English Is An Obstacle We Can Overcome

Posted November 26, 2013 | 3971 Views

At the end of the Shanghai FedEx Toastmasters Club District Contest, I could only use one word as a conclusion: “AWESOME!” I felt sorry for those who could not attend that day, but luckily you have me, and I am going to give you a detailed recap of the district contest.
The contest started the same as other contests. I was thinking about what would catch my attention and what I could learn from the contestants. Ronaldo was the first one on stage that day. Since I already heard his presentation, I thought the only thing he could improve was his grammar and verbal mistakes, but I found his presentation still made me laugh even though it was my second time to hear it. What kept his presentation fresh? There had to be some secrets.
The next contestant also performed brilliantly, and it was no surprise that I was hearing their speeches for the second or even third time. I wondered why they chose to stay with their original scripts. Didn’t they want to bring something new to the audience?  Maybe using the same speech was a more reliable way to win the contest.
The fourth contestant was from India. I had a negative impression of the Indian accent and wondered how many of us would understand him, but he paid no attention on his heavy accent and instead fully devoted himself to his Bollywood style acting. His presentation seemed to be based on the movie, Hangover. He took the tiny stage and made it a huge platform to show his talent. I could not figure out how many people actually understood him, but from the faces in the audience, he successfully caught everybody’s attention and got laughs.
The next participant was Michael Bland, who was believed to be the most competitive. Besides of his English ability, his presentation skills were the major contributor to his outstanding performance.

I determined three points we needed to focus on to make us stand out as presenters. Firstly, we need to be confident; if we lose confidence in ourselves, how can we expect the audience to be confident in us? Secondly, we need to raise our voices and vary our inflection. No matter how creative and brilliant your presentation is, it has no recipients if your voice does not carry. The final point, which is also the most important one, is to use the stage. Although easily forgotten, it is the key to your success. Through Toastmasters you not only master your ability to give a speech, but you master the stage itself. Image how convincing you can be if you use the entire stage instead of standing in one spot.

The winner of this contest was no surprise to me. I learned from Michael that English is an obstacle we can overcome.

Maybe the skills mentioned above are important for us to improve our stage presence, but no matter what skills you learn, the only road to success is practice.
I am Justin Xu. I am FedEx!

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Comments (0)

It is wonderful to read what Justin has made in his life to be able to do well at the FedEx Toastmasters Club District contest! I enjoyed reading this!
on 12/07/13 at 10:29:33 PM CST

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