Script for Toastmaster of the day: Do numbers really speak?

Good morning fellow toastmasters and dear guests… Numbers… If we all look at life, numbers have become an integral part of our life. From the day one is born to the day one dies, a number is always attached which is Birth date and Demise date. The life of every human being continues in numbers.  Remember, those days at school when teacher used to call out marks and the topper was the student who was very good at mugging…  The numbers have always been a judge of a person’s quality and talent… That’s what is all about today’s theme: “Do numbers really speak?”… Rather, I would change this question a bit as “Do numbers really speak truth?”… [Ask question to audience…] Let me give an example…1)      One professor at IIM-A has published his research on India’s Literacy Rate. India’s literacy rate for the population aged seven and above, was 65.4 per cent. What does this number really mean? Can 561 million people read a newspaper headline in their own language? Not really. What it means is that households across India reported 65.4 per cent of its members to be “literate”, when the census fieldworker showed up. The literacy rate is a perceptual number — people perceived to be literate. It is not an accurate indicator of the proportion of readers in the population. So, can we now say that numbers really speak truth? The article said:First we followed the census approach. Then we asked every household member, aged seven and above, to read a simple text in Hindi, of 35 words, that a student in class three would be expected to read. Those who could read it correctly, at their own pace, were marked as readers. Those who could read only parts of it, or took recourse to sounding syllables before putting together words, were classified as “early-readers”. The rest were nonreaders, who could not read at all.  The census approach gave us a literacy rate of 68.7 per cent in the sample. The reading test, in sharp contrast, resulted in 26 per cent readers, 27 per cent early readers and 47 per cent non-readers. Even if one were to club the readers and early-readers, at best 53 per cent could be considered to be readers. The census method, thus, led to an overestimation of the literacy rate, in the Hindi states, by a whopping 16 per cent. Now, this is what I say “Extracting the truth out of numbers”… Grammarian (if not done by President – Jayesh):At Toastmasters, we have a noble intention that all attendees of the session get an opportunity to speak once. And, as we speak, we tend to use improper grammar and form incorrect sentences. That’s why at Toastmaster we have a grammarian who keeps track of all our grammatical mistakes. I would now like to call Grammarian for the day, ________ to come here, introduce word of the day and also provide more information about role. Toastmaster Santosh… At toastmasters, we have a toastmaster who is silently sitting and noting down how many times we used filler words… For providing more information on the role of Ah-Counter, I would now like to call upon Toastmaster Harshitha Thank you Harshitha for introducing word of day. I would urge all speakers here to use this word of day as many times as they can…  .. Ah-counter introduction. Moving on…  Even, IT community can’t get enough of numbers.In 2007, Kelton Research reports that “65 percent of IT Employees spend more time with their computer than their spouse.” If you count all your work time, maybe, but this survey asked about time with your home computer.  Another survey reports that “the average consumer has experienced computer troubles eight times – about every four months – over the last three years.”  These guys are not living in my home PC world. One problem every four months? My PC’s not that well-behaved. And what’s “computer troubles” anyway? Is that when my mom drags her entire email inbox somewhere and can’t find it? Is it when spyware shows up under the radar on your PC, or is it when your hard drive dies? Send these numbers right back to the company who sponsored the study: SupportSoft, a company promising to improve your PC support options with an upcoming online support service. Numbers are always used to impress and add fancy to the promotional campaigns… I am sure some of us would have used numbers to justify his or her research… Such examples make me skeptical… They make me think carefully whether to believe this or not…  Time is a critical number. Sometimes I imagine what our life millions and trillions year ago was when there was no clock to control us. Ah… it would be so relaxing!!! But, anyways let’s come to present…  In toastmaster, we value time. We believe that to become an effective communicator, a person should be able express his or her thoughts in given amount of time. That’s the reason we have timer… a person who keeps track of speech time and session time accurately. Please welcome Timer for the day – Toastmaster Dharmendra .. Timer introduction. Let me give few more examples of how numbers are manipulated… According to NPD Research, their “Kids and Digital Content” study indicates that “Kids are becoming increasingly tech-savvy, playing video games and using and downloading content to cell phones, computers and portable digital music players as young as age 2.” The study examines kids age 2 to 14 and their device and content habits, asking them, and yes, their mothers, about their digital lives. According to NPD, “only 15 percent” of 2- to 5-year-olds are using cell phones, but 62 percent of 11- to 14-year-olds use them. 2-year-olds using cell phones?  I have a niece almost-three-year-old and she could use a cell phone – as a passenger in a dump truck, a percussion instrument, or something new to hurtle through the basketball hoop. But she’s not ordering up a custom ring tone anytime soon. Or maybe they’re talking about simply saying hello to grandma over the cell phone, once out of the ten times you try? Hehehee…  An adage says – “Numbers speak more than words do!!!”… But, if company and government use numbers in such a way then I am sure nobody will believe in this adage. But, today, we have such a personality with us whose words are stronger than any numbers or any statistics. Someone who is very affluent speaker is evaluating Project 2nd of Manjesh. Please join me in welcoming him to explain objectives and criteria for 2nd project… Please welcome speech evaluator, Jayesh .. Speech Evaluator speaks….  Introduction of Speaker 1: Manjesh:Now, we reached the time when numbers will not speak more. His words will have so much weight that any number or statistics cannot compare. Manjesh is toastmaster who is very composed, inspiration for all toastmasters, and someone who welcomes us with both arms open… Let me welcome him to deliver his 2nd project. Good luck, Manjesh… .. Speaker 1 speaks…. You didn’t prove me wrong, Manjesh… Toastmasters and Guests, a big round of applause for Manjesh as he completes his 2nd project successfully… Now, may I request all of you to right your feedback…? I want to ask a simple question to our guests – Are you not inspired by Manjesh and want an opportunity to come here and speak? I am sure you all want to try the experience once… Now, I would like to call up Sylvia to conduct Table Topics Round and provide opportunities to our esteemed guests to speak… I now hand-over control to Sylvia… .. Table Topics Round. Thank you Sylvia for conducting such a though provoking table topics round… Toastmaster Dharmendra, can we all know who all are qualified for Best Table Topic Speaker? Please raise your hand when your name is called… so that we all can vote for the best table topic speaker…   Now, before we move to our last segment of evaluation, one advice from my side:          If someone is boasting about numbers and trying to sell you something, please check the facts and don’t trust him or her. Ask yourself this vary question – Do numbers really speak truth? Now, it’s time for evaluations… Every one of us came here and spoke… when our evaluators will speak about how well we spoke here… it’s the time where we will not be rated or judged based on some numbers… To tell you all more about evaluations, let me welcome Toastmaster and General Evaluator Jayesh Anandpara [After evaluation is done… ask for Best Evaluator vote] Timer Dharmendra, who all are qualified for Best Evaluator? Again, please raise your hand when your name is called… You may vote now and hand-over ballots to our timer of the day Dharmendra… I would now like to hand-over control in safe hands of our President Jayesh Anandpara…

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