David Feng: A Host When Not in Class

Posted by on Feb 4, 2004 in Beijing, Public Events, University | No Comments

12:18 (UTC+08:00), 04 FEB 2004 | CHN BEIJING

DF 2004 02 04 Event Hosting 1000

My history of being a host was rather short. I first hosted an event for foreign students at my university on December 20, 2002. That was a Christmas and New Year’s event. It was pretty fun playing host to the whole thing, even if I was a newbie holding a mike for the first time in front of so many people.

In the autumn of 2003, my English teacher recommended me on the basis of my perfect English to the university’s English department, and to the vice-coordinator of the department. She really wanted me to take part in a nationwide English speaking contest. Sadly, out of nationality reasons (I had a Swiss passport, but they needed someone with a PRC passport), I couldn’t be included. Still, I did the next best thing: host the event at my university. (The real event — the finals on TV — was hosted by Da Shan, a.k.a. Mark Roswell, and Liu Feifei.)

So I became a host on the afternoon of October 30, 2003. I hosted an event which brought out a talent to face others in the nationwide contest.

Although I didn’t really interact too much back then with some of the contestants, I quickly found out that some of them soon became friends — important friends, at that — with me throughout the ages.

Next day, our English teacher asked me to lead the class instead (she had to take care of the plumber at her house). I enjoyed hosting the event – and teaching my fellow foreign students. My way of hosting this whole event was interactive, and relied heavily on jokes that made the gang laugh. Really, I felt that blasting tonnes of “facts” for them to jot down was not the right ticket.

November 28, 2003, was a very ordinary Friday: go to the university, assist in teaching English, have an “info lunch” (read: sync your Bluetooth phone with your Macintosh iBook while you enjoy fried rice at a restaurant), listen to an awfully boring afternoon lecture, and then get out of the place and straight on the 5th Ring Road, heading back home. Don’t even think about what you’ll do in the evening! That day was just like that — till 4 PM. A phone call out of the blue asked me to be a “pingwei” or judge at the university’s English contest semi-finals. The time: 7 PM on Friday evening. The answer: I’m there. A quick dinner was followed up with me jamming the accelerator and getting to the university — fast.

During the break at the event, a student asked me if I would want to host the finals coming on Friday in a week’s time. My immediate answer: YES! I had no idea why or how I would think of hosting the event – but the YES came out just like that. It was a YES, though, that I would never regret.

On December 3rd and 4th were discussed how the event was going to be hosted. On the 5th, the day of the finals, I got to school looking very smart. At 5 PM I got to the conference room and prepared. As 7 PM approached, I was ready.

A bit after 7, I went on stage. In front of me was a microphone — and 500-600 people — the audience. I was not nervous at all, as I took them for “new friends”. I doubt if some hosts on TV actually host using my viewpoint… It really helps keep me in check, and it was the best medicine against getting nervous.

That evening left me with a deep impression. I was praised time and again. I made a good deal of important and instrumental new friends. I was able to keep calm. I managed to keep a smile even on the podium.

I made up my mind that evening to become a host on TV, preferably a host of an English programme in China.

Following December 5th, I hosted two other events: a Christmas and New Year’s Party for the foreign students (again) on December 19th, and a forum on commercialism with Chinese and US students on the 31st. (I used my iBook for that.)

I soon realised: one needs to do what one likes to do. Given that, one will give it his or her best, and succeed at it. This is the case with me as a host.

This is content posted by David Feng on a separate site, published before 29 December 2005, before he started blogging on his own domain. All spelling, grammar, and punctuation remain the exact same way they were when the post was first published. The original post itself does not contain this text in italics.