Good evening everyone!
I am here to give you some hints and suggestions on how to deliver a good speech, and how to win in this competition. Though I know the professors seated down here especially my professor, my coach, Ms. Li Yanshu are the right ones to tell you. Therefore, I am here offering my fair share of speech competition experience as a participant of last year"s final.
Instead of going down into a detailed DOs and DON"Ts, I need to, first and foremost share with you my understanding of this competition: "21st century Lenovo Cup English Speech Competition" has always been regarded as the most privileged and challenging English Speech Competition in the academtic field nation wide. One of you, among the 15 contestants, is going to present yourself along with other top speakers around China, even some parts of Asia. Wow, just imagine how many eyes will be on you; the media coverage; the applause after your speech and the honor the competition will bring you...
If all that I have described above are the very reasons why you are here today, allow me to tell you: please stop right here. Don"t go any furthur. Because I guarantee you, in the very end, you will be disapponited: no matter what kind of glory you recieve, no matter if you have won the first place or not. Because it is transitory. Year after year, the face of the first place, or the top ten will fade. By then you may ask yourself this question: "What can I get from it?" The answer I found through my own experience are:
1 The courage to present the best of you and the true colors of you in the public.
2 The friendship and communication between you and other people you will meet during the competition days.
3 The potential opportunities for your future.
As for the first point, I suggest you to read more: newspapers, news magazines and of course, your speech. Do enough exercises with your coach and always always ask what other people think about your understanding. Because they can be objective. When you are on the stage, convince the audience with you idea with full confidence and grace. Always remember, content is as important as pronunciation and intonation.
As for the second point, value the assets you will obtain through the communications with the people you meet. They share the same passion of Engish speaking with you, but hold diffrent understandings of the world. Just think about the clashes of ideas...the exciting debate and talks you will have. As for me personally, I still keep close contact with the contestants whom I met through every level of the competition, we call each other from time to time just to chat, and we help each other out when we can.
Last but not least, the opportunities hidden along the way. When we step out of the ivory tower, we can"t help but ask ourselves, with all I have learned, what can i do to contribute to the community? With all the skills I have learned, what can I do to acheive my personal best? We don"t need Thomas Friedman to tell us that the world is flat, we know that inside and outside China there are millions of institutions crying for internationalized talents. We need the right platform to offer what we have, and learn the things that will keep us as the eliete of the society. I am very grateful to be offered a job at Lenovo, at which I am exposed to the world and having my own voice heard. As the year of 2008 is drawing near, since Lenovo is the official world wide partner of the IOC, I am getting excited and energetic as how I was when I was preparing for the competition last year.
As for you, you can do much better than what I did, and you have the future ahead of you.
So, have faith in yourself, with confidence and grace, embrace changes and differences, you can acheieve more than you can imagine today!
Now I shall leave the stage to you, the real contestants.
Good luck to you all!