TEDxKatipunanAve: In retrospect
Important note: The next paragraph must be read in your mind – fast, breathless and with feelings. Ready? Go!
You know that feeling of being the next one in line for the biggest, scariest ride in the entire theme park, and you watch as the batch of people before you get strapped on and then zoom away to their impending death and then you start twitching and hopping (at least that’s what I do) and you ask yourself three times HOLYGLORIOUSCOW why am I submitting myself to this life-shortening endeavor, and you want to back out but you don’t, really – and you’re so excited but you want to throw up – and your breathing gets shallow and you switch your weight from one foot to another or try to dangle from the steel bars (again, maybe that’s just me) – and your tongue feels thick and you bite your lips – and then all too soon the group before you is back – they’re getting out, then you’re getting on, buckling your seatbelt, saying OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD –
*sharp intake of breath*
Now take all those feelings, multiply it by two and raise it to the power of stress – THEN imagine feeling that way for a whole three weeks: THAT is how it feels like to prepare for a TEDx talk.
Stuttering in front of 400+ people was no fun, but worth it
For those of you who weren’t there, I prepared a very sophisticated infographic that shows the correlation between (a) the duration of my talk and (b) my desire to live. Not completely statistically accurate, but close:
I think I only got to breathe normally when I decided to throw the 18-minute rule out the window, embraced my inner beki and said… (this is verbatim)
“As a wise person once told me… *snaps fingers* KEBS!“
I mean, just imagine the pressure being in the same roster of speakers as Maria Ressa of Rappler.com, Dylan Wilk of Human Nature, Mayor Pie Alvarez of San Vicente Palawan, Anna Oposa of Save Philippine Seas, and photography-with-a-difference legend, John Chua.
I knew I was going to be the least experienced speaker onstage, so I played to my strengths: obsessive Powerpoint designing. I made sure to make it as colorful and self-explanatory as possible — so they can basically focus on the screen and not me. Plus, it’s a good safety net just in case I blacked out. Or fainted. Check out my deck below:
Getting the audience to promise to go beyond inspiration, post-TEDx
Instead of focusing on what I’ve done or achieved, I made a list of 5 things you should STOP being scared of if you want to change the world and make your ideas happen. Believe me, I know there are a lot of young people out there who have bottled up ideas on how to make this country better, but have yet to find the courage to move.
My jitters and visual aids aside, if there’s anything I want you to remember from my talk, it is this: Stop thinking that you need to be “somebody” before starting anything. Don’t wait for a go signal from anyone. Stop looking for a manual or a step-by-step guide to changing the world: THERE IS NONE. Be brave and just jump!
I hope you find the video below a good and empowering use of your time. :)
Also, for the longest time, I was absolutely grappling with how to make my TEDx talk more interactive or a bit more two-way, and not just me talking about myself and what I’ve done. On the night before the event itself, I came up with the idea to get the audience to promise, right then and there, to go beyond feeling inspired and actually DO something about what they heard and watched that day:
I made them pledge to start their own revolution — and filmed them while I was up on stage.
That way, not only will they be accountable to me — but also to the 400+ people with us in that auditorium — and now, even to all of you who are going to be watching this on YouTube. Here’s my take on the pledge, from my point of view onstage:
To be honest, I don’t need my talk to impress you, really.
What I hope, most of all, is that you get to see yourself in me: not as someone who’s achieved something big or monumental or TEDx-worthy, but somebody who, like you, like everybody else — is scared, nervous, absolutely unsure — but is always, always trying her damn hardest to make a difference, and leave this world a little better than how she first found it.
If I was able to be up there on the TEDx stage, then so can you.
What were your main takeaways from my talk? What ideas are you going to turn into reality in 2013? I’d love to know. :)
Clockwise from top: With all the TEDxKatips speakers || With Maria Ressa || With my best friends and my ever supportive boss, Sen. TG Guingona || *In true Postura Project fashion: My dress is made by Enrico Carado, and shoes from The Ramp.