The art and skill of mass communication and public speaking has become an integral part of today’s world, irrespective of the field or career one opts for. Taking this into consideration, our teachers at AVM give us an opportunity to improve our speaking, understanding and presentation skills by letting us present book reviews. This year too we got a chance to do the same.

Our group was given a chance to present a book review on the book “Ego Is the Enemy’’ written by Ryan Holiday. We worked as a team throughout the process of reading, understanding and presenting the book review in front of a wide audience.

We started with reading the book in detail and taking important notes from it so that we could churn and absorb the crux of every chapter. Initially, the task seemed intimidating but as a group we were determined that we wanted to give our 100% in whatever we did. We constantly shared and discussed our ideas with each other and came up with a clearer and better understanding each time. With this understanding we began to prepare the PowerPoint presentation for our book review. We remembered to not only take help from our teachers but also from the Almighty who we knew would provide us the wisdom and strength to make our book review a great success. There were times when we were stuck at various points but as we were together, we could tackle the problems easily. Soon we started to progress at a great speed and completed various drafts of the presentation, which we showed to our teachers so that they could recommend improvements. After improving upon those we made a better version of it. Similarly we kept making better versions till we reached our final draft.

A typical review session began with Prajval Sir, Purvesh Sir and Prabhudarshan Sir taking the judge seats while we three would present and explain what we’d come up with. During those review sessions, apart from the extraordinary and creative suggestions from our teachers, they also gave us valuable life lessons. We discussed stories and anecdotes and our teachers also gave us valuable wisdom through real-life lessons.

So, although on some of the days we were working till late in the night, the mood was kept light by our teachers through funny revelations and discussions. All in all, it was a delightful experience being with them and listening to their precious words of wisdom.

Soon the day arrived when we had to present our book review in front of students and teachers. It was 13th of March, 3 o’clock in the afternoon when we began the journey to eradicate the EGO from our life and try and explain the author’s opinions and ideas to the students by relating it with their life at AVM. We had the auditorium full of students and teachers to listen to our understanding of the book and take something home which would help them, as well as us. All of our initial bit of anxiety and nervousness faded away as we progressed further. Though our book was a bit philosophical and with no videos, but the audience was very excited to listen to us, which eventually boosted our confidence. Eventually we ended up presenting a great book review, thanks to our teamwork, our teachers and Swamishree’s blessings. All the students and the teachers were very happy with our review.

After the presentation got over we went to the teachers to get our review. They told us our areas of improvement and also encouraged us for the things that were done well during the presentation. We really enjoyed doing the book review and learnt many new things. It was fun to share our ideas with our friends and teachers to get better understanding about a particular topic. We really got a chance to understand each other and know how we can present something in front of others. This book review taught us many things we never knew and so it will always stay as a fresh and unforgettable memory in our mind.

During the process of presenting the review, we as a team came to understand better each other’s perspectives, and consequently we were able to increase the harmony among us.

We are extremely grateful to Swamishree and teachers for providing us with the opportunity to get such an exposure.

One of the most impactful takeaway line from this book that touched our souls and is an appropriate one-line summary of the book from the AVM perspective:

“The fight against Ego is one which takes us on a journey from ‘Me, Me, Me’ to ‘We, We, We’ to ‘Him, Him, Him’…i.e., ‘God’!”

Jagrat Gada, Pranesh Patel, Yathansh Joshi (11 Commerce)