A TMOD theme on a bestseller book

Why should every TMOD theme follow the same pattern – an abstract topic with some abstract ideas that too few people relate to? Why shouldn’t it be fun, inspiring and enlightening.

Here is a theme that genuinely does all of this. It raises curiosity and keeps people wanting more as they step into a world they knew nothing about. Have a read.


a TMOD theme on Surely you're joking Mr. Feynamn
Surely you’re joking Mr. Feynman – a TMOD theme.

Good evening toastmasters and welcome guests.

There is no dearth of genius people in the world, spread across a multitude of fields – painters, musicians, actors, businessmen and of course scientists. Too often, geniuses are believed to have a not so interesting life with little adventures to make for a bestseller book.

Not Mr. Richard Feynman. His autobiography with a peculiar title “Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman!” is not just a New York Time Bestseller, but also regarded as one of the must read autobiographies. Written in the form of anecdotes, it challenges your entire perception of how geniuses are. Mr. Feynman was awarded the noble prize in physics for his work on quantum electrodynamics and was instrumental in the development of atomic bomb during World War II.

But don’t let that misguide you into thinking that labs were his second home. Mr. Feynman had a knack for being in places that were absolutely not apt for a physicist of his repute. How else would you explain Mr. Feynman trying to break safe lockers containing codes for the nuclear bomb? But breaking lockers happened to be one of his favorite hobbies. Mr. Feynman was well known among his colleagues to be able to break into any safe locker – weather they were American, Japanese or German made. Richard Feynman, ladies and gentleman was a much more than just a scientist.

Which reminds me of Toastmasters. Aren’t we all trying to be something more than just ourselves? Of course, we may not be able to match the great Feynman but that doesn’t stop us from trying to shoot above our height, does it? At Toastmasters, our meetings are divided into three parts. The first part consists of organized speeches where members prepare in advance for a 5 to 7 minute speech and deliver the same. The second part is the more exciting and inclusive Table Topic Session where anyone can come up and speak for 1 to 2 minute on a topic given by our Table Topic Master, and the final, most important part is the evaluation section where our General evaluator will present a comprehensive report on the entire meeting. On that note, let me invite our General Evaluator for the day, TM Name.

Once the GE is done explaining his role, you may continue as under.

As I said, Mr. Feynman was more than just a scientist. Amongst his many talents were that of a storytelling. His students at California Institute of Technology fondly called him as a master storyteller who turned ordinary physic lessons into tales so fascinating that not a student would miss his lectures. On that note, it’s time to give our Toastmasters a chance to share their stories. Out first prepared speaker for the day is TM Name.

At this point invite all prepared speakers on stage to deliver their speeches. Once the session is over, you may continue with the theme as under.

In a normal span of a life time, most of us would be more than happy to accomplish certain level of success in one field. But being a genius, Richard Feynman aced multiple fields. Sometime during his midlife, Feynman took a sabbatical for 2 years and shifted to Brazil. The musical fever of the country rubbed onto him and he began playing Bongo Drums with such brilliance that he even gave the professional Bongo Drums player a run for their money. And mind I repeat, all in just two years. But in our next session, we will give you just two minutes. 2 minutes to speak your heart out. May I please invite on stage our Table Topic Master for the day TM Name.

Once the Table Topic Session is over, continue with the theme as under.

That was a wonderful session indeed and something Mr. Feynman would have loved to host. You see, Mr. Feynman was a known prankster too. He would deliberately set up his colleagues and dorm mates into situations they couldn’t get out off, just for fun, his fun of course. Mr. Feynman was always in control of the situation.

Which brings me to the final section of today’s session. Where I hand over the control to our General Evaluator for the day. Please put your hands together for TM Name.

Once the final session is over, you may conclude the theme as under.

As you would all agree by now, Mr. Feynman was indeed a man of many skills. But I would let another Nobel laureate Hans Bethe describe him best. Mr. Hans says “there are two types of genius. Ordinary geniuses do great things, but they leave you room to believe that you could do the same if only you worked hard enough. Then there are magicians and you can have no idea how they do it. Feynman was a magician”

It’s time now for the awards.


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