“Learn, learn, learn,
The more you learn,
The more you see,
The more you find the world beautiful.”
— Richard Huynh
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, fellow toastmasters and guests,
May I ask when two people listen to the same music, do you think they will equally enjoy it? Not really, right? Once in a concert, while I was really enjoying the music, I noticed that a girl near me was sleeping… So great music to some is boring to others. Or when two people look at the same scenery, will they find it equally beautiful? Also no, right? Once I saw such a beautiful sunset that I just grasped a person near me and said “Look, such a beautiful sunset”. That person just made a glance “Ya”, and then continued his jogging.
Do you know why for the same music, the same scenery, one may find it boring, while the other may find it enjoyable? More importantly, how are we able to see the enjoyable, the beauty in things we otherwise find boring? Because the more we can see them, the more we will find the world beautiful.
I have heard a story about a world-class chess master. He is so good that he once played with about 15 expert chess players at the same time. When an expert player had finished his move, he rang the bell. The chess master would come and make his move. There was a clock countdown, so the chess master had to make his move at a glance. Yet he beat them all. One person was so impressed that he asked the chess master “How can you do that?”. He replied “I cannot explain it to you. It is like explaining colors to the color-blind”.
So as two people look at the same thing, one may be color blind and see only a plain boring grey image. The other may see an intricate, colorful picture. When we look at the chessboard, we may only see the plain material things: the chess board, some possible moves, this piece can attack that piece. Not much there, it is just a boring grey picture. But at a glance, the chess master can see much deeper: the strengths and weaknesses of the formation, the opponent’s strategy, and the meaning of each move. These nonmaterial things add colors and depth to the game. They make playing chess such an enjoyable experience, for those who can read the situation and see the meaning of each move. It’s the beauty of chess.
Ladies and gentlemen, don’t worry whether you are color-blind to chess or you can see the colorful picture of intricate strategies and the beautiful moves. The point is that everything looks rather plain on the surface. But as we dig deeper, the more we learn about it, the more knowledge and experience we have, the more things we see, the more we find it interesting.
Similarly, do you find that we enjoy video music a lot more than just music? Why? Because the video adds a lot of colors and helps us understand the music. It tells us a story so we can put ourselves in the context, see the experience and feel the emotion that the music describes. Without the video, our mind has to create a mental picture of what it is about. Without understanding and experience, it cannot, then music is just a nice but shallow rhythm. This is especially true for classical music, which sounds nice, but what does it describe?
The same for scenery, we need to understand the message behind it to fully appreciate the picture. For the sunset, why do so many people take pictures of it and poets write about it? What does the sunset picture tell us? What kind of feelings does it give us? The sky changes from blue to a colorful mixture white, blue, yellow, orange, and dark. As the sun cools down to a warm red disk on the horizon, life cools down from a hectic day. It is now a time for family and a time of rest. Without those understanding, a sunset is just, ya, a sunset.
Not only passive things like music and scenery, understanding and experience helps us enjoy activities like chess or even toastmaster. We can enjoy a good talk, the story and its good points. However, if we are able to appreciate the deeper things of a talk: the speech organization, the rhetoric and vocal variety, the body language, how the speaker supports his position and arouses the emotion of his audience, we will enjoy the talk a lot more. The same for our communication, the same for our work.
In summary, when two people look at the same thing, one may be color-blind and see only a grey picture, while the other can look deeper and see the colors underneath the plain surface. To fully appreciate the inner beauties of things, we need to dig deeper, learn more, understand more, and have more related experience. So learn, learn, learn, the more we learn, the more we see, the more we find the world beautiful.
Back to you madam Toastmaster
This speech is from my Toastmaster P10 speech – Inspire Your Audience. In order to get the Competent Toastmaster certificate, you need to make 10 speeches to train 10 aspects of public speaking as follow
- Speech 1: The Ice Breaker — The first speech of the Toastmasters program is about introducing yourself to your peers, providing a benchmark for your current skill level, and standing and speaking without falling over.
- Speech 2: Organize Your Speech — Introduces the basic concepts of organizing a speech around a speech outline.
- Speech 3: Get to the Point — Clearly state your speech goal, and make sure that every element of your speech focuses on that goal.
- Speech 4: How to Say It — Examines word choice, sentence structure, and rhetorical devices.
- Speech 5: Your Body Speaks — Shows how to complement words with posture, stance, gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact.
- Speech 6: Vocal Variety — Guides you to add life to your voice with variations in pitch, pace, power, and pauses.
- Speech 7: Research Your Topic — Addresses the importance of backing up your arguments with evidence, and touches on the types of evidence to use.
- Speech 8: Get Comfortable With Visual Aids — Examines the use of slides, transparencies, flip charts, whiteboards, or props.
- Speech 9: Persuade With Power — Discusses audience analysis and the different forms of persuasion available to a speaker.
- Speech 10: Inspire Your Audience — The last of ten speeches, this project challenges the speaker to draw all their skills together to deliver a powerful inspirational message.
It took me about a year, but I finally got the Toast Master Competent Communicator certificate. It’s quite a challenge, but it’s worth it. Hope that my communication skill managed to get better after this journey ^^