Thoughts on Outlook Round 4 for our students: 1. I heard “Yesterday Once More” seven times in one day.

“Yesterday Once More” was written in 1973. I heard it on a piano, a flute, accompanied by a song and dance and with a guitar. I never want to hear it again. 2. YOU. DON’T. NEED. TO. YELL. EVERY. WORD. If you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing. 3. Do not sway side to side. It is mesmerizing, but it distracts from the content of your speech. 4. Write your own speech and have a foreigner correct it. Ask him or her to read it aloud and then study that. Pronunciation and accent are the only distinguishing characteristics when everyone has the same speech. It’s important. Ask a foreigner to correct your speech to erase embarrassing mistakes. Harry Potter was not a boy who went to Harvard. We cannot “throw litter about from our minds.” 5. Do not create new English words. “Respectacle” sounds nice but is definitely incorrect. Practice a short introduction before your presentation and speech. 6. By Round 4 you shouldn’t be staring at the ceiling, trying to remember or compose your sentences. Don’t write a new speech the night before. Don’t bring notes on to the stage. You should know you speech well by now. 7. Don’t wear a shirt with obvious Chinglish. Dress formally – a dress for girls or a dress shirt or sweater vest for boys. Do not wear “I LUPY CHRISTU TXMWZ.” 8. Mind your grammar. “Do you have a pet?” “Yes.” “What pet?” “My pet is dog.” 9. If you are a high-level student there is a good chance your English is better than the judges. Make the obvious jokes. I saw many students fly over the judges’ heads. Prepare simple visual jokes. 10. Stay away from inspirational speeches. Students who dared to try different tones successfully distinguished themselves and got good scores. One girl went for the macabre – she was a whale watching her son be dissected by scientists. Another went for goofy – she played Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” and had puppets dance to it. One girl played air guitar and another taught us how to make sushi. 11. Natural facial expressions are much, much, much better than jazz hands. Do not open your arms every ten seconds. Do not pump your arms and ask for action. Understand what you are saying – if you didn’t write your speech you should translate every single word of it – and let your body language come naturally from that. If you don’t believe your speech you surely won’t convince the audience or judges to do so, either. 12. No Edelweiss. No Titanic. No “rubbish pollution.” No “white pollution.” No “development of economic.” dsa 13. Do not sing “Bring me your sweet loving.” And then chant it louder and louder and LOUDER. Renato Ganoza for EF Zhengzhou, 2009