When I first read the topic, I sat down and started breaking down the main theme "Community of shared destiny for mankind" word by word in my mind. I tried to understand what the words "community", "shared destiny" and "mankind" meant to me. Hence, I started my opening statement by explaining the same words. From there on, I went on explaining the contributions and efforts of my university in achieving the "shared destiny". With help from my coach Ms. Wan Jiangbo, I came up with "open education" as the main theme and tried to emphasize the concept throughout my speech with examples like Internet-plus education and internationalization. In the context of Fudan, I mentioned some specific programs like the MOOC platform and specialized courses for international students, which I found on the university website and used to bolster my case. Finally, towards the end, I wanted to re-enunciate and emphasize once again my main theme, i.e., open education, so I used words like "wall-less campuses" and named various organizations of which Fudan is a part, to highlight its openness. It took me more than five hours to write my opening statement.
Given the limited time and numerous rounds to prepare for, in my final round I went for an unconventional approach towards delivering my speech. Rather than memorizing the statement, justification and summary, I made bullet points and tried to improvise on stage. For the challenging round, I was more focused on conveying the idea of "cultivating talents" as the essential outcome of the in-place open education system.
Frankly, the hardest part for me was the topic itself, which was pretty abstract. But with help from Professor Wan, I was able to come up with a central idea and tried my best to reinforce it throughout my speech. All in all, my experience of the final round was incredible. Listening to all the speakers and their ideas was truly inspiring. It was indeed a fair and well fought battle.