What it means to be a leader of the club – DTM Jayan Narayanan

One of the greatest strategists ever, Chanakya explained complicated concepts related to the duties of a king/ruler in his book Arthashastra with the help of analogies.

A powerful tool, yet ineffective if not used properly. Seasoned orators/ writers master this art. DTM Jayan Narayanan proved that he is no novice in this art.

The Take-off:

The topic was mundane. What is the role of ex-comm members in Toastmasters club. If there were a few groans from the audience, it was swallowed well so that no one near could hear. All in all only a great speaker can command the attention of the audience for such a topic. DTM Jayan Narayanan is just that.

He started off his speech by narrating the story of his niece’s marriage, in which the responsibility of managing the event fell upon him.

He assigned tasks to his relatives each of whom he compared with the various ex-comm roles and their duties.

The Flight:

Ex –comm Role Role Player Marriage Responsibility EX-commResponsibility
President Jayan Manage the team. Successfully complete the marriage event. Manage the ex-comm team. Set, monitor and achieve club goals.
VP – Education Jayan’s wife Educate the ex-comm members on the process and the resources needed. Manage individual goals with a bird’s eye view of the larger club goals in perspective.
VP – Membership Jayan again Inducted the members  into team. Convert guests into members through diligent follow up
VP – Public Relations All Ensure that every attendee gets invite. Inform members and non-members of upcoming events and its theme in advance.
Treasurer Nephew Keep tab of revenue and expenditure. Keep tab of revenue and expenditure. Analyse the same.
Secretary Sister Note down each conversation. Helps in ensuring accountability. Prepare MoMs which give a view of what happened during the meeting. Useful for introspection.
Sargent-at-arms Brother Take care of logistics Ensure that the venue is ready to start the meeting. All artefacts  should be available.


In Flight – Food:

DTM Jayan shared some ‘Pearls of wisdom’ during his speech.

  • No role is small. All roles have a larger purpose in teaching important leadership skills
  • Always take the role which is difficult for you and have never experienced before. That will add the most value to you
  • Each role hones specific skills in a person:

o   DTM Jayan created a great rapport with the HR head of his company as Sargent-at-arms of the corporate club. This opened doors for a lot of opportunities for him in the future

o   DTM Jayan also played the role of VP Membership and confessed that he couldn’t add a single member to his club during the entire tenure. However, the learning was valuable

o   VP-Education role can go a long way in honing influencing skills

o   DTM Jayan quoted the flair with which Noorain Mohammad presents the meeting MoMs and mentioned the experience it can provide in building script writing capabilities

o   Managing home budget/ corporate budget one can’t do away with excel. What better place to learn than Toastmasters club as treasurer?

o   Get comfortable with strangers. You will need that ability to reach great heights as a leader. The platform to begin is VP- Public Relations

o   Only a wise person can empathise with others. Such people are flexible like water… mould yourself depending on the situation Mr.President


DTM Jayan shared some of the light moments he experienced as an ex-comm member, which added the fun element to the speech. Overall, the speech was a double whammy. A testimony to the power of leadership and public speaking skills.


(The article was written by Secretary TM Bharath Raman)


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