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Talk To The Star: Public Speaking Contest-Interview With Mekhla Sengupta
Mekhla Sengupta had filled her contest form from Kolkata. She had participated in the National Online Public Speaking Contest which was held on the Official Facebook page of RNTalks on 11th May 2020. the results of the same were announced on 15th May 2020. Mekhla Sengupta bagged the 4th position in the nationwide contest
Below is an interview with Mekhla Sengupta who is a genuinely beautiful person at heart. We’re sure you’ll enjoy reading it as much we enjoyed conducting it.
RNT: Good morning, Mekhla. It’s great to be chatting with you here. Could you start by telling us a bit about yourself? 🙂
MS: I’m a student of grade 8, I love to dance, I’m a positive thinker and passionate about public speaking.
RNT: Fantastic, can you tell us what inspired you to start speaking on the public forums?
MS: When I saw and heard, children younger than me talking almost like experienced speakers, it motivated me to speak.
My father is also my inspiration, he participated in a competition and when I heard him speaking confidently, that encouraged me to speak.
RNT: That’s awesome… to have your father groom you, now I want you to think back to five years ago. Did you envision yourself where you are today? What are the changes that you can see?
MS: I honestly never thought I would do public speaking. Though I was a good storyteller from my childhood, I didn’t imagine myself in such a position.
Also, my thinking ability speed has increased a lot and I’m learning to speak spontaneously.
It really gives me the motivation to speak fluently in a meaningful way.
RNT: Somewhere at some point in our lives, everyone encounters a difficult situation. Can you tell me about a time when you had faced one? How did you handle the situation?
MS: Yes of course. I have started public speaking just a month and a half back. Till now, I’ve participated in three competitions.
I had two competitions almost back to back: one was a separate one, and the other was this RN TALKS competition about which I was a little stressed.
I also panicked and was afraid about this competition until my parents told me to manage things calmly and think about what I wanted to speak about.
Also after my parents supported me and my father helped me in modifying the speech, I was a lot more relieved and happy.
RNT: That’s great! Even my father was my strength. Mekhla, you are an excellent communicator, and can comfortably communicate both Hindi and English languages so when did you first realize you wanted to be a speaker?
MS: I can speak Hindi with correct pronunciations but I am a little weak in it and I need to work on it.
The thought of becoming a speaker has come to my mind from grade 4 but I never thought about it seriously.
Now that I am participating in competitions, it’s helping me to boost up my confidence and speak well. Now I think, that if I work hard, I can become a speaker.
RNT: Mekhla, each individual has his/her own style of working, how would you describe your own personal style?
MS: I like to be calm while recording and thinking about the speech. I like to express my own views (be it childish or not).
My parents help me improvising on it and as I mentioned before, it helps me build up my confidence.
RNT: You sure are a luck girl for your parents to support you so. Where do you find the inspiration for your public speaking topics? What is your motivating factor?
MS: When in the rural areas I still see people less developed, I feel bad. I want to do good for their betterment but then, I’m too young for it.
The only way I can express my views is speaking and trying to motivate others to help them develop themselves.
My motivating factor is nothing but their less developed villages and towns. Though it’s high time for them to understand the value of developing, they are not economically strong.
And though, out of context, I want to say that I want to do something better for them that will help our country and perhaps the world to be developed in a good way.
RNT: That is amazing! I must say I’m impressed. So, what is your work schedule like when you’re working on a project? How long does it take you to draft your speech?
MS: I generally don’t stay awake during the nights stressing and thinking about what my speech should be about.
And I stay calm, think about my views and sometimes when necessary, take help from my parents.
RNT: I know that you are a unique individual i yourself. But I would like to know, what do you think makes you different from others?
MS: My positive attitude and thinking, hoping that there’s still a ray of light in the least hopeful things.
RNT: Mekhla, how many public speaking shows have you done till now? Can you share a few of your best experiences with us?
MS: I have participated in three competitions till now. And my best experience has been the first one I participated in.
It was difficult for me to cope up with the problems I faced as it was my first ever experience.
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I worked hard and finally achieved success as I stood first. It motivated me to participate in more such shows or competitions.
Now, I’ve made up my mind to not only do public speaking but to explore more different things.
RNT: What are your achievements in life till now? Can you share a few of your experiences that helped you evolve as a person?
MS: Yes, if I talk about my achievements apart from public speaking, I’ve won a silver medal in English Olympiad and though not an achievement, I’ve won quizzes and storytelling prizes at school which I consider to be very valuable.
In public speaking forums, I have participated in three competitions and have won something or the other in all three of them which makes me proud.
RNT: The more I learn about you the more I want to know about you. Could you share with me the key points to bear in mind when someone attempts to speak on a public forum?
MS: I’ve learnt from judges and my parents, not to stress out while speaking.
Keeping in mind the points and framing sentences myself.
Not to panic if we fumble once or twice, as we are humans and we do make mistakes while speaking no matter however strong in English we are.
I’ve been taught not to mug up things. Also, I’ve learnt that whenever we know what we are going to speak, we will never forget about what should be happening next.
We may give pauses and continue with relevant points related to the particular topic.
RNT: I’m sure people will benefit from your experience. Could you tell me a little about your hobbies that help you unwind and what do you like to do when you’re free?
MS: My hobbies are dancing, reading sometimes, writing about my next speeches and watching movies, of course.
RNT: That’s great, please tell us about your most recent work, who inspired you, and how was it?
MS: My latest work was participating on this RN TALKS platform which motivated me to speak no matter how long it should be.
My respected judges and organizer, and my father inspired me to do this.
I feel that I’ve performed pretty well though I need to work hard on my spontaneity. Overall, my performance was quite good leaving the above-mentioned point.
RNT: How did you develop the skill of speaking so engagingly in front of groups?
MS: There is a natural habit of becoming conscious while recording personally according to me, as constantly thinking of knowing that we can record another time if anything goes wrong comes in our mind.
So I generally don’t be afraid of the camera. During live performances, (though I’ve not participated in one), I think I’ll have one or two butterflies in my stomach but if I’m through with the topic, I can speak well.
And my camera-freeness helps me to speak without nervousness as much as possible (though a little bit of nervousness is healthy).
RNT: Mekhla, can you share with your audience reading this as to how can someone become a more assertive public speaker?
MS: “Practice makes a man perfect.” Similarly, in this case, I was a much lesser efficient public speaker when I started off.
Now, I’m pretty confident to speak. The same applies to everyone.
RNT: Mekhla, have you ever thought of making a career of this? What are some other areas that might be a good fit for you?
MS: Honestly, I have not thought of my career as a public speaker. But again, if I work hard, I’ll be more efficient and better at it.
So I can definitely opt for a career as a public speaker. Some other places where I can shine is dance.
I am a great dance lover and I think I can opt for such career too.
RNT: When you enter a contest sometimes you lose and sometimes you win. What do you want to say to those who could not make it in the first 5 of your category?
MS: I want to say that not always everyone wins. At least there is no such human who can win always. And losing is a part and parcel of life.
If we do not make it, we must make an effort to keep in mind that there’s always the next time. And as the saying goes, “Sometimes we win, and sometimes we LEARN.”
So it conveys that losing makes us learn from the mistake so that we try to never make it again.
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RNT: Very truly said. That’s my thought too. Everyone cannot come first but can be a winner. Each participation teaches you new lessons. The takeaways are more important than positions. What is your motto in life? Tell us about your next project and when will it be available to the public?
MS: My motto in life is to make an effort to make this world a better place. I want to be a good human being as we all know, “To do something good, we need to become a good person first.”
My next project is participating in the storytelling competition organised by RN TALKS itself. If I’m not wrong, it’s supposed to take place in the first week of June and also be public in June itself.
RNT: That’s wonderful! Can you tell us about your association and experience with RNTalks?
MS: RN TALKS has not just provided me with a good platform but has also given me the opportunity to be in an interview, something that I’ve never done before.
And as I’ve told before, it has helped me build up my confidence. I’ve really enjoyed participating here. It has been a wonderful experience.
RNT: On a scale of 1-10 how will you rate RNTalks?
MS: I woud give it 9 out of ten.
RNT: WOW, that’s awesome! Mekhla, on behalf of RNTalks, I wish you all the best for your future in public speaking. Any special message or any suggestions you would like to share with your visitors/fans which you think would help them become a better writer/or evolve as a person?
Thank you so much, RN TALKS! It truly means a lot. And to all my fans, I just want to say again, that practice is the one that makes one perfect so it’s all about practising that matters in success. And secondly, thank you to everyone for all your love and support.