1. How many years have you joined Toastmasters? Is this the first time you join a contest？And what motivated you to join this contest?
l I’ve been in TCTC for almost 6 years, and this is the first time I join a contest. I believe there must be a time in every club in which a President has a hard time in finding the contestants to join the in-house contest. Under the circumstance, my president, Monica, encouraged me to join the contest, and I said “yes” to her.
2. Have you ever thought of winning this award? Does this winning influence you or encourage you? If yes, in which aspect?
l I have never thought of winning this award; actually. There was another graceful lady whom I thought she did a perfect job in her performance. The whole thing was a big surprise for me. However, I would be so thankful if my speech did have some positive influence on those who have been in the audience. Besides, I hope all the husbands would appreciate their wives more, and the wives would have more confidence on themselves.
3. How did you come up with this speech？What is the key message that you would like to convey to the audience?
l Those incidences I mentioned in the speech happened few years ago, some of them happened before I joined Toastmasters.
When my mother passed away last year, I suddenly felt I was getting old. The other day when I cleaned my closet, I saw a picture used in my speech. How carefree, and happy, and, most importantly, thin I was! How time flies and how I become what I looked today. After so many years of marriage, I am a mother and a wife more than a woman. Now my children are grown up, and ready to leave home. So, what will be left for me?
This speech was rather then sharing but instead, to encourage myself that I should be more confident and know how to live for myself.
4. In the process of developing your story, did you encounter some difficulties? And how did you overcome them？
l The most difficult part was how to create an impressive ending. In other words, how to conclude the speech without falling into cliché. Fortunately, my fellow members provided their ideas and finally I came out with a perfect one.
Secondly, I worried that my speech was lack of sense of humor. I thought it was not “funny” enough. For this part, I would love to thank all my friends, especially Linda, who has always accompanied me and given me confidence.
Finally, stay passionate with my speech. When I delivered it over and over again, I was actually sick of it. However, I realized that I was to fulfill my duty as a member of TCTC and the representative of Area B. Their trust on me pushed me to do my best in every contest.
5. 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?
l My friends helped with the revision of my speech and members from both FTC and TCTC came to the contest every time and cheer for me. Also, after every rehearsal, there were always people who came to me and gave me advices. If I have to name some of them, I’ll say Linda, Cindy, and Vickie are my coaches.
Of course, everybody who joined the contest hoped to win. There was no specific strategy for my winning. I would say I just expressed what I really thought and be as natural as possible.
6. Since you have won the national champion, do you have any goal for your next level learning in Toastmasters?
l There are a lot for me to learn in Toastmasters, such as how to be a helpful evaluator, or how to conduct a professional training. I can’t even do that even in Chinese. That is what I’d like to pursue in the future.
7. Do you have any advice for those who would like to join the contest?
l Being humor in your speech! I think “being humor” varies in different culture and how to deliver a speech with a sense of humor without insulting people or over-acting is quite a challenge for all of us to learn.