2017: The Year Gone By
As another year ends, it’s time to take stock of how the blog fared and what Soft Skills Studio has been up to. From being featured in the newspaper to an interesting stint with Toastmasters, here are the top highlights of the year:
I am excited to, first of all, present the blog stats for the year. As you can see the steady rise in the bar graphs, the number of views went from 33K in 2016 to 44K in 2017 from about 32K visitors. The top post with 7930 views is – 8 important principles of writing that you should master and “writing skills” has been the most searched term on my blog. The highest number of visitors came from India – 14621, followed by the US – 11661 and Phillipines – 2724.
The year started with the exciting series on speaking skills – The Speaking Wizard, 5 steps to being a confident speaker – the series has blog posts and corresponding videos on YouTube to help you understand the steps better. You are free to choose the step you wish to master and work on it with a certified coach like me. What is unique about this model is that it clubs the methodologies of training and coaching making it more effective for an individual. Working one on one proved to be more result oriented than sitting in a class full of participants.
Another exciting thing was being featured on Mumbai Mirror as a soft skills expert. It was an article on assertive skills- a personal favourite. It talks about tips on how to speak up and still be likeable. This is an important trait since it traverses the fine line between aggressive and submissive and needs some going to get it right.
I also plunged into the A to Z blogging challenge this year – and almost completed it. I have done 30-day November blogging challenges for 2 consecutive years on my personal blog. But this was a first on this blog. I had a great time writing posts on topics beginning with the letters of the alphabet. The soft skills I blogged about included making a great first impression, tips on how to follow up, importance of continued learning and unlearning in today’s times and sense of humour at the work place.
I also joined Toastmasters International this year. It is a whole new world dedicated to creating a supportive learning environment for people to improve their communication and leadership skills. My first project speech was a great experience. The club also streamed the World Championship of Public Speaking 2017 live where Aditya Maheshwaran, a member of our club was among the top 10 finalists. Read all about it here.
It was a good year training wise too. I was a part of the interview panel at Thapar University, Patiala. The university conducts a mock placement drill every year to help students through group discussions and personal interviews before companies come in for placements. It was a unique opportunity to mentor students of this university. Other notable clients of Soft Skills Studio this year included Federal Bank, Piramal industries and Taj Vivanta.
I’m looking forward to a great new year with a lot of interesting things planned skills-wise. Stay tuned for more. Here’s wishing all of you a Happy New Year!