Paul Wong, BEd (Sec) ’03


Paul Wong, BEd (Sec) ’03

YOU and Paul Wong can work together to bring out the best communicators in people. He is the Founder & Communications Trainer of Speaking G.I.F.T.™ , a company which helps individuals and organizations communicate better with each other. Corporate clients master speaking with presence (how to DO), influence (how to SAY), and connection (how to THINK), including: Bloomstar, Sonic Enclosures, Pebble Studio, Kennen Construction, 2LevaMedia and Workshop Salon. Paul has taught as a High School English Teacher at the Vancouver School Board, consults as a Real Estate Advisor at Rennie & Associates Realty, and was cast in Season 1 of the Vancouver docu-reality show “House My Style” on OMNI Canadian Television. His love of people and cultures has him practicing 10 phrases in 10 languages including Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, German, Spanish, Polish, Turkish, Farsi, French and Russian. To date, Paul has emceed 21 weddings, with one of them in Hawaii while he officiated the wedding and “married” the bride and groom. He is proud to work with UBC and the Centre of Excellence at the Faculty of Education to help launch Vancouver’s first-ever Dating School to challenge loneliness in the city and show that building strong relationships is easy, exciting, and ultimately meaningful. You can meet Paul at the next Dating School on February 12th from 6-9pm at the Vancouver Club downtown. All are welcome!

Meeting Paul Wong

What is your most memorable experience from your time in the Faculty of Education?

My most memorable experience at the Faculty of Education as President of the Education Students’ Association was throwing toy apples to 800 Education students during a graduation speech at the Chan Centre to send them off on the start of their teaching careers. The message written on every one of those apples was “To teach is to learn twice.”

Where has your education from the Faculty of Education taken you in your career?

My education at the Faculty of Education has helped me travel in over 20 countries around the world, teach in Japan, inspire ESL students from all over, introduce Shakespeare to secondary school students, emcee 21 weddings, become the auctioneer at Dress for Success for women who thrive in the workplace, advise on real estate for the past 14 years, host a television show, and help launch UBC’s first-ever Dating School.

Where do issues of inclusion find a place in your life or at work?

Inclusion within groups and especially individuals matter more than ever before. During each point of contact I have with each person in my life and work, whether it is text, message, phone call, skype, face to face, and especially non-verbal, I ask myself one question: “Did I strengthen the connection I just had with them, or did I weaken it?” Every single touch point counts, and the line between connection and disconnection has never been more alarming and ready for us to learn from and act on. My discipline towards inclusion means picking up the phone every day, singing happy birthday to a friend, and never missing their day.

Do you have any words of wisdom for current students? Newly graduated folks?

To my fellow students and graduates I say this: “How great can your world be, armed with your education degree, when one day, not too far from the distant future, after finding yourself coming full circle—through all your travels, your business, your relationships, and your experiences—after having done so much, and seen so much, when you suddenly realize—between complete gratefulness for your education in the past, and your new direction for the future, that those moments of learning never leave you, and that there is so much more to accomplish in your life? How sweet would that world be?