9 July Meeting

“Signs of Running Addiction” is a topic that does not seem interesting, least humorous.  But the inhibited Taichi successfully pulled it off in making it his humorous speech – and won the Best Speaker title for it.

Just two weeks ago, Taichi said he hadn’t had a topic for his maiden humorous speech, and we were told he doesn’t usually have a script for his speeches. But he had us having a good laugh over:

(a) why some marathoners engaged in the long-distance activity – for bragging rights on facebook;

(b) how running seemingly an inexpensive sport but led him to splurge on not one, not three but 11 pairs of running shoes;

(c) why he would get irritated when people describe marathon as a 10km run because the correct definition for marathon is running a distance of 42.195km; and

(d) his reason for running marathon – beer drinking, which tastes better after running.

Besides his entertaining speech, he shared that he runs 40km-50km a week or 200km-250km a month. Wow, it’s impressive, he must have had a strong stamina – not only from running marathon but also engaging in free diving/apnoea.

Rookie Chen Kuang was busy rehearsing for his project one at the front of the room before meeting started last Saturday (9 July) .  People who are studious and serious about their work always impress me.  Though he had a momentary lapse in recalling his speech and at times displayed nervousness, he generally looked natural and he has a good command of English. He said that he wrote a program for his superior in military that drastically reduced the time required for a task from an hour to just seconds.  I bet he’d have very bright prospects in the information technology industry.


Chen Kuang






Time Investment in Public Speaking

Below is the script for my opening address as president for the first meeting, on 9 July.

Michelle did not attend the last meeting but she’d been here for the past year working tirelessly on our programmes, so that we would be able to do our projects and there’s someone to evaluate our speeches.We have got little to offer in return, but we can show her our appreciation, please give her a round of applause.

Talking about projects, how many times do you practise before you deliver your prepared speech here?  How much practice do you think it’s sufficient for you to give a smooth delivery?

My sister’s not smart but as she ages, she becomes wiser. I suppose that is the tradeoff for wisdom.

One day she said something that made me realise she’s some wisdom. She said that it’s visible where you invest or spend your time.

She is a cleanliness freak, she’d spend hours on her apartment. The result? Her flat is spick and span.

Applying my sister’s theory, because Jun runs, swims and goes to the gym, what’s the result of him investing his time in exercising? Look at him.

My sister’s theory isn’t new. It’s the maxim, you reap what you sow.

Cliché but the truth.

Have you heard of the 10,000-hour rule?

It’s made well known by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers.  He says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field.

If you invest 2 hours a day, you’d have had 730 hours a year,  7300 hours in 10 years, so it takes about 15 years to clock 10,000 hours of practice.

There is a Chinese saying that goes “3 minutes of performance onstage is 10 years of hard work offstage”.

How much time would you invest in public speaking?  This is a question I leave you with …

When Jun paid a compliment on my opening address, my instant response was “Is it because I used you as an example”.  See, I don’t change, despite telling myself to accept praises graciously and not to deflect them by giving unwarranted reply.