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中華民國演講協會榮獲經理人雜誌最受經理人歡迎三大社團之一。
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專訪2008英文演講冠軍蘇冬蘭/Interview with Sammy Su

 

 


1.      妳在兩年內贏得兩次全國英語演講比賽冠軍,是什麼動機讓妳持續參加比賽
我在2006年年初加入國際演講會時,並未預期會在同一年參加幽默演講比賽並且得獎。然而,我這個新手竟幸運地受到了許多資深會友的幫助。他們溫暖的情誼、鼓勵及不吝分享比賽的寶貴經驗激勵了我,使我相信我能夠得勝!

2007年春天,我再次被祝福,因為我參加指定演講比賽落敗。在這次比賽中,我體驗到我的有限與許多需要改進之處。但說實話,一開始時,失敗令我感到沮喪,看不見這其實是神的祝福。直到一位朋友告訴我一句Samuel Becket的話:「下一次跌倒,要跌的更好!」我才明白,唯有勇敢的面對失敗,並從失敗中學習,我才能克服它! 

因此,
2008年春季,我再度站上比賽舞台,與2007年的Sammy競賽。這次我勝過了自己,也向過去的我道別!現在的我要繼續往前;我期盼不久的將來,與一個更好,但不是身高更高的自己相遇 

 

2.      妳的演講內容是如何發展出來的?妳想要向觀眾傳達的主要信息是什麼?在準備的過程中有無遇到困難?妳如何克服這些困難? 
我演講內容中所有的故事都是真的(包括所提到的蔣可勤會友,她是ALE Elite的會友),雖然有許多人以為不是。我必須感謝神,祂讓我從這些親身經歷的故事中得到啟示與靈感。這次演講主要要傳達的信息正如講題所顯明的,非常簡單並且具有普世價值,那就是:保持永遠年輕與美麗的秘訣,不在於持有在我們自己身上,而是將它傳給在我們之後世世代代的人!因為寫了這篇演講,我在今年三月透過國際展望會認養了一個男孩,以行動來呼應我演講中的理念。

這篇演講原初開始於我的眼角膜破裂,這過程中發生了許多有趣的事情,也有一些引人省思的論點。這篇演講首次呈現是在今年二月份
A部馬拉松演講,我以近乎即席演講的方式發表,但時間竟超過八分三十秒。從區到全國的比賽,刪減演講的長度成為最需要克服的困難。感謝神賜給我三個好朋友,幫我解決這個問題。他們分別是:2006年全國講評比賽冠軍,也是我的最佳教練:陳凱倫會友,ALE Elite的劉芝妤會友與她迷人的男友Lester Lau 

由於我的演講需要燈光效果與播放圖片,因此我必須要有兩位幫手的協助。我要非常感謝
MSD演講會的許淑瑜與王智欣會友,她們自始自終自願的協助我!在全國的比賽中,ALE Elite演講會的黃世鑫會友也加入了我們的團隊。我們一起演練了許多次,最後終於使燈光、圖片與演講達成了完美的搭配!另外,我想在這裡向當時曾經邀請我做示範演講的分會致歉,因為場地設備的不足,我不得不予以婉拒。事實上,我甚至沒有在自己的母會做過這個演講,我去練習的唯一分會是內湖演講會,在此感謝他們的熱情接待。 

 

3.      妳帶著得過全國英語演講冠軍的頭銜,是否曾想過有可能在今年的比賽中失利?為什麼會又為什麼不會?

我在比賽中唯一擔心的事是逾時。我對於我們堅強的團隊有信心,而且我非常喜歡這篇演講。對我而言,我面對的唯一競爭者就是我自己,因此經過數不清次數的練習,我的演講一次比一次進步。

回想有一個週六的下午,我母會
( 臺北市政府演講會)的袁彩雲會友陪我到大安森林公園練習,我們在圓形的露天劇場從下午五點練習到晚上九點半,她一直幫我計時,並觀察我練習時的每一動作。由於得到許多的幫助與真誠的團隊情誼,我知道我們一定會成功! 

 

4.      在你準備演講的過程中,有無教練幫助妳?他們如何協助? 
陳凱倫會友是我最好的教練,而蘇尚賢會友則是我的最佳策略伙伴。他們兩位都是全國比賽冠軍(陳是2006年講評比賽冠軍,蘇是2007年幽默演講冠軍)。他們實在是神差派給我的天使,帶領著我直到比賽的結束。 

我要特別感謝蘇尚賢會友,因為他答應了我一個無理的要求。今年
1月當A部幹部訓練結束後,我跟他提到,我要參加2008春季的比賽,請他幫我,但前提是他不能參賽。他猶豫了一會兒,接著露出微笑並一口答應!這對他來說絕對是個犧牲,因為他是一位極優秀的演講者,才剛贏得2007年的幽默演講比賽冠軍。

除了實質上的協助
(諸如修改講稿、觀察演練、提供建言及傾聽我在深夜無數的電話等)外,他們在精神上的支持對我也格外重要。 

5.     
三個月後妳將代表台灣區總會參加國際演講比賽。妳贏得比賽的策略是什麼?妳對這個比賽的目標為何?

除了我參加全國比賽原有的支援團隊外,我們最近又增加了五個新的成員,來幫助我向
2008年世界演講冠軍之路邁進。我們把這個團隊取名為「超級隊」,並由凱倫當召集人。 

五月四日及十八日我們團隊已分別召開了
2次會議,共商比賽策略。我們觀賞了過去幾年來世界演講冠軍們比賽時的影片,並討論未來團隊如何合作與搭配。同時根據凱倫所規劃的線上時程表(Sammy D67 for world champion),我將在五月底前完成兩篇講稿,在六月後開始訪問各分會,並作演講練習。我們團隊的成員將錄影我的每場演講,並發放調查問卷。每隔兩週我們團隊將開會研析問卷上對我演講的評論與建言。 

我的目標是贏得
2008年的世界演講冠軍!訂下這個目標並非是由於無知或高傲,乃是出於决心與信心!在這些準備的日子裏,我深切的體認到,我設定的目標愈高,我就要付出更多的努力!同時,在觀察歷屆世界冠軍的演講錄影後,我與我的團隊伙伴們相信,我們一定可以達成目標!我們訂下目標,共同努力,我們要使來自台灣地區總會的代表贏得2008年世界演講總冠軍! 

 

 


Q1: You have won two English speech contests within 2 years? And what motivated you to keep joining the contest? 
A1: When I joined Toastmasters in the spring of 2006, I didn’t expect to win the Humorous Speech Contest in the same year.  However, this newcomer was fortunate to receive help from many  Toastmasters.  Their warm fellowship, encouragement, and sharing of valuable experiences truly motivated and made me believe that I could win. 

In 2007, I was blessed, again, when I failed to win a place in the International Speech Contest. From this experience I saw my limitations and areas for improvement.  But honestly, this setback made me depressed, and I did not see it as a blessing until a friend gave me the words of Samuel Becket: “Fail again, fail better.”  I then realized that only if I faced and learned from my failure would I overcome it. 

So there I was, in 2008 Spring Convention, on the stage, to compete with that Sammy of 2007.  Then, I won, and I said goodbye to her.  It’s the time for me to move on now, and I look forward to meeting a better but not taller Sammy in the future. 

Q2 How did you come up with this speech
What is the key message that you would like to convey to the audience? Have you encountered any difficulties, and how did you overcome them? 
A2: All the stories in my speech are true (including Katherine who is a member of ALE Elite) even though many thought they are not.  I must thank God for every inspiration given from those personal stories. The key message, as the speech title indicates, is simple and universal: The secret to staying young and beautiful forever is not to keep it in ourselves, but to pass it on to younger generations who live after us.  And by making this speech, I actually adopted a boy through the World Vision in March.

The prototype speech started with my broken cornea (
眼角膜破裂), containing more fun elements and deep thought. It was first delivered as an impromptu speech at the 1st Division A Speech Marathon in February, but it exceeded 8’30”.  From Area to District Contest, cutting the speech length had been the major difficulty to overcome.  Thank God for giving me three good friends to help me with fixing the problem: Helen Chen, my best mentor and the 2006 Evaluation Contest Champion, Christine Liu (of ALE-Elite club) and her charming boyfriend Lester Lau.

Due to the lighting effect and PPT slides used in the speech, two helpers were surely needed.  A big thanks to Bonita Hsu and Cindy Wang (of MSD club), who voluntarily assisted me along the way.  And in the District Contest, William Wang (of ALE-Elite) joined the team. We practiced together so much that we finally got the lighting and slides fit the perfect timing.

Q3: Carrying title of the national champion, have you ever thought that you might fail in this year’s contest? Why and why not?
A3: The only fear I had for the contest was being overtime.  I have faith in our strong team work, and I really love the speech.  To me, the only competitor I confronted was myself.  Therefore, through hundreds of rehearsals, I practiced to become better than the last time.

I recalled one Saturday afternoon, my club member Virginia Yuan accompanied me to the Daan Park , and we rehearsed at the Amphitheatre from 5 to 9:30 PM.  She stayed with me to time my speech and watched my every move.  With so much help and genuine fellowship, I knew we would succeed.

Q4: Do you have any coach to help you in the process of your preparation? How did she/he coach you?
A4: Helen Chen is the world’s best mentor and Shang Su is my very best strategy partner.  Both Champions (Helen won 2006 Evaluation Contest and Shang the 2007 Humorous Speech Contest) are the God-sent Angels carrying me to the end of the contest.

Here I’d like to give special thanks to Shang for accepting my outrageous request. In January 2008, after the Div. A Officers Training, I asked him not to join the contest, but to help me enter it.  He paused a little while, smiled, and said yes.  It was definitely a great sacrifice for him since he is an outstanding speaker, who had just won the 2007 Humorous Speech Contest.

Other than the substantial aid (revising drafts, watching rehearsals, giving advice, listening to zillions of midnight phone calls, etc.), the mental support they offered also meant a great deal to me.

Q5: You will be representing District 67 in the International Speech Contest, which is 3 months away. What is your winning strategy for this contest? What is your goal for this contest?
A5: We have added 5 more people to he original team that I had for the District Contest to help me march toward the 2008 World Championship of Public Speaking.  We name it the “Super Team” and Helen is the coordinator.

We already had two team meetings on May 4 and May 18, in which we watched the World Champion Videos for the past years and discussed the team's work.  Also, According to the on line calendar (
Sammy D67 for World Champion), which Helen set up, I will finish two speeches by the end of May and start club visits and rehearsals after June.  The team members will help by videotaping my speech and circulating the questionnaire. We will collect and analyze the evaluations in the team meetings every other two weeks.

I aim to win the 2008 World Championship, not because of ignorance or arrogance, but because of faith and confidence. During the preparation these days, I realized that the higher goal I aim for, the more effort I must expend. Also, after watching all the videos, my Super Team and I believe we can do it!   We set the goal, we work together, and we will make District 67 Taiwan’s Representative win the 2008 World Championship!
 

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