We’ve had several speech opportunities the last few weeks, I am slowly catching up on updates.
- TNKR Ambassadors, including a trip to the USA
- Harvard Alumni for Education forum
- Kurt Achin and Oh Young-jin on journalism in Korea and the USA
TNKR Ambassadors giving speeches
We always welcome opportunities for TNKR Ambassadors to give speeches before live audiences. Some people worry that we try to take credit for what refugees have accomplished, which is stupid and something that I must rebut very often. We meet refugees at their level and try to work with them at that level. Some refugees want to engage in advocacy, some want to just gain the skill of public speaking. That’s fine with us.
We have some refugees who are beginning speakers at English, some intermediate, and some are advanced. With advanced speakers, it is a compliment to us that they come to TNKR, we don’t need to take credit for their achievements. For beginners, we try to help them build confidence to give a speech before a crowd that may mainly include fluent English speakers.
Yoonseo is a beginner at English. TNKR recently collaborated with the Working Group on North Korean Women and other partner organizations to hold three events in NYC and Washington DC at the beginning of this month. We gave Yoonseo a choice of whether to give her speech in English or Korean. She chose English. She then worked intensively with her coaches, Cody Smith, Richie Elmore, Daniel Cashmar and “King Coach” Tony Docan-Morgan. In particular, Prof. Docan-Morgan put aside time, working with her 1:1 for 15 hours in one week.
Here is TNKR Special Ambassador Ken Eom giving a speech before a group of doctors visiting South Korea. He has come a long way since he joined TNKR in 2015. This latest speech sounded like he was a professor giving a lecture on North Korean history and ideology.
Scott told an incredible story that had the audience on the edge of their seats. One of the audience members told me that it sounded like a TED Talk.
This speaker had the ladies crying more than once during her talk. At the end, it was all smiles and hugs.
Harvard Alumni for Education
I was one of the three featured speakers at a Harvard Alumni for Education event, featuring Harvard University graduates who are founders of organizations based in Korea. This event grew out of a discussion at a recent Harvard Alumni event. A few folks were talking about having a chicken-and-beer gathering. Instead, I suggested: Let’s have a meaningful discussion. Rufina Park and I began working on it, and Euyhun Yi joined us as a speaker at an event I hosted at Seoul University of Foreign Studies.
I am now teaching a public speaking class at Seoul University of Foreign Studies, I am bringing in speakers to discuss different issues. On 3/14, journalists discussed their careers and engaged the students. Kurt Achin of TBS eFM gave an informative speech, Oh Young-jin of the Korea Times gave a persuasive speech that challenged the students.