I started doing TalkShows in February 2022. They ended 5 months later. I explain here what they were and why they ended.
I did my first Talkshow February 15th, 2022. I did my final Talkshow on June 20th the same year. I did 15 Talkshows in all. I created these Talkshows in order to improve my Japanese speaking skills. So, what is a Talkshow? Allow me to explain.
First and foremost it is my creation. I desired to practice speaking Japanese in front of a live audience. So, it was necessary to create an event where Japanese people would come to listen to my talks. At first I went to a City Public Hall. I offered to do a speech in Japanese and English, for free, at this locale. They were quick to say No Thank you. Not only were they not interested, it would take about six months before I could make my first speech. That was too long to wait. So, I got an idea. I would reserve lecture rooms and invite guests to come.
I rented lecture rooms at community centers, cultural centers, prefectural centers and one citizen’s hall in Ageo city, Okegawa city and Ina town. This is my neck of the woods. They rental fee is from 700 yen to 1,200 yen. The rooms hold up to 30 guests. I reserved rooms on Sundays and Holidays. These are my days off. Next, I invited people to attend. It was free for guests. I made flyers which I left at the locales. I also passed out flyers to students and friends. I was able to advertise for free in a city monthly magazine. I did these Talkshows at 4 different locations. The majority were at the Okegawa Citizens Hall near my school and the Saitama Kenkatsu prefectural center where I teach.
The first hour of the Talkshow was in English. This was an effort to lure people who would sit for a free English lesson. The second hour was in Japanese. That was my study. The guests would sit and listen to my stories. I talked about coming to Japan, teaching English, our company, and cultural differences to name a few topics. Sometimes they asked questions, but rarely. Sometimes there were discussions. There was also one very belligerent old gent. We call his kind a heckler.
The results? Well, not very good. In total, 25 guests came. 10 were current and/or previous students. So more than half were strangers. The maximum at one show was five. That happened once. Three times no one showed up. A couple of times, only one guest came. However every time, guests or no guests, I recorded my Japanese speech. Then my better half, Miwako, would listen to that recording to correct and advise me on my speaking skills. I think she had the hardest task of all. On a positive note, I did learn to speak more slowly.
I view this as a minor setback. I still continue my Japanese studies. I listen to the Japanese news every morning for 15 or 20 minutes. That is very difficult but my hearing improving. I also bought Japanese workbooks for elementary school kids. I started with the third grade. I am in the fifth grade now. There are highs and lows in this study. But I will not give up. As Doctor William S. Clark said in 1867, Boys, be ambitious.