I spent 17 days delivering 17 speeches in China and Hong Kong these past few weeks.
I want to say thank you to D85 and D89 for hosting us and making these events happen. You were so gracious and kind. You and your teams could not have been better to us! Thank you also to McGraw-Hill, SAP and the IFC for hosting corporate events and Speaker Leader Champion talks!
Below are 17 photos from our adventures speaking in China!
Our first stop was Beijing! We ventured to the Great Wall and found it to be a life changing experience. We also were pretty much the only white people and this caused everyone to look at us. So several times we got stopped by people and they asked if we could take photos with them. It was hilarious. It made me think of how that would work in the United States if we saw someone that looked different than us and we went up to take their photo! Do you think people would be flattered or offended? Thank you Felix for an awesome time!
This was one of my favorite meals while we were in China. However, here is a tip: You see that bowl of dumplings to the left? Well when you bite into them you need to be carful! Why? Oh well you know, because they are filled with juice and if you want to have juice fly all over the table and everyone gets soaked in it, then it is a good idea! Again, sorry to everyone at the table for making a mess! I now know how to eat dumplings! Thank you Susan and Beautiful (That is her name translated into english) for a wonderful day in Shanghai!
This was one of the coolest “21-Century” speaking opportunities I have had so far. I spoke on top of the 68 floor at the IFC in Hong Kong while my speech was being live-streamed at their offices in China, Singapore and Australia. We interacted, they asked questions and I taught a workshop about how to deliver a winning presentation. Does this mean I have spoken in these countries now?
The room fit 110 people according to the fire ordinance! No worries though, we fit 200+ students in this room while I delivered my talk at the Beijing Foreign Affairs lecture hall. Speaker Leader Champion just got picked up in Mandarin and will be available in China staring May 2015!
After getting done with almost a two-hour training to corporate managers at SAP headquarters in China, what else should you do besides a thumbs up selfie? Thank you Flat for making this one happen!
This was one of the nicest hotels I have stayed in. It was located in Shanghai with a view of the skyline, a rooftop deck and glass pool on the 28th floor! I spent every morning and night here looking out at the city. China has shown me that we in the United States do not know what it means to have a “BIG” city!
I went scuba diving indoor with three whales while I was in Qingdoa. What scared me the most was the size of their teeth! I didn’t know whales had teeth. Did you? I also learned a valuable lesson about the importance of communication as the Mandarin-Speaking instructor reminded me before I got in the water that “we must pee in the pool!” We had a long conversation about me not wanting to pee in the pool and after a while I realized he was trying to saying “we mustn’t pee in the pool” It really is the little things that make a BIG difference in communication! Ryan (was his name also), I had a blast diving with you and thank you for taking me here!
The food. Again the food was spectacular! We tried some items that I would usually never try in the United States like jelly fish, pig intestines and I saw more chicken heads on a plate than I would have liked to but other than that the Chinese know how to cook and cook well!
Master Your Stage! The D89 Fall Conference was spectacular! So many new friends and their leadership team is fantastic! They had one of the best conferences I have ever been to. They showed us a great time and I hope we can visit D85 again in the future! D85 also inspired me to learn another language and I am now committed to being fluent in Spanish by the end of 2015!
Sail Your Dream – The D85 Fall Conference! I have to give major props to the leadership team in D85 as they really set the stage for what Conferences are like in China. Full of fun, entertainment, education and did I mention fun? I had such a blast spending time with members and leaders in D85 and can’t wait to be back!
I am not going to lie, we may or may not have watched Mulan before we went to China! When we got to the Forbidden City that is all I could think about and that it was no longer a cartoon but real life! This was probably one of the best monuments we went to while in China as it always seemed fake to me but now I was actually getting to walk in the same place that more than 30 emperors walked over a 400+ year time period! Amazing!
Chelsea and I celebrated on top of the 118th floor at the Ritz Carleton in Hong Kong for our last night there! It was a bit cloudy/foggy but the view was still breathtaking! Thank you Cecelia for an amazing evening and day around Hong Kong!
We now have so many amazing memories to take back with us and also so many amazing gifts. After each speech they gave us a gift that was either edible, usable or artistic! We have already enjoyed the treats and hung up the art! A huge thank you to Derek for getting us a suitcase to bring back home and to Yang for the wifi hotspot that saved us so many times!
Oh the shopping! We shopped probably too much while we were there. You can get suits perfectly tailored to your body for $250 USD. You can get iPhone cases, scarfs, hats, bowls, art and anything you want on the streets of Hong Kong!
We saw a lot of funny English translations while we were there but this one had to be the funniest! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I may or many not have freaked out when I saw my name in Mandarin on this sign and a lot of people looked at me like I was crazy. This photo made me so happy even though I had no idea what it said, I felt like I was a real international speaker!
I know I said I liked Chinese food, and I really do! But this pizza literally made me salivate when I opened the box! Derek asked me what I wanted to eat before I taught one of my last workshops and jokingly I said pizza. Well, he knew just the right spot and got me the best pizza I have ever tasted! It was amazing!
China and Hong Kong were a blast! Thank you again D85 and D89 for an unforgettable experience. During our time there I hope we inspired hundreds of Toastmasters to continue their journey in our wonderful organization and your fantastics Districts. I hope we inspired many more to use their voice to make a difference in the world. I hope we get to come back in the future and please know that you and your teams gave Chelsea and me memories that will last a lifetime!