專訪2008英文演講冠軍蘇冬蘭/Interview with Sammy Su
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。
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
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
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
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!