March Featured Toastmaster: Hanping Guan

Hanping Guan

Hanping Guan is research project manager in BASF, The Chemical Company. He is involved in biotechnology research and business development for producing more and better food, feed, fuel and fiber to meet global needs. To succeed, he believes one has to keep learning and apply what you learn to make a contribution to a great cause.

Joseph Joel Sherman was previously Vice President of Public Relations for Chapel Hill Toastmasters. He is the director of Business Tribes Management Consulting.

Joseph Joel: Why are you a Toastmaster?

Hanping: I am a Toastmaster because our Toastmaster Club provides a supportive environment and opportunity for me to improve my public speaking and leadership skills. I can learn from club members and help others in the Toastmaster Club.

Joseph Joel: What is special about Chapel Hill Toastmasters?

Hanping: Diversity is very special in Chapel Hill Toastmasters Club. Our club members have different professional backgrounds from professional motivational speakers, business owners to professionals working in Fortune 500 companies, and students from UNC. We also have people coming from different countries including China, Korea and Ukraine. You can learn a lot from this group of diverse and talented people.

Joseph Joel: Could you please share a favorite Toastmasters moment that you especially enjoyed for found to be inspiring?

Hanping: My favorite Toastmasters moment was that club members shared their personal stories. For example, one club member shared her story about her toughest moment. Facing extreme financial and emotional stresses, she courageously selected to break up with her fiancée, working two jobs and living on Ramen noodles [Top Ramen] for a number of months. Today, she is a successful business owner and community activist. There are many other inspirational stories from our club that are my favorite moments.

Joseph Joel: I agree. We have many inspiring speakers. What speaking goals have you set as a Toastmaster? What are you doing to meet those speaking goals?

Hanping: I would like to be a motivational speaker and a polished impromptu speaker. I am using the prepared speech opportunities in the club to harness my presentational skills. I can learn, present and receive constructive feedback. This is a continuous process of “learn, share and improve.” The table topics are a great way of improving impromptu speech.

Joseph Joel: What leadership goals have you set as a Toastmaster?

Hanping: My leadership goal is to be able to have more positive influences on others. Help them find significance in their work and life. I learn from Toastmaster club members, read books and apply what I learn to the club activities.

Joseph Joel: Do you apply what you learned in Toastmasters to your work, academic studies, community or faith based organizations?

Hanping: Because I need to give many presentations at work, I apply what I learn to my work to improve my presentation. The leadership skills are very valuable to empower people to be more effective and efficient in getting things done. Because many people from China did not receive training in public speaking, I organized a workshop to improve presentation skills in the RTP area Chinese community. I would like to have other Toastmaster club members involved as well in the future.

Joseph Joel: This is important project. What drives you to become a motivational speaker?

Hanping: I would like to make a difference in people’s life. Growing up in China and coming to US for graduate school, later on working in US, I have taken many detours because I did not set up a great goal in life. I want to tell people, especially young people, to aim high, learn more and make a difference in society.

Joseph Joel: What message or purpose do you feel you have to give to the world?

Hanping: I would like to tell the world we all can be successful if we live with gratitude, learn with passion, and contribute with inspiration.

Joseph Joel: Do you have a target audience for your speaking?

Hanping: I would like to talk to high school students and college students or young professionals.

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