Tomorrow morning, I am going to continue my streak of, I guess you can call it being on stage. Since I joined New Oriental back in December, I have been lucky enough to get to host or take part in a couple of different events, like talent shows, speech competitions and opening ceremonies. Not something I ever thought I would get to do, but a very interesting kind of side-activity to supplement the office work and the teaching.

During the course of these 3 months, I have had the pleasure of working with a number of different people, all very capable in what they were doing. We have planned the progression of the activities, written and adjusted the scripts and gotten ready for the big event. As always in China, everything is often planned close to the event itself, leaving very little time for rehearsal and for checking that everything can be done in the time they expect, which it usually cannot.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of hosting another competition at the Luneng Bashu Secondary School. I hosted an essay recitation back in December as well, so I knew the place and the stage but the people around me were different this time. I told the organiser, that if they want me to come back and host, all they have to do is ask, and that if they ever need help organising or working with the script, I’d be more than happy to do that as well. Standing on stage so far, has been slightly robotic, because my co-host and I are only saying the exact lines that are focusing on progressing the competition, but in order to captivate your audience, you really need a little more interaction between your hosts, and even the audience.

Look at any TV show that has hosts, they are always talking, not just about the competition, but about related things, they talk to each other, they comment on the performances of the contestants, and that is what I want to bring into the preparations as well. If I am a representative of New Oriental when I am standing on stage, then the way I host the show reflects not only on me, but of the place where I work. We should always aim to make a good impression to those who are looking at us!

Tomorrow, I will have the great pleasure of giving a training to all the Chinese teachers in the Chongqing New Oriental POP Kids department. Many of the teachers, I have never met in person, so it is going to be nice to get a chance to see them, and interact with them. I have prepared a presentation in 4 parts. The first is a self-introduction, the second is a short cultural awareness presentation, outlining some of the key differences in thinking between western people and Chinese people. Third, I will mention some of the common language and grammar mistakes that Chinese people in general tend to make and then, I am going to do a presentation on using Microsoft PowerPoint and show the teachers some of the things that the program can do, without too much effort such as creating graphics and animations, grouping shapes and icons to create more advanced graphics, and hyperlinking between slides to make interactive presentation.

I look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow, there are going to be around 90 people or so listening to me, I am going to be a little nervous, but I hope everything will go just fine! Teacher training is something new to me, but something I have always wanted to do, so here is my chance to kick-start myself into this discipline. Wish me luck tomorrow!

Next week, I will share my PowerPoint presentations or a version of them here on my website, if you’d like to have a look at what I trained the teachers in!