Sheila Wong

The People’s Image Consultant

My Affair in ZhongShan

July 27th, 2014

Once I said “yes” to an invitation to speak at Allianz Leaders’ Conference in ZhongShan , I consciously did a paradigm shift from “not good enough for China” to “yes, I can woo and wow the audience in China”.

For the next five days, I talked to myself in front of the mirror and also to nobody that I was looking forward to doing my talk in Mandarin and in China. That self-talk and paradigm shift helped tremendously to make me put more effort in brushing up my Mandarin.

My little 12-year old niece, Elise helped me with the ping-yin and my son, Kenneth gave me a crash course in ping-yin.

I arrived in GuangZhou with my young assistant, Estelle. We were given a warm welcome by the Malaysian representative and driven straight to ZhongShan. Sheraton ZhongShan was a welcome haven after the long hours of travelling. Allianz was an excellent host and made sure all our creature comforts were taken care of.

The next day was D Day!

I pushed aside all negative thoughts about my poor command of Mandarin and pumped in extra positive thoughts on how best I should engage with the audience.

I did my all famous opening gig, had the audience up dancing and clapping. I did a few make-overs that was like an instant transformation on the models. The audience were in awe. From there, I took them through the various body shapes.

At break-time, I was not left alone. The ladies and the men queue to have their body shapes diagnosed. They couldn’t get enough. Even Estelle was not spared. Some of the female audience wanted to know the technique that Estelle did the hair-do on the female model.

After break, the audience were in stitches when I took them through the body language session. They were pointing at each other, faulting each other on their negative gestures. That was hilarious!

By this time, the networking lesson went on smoothly. All 200 pax participated in it.

Yes, I am glad I accepted the offer to go to China to speak. Yes, I managed to woo and wow the audience.

Thank you, Siew Gaik and Ms. Hooi on your insistence that I should speak in China. You have helped me to see my own possibilities and break the glass ceiling that was stopping me.

Trepidation got me working. A promise made keep me going.