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Ice Breaker Speech – CC Manual – Project1

TM Manish Jain  |  My Guiding Stars

TMOD, Fellow TMs and Dear Guests….Good Evening

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said,

What You Are Speaks So Loudly

I Cannot Hear What You Say.

In this maxim he describes that it’s your ethos and how you carry yourself that makes a bigger difference in your life.


I, Manish Jain, shall introduce myself with the help of 3 such maxims that have shaped me into who I am today. These 3 life-truths also serve as guiding stars in my life


The first guiding star is - THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT

I come from a family of retailers. My Dad runs a retail unit in Mumbai, India, dealing in Toys, Games & Sports articles. During my school holidays, I used to accompany him to the shop. It’s here that he shared this maxim with me. That the customer is not just right, but also the reason & purpose of what we do. This was, quite frankly, difficult for me to accept.

I thought, I am the one who has what the customer needs. Hence I should have the upper hand in the dealings and not he.

But since my Dad told this to me, I started paying attention to it. I observed my Dad put this principle into action. By listening to customers attentively, understanding their needs, not getting into arguments he was not only able to close sales but also gained loyalties. I was an instant convert! At a personal level, application of this principle turned me into an avid listener and an empathizer. I was able to connect to people more easily developing deeper and meaningful relationships.  A quality that I cherish till date.


Guiding Star No. 2 – Choose a job that you love and you won’t work a single day in your life

During my under-grad period, I had realized & decided to make a career in the world of communications, media and entertainment. So, in 2002, when I stepped out of MBA school with a major in Marketing, I stepped into what unfortunately was a post 9/11 economy. Jobs were scarce let alone securing a well-paying, desirable one. I landed into a job with Godrej Appliances, a consumer durable company in India. My role was to sell annual maintenance contracts for air-conditioners.I couldn’t have been farther from my passion. With a job like this and absolutely nobody to reach out to in the communication industry, I stared into a boring, bleak future.


But I kept my ambitions alive. I kept up with the developments across the spectrum of the media industry – Publishing, Broadcast, Motion pictures, Radio, Online, Outdoor, Events and as they say, when you want something real bad, the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. Within 18 months of my assignment at Godrej a senior industry acquaintance invited me to join a media company called UTV. That’s it, for the next 10 years, I have been on a roller coaster ride working for world renowned media brands like Walt Disney, National Geographic Channel &currently Fox. I have lost count of the number of memorable campaigns I had developed. 7 of which earned me Gold awards for excellence in marketing & promotion at a global level. And this I sincerely believe, wouldn’t have been possible if I had let my passion suffer.


Guiding star no. 3

In 2004, the same year I joined UTV, I entered into matrimony. I had an arranged marriage. My wife and I belong to the same religion, same community, same sub-sect and yet we feel we come from 2 very different planets. As it happens in marriages, once the honeymoon period is over, you start discovering the many areas where you and your partner differ.


For instance, my idea of a good evening is to bury myself in a book

And she likes to uproot an audience with her dancing talent


In short, My wife is YABBA-DABBA-DOO

and I am How Do You Do?


You try your best to hide such differences from the society to show compatibility & a consummate relationship. but at a personal level your heart rankles on why your partner isn’t like you.. sharing your interests, beliefs, habits & mannerisms…..


It was during such a period I came across this life-truth –


It was like someone threw a bucket of cold water on me.

I was trying to insert a ROUND PEG into a SQUARE hole!!

This maxim instantly removed my energies from changing her to letting her just be.

  • I accepted my partner for what she is rather than what I want her to be

  • Celebrate her uniqueness rather than rue what she never had.

This life-truth had a bigger liberating effect on me than her. Especially after I realized it’s not necessary for us to be alike. Today, we’re married for 12 years I am sincerely thankful to god that she’s everything that I am not. She balances me,She completes me in ways I could never imagine. We have 2 wonderful kids who have the benefit of drawing energies & strengths from 2 very different pools.


So, these are the 3 life-truths, maxims, my guiding stars of my life.


I would like to leave you with new guiding star that has just risen on my horizon. It says ‘How High You Go Depends On How Deep Your Roots Are’.

And with this inaugural speech, I’ve taken my first step to deepen, strengthen and constantly sharpen my communication skills. Over to you Toastmaster of the day

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