專訪2006年英語演講冠軍吳紀澤/Spotlight on Frankie Wu
1. In 2006, you represented District 67 to run for the International English Speech Contest in the States. From a district level contest to an international one, what are the differences and what do you consider the most valuable benefits to this international contest journey? What or whom impressed you the most?
Frankie Wu: The most valuable thing is to get to meet so many people. During and after the contest I had many chances to meet and learn from members from different clubs, to receive advises from and to interacted with senior members. This process broadened my views at large. I also learned that a good speech doesn't have to be "big" stories, like advising people how to live their lives or how to overcome difficulties. Small, personal stories about love, family or friendship can be just as good and inspirational. It's just the way how you try to impress the audience.
The biggest difference between the district and inter-district speech contest is the audience, though the district contest had larger audience. When the International President and other Toastmasters bigwigs are your audience, it was difficult to manage the nervousness. But finally when I stood on the stage, I just had to let it go, and the pressure's just gone.
The thing that impressed me the most was meeting the previous world champions of public speaking, like Randy Harvey, Ed Tate, and Lance Miller. They are truly outstanding speakers.
2. In the process of developing your story, did you encounter some difficulties? What would you do to make the content of your speech acceptable by the audience?
Frankie: First of all I would like to share my experience prior to joining the speech contest that inspired me the most. I joined Toastmasters in September 2004 while during the first year I really didn't have any idea about how to create a "good" speech, so my C1 to C5 speeches are pretty much "flat" and descriptive, not inspirational. The turning point about my Toastmasters career started from the Fall Convention in 2005, which I joined. I witnessed the performance of the contestants in the humorous speech contest. I realized that delivering a speech is so much about telling a story, within which the messages and ideas were embedded and delivered effectively. It is more effective than telling people what they should do directly. I think this is the first step forward in my learning process in the Toastmasters.
My speech for the contest was originally my C6 speech. I was confident in the laughters that worked well in my first attempt, in club, area and division contests. The humor also contained the ideas I would like the audience to understand. My struggle actually started after the division contest, when someone suggested that my speech was not informative enough and I should create something that gives people more meaningful information and suggestions. I tried to add something and adjusted the speech, which is another learning process. Sometimes I add some words or sentences, then I read with different tones or speed, tried to feel the different effects. I think it's a good way to build up skills and your own delivery style.
3. Do you have any coach to help you when you joined the contest? Who are they? And how did you work together to win? What were your winning strategies?
Frankie: Two members coached and helped me in a great deal. Solomon Chen was the IPP of Wheelers TM club and he was the champion in the 2005 speech contest. William Yang was a former member of Wheelers. He is a very talented member and has been very active in many TM events.
Special thank to them for their suggestions and support. They watched and timed my delivery, suggested ways to improve my time control, speaking tones and speed, hand gesture, body movements, and even facial expressions. They advised me that for a district level speech contest, everything needs to be precise --- speaking fast or slow, up or down, where you stand and where you look at... mind the details.
Other fellow members like
I would also like to thank Hubert Yu, a great speaker and 2007 district champion who represented for inter-district speech contest. He was my competitor in the area level contest, but after that he had been a great supporter and helper of mine. He's truly an amazing Toastmaster, young, energetic and passionate. He deserves the 2007 Championship award.
Finally, my strategy was very simple. First, get a good speech script, then all you need is to practice and practice, realistically or mentally, so you can practice anytime. The most important thing is to remain passionate. Sometimes you'd be so fed up with the speech, coz you've probably done for over 100 times including rehearsals. It is essential to Keep that passion so audience will feel the performance is as fresh as a virgin show.
4. Any advice for those who would like to join a contest?
Frankie: For members who would like to join a speech contest, I have 3 suggestions:
- Use the manual effectively: to create a good contest speech, the skills you learn from C1 to C6 are just enough, like body movements, vocal variety and get to the point, but use them more effectively and be flexible. Those skills you use need to be fitting in with your speech, not the other way around.
- Learn from other good speakers: Acquire the DVDs of the past speech contests, especially the international ones. Focus on the way of their delivery, how they organize a speech, laughters and twisters, and the primary messages they want to deliver.
- Practice and learn from the responses from the audience. Practice is the only way to improve, and I would never understate its importance.
While advices from other people helps you improve and helps you learn what your strengths and weaknesses, but remember, it's still your speech. You need to be very comfortable with the content. Sometimes people get confused by too many suggestions and they finally lose their focus. Stayed focused. If you're really confident about something but someone has opinion about that, seek opinion from others. If everybody says so then you may consider to adjust. But finally you need to be comfortable with the overall content. Don't need to be compromised on every opinions.
5. Since you have won the national champion, do you have any goal for your next level learning in Toastmasters?
Frankie: After completing my C10 speech I left Toastmasters for a year now as I have been in a career change. But I'll definitely come back to the Toastmasters family and start all over again in the future.
我最感動的事是能遇見一些過去的世界演講冠軍如 Randy Harvey, Ed Tate與Lance Millers等人。他們真是最棒的演說家！
我還要感謝其他會員，包括Claire Chen, Angela Hsu, Vence Wan, Cory Chen, Jessica 與Jane，他們都大力的支持我。我也要感謝游博程會友。他是一位非常卓越的演講者同時是2007年的台灣區總冠軍，並代表本區參加世界總會的演講比賽。曾是我在分區比賽時的競爭對手的他，在比賽後反成為我最有力的支持者與協助者。他真是位很棒的會友，年青、充滿活力與熱情。他贏得2007年的演講冠軍真是實至名歸！