By Teresa Francis Jan 4 2013
The morning of the 17th of November brought a motley group of speakers to the Winchester School for its TEDxYouth@Winchester and TEDxWinchesterTeachers events. Some of the faces that morning radiated with excitement, while others were more pallid in their form of expressing joy. But there’s no questioning that undeniable expression of pride and contentment every time a TedxWinch speaker went up on the stage, said with passion and splendor their talks, and came down, filled with a sense of relief and accomplishment.
We TEDxYouth speakers had practiced our speeches in front of each other every Saturday from the start of the term leading up to the event, and yet there was a sense novelty when we walked into the hall that day. Though we’d practiced the same talks in our minds a hundred times, there was something different about knowing that this time was the only time we had to shock, dazzle, entertain and enlighten live and online viewers with an idea that we truly believed could change the world.
There was a certain sense of pressure- this was a make it or break it moment for each one of us, and though Mr. Rohan Roberts our organizer so kindly told us that we should focus on having fun, that it didn’t matter if we made mistakes, in our hearts we all felt the terse nervousness that comes with doing something on such a big scale.
But it was evident there was no need to be, for as each speaker went up on stage and dared to ask questions that forced the audience to really think, it became increasingly clear that the amount of passion we had in what we were saying was enough to power us through, and to help us avoid making any mistakes. Each speaker went up on stage and- well, for lack of more articulate phrasing- “owned it.”
Those who were once pallid had the colour restored back to their faces, and happily chattered to audience members and fellow speakers about how fantastically well everything went. We were extraordinarily pleased and blissfully ignorant of the fact that there were a set of other speakers anxiously waiting for their event to begin: the teachers. For shortly after the youth event finished, the teachers event was scheduled to begin.
The TEDxTeachers speakers faced a very different type of anxiousness than their younger counterparts- unlike youth speakers they had never practiced on stage or in front of much people before. Once again if one tried hard enough you could see those people who simply thrived under the anticipation of speaking, while others awaited their turn far more soberly.
But each one of the TEDxWinchesterTeachers speakers went on stage and gave creative and touching talks that roused the support of the audience and ensured the standard of creativity and intelligence that the youth event had set was well maintained.
So do speakers get nervous before an event as big as this? The general consensus would be yes. Is all the hard work and booked weekends worth it? One hundred and ten percent. Because right from the nail-biting insomnia to the adrenaline rush of standing in front of a stage and exploring a delightful future, we walk away being Pioneers of Ideas, as Ambassadors of Intelligent Discussion. And those titles are ones not many can claim to have.