Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the Okuma Trophy. In a short time, 9 great speakers will deliver their speeches. Please turn off your smart phone and enjoy the show. Thank you. …Hmm, I’m sorry but there seem to be about 10 minutes before Ms. Hinako Ueki gets ready… Well, OK, let me give you a short talk. That’s it. No big deal. Just one message.
My short talk starts with small questions. 1, when you go to Tokyo Disney Resort, why do you go? Yeah, of course to enjoy! 2, when you go to a pancake shop, why? Yes, for “Insuta-Bae”. 3, now you are here in the Okuma trophy, why did you come? You may have come to deliver your speech, to organize the contest, to cheer up your friends or to learn about speeches…right? Yes, they are valid reasons. But are these it? Are these all of the reasons why you spend your precious holiday and come to this contest? Today, in this 8 minutes, let’s think together about the reason why you came here, and reconsider the meaning of speech contests.
It was when I became a speaker that I began to feel something was wrong. Fortunately, I was able to deliver my speech in several contests as a finalist. After my speech, my friends told me “Your speech was great!” I was glad to hear that, but it was just about my speech itself. I didn’t feel that I changed people around me. And I think I’m not alone when I say this.
Let me talk about my survey to show you the reality of ESS speech. I asked 29 people who have listened to one famous and “strong” ESS speech. In one part of the speech, the speaker suggested that audience should google a certain phrase on the spot, just googling, which everyone was able to. But the result showed that out of 29, just 5 took action. 5 out of 29, this is the reality.
When you consider the reason why you are not moved, it is easily said that “the speech was not persuasive enough”. Sometimes it’s true since they are not judged as persuasive on an absolute scale. But on a relative scale, they are. Today’s speeches are at least, top 10 speeches among all. And since the speakers have already prepared and memorized them, it’s no use saying something to them in order to improve today’s contest. Therefore, rather than speakers, I focused on our attitude. Dear audience, I mean everyone in this hall, we need to rethink the reason why we came here today.
In order to answer the question, let’s think about why human beings make speeches. Why Martin Luther King, Jr. said “I have a dream.”? Why Emma Watson posed a question about women’s rights at the UN? It was because they wanted to deliver their ideas, change the audience and change the world. Now, I have a question for everyone in this hall. If it applies to you, please raise your hand, no, please stand up! When you deliver your own speech, do you try to change the audience, to realize your ideal situation or to change the world? Thank you! Look around! OK, please sit down. … And when your back touched your seat, some of you became passive. You might be and have been the “passive audience”, aren’t you?
But from your experience as a speaker and as you looked around, you know that speakers are passionate. The problem is that we are not Steve Jobs or Barack Obama, but we are just university students learning speeches. So, sometimes we fail in making them persuasive and you feel bored. And that’s why I deliver this speech. I totally agree that speakers are responsible in inspiring the audience. But even so, there is something that the audience can do. Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to try to change yourself. And I want you to be an “active audience”.
Now I hope everyone has reconsidered the reason why you came here, and has found one more reason: to change yourself by being an active audience. Active audiences try to accept the idea, and put it into practice. But I know there is one argument, “whether one is inspired or not depends on his/her heart and occurs automatically, so no matter how hard one tries to be inspired, sometimes it’s difficult.” Yes, it’s true, so what I want to say is “dear active audience, keep being active after the 8 minutes.” Let me explain about this.
According to Aristotle, an ancient Greek psychologist, there are three factors when people are inspired. One, “Logos” or how logical the speech is. Two, “Pathos” or how passionate the speech is. But as for these two factors, there is nothing the audience can do, they are completely speakers’ jobs. Three, “ethos”. This factor relates to the speaker’s personality, for example, “Can I trust him?” or “Does she speak from the bottom of her heart?” As for this factor, you can foster by being active in the contest. For instance, by talking with the speaker, you can touch their heart. If you discuss with the speaker, your impression of the speech will be more vivid. Actually, this is scientifically proven by American national training laboratories. Speech contests should not be one directional, but should be dual directional, and what is important here is the activeness of the audience.
Speech contests is like sowing. Every speaker plants seeds in your mind. Whether you grow them or not depends on you. But I believe a flower bed with colorful blooms looks more beautiful… Ladies and gentlemen, please think again, why did you come here? Let’s be an active audience.
Now the speakers seem to be ready, so please actively enjoy the Okuma trophy. Thank you.
“Everyone, now the class is over. Homework is page 12. So, see you next week!” I work part-time at a cram school and I really like this job. However, I also need to do extra tasks like supplementary lessons, grading test papers, inputting scores, copying handouts, cleaning the room and so on. I knew I had the responsibility to do these tasks, but one strange thing decreased my motivation. That was the pay system in my workplace. When conducting the classes, I was paid around 2,000 yen per hour. And for all extra tasks, I was paid a fixed 500 yen. No matter how long I worked, this 500 yen didn’t go up. I would say in my heart “Oh…I don’t have time to prepare for tomorrow’s test at university because of these NO-PAY tasks”. But for a long time, I accepted this system.
In this hall, there are a lot of workers, especially part-time workers. Some of you may have unclear points in your working condition but remain silent since you don’t know what to do. Or perhaps, you do not even realize that you are treated incorrectly. So today, in my speech, I will share the knowledge about the labor law with you, so please rethink about your job. Then, showing my experience, I want to create a new choice in your mind, that is “raising your voice”.
I have some questions. If your answer is yes, please raise your hand. Do you treasure your friends? …OK, I see many hands. How about money? …Yeah, we have to save. And do you treasure “today”? I believe most of you do not want to waste your one day, so you try to live as actively as possible. And you may feel a sense of fulfillment when you go to bed. Don’t you, busy men and women?
Actually, I was the kind of parson who misunderstood that I cherished each single day. But one time, I noticed the existence of a strong enemy against it, named “forgetfulness”. Today, I would like to share my experience and tell you what I started to fight against the enemy. After my speech, you will start a new life in which you cherish today, your past, and your future.
Hello, ladies and gentlemen. (Audiences reply, “Hello”.) Hello! (Audiences reply, “Hello!”) Hello!! (Audiences reply, “Hello!!”) Thank you for your kind response to me, and today, I’d like to talk about it. “Response”.
Let me ask you one question. Can you respond? Do you have the ability to respond to others? Well, you will answer proudly, “Yes, I can!” It’s true. I believe most of the people here have their eyes, ears, mouths and brains. Yes, you are able to respond. When I say hello to you, your eyes see my mouth, your ears catch my voice, and your brains command your mouths to say “Hello”. But when it comes to online communication, for example LINE groups, you are divided into two groups: those who can respond and those who cannot. In other words, those who have response ability and those who don’t have response ability.