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Toastmasters Times。演講協會時報
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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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卡加利八天之旅/8 Days in Calary

My first International Convention was both exciting and disappointing at the same time. My reason for going was simply to support Sammy Su, our district contestant. Traveling so far away, it was inevitable that we experienced jet lag the first few days and then finding food also took some effort. Fortunately, there was a McDonald’s and a Subway across from our hotel. Waking up at 3 AM feeling hungry and without a kitchen or a refrigerator full of food was very frustrating.  
我的第一次國際年會之旅是既令人興奮但卻又令人失望的。我會去的理由其實很簡單,就是為了幫代表D67區的冠軍蘇冬蘭加油。這趟旅程很遠,所以頭幾天無法避免地有時差問題,以及花了一些功夫找食物。幸運的是,就在我們下塌的飯店對面,有一家麥當勞跟一家Subway
半夜三點餓到醒,卻沒有任何廚房或是充滿食物的冰箱讓饑腸鹿鹿的我很沮喪。
 
Exciting: The first major event was the inter-district contest on Tuesday night. The contestant briefing earlier that afternoon was the first time that we had the chance to meet all the other contestants from both Inter-district A & B. Sammy was the only female contestant from this whole group. The tension was there already as each greeted one another and rehearsed on the stage, tested the microphone and tried to get used to the spot lights aimed directly at the speakers on stage. During the actual contest, the room was packed with more than 200 people listening to the inter-district B contest. Sammy was very well prepared, having rehearsed several times that morning and the days before. We were confident. All the contestants were outstanding. When the results were announced, we felt elated and a tad disappointed, because as the 2nd place winner, that means we were not going to compete in the International Speech Contest.
興奮(的時刻)
第一場重頭戲是週二晚上舉辦的非北美地區演講比賽。當天下午,參賽者需要賽前暖身,這是第一次我們有機會見到所有非北美地區A組與B組的參賽者。在整個非北美區比賽中,蘇冬蘭是唯一的女性參賽者。當每位參賽者向另一位致意,然後輪番上台排練、測試麥克風並且試著習慣直接打在身上的燈光效果,頓時,我感覺到緊張的氣氛就要開始。正式比賽其間,整個場地有超過200位觀眾聆聽著非北美地區B組的演講比賽。蘇冬蘭表現傑出,她在比賽前一天以及比賽當天的早上已經排練好幾次,因此我們對她相當地有信心!所有參賽者都相當優秀,當比賽結果公佈,我們真是興高采烈卻又感到些許失望,因為第二名意味著我們在此次的國際演講比賽中並未達陣成功。
 
 
Below my expectations: We got together with all the DNAR members for a party after the contest, but that venue was too dark and the food too expensive, not inducing the right atmosphere for a warm and exciting party. Some districts had vests and outfits for their participating member and it was very easy for them to present a united front. This is something our district can consider for future conventions. Our district even choreographed a dance and used the music of our own district, “Toastmasters of Taiwan”. We practiced many times in Taipei and also for 2 nights right after we arrived. However, the effect was really bad and I don’t think people in the audience could see us because there was no stage and the room was really too dark.
不如預期:
比賽結束後,我們與所有非北美地區的會員們參加一場派對,但會場燈光太暗、美食太貴,以至於無法製造出溫馨且令人興奮的氣氛。有些地區準備統一的背心及服裝給與會者,讓人輕易辨認。這作法提供給我們日後參加國際年會一個很好的參考。我們D67區則精心設計舞蹈,並且使用我們自己的音樂中華民國國際演講協會會歌來準備我們的表演節目。我們在台北練習了很多次,而且也在我們到達卡加立之後的兩個晚上勤加練習。但是效果實在是很不理想,因為那裏沒有舞台可供我們表演之用,而且宴會場地實在是太暗了,我想宴會中的觀眾很難清楚欣賞我們的表演。
 
D67 participants at the President's dinner  party with Dr. & Mrs. Bennie Bough

Fun and interesting: What I gained from this experience was that I got to meet many members from different parts of the world. Granted most of them came from the hosting district and Canada and the rest were from the United States, it was still amazing to see so many Toastmasters gathered with the same desire to learn communication and leadership skills. All of these district leaders are devoting their time and efforts to promote Toastmasters and make sure all their members benefit from the education programs. While I sat at different tables for the luncheon and dinners, I shared with the other at my table how in our district, we use 5 different languages for our meetings and how we are the most multilingual district in the world. The district governors that sat next me were truly impressed. As a member of district 67, I felt it was my duty to tell others what wonderful thing we are doing here in Taiwan. The Toastmasters bookstore also offered many items on sale as gifts to bring back. That was a great way to save on shipping charges.

好玩又有趣:
這次年會讓我可以跟來自世界各地不同國家的會員們碰面。儘管大部份的人來自主辦單位以及加拿大,而其他人大部分來自美國,但很令我感到驚訝的則是能見到這麼多同樣對學習溝通跟領導技巧的人聚在一起。所有地區的幹部們不只貢獻時間跟精神推廣演講協會,確保全體會員可以從這些訓練課程得益,更是長途跋涉參加訓練。席間,我利用午餐及晚餐與其他區的會員分享中華民國國際演講會現況;在D67區演講會,我們使用五種不同的語言聚會,並且介紹我們是在全球擁有最多語言的演講會。坐在我旁邊的地區總會長們對此感到印象深刻。身為台灣演講協會一份子,我認為跟其他會友分享我們在台灣的美好成就是應盡的責任!另外,演講會的書店也提供許多販售的東西和手冊可當作禮物帶回來,這是一個節省運費的好方法。
 
Valuable: All the international director and board candidates handed out valuable sheets of information at their campaign booths, offering very creative and helpful ideas for club and district management. Some of them had nice pens and free give away items that were cute and innovative. Attending the Golden Gavel Luncheon and the President’s Dinner Dance were eye openers. Formal meals and proper dining etiquette, carrying on polite conversations, and sitting down for a meal with 1000 other Toastmasters, all this was really quite an experience. I could only imagine what the kitchen must have been like.
 
值回票價:
所有世界總會幹部及理事候選人在他們競選攤位上都會準備一些關於分會及地區域管理方面的資訊,這些資料提供相當創意與助益的點子。其中,有些競選攤位上還免費贈送蠻不錯的筆或是看來可愛又創新的贈品。參加這次金槌獎午餐會還有總會長之夜,真是令人大開眼界。正式的用餐環境佈置、適切的晚餐禮儀,以及優雅有禮貌的對話、與一千位會友共進晚餐,這所有的一切真是一個難得的體驗。你能想像一個廚房同時送出1000份餐點嗎?
 
Fabulous: Attending the International Speech Contest was a thrill in itself. Witnessing the first female champion in the last 20 years was really the moment that we felt proud as women. The audience response was immediate and multiplied by the size of the room and the number of people in the audience. Because we sent in our registration information late, I was assigned to the last row, in an audience of 2000 people! I could only watch on the big screens, same as watching the DVD because I sat too far back. Still, it was an experience of a life time to be there in person to listen to the contest.
 
太讚了:
能夠參加國際演講比賽就很令人興奮了,而能親眼目睹二十年來第一位女性冠軍得主,讓同身為女性的我深感驕傲。觀眾們的回應是立即,隨著場地的大小以及觀眾數量而呈倍數增長。由於晚送報名資料,我被安排在2000名觀眾席的最後一排!因為我實在坐在很後面,所以我只能透過大銀幕觀賞,就像在看DVD一樣。僅管如此,親自到國際會場聆聽演講比賽、是人生當中一場難得的親身體驗。
 

D67 participants at DNAR party
 
Educational: For me, the most exciting part was sitting in at the Annual Business Meeting for the election of the international directors and the board of directors. The candidates had a few minutes to go onstage to make their last campaign appeals and then the districts voted. This year, for the first time in the history of Toastmasters International, the votes were so close for the 3rd vice president that the results were counted 3 times. It was the first time I had the opportunity to witness the process of a formal business meeting. On the stage, there was only the International President and the Parliamentarian. At our own districts, we have no idea what these high ranking officers are doing in the TI head office other than sending us our manuals and certificates. There are many important issues that they are discussing for the future of our organization.
 
教育意涵:
對我而言,最令人興奮的部份是參與年度會議,票選世界總會幹部及理事成員。候選人只有幾分鐘的時間在台上做他們最後的競選訴求,然後各區代表進行投選。今年是國際演講會歷史上,第一次發生票數如此接近,導致第三副總會長的票數被重新計票達三次。這是我第一次有這個機會目睹一個正式的會議的進行。在舞台上,只有世界總會長及議長。對於67區而言,我們對於世界總會幹部的瞭解,除了發給我們手冊及證書外,對於他們負責的工作毫無概念。其實,
他們正討論許多關乎這個組織的重要議題,要領導這樣規模的一個國際組織真的不容易。
 
Disappointing: There were really only 3 workshop sessions and because three to four trainers spoke concurrently, you could only pick one workshop to listen to. If you made the right choice, you learned something. If you got bored, you couldn’t really switch in the middle of the workshop to listen to another trainer, which were only about 50 minutes each. Two of the workshops I attended were not very informative and the content was not new. I expected to be enlightened with information that is not available at the local district level. However, I found that many trainers focused on information that is already available. Only two other speakers offered some new techniques for me. I think 50 minute workshops are too short. Perhaps these are just opportunities for us to get a taste of what their styles and the real content is in the books and DVDs on sale outside of the rooms.
 
失望:
在整場國際年會中,實際上只有三個教育訓練研習,而且因為是三到四位的講師同時進行,所以你只能挑其中一個來聽。如果你做了正確的選擇,你可以學到一些東西。如果你覺得無聊,那麼你實際上也無法在每場只有大約五十分鐘的講習中途轉到另外一場。我所參加的兩場教育訓練並不怎麼具有資訊性,其中一場還是特別邀請了一個講師針對幽默演講做專題的訓練,內容乏善可陳。我原本期待可以聽到一些在台灣無法獲得的資訊,藉此有所啟發。然而,我發覺許多講師只是專注在資料的闡述,而那些資訊是早已眾所週知。對我而言,只有兩位講者所提供的內容有參考價值。我認為五十分鐘的教育訓練時間太短了,或許這些對總會來說,只是趁機提供會員欣賞不同的表達風格,讓講師們可以宣傳和販售他們自己的DVD和教材。
 
Extremely disappointing:
The keynote speaker at the opening ceremony was really a big disappointment. He clearly needs a lot of Toastmasters training himself. He spent more than an hour detailing his plight up Mount Everest and shared many technical terms that audience members didn’t need to know. It was so boring most of us dozed off during his presentation as he flicked through numerous slides. His focus on team work, determination, and persistence was blurred as he explained and gathered all the attention on himself. I wondered how Toastmasters International could have invited someone like this when most members in the audience could deliver better speeches. Didn’t they watch his DVD before inviting him to speak? Didn’t they tell him we were there to be inspired and not to learn how to climb Mount Everest? I felt like giving him a copy of the advanced manual “Technical Presentations for the non-technical audience” to help him improve his presentation skills. Furthermore, he even went over time!
 
大失所望:
擔任開場典禮的專題主講者的表現真是令人大失所望。他自己本身應該是最需要被教育訓練的人吧!他總計花了超過一個鐘頭鉅細靡遺地闡述他登上聖母峰,以及說了許多聽眾不需要去了解的專業詞彙。我們大部份的人都覺得非常的無聊,甚至在他操作大量投影片期間,我們都打起瞌睡。他只把所有焦點放在自己身上,而模糊帶過團隊合作、決心以及毅力等。我覺得在場的任何一位聽眾都可以比他表現的更好,國際總會應該可以邀請任何一位聽眾來担任這次的主講者。難道他們在邀請他來之前沒有事先看過他在DVD裏的表現嗎?難道他們沒有告訴他,我們坐在那兒是要被激勵而不是去瞭解如何攀登聖母峰?我覺得世界總會應該送給他一個特別的禮物:進階手冊中的技術簡報手冊,並建議他可以好好參考第三篇:“行外聽眾來幫助他改進他的演說技巧。此外,他的演講還超時!
 
Finally, an inspirational speaker:
On the other hand, the speaker who received the Golden Gavel Award was clearly much more experienced as a speaker. Having worked as a journalist and media personality, Pamela Wallin enunciated clearly and spoke very eloquently about her views and made her points very easy to understand. It was one of the best keynote addresses I have ever heard in person.
 
終於有一位鼓舞人心的演講者:
今年國際演講會的金槌獎頒給了加拿大的記者Pamela Wallin,她的表現可圈可點,真的是一位有經驗的專業演說家。Pamela曾是電視新聞播報員,她的發音清晰,表達能力強,讓人輕易了解她的觀點。這是我聽過最棒的專題演說之ㄧ。
 
 
Cost analysis: The convention itself cost me US$ 205 for the following with out food (I received a discount as a guest of Sammy Su. The normal price is US$ 285):
Opening Ceremony
4 Education Sessions
First timer’s orientation
Annual Business Meeting
Hall of Fame
 
US$ 75: Golden Gavel Luncheon
US$ 85: President’s Dinner Dance
 
Free tickets to the Inter-district and international speech contest because of Sammy (a value of US$ 115)
 
All the meal costs were separate and only water is available at all the venues. The flight and hotel rooms cost NT$ 68,650. All together, this trip cost me NT$ 94,000
 
費用分析:
大會報名費,不含餐飲約美金205元。(因為是蘇冬蘭的朋友,我獲得一些折扣。不然本來的費用是美金285) 內含:開場典禮、4個教育訓練、菜鳥講習、年度會議、星光大道。
 
美金75元:金槌獎午餐會
美金85元:總會長之夜
 
由於蘇冬蘭是參賽者,所以我參加非北美地區和國際演講比賽門票免費(價值美金115)
 
會場只提供飲用水,所有餐費都是分開計算。飛機票加上住宿費用總計新台幣68,650元。全部合計,這趟旅程共花了我新台幣94,000元。
 
Conclusion: Considering the cost and the benefits I gained, it was not worth the time and the investment for me. I felt that it was most beneficial for the top 3 district officers because most of the training programs were designed for them to network with their counter parts in other districts, to work on their budgets, and to learn specific guidelines from Toastmasters International regarding district affairs. Unless you are a club president, therefore, eligible to vote at the Annual Business Meeting, most of the officer nominations didn’t directly concern the average member.
 
結論:
如果從花費及獲益兩方面考量,此次八天之旅對於我而言並不值回票價。我覺得對於地區總會會長及兩位副會長獲益最大,因為大部份的訓練節目是為他們而設計,讓他們可以與來自其他地區的幹部會員們交流,討論地區預算、規劃安排、熟悉總會的例行報告、等等。除非你是一個分會的會長,你才有資格在總會年度會議中投票和提案,否則大部份的選舉和討論議題並不會直接影響到一般的會員。
 
Advice: If you are considering attending future international conventions, look at the programs, the workshop offerings. Decide if they look attractive and interesting to you. If not, check out what is available in the city and in the vicinity and be prepared that you will have lots of free time. Register early and register with your friends if you want to sit together at the same table at the luncheon, dinners, and the contests. Seats are assigned for Golden Gavel Luncheon, the President’s Dinner Dance, and the international speech contest. The later you register, the further away your table will be from the stage. Don’t forget to bring outfits for different occasions, for example, the President’s Dinner Dance is a formal dinner and the Golden Gavel Luncheon is business formal. Look at your budget and don’t forget to add the cost of meals not included in the package. Last and most important of all, remember to bring an electric heater and a pot as well as some instant noodles, because it’s very comforting to be able to make hot water and soup at 3 AM, even if it is only a cup of instant noodle. It will help you sleep at night and be ready for more workshops the following day.

建議:
如果你想考慮日後參加國際演講大會,先看一看它所提供的節目內容及教育訓練課程為何。如果看起來還蠻不錯的,再決定參加與否。如果內容對你而言不具吸引力,那麼就看看主辦大會的城市以及其附近有什麼好玩,你可以事先做好準備,當你到了當地後有許多充裕的時間進行其他活動。如果你和你的朋友們想在午、晚餐、比賽會場時可以坐在同一桌,請記得提早一起報名。至於金槌獎午餐會、總會長之夜以及比賽會場的座位都是預先安排的。當你越晚登記,你坐的位置就離舞台越遠。為因應不同場合,不要忘記帶不同服裝應變,例如,總會長之夜是正式場合,而金槌獎午餐會則是商業性質的場合。看一下你的預算並且不要忘了加上餐費,因為餐費是不包含在整套費用。最後且最重要,記得帶一個電湯匙、一個大杯子/碗、還有一些泡麵,因為它會讓你在凌晨三點鐘可以燒點熱水、喝個湯,即使只是一杯速食麵,也有助於晚上睡眠以及面對隔天更多的教育研習或觀光行程加血拼!
Three winners in the International Speech Contest from left 2nd place Mr.  Loghandran Krishnasamy, 1st place Ms.LaShunda Rundles, and the 3rd place Ms.Katherine Morrison
 
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