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Common App Essay - Topic of your Choice (My passion for public speaking?)


Unicornsnowind 2 / 2  
Dec 25, 2008   #1
"Lincoln failed nine times before he got his job, I wonder how many times Wenbo has to fail to get her job." -quoted from my Vancouver District Students' Council election speech.

"Lincoln failed nine times before he got his job, I wonder how many times Wenbo has to fail to get her job." -quoted from my Vancouver District Students' Council election speech.

As a budding politician, I have faced waves of defeats in recent years. I strutted into a speech contest in school, determined to win the opportunity to become a United Nations Youth Delegate; I lost. I ran for the Vice President of Magee Student Council, confident that my popularity would give me a decisive win; I was bitterly wrong. This October, like a Boston Red Sox batter who refuses to give up, I sneaked into the foreign world of the Vancouver School Board to run for the position of District Council Representative, made a speech in front of a panel of strangers, and was defeated - again.

Failures hurt. As much as I want to think that I am a woman of steel, my political ambitions alone cannot keep me fighting. Something else stands behind my relentless charges towards speech contests and elections - my obsession with public speaking. I am in love with it like bulls are with red cloth.

My interest in public speaking germinated at the age of seven, when I first entered a story telling competition in my elementary school in China. During the years as an international student in Singapore, I participated in several mandarin story telling competitions and claimed victory in all of them. Later, as the valedictorian of my elementary school, I welcomed my first speech in English - the graduation speech. I recall the stern-faced Discipline Master going over my speech patiently, correcting my pronunciation hours before the graduation ceremony. Much to his dismay, I still blurted out "ey-ber-sau-lut" (instead of "absolute"), when I delivered the speech. Although that speech was tainted by my comical pronunciation, it was my first footprint on the English soil of public speaking.

When I landed in Vancouver as an immigrant, public speaking opportunities mushroomed. In order to grasp these opportunities with fluent English and honed techniques, I took classes in Speech Art and completed my RCM Grade 8 Speech Art Exam in the summer of 2008. From these classes, I learned how to improvise speeches in minutes, how to write engaging speeches and how to use body language to enhance my presentation. My effort paid off when I ran for the position of Grade Eleven Representative in school. During my election, the audience cheered and applauded at the parody of Maria Carey's "Hero": "There's a Wenbo, if you look inside your heart, and you'll never be afraid of what you are..." When I ended my speech with the slogan " Vote for Wenbo, and you will win with Wenbo!", the audience gave the tearful me an unforgettable standing ovation. My speech in the Vice President Election the year after was another big hit, especially the opening statement "Behind every successful man, there's a great wife; behind every successful Student Council President, there's a Wenbo" which etched in the minds of many.

Not only do I enjoy performing my own speeches and replaying those moments in my head, I also like to recite famous speeches in history and pretend that I am John F. Kennedy or Martin L. King. I would stand in front of the full length mirror on the door of my wardrobe with the script of Barack Obama's acceptance speech at hand, imagining a vast crowd chanting "Yes we can!" and mimicking Obama's low and rhythmic voice; or I would deliver the speech made by Coretta Scott King in Memphis City Hall four days after Martin L. King's assassination with so much sorrow that tears brimmed my eyes. As I taste the words of these famous public speakers, their charming souls awake within me and offer me sparks of inspiration in writing and presenting speeches.

My political path may appear as rugged as Abraham Lincoln's, and my chance of becoming the President of United States will never be as good as Barack Obama (since I was born outside of America), but I will still joyfully hop onto the stage during any election - because the moment my words tickle the audience and send laughter through the roofs, I taste success.

(I don't really like my conclusion, any suggestions??)

EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Dec 26, 2008   #2
Well, the first part of that last paragraph is good... but you can conclude with mention of how your education at this school will empower you to use your rhetorical skill in a meaningful career.

I found ne errors in your writing, but I'll help with this difficult part:

From my Student Council Gr. 11 Rep. Election speech I collected sentences such as, "There's a Wenbo, if you look inside your heart, and you'll never be afraid of what you are..." (modified from the song "Hero" by Mariah Carey) and my slogan: "Vote for Wenbo, and you will win with Wenbo!" From my speech on the issue of environment in United Nations Speech Competition, I recorded, "To create or to destroy, that is the question." From the Vice President Election, I added sentences such as, "Behind every successful man, there's a great wife; behind every successful Student Council President, there's a Wenbo," and, "Let me be your VP and I will make you my VIP" to my collection.

These are clever! Good job; the reason you are not afraid to speak in front of an audience is that you have excellent mastery over language.


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