China Toastmasters and My First Speech Competition

Toastmasters International logoIn September I moved to China to do my MBA degree at Ningbo University. Before I left South Africa I wanted to make sure there is an active China Toastmasters community. I was not disappointed after participating in my first Speech competition last Sunday.


Toastmasters International is a worldwide organisations that teaches communication and leadership in weekly group meetings. The environment allows people to become comfortable with public speaking as well as leading group activities. You can find a Toastmasters club in most big cities in the world by searching online.

Anyway after being a member of two clubs in South Africa, CIS Toastmasters in Houghton, Johannesburg and uSpeak Toastmasters in Port Elizabeth, I found only one club in Ningbo: Ningbo Nr. 1 Toastmasters, which holds it’s meetings at Nottingham University in Ningbo.


After attending only one club meeting I was invited to the Area Speech Competition in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. I was in for a big surprise on the morning of the competition when I discovered it was the humours speech competition. My speech title was “Passport to Mars” and I prepared a persuasive speech, to inspire and convince the audience, we should go to Mars in the 21st century.

After some quick thinking and thanks to Evernote, I adapted my speech into a tirade on Hollywood Alien-invasion movies, and how they mostly designed to scare people. Whenever you watch a movie about aliens, or going to another planet, unless it was E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, you would walk away with a sense of trepidation.

My second challenge was how to adapt my South African humour for a Chinese audience. In the end, this was the most difficult. My only cancellation was the warm reception from some individual Chinese people before and especially after my speech. In one day I met two Chinese people who visited South Africa, so I was very optimistic about the next two years on mainland China.


Which Business Degree Is Right For You

We’ve all heard about the value of getting an MBA or a BBA. It’s a fact that business majors usually go on to have relatively large starting salaries as compared to other majors. But merely getting a business degree may seem very broad. You may not feel very interested in the idea because you might not be interested in all types of business.

Business degrees UNISALet’s say that you have a flair for working with people and that you’re good at verbal communication. In this case, maybe you’d be interested in a marketing degree, which is one of the options you have within the business major. Depending on what you’re most attracted to, there are different types of business degrees you might want to go with, from entrepreneurship to international business.

How do you decide what major is going to be the best for you? And shouldn’t you be considering the state of the market right now when deciding which is the best option? If there is a high demand for finance majors, shouldn’t this be your first choice? It’s a fact that the business arena is constantly changing and different types of majors are in demand at different times. In the 21st century, we’ve seen a great boom when it comes to business conducted over the internet and marketing that takes place on social media. So a major in e-commerce is likely to be in demand for a very long time, as this field grows and develops.

deciding-which-business-major-is-right-for-you2However, there is still room for other types of majors, and, if you tend to lean more toward entrepreneurship or marketing, there is still a huge market out there for those who’ve studied these disciplines. If you have always been a born leader, a major in entrepreneurship might be for you. If people come to you to ask for advice about what they should do next, and you like sitting down with them and offering suggestions, it’s likely that you’ve got some leadership qualities. Not all leaders are in-your-face and pushy. Some are quiet people who attract others by virtue of their competence. Even if you don’t know that you’re a leader, you shouldn’t count out a major in entrepreneurship.

If you have an innate curiosity about new products and you love talking to people and communicating, a marketing major might be the right one for you. In the age of the Internet, marketing has become a much more data-driven role, but the old skills of creativity and human insight remain just as relevant.

If you’ve always been interested in other cultures and travel, an international business major might be the right one for you. To succeed as an international business major, you need to have a head for business, but you also require a cosmopolitan personality which thrives on diversity. Government agencies and multinational firms are most likely to appreciate these qualities when combined with a degree in international business.