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評2008即席演講比賽/ On 2008 Table Topics Contest

首先呢,先從最基本的開始講起。Table topics即是英文演講會中的即席演講,就是說演講者須在沒有準備的情況下立即回應一個主題。主題可包括由時事到嗜好或娛樂,而即席演講必須要快、生動並且有娛樂效果。  

 

即席演講能夠發展以下四種的溝通及領導技巧   

 

1.      聽的能力    

 

2.      評論思考的能力     

 

3.      組織並計畫的能力   

 

4.      說的能力   

 

當主持人指定題目後,演講人必須在1-2分鐘組織迷你的演講。我們在即席演講中所練習的技巧可以置入任何的困難情況,即使遇到困難的題目也能快速且準確的回答。   

 

42667分區所舉辦的年度即席演講比賽中,有七位來自不同分部的參賽者在此角逐冠軍的頭銜,評分標準為: 架構(30%)、效益(25%)肢體(15%)語言(15%)   

 

今年所有的即席演講參賽者都展現自信心及良好的組織能力、肢體語言、聲音語調及英文能力。  

 

今年的題目是:專家預言食物短缺的時代即將來臨,請告訴我們這項現象背後的原因。  

 

雖然食物短缺是個重要的國際議題,但這是個專業問題,一些較深度的討論在一些媒體中出現,但也許不在這七位參賽者的知識範圍內。   

 

事實上,並沒有食物短缺的問題(孟加拉及印度將會有接近歷史新高的收成),而是由於價格上升的食物爭議  

 

舉例來說,一系列的國際報導指出專業的投機者及基金是使日常生活品價格升高的原因。特別是食物。而在財經界稱之為拉抬價格並再使之重落   

 

下面是聯合國的報導。   

 

日內瓦-聯合國官方在(4/28)譴責市場的投機者操弄國際的食物價格,並呼籲大家一致幫助世界上貧窮的人來餵飽他們自己。 

我們有足夠的食物來餵飽世界上的每一個人。Achim Stener,聯合國環境組織會長驗一個電話訪問中提到。 但是,市場及供給現在正被食物的期貨市場所打亂。 

 

在現實中的人們及生活正被投機影響著,Steiner說到。數以百萬計發現他們沒有錢來購買食物,因為食物價格已經從今年開始已經劇烈成長。  

 

因此呢,文字用法的排列,用食物短缺的專門用語會使即席演講的參賽者的答案受拘束。所以他們就會以較平常的策略來回答他們的問題。  

 

因此,沒有太多創意及評論思考,我們必須少吃一點,少吃一點肉,我們必須多做一些事來保存食物及能源…..等。只有冠軍得主在他的演講中增加一些自我解嘲的笑話,說她是造成食物短缺的主要原因。  

 

但在這個真實的食物危機中,我們不是討論要吃比較少的魚子醬、龍蝦或是牛肋,而是討論極為貧窮的人無法負擔米及麥,而無法繼續生存下去。  

 

在演講會中我們持續不斷成長,而我們67分會的總會長蔡銘吉在他的年度主題中不斷提到成就自己,幫助他人,而我們在這學到的教訓又是什麼  

 

我們必須要很小心的選出即席演講的題目,第一個首要條件就是文法要對,然後能夠被所有的參賽者回答。此外,題目必須是要是開放式的問題,使得所有參賽者能夠用有創意且又能符合評分標準的方式來做回答。  

 

First, let's discuss the basics. Table Topics is the impromptu speaking session of a Toastmasters meeting, when individuals respond to questions with unrehearsed mini-speeches. The topics range from current events and issues to hobbies and entertainment. Table Topics is (or should be) fast, lively, and entertaining. 

 

1. Listening    

 

2. Critical Thinking     

 

3. Organizing and Planning   

 4. Speaking   

 

The Table Topics Master asks a question and the speaker responds with a 1 to 2 minute speech. The skills we develop and practice in Table Topics serve us well in nearly any situation, wherein we are asked difficult questions, which require prompt and specific answers.   

 

On April 26, District 67 held the annual Table Topics Contest, with representative from 7 Division vying for the crown of Table Topics Champion. Judging is based on speech development (30%), effectiveness (25%), physical (15%), voice (15), and language (15%).   

 

This year the Table Topics contestants all showed confidence and good organization, body language, vocal variety, and English language skills.  

 

This year, the topic is, "Experts predicting food shortage might be coming soon, please tell us the reasons of this big issue."   

 

For the first three contestants, I distinctly heard the Table Topics Master say "Exports," not "Experts." Were my ears deceiving me?   

 

Second, the structure of the "question" is confusing and grammatically incorrect. It should have read something like this:   

 

"Experts are predicting that the world may soon experience a food shortage. Please tell us the reasons for this potential food shortage."  

 

Third, although the food crisis is an important international issue, this is a technical question, the details of which are just now coming out in the press, and may not have been know to many of the contestants on April 26.  

 

In fact, there is not a "food shortage" ( and will have record or near-record rice harvests this year), but a "food crisis" caused by increases in commodity prices. 

 

For example, "A series of reports in the international media have drawn attention to the role of professional speculators and hedge funds in driving up the price of basic commodities - in particular, foodstuffs." Those in the financial industry will recognize this as the "pump and dump" technique.   

 

Or take this report from the United Nations:    

 

Geneva — UN officials on Monday (April 28) blamed market speculation for the recent jump in global food prices and called for a concerted effort to ensure the world's poor can afford to feed themselves.   

 “We have enough food on this planet today to feed everyone,” the head of the UN Environment Program, Achim Steiner, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.   

 

But, he added, “the way that markets and supplies are currently being influenced by perceptions of future markets is distorting access to that food.”  

 “Real people and real lives are being affected by a dimension that is essentially speculative,” said Mr. Steiner, noting that millions have found themselves unable to pay for food since prices began to rise steeply at the start of the year.
 

 

However, the way the question was worded, using the terminology "food shortage" placed imagined constraints on the Table Topics contestants. Thus, they trotted out  the "usual suspects" of propaganda as their answers.   

 

Not much creativity or critical thinking here -- "We need to eat less, we need to eat less meat, we need to do more to conserve food and energy, blah, blah, blah." 

 

Only the winner added some self-deprecating humor by joking that she was the cause of the food shortage.   

 

But in this real food crisis, we are not talking about eating less caviar, lobster, and prime rib; we are talking about the poorest-of-the-poor not being able to AFFORD to buy rice and wheat, just to stay alive. 

 

In Toastmasters we are constantly learning. As District 67 Governor Jack Tsai has noted in his theme for this term: "Master yourself, help others." What is the lesson here? 

 

We need to carefully select the Table Topics question to ensure that it is (first of all) grammatically correct and can be answered by any contestant, who has general knowledge. In addition, the question should be open-ended to allow the speaker to answer with a degree of creativity and flair, while still meeting the judging criteria. 

 

 

 

 

 

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