• Marty Jalove

The Emperor's Speaking Team

Updated: Jan 27


A long time ago, the Jade Emperor was looking to put together a team of the greatest Speakers in the world. His goal was to form a team of incredible communicators that could teach others how to express their ideas and thoughts. If everyone in the world could discover how to listen and learn from each other, what a wondrous place this could be.


He put the call out to all the animals of the world.


The Emperor thought that Diligent Ox and the Beautiful Dragon would certainly be his top two. They were both great speakers and loved helping other speakers perfect their craft.

The Ox was a well admired Mentor and took the Rat and Cat along with him as he traveled to see the Emperor.


The Cat started out wanting to learn but got bored and quickly left the guidance of the Ox. The Cat never joined the Team. The Cat never learned that it is okay to ask for help and to try new things that are outside of your comfort zone.


The Rat was a witty and cunning speaker and learned a great deal from the Ox. He was eager. When given the opportunity, the Rat took center stage but never thanked the Ox for his help. Because of his natural ability and everything that he learned from his Mentor, the Rat was the first to join the Emperor’s Team. The Rat is a fantastic speaker but still has so much to learn. It’s too bad that he turned his back on his teacher so soon.


The Jade Emperor admired the Ox’s commitment to helping others and asked him to join the Team. The Ox continued studying and practicing. He knew that to be his best he would have to make a commitment to continue to help others while continuing to learn.


Next came the Tiger, an aggressive speaker that brought a great deal of energy and excitement to the stage. The Emperor was excited to have him as part of the Team. Speaking with high-energy is very useful in keeping your audience’s attention.


The Rabbit, who’s soft sincere style was full of emotion was the next addition to this outstanding Team. The Rabbit’s skill was just the opposite of the Tiger. He appealed to his audience’s heart and made them truly feel his message.


The Dragon finally showed up. He was a beautiful speaker, that commanded the stage. Every eye in the audience was memorized by his presence. The Dragon said that he would have shown up earlier, but he too was a Mentor and he was trying to help others do their best. One of his pupils was the Rabbit, and the Dragon was so proud that his protégé was already part of the Team.


The Dragon knew that gestures, facial expressions, and moving with purpose on the stage was a skill that was too often overlooked.


Like the Ox, the Dragon felt that his greatest accomplishment came from helping anothers succeed.


The Snake came next. He claimed that he had studied under the Dragon, so he was permitted to join the Team. In reality, the Snake exaggerated the truth about his connection with the Dragon, but the Jade Emperor said that he could remain part of the Team if he promised to work hard at his craft and learn to help others.


Will the Snake ever really commit, or will he always take the easy way. Perhaps if he practiced his speeches a little more, he could become a great communicator like the Dragon.

The Horse and Goat were unsure of their goals. They didn’t know for certain if they wanted to become better communicators or was this just something that their Mothers were making them do. They were each restless when they are on the stage, but the Jade Emperor saw something inside them. A raw greatness, an ability that they hadn’t seen in themselves. They continue to explore their thoughts and show a willingness to learn.


The Horse could learn a great deal from the Tiger and the Dragon. He could command the stage with high-energy, but he has to decide what he really wants.


The Goat could learn a great deal from the Ox and the Rabbit. He could touch the hearts of his audience while helping others. But like the Horse, the Goat has to decide what he really wants.


The Monkey came next. He was more interested in making people laugh than giving a good presentation. The Jade Emperor knew that the Monkey could learn to control himself if he was part of the Team. Maybe he could learn more from great Mentors like the Ox and Dragon. The Monkey was a little afraid that he would be laughed at on stage, he made jokes so that he could be the first person to laugh. The Monkey needs to explore other emotions while he is on the stage. He doesn’t even realize that he has already conquered most of his fears. It’s time for him to stop playing.


The Rooster was a late comer. He never thought that, speaking, was something that he would find fun and interesting. He spent a lot of his time with the Goat and the Monkey and they convinced him to join the Team. Now the Rooster gets up early every morning to practice speaking.


Like the Monkey, the Dog was more interested in playing than actually standing on the stage. The Dog was a strong speaker but seemed to be more interested in other things. The Jade Emperor had heard him speak before and thought that he would make a wonderful addition to the Team. The Emperor explained to the Dog that whatever he learns from being part of the group would help him in the future, no matter what he chooses to do in life.


The last member of the Team was the Pig. The Pig was not interested in working hard. He showed up just because he thought he had to and did little to contribute to the Team. The Jade Emperor allowed him to be the last member of the Team hoping that one day he would change.


I hope that you share this New Year’s Story with your family, then talk about it. As part of a family, team, and community, which animal do you most represent? Which animal would you like to be?


I work with a large group of children striving to become better communicators. I see a lot of potential in these animals. And as I help them find their path, I continue to grow and discover more about myself.


Happy New Year! Make this the year of incredible change and growth.

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