Toastmasters Ice Breaker: Out of the Comfort Zone by Puspa Chandra Khanal

Presiding Officer, Toastmaster of the evening, fellow Toastmasters and dear guests.

My name is Puspa Chandra Khanal. Spelled as P-U-S-P-A. In Nepal people feel easy to pronounce my name. But when I was in Delhi for my study of chartered accountancy it was miserable.

I can say I spent my whole 4.5 years just instructing people to pronounce my name correctly. In India people are familiar with the word either pusp or Pushpa.

So whenever I used to say my name they used to pronounced it as pusp. And every time they had to read my name they pronounced pushpa which denotes female.

It went to that extent that I had to search my name in female student list to get my score of our weekly test.

I am from waling a semi urban town of syangja district which lies in western part of Nepal.

I was born there and grew up there. Like any other small town guy I had very normal and simple childhood. I used to go to school which was almost 3 kms from my house.

Since it was a government school I was not very much bind by those strict rules and regulations which we heard of private schools.

Students used to come to school till 11 am and they used to left school as soon as its 12 pm and I was also the part of that. In 2004 I managed to pass SLC from the same school with an average marks. (It was very good compared to the marks of students of government school).

After that I came to Kathmandu for my further studies and joined one of the good college of Kathmandu and opt for science stream to become a doctor of course. I used to stay with my cousin who was very much good than me in studies and preparing for medical entrance test.

When I came to Kathmandu he was already into it. I completed my 11th grade, 12th grade. But I didn’t see him joining any medical college. Then, I realized it’s not for me.

After that I had a turning point of my life. I chose Chartered Accountancy as my career. When I think of that decision right now, I am now scared of that decision because I had never studied accountancy till that period. I moved to Delhi. Nobody believed I could be Chartered Accountant.

I put lots of effort, did hard work and did everything I could do and managed to clear the exam without much hurdle.

After that, I came to Nepal. And luckily got a chance to work with top audit firm of the country which has large number of assignments and have direct link with the top consultancy firm of the world. More than 35 chartered accountants work in our firm and there are lots of trainees and other staff or we can say we have a family of 100 professionals. Apart from that I have recently started teaching CA students.

I am a quiet and simple guy. People tell I talk very less but I don’t think I do. I am a single and staying with two little cute sisters in Lazimpat in a rented apartment.

I love to make lots of friends and want to be the part of their sorrows and happiness. I love to read newspapers. I love to watch comedy and animated movies and serials. I have watched episodes of The Big Bang Theory more than 500 times.

I have a CA friend from kathmandu who is now in Malaysia in his own business. He told me about the toastmaster club and its features. As soon as I heard about it I thought it is the right platform for me to enhance my speaking ability especially in English.

Being a public school guy and a commerce student I never got a chance to communicate in English. My profession needs me to talk with international clients very often. In our office we don’t generally communicate in English. So, I thought I can practice here which may be helpful for my professional life also.

Friends, when I was in class 5 or 6, one of my teachers told me that unless you leave your comfort zone you can’t achieve new things in life, which had very big impression in me. My parents never insisted to leave waling which was very much comfortable zone for me that time, but I moved out of it. And achieved something new,

After that Kathmandu became my comfort zone and since I had to achieve new thing I got out of this comfort zone and went to Delhi, completed my studies. After coming back I could have joined a normal place to work with comfort. But I moved out of the comfort zone and tried for the best place to work and joined there. After that office became my comfort zone.

I again wanted to be a good communicator and leader I moved out of the comfort zone and came here. Once I felt comfortable in the chairs of the room, I chose to be role player and became timer last week. Now today it’s my first project and I am here.

Now project one is becoming my comfort zone and again eagerness to be out of this comfort zone to do a next project has already started.

Back to you toastmaster!

The speech is from Competent Communication Manual: Project 1 – Ice Breaker. The speech objective is to introduce oneself, to begin to conquer the fear of speaking in front of a group and to provide a “base line” of current strengths and weaknesses.