Yesterday, on November 3rd, I had the absolute pleasure of working with this year’s TEDxBristol team as part of my publishing module’s industry project. The event was two days long, November 2 – 3, but I couldn’t make the first day as I couldn’t get time of from work. Being a part of TEDx was something I never thought of doing. Hell, it didn’t even cross my mind until it was announced as one of the main projects in my final year. I knew I had to take it then; it was too good of an opportunity to miss.
Simply put, along with a number of people from the inner TEDxBristol circle, my university’s publishing class was relegated as the social media team. We were given several options to choose from. I chose the role of interviewer, in which my main responsibilities was to, as the title implies, interview the speakers by asking them two questions: why they choose TEDx as their platform and what message were they relaying to the audience.
I could’ve gone for an easier role—I’m more familiar with the whole social media marketing schtick. But seeing that I’ve gone for social media roles on multiple occasions, for organisations both in and out of university, I wanted to do something different. I desperately needed to get out of my comfort zone and brave new territories. And I might as well conquer my social anxiety while I’m at it. Kill two birds with one stone and all that.
I was warned by a good friend, who also took the same role, that things occasionally were disorganised and that I had to use my initiative a lot of the times as other crew members will have their own agenda and can’t always be around to help. He even missed a few people that needed interviewing—that was one of my main fears. But, to my surprise, everything went off without a hitch despite my caffeine crash and innate desire to nap (I got up at six as I had to commute). Words glided off my tongue with ease. I had conversations after the interview was over (though it didn’t last long as they usually need to be elsewhere) without tripping over a sentence once. I even got to talk about my hometown with one of them (as they had lived in Indonesia, albeit a different part, for several years before). As a victim of eternal tongue-tiedness, that was the biggest shock of the day for me as I’ve been. I must’ve walked the entire length of Colston Hall as well with the amount of running I had to do in order to keep up with the schedule, so throw in a bit of exercise into the mix as well.
Unfortunately, due to keeping up with said schedule, I had to miss a quite a few talks, which was disheartening but figured came with the job. I did manage to make time and watch a handful—all of which were inspiring, informative and opened my eyes to some perspectives that I’ve never considered before—and I found myself craving more. But the show had to come to an end at some point.
I’ve spent numerous years watching TED Talks from a computer screen. It was incredible enough to be a part of the audience of the live event, let alone be a part of the ins and outs of it. I wouldn’t pass this opportunity for anything else. Getting to know the speakers, talking to them about what inspired them, was my favourite part of the day. In spite of my initial anxieties, I held my own and I’m so glad that the event turned out to be such a success. If I were given another chance to work with TEDx or something of the like, I would gladly take on another interviewer and/or public speaker role in a heartbeat.
If you’ve made it this far into my post, thank you for reading! Let me know in the comments what you think of TED Talks/TEDx events and I’ll see you in my next post!
Until next time,