I delivered my project #2 on Sept 18,2007.

Following are the expectations from a Project #2 speech:

  • Select an appropriate outline which allows listeners to easily follow and understand your speech.
  • Make your message clear, with supporting material directly contributing to that message.
  • Use appropriate transitions when moving from one idea to another.
  • Create a strong opening and conclusion.

Time-limit:: 5-7 minutes.
And here’s what I spoke::

What’s in a name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Fellow Toastmasters, Mr. Toastmaster and Dear Guests

This was what Shakespeare said in Romeo and Juliet many years back.
Is really a name that unimportant? Or does it actually matter what name do you have? Let us see both sides of the names: names of persons, names of brands and names of places: we’ll explore them all.

If the names were really unimportant, why do companies spend billions searching for that key brand name? Why would politicians create such hullabaloo about changing the names of the cities and states? Why would parents go on surfing name databases endlessly before naming their children? Come on Mr. Shakespeare, even the name Rose has got an identity of its own. And you can find many sweet girls named as Rose after the beautiful flower. Not all girls named Rose are necessarily sweet-natured, but given a choice for a blind date, you’d surely like to meet a girl named Rose as compared to someone named let us say chickenpox. I know no one names her daughter that way, but if it were not for the name, why would you make that negative impression of the sweet girl named chickenpox even before meeting her? So isn’t it the name that’s driving the entire world?

After all, your name is your face to the rest of the world, it’s your first point of contact with a stranger; it’s your identity!!!
Well, not if you’re named something like Michael in the United States or Amit in India; In that case instead of being your identity, your name can give you a severe identity crisis. Just for the benefit of those who missed my ice-breaker, I’d like to mention again that there are 29 Amits working in Adobe, out of which six are in my team alone. We often have official mail interactions, in which the Developer Amit writes to the Quality Engineer Amit and the program manager Amit is marked a copy and it sometimes is confusing to figure out which Amit’ s Action items are stated in the mail.

Anyways, coming back to the original discussion; whatever your name may be, it is in fact your prime identity. And in case of a common first name, it’s your full name or even at times nickname that’ll provide you that identity.

In the corporate world, perhaps the names have become all the more important. The choice of a good brand name is considered critical for the success of a project. There are names which are taken as ambassadors of quality and even a new product from an established brand is in high demand even before the quality of the product is known.

A new height is reached when the name starts making the transition from being a Proper noun to a verb. The speech I’m delivering right now is supported by something known as Googling. Why to go any further when we’ve an example of the same here in Adobe itself? I believe everyone must be aware of the mantra in digital photography: Click it and then “Photoshop” it. The name has become a verb here!!! And it sells!!

So does it appear that the names are in fact the only things that matter? Was Shakespeare totally off-track when he made that remark? Are names really sufficient to take you to the path of success all on their own?

This may sound crazy, but there actually are people who believe that they can change their destinies by just changing their names. Recently a major bank not really popular for its services changed its name claiming “Nothing has changed except the name” I can almost hear the customers screaming: this was the only change we could have lived without.

And if the names were really that powerful, why are almost unimaginative company names like the ones named after the founders still popular? Hewlett-Packard and Bajaj are just few of such examples. Why would the two “Ritu Aroras” as mentioned in Ritu’s speech that day have two distinct destinies? Did you know that the Google brand, which we were discussing just now, is actually the result of a misspelling of Googol, the word for 10 raised to the power of 100? So if it were not misspelled initially, we could all have been happy Googoling stuff out whenever needed.

So what does all this lead us to? I still am confused: Do names matter or not? Digging a bit deep into it, we get to know that perhaps Shakespeare was at least a bit right.

I personally feel it works both ways. First you need to do your job, make your name and then onwards your name will make you out. So let us assume Google starts something new: let us say a new web browser: Google explorer. It’ll have a definite advantage over any non-existent name in the market: even over the Googol explorer if it ever comes up.

So Mr. Shakespeare, it wouldn’t have mattered if the flower were named something else in the first place itself, but now that the Rose has marked its name by becoming a symbol of Sweetness, love and beauty, calling someone/something as Rose does carry some weight and calling a Rose by any other name simply doesn’t make any practical sense.

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  • Rajdeep Manwani

    you write beautifully and your toastmasters speeches are full of thought and wisdom. Please upload your remaining projects as many would be waiting for them

  • http://amitbhatnagar.wordpress.com/ Amit

    Hey Rajdeep,
    Thanks for your comments..
    It’s really inspiring to see commending remarks from a seasoned TM like you.. I’ll upload my P6 and P7 very soon..

    • vivek bhatnagar

      dear amit,

      I am preparing for my p2 and came across your writings. I read ur p2 and was really catchy and thought provoking.

      Where r u based? I m writing from Doha Qatar.

      Vivek Bhatnagar (vivekata@gmail.com)

  • Sanjiv Santhanam

    From the content itself, the speech feels so amazing. I can imagine how your actual speech would have been. Kudos to you.
    If you have ur speeches recorded and can upload them on youtube, do so and send the link across so that we can view the speech too.

  • Bharani

    Amit
    Excellent speech. I am about to present my speech #2 and was googling to get ideas. I loved the way you had organized it.
    As I will be progressing along towards my other speeches, I will be gogolling to see yours.
    Thanks

  • http://www.ikfai.co.cc chonghwi

    hey.. ur project 2 is really nice..

    while i m preparing for my p2. can i ‘copy’ some idea from ur p2?…haha

  • http://ljd_dorm@weebly.com Carolyn Abanggan

    i love your speech!

    i’m just new in the Toastmasters Club ( Queen City, Philippines) and i am preparing for my BS2.

    my BS1 was excellent ( they said so =) ) and i feel a bit pressured now to deliver something better.it’s a good thing though.

    more power!

  • Priyanka

    wow. what a lucid and entertaining P2! I loved the humour about the girl named chicken pox – having just gone thru the pox recently he he! Not only is your project something I relate to…my name being Priyanka, the commonest girl’s name in India today, I think, but it is also so prophetic. I mean, just replace Google explorer with Google chrome :-) I am a beginner in Toastmasters and I came across your speech doing – what else – googling!

  • Ragu

    Hi,

    What a speach!, Excellent title with humor and good finish. I have done my first project and search for the second, I found yours, I am thinking why don’t I could use the same to do mine?.

    Looking for many more

  • Prasanna

    Great speech ! I really liked it .. Appreciate if you upload other speeches as well ..

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  • sameerv

    Very good. But do we have to say introduction, body, conlusion disgtinguishably.

  • ashok

    Hi Amit,

    Even my son’s name is Amit. He is almost 8 yrs and studying in 2nd Grade, here in US.

    I liked the pros and cons you presented about – What’s in a name?
    Your speech flow was great!!
    After going thru’ your speech i found that your speech was more Con but less of Pro.

    I recently joined Toastmaster and have completed my Ice Breaker speech – What is life without fun!!

    I am now preparing for P2 and came across your link in this site – http://sixminutes.dlugan.com/t.....ur-speech/

    Have fun!!

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  • Rohan Saxena

    Dear Amit,
    You are too good!! Entertaining, enthusistic, informative; simply put – perfect! Your speech flowed from one idea to another. It is also very thought provoking. And it had the KEY ingredient in mega-doses – humour!

  • Dr.Arora

    What is in a name Amit? I thing everything, and on that note I am signing off as Reet Arora instead of Ritu Arora ;). Very Well written!