A candidate proficient in English—writing, reading and speaking has an edge over other candidates. With the BPO/ITES sector ever ready to recruit those with a good mastery over English, more and more job seekers are realizing the importance of getting their language skills assessed and graded in an international accepted manner.
The Key English Test (KET) is the first level ESOL examinations that are equivalent to the A2 of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework for modern languages.
This examination assesses the ability of a candidate to cope with everyday aspects of written and spoken English at a very basic level. KET is primarily intended for those who need the language skills essential while travelling in a foreign country. More than 40,000 students across 60 countries appear for this test annually.
Once you obtain basic knowledge in English, you stand to gain by improving your standards all the while on your own. Plenty of audiovisual material is available, newspapers, magazines, books, 24 x 7 television newscasts, commentaries, Star Movies, BBC, National Geographic, Discovery, History Channels, etc. As you broaden your knowledge, unknowingly your vocabulary too increases. Learning is a lifelong process and nothing can be more interesting than sharpening your communication skills with new acquired knowledge and vocabulary.
There are no shortcuts to success; you have to work hard. Your role m could be the life stories of great men like Gandhiji, Jawaharlal Ne JRD Tata, Dr. A.RJ. Abdul Kalam (Wings of Fire), Winston Chur Edmunds Burke, John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, Amartya Rabindranath Tagore, the list is endless. Wider and selective reading stepping stone to better communication.
Qualitative improvement and innovation in style and content should be the goal of everyone bent on sharpening the communication skills. Once you are on the job, the rest will follow instinctively. The frontiers knowledge are limitless.
The joys of learning can never be satiated, not on thy oars. Be not satisfied with your grounding in English. L from the great statesman, author of many English books and Nobel Laureate himself, Sir Wintson Churchill (1874-1965):
“Come on now, all you young men, all over the world. You are needed more than ever now to fill the gap of generation shorn by the war.” have not an hour to lose. You must take your places in life’s fighting Twenty to twenty five! These are the years! Don’t be content with the: as they are. The earth is your and the fullness thereof. Enter upon y inheritance, accept your responsibilities.”
Churchill was a great orator. As wartime Prime Minister of Britain he led his country to great victory. Even in the darkest moments war he reassured his people that they would emerge victorious.
Command over English language or any other language al not enough. You need to exude confidence and forgo your ego; humility is the hallmark of real greatness. Look in the eye and speak. When one communicates this way, one is bolstered up by the courage of conviction. Be yourself when you speak. Communication is one of the best ways plumbing the depths of your personality.