The 13-year-old author Himakshi Shastri believes proper communication can make the world a better place. Above, Shastri is seen delivering a climate change speech.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Proper communication is a way to change the world—make it a better place—believes a 13-year-old who sees herself as a change-maker.
“Communication is delivering a message; but, proper communication is delivering a message that leaves an impactful effect on your audience,” said Himakshi Shastri.
The author of “Prized Words” whose protagonists—Mr Lion, Mr Elephant, Mr Bat, Mrs Snake and Mrs Panda—essay good manners and right conduct, and the value of uttered “thank you” and “please,” expounded, “Impactful effect (through proper communication) is when my words have the power to bring a positive change into someone’s life.”
Shastri shared her views on effective communication and becoming an effective communicator after she had expressed her thoughts on environmental degradation, given the opportunity to do so, through her speech “Climate Change—is it the beginning of the end?”—at a recent weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Jumeirah.
On her “Prized Words” published in 2018 which led to her “Emirates Festival of Literature” debut the following year, Shastri said, “Whilst interacting with young children growing up in today’s fast-moving, digital and increasingly materialistic world, I was perplexed to find that the art of being polite was eroding away.”
“Lecturing and reprimanding children bear no fruit and I wondered if the traditional methods set in fables that I enjoyed as a young child would work in engaging young children…encourages the use of manners amongst children, expressing to them how words can have such a big impact on others,” she also said, adding that utterances may make or break people.
Shastri feared expressing herself before anyone. Until a school “storytelling competition” unshackled that dread.
Thereafter, the bookworm had spoken about sustainable living in Oxford, England.
Incidentally, the 11th president of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, is an inspiration, “Although (the president) grew up in a poor community who did some odd jobs for a kind professor who let him read from his book collection, he definitely knew that he wanted to do something great for his country. He worked hard on his goals. He faced his fears.”
Shastri added, “His story teaches me that you do not have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
Shastri’s three creative ways of impactful proper communication and public speaking:
• “Communicate about subjects you are passionate about. If you are genuinely motivated by your topic, you will find the words will naturally create a beautiful connection with your audience.”
• “When communicating, share your own original ideas. There is a difference between creating the magic and following its trail. Our audience wants to hear what only you can tell them. That is how you make your greatest impact.”
• “Whilst communicating, make sure what you are talking about is as interactive as possible. You can do this by making your audience play games or getting them to take part in the ‘question-and-answer’ session.”
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