The day I had the pleasure to be hosting TEDx Delft, 22 March 2018, will be a day I definitly remember.
It’s already almost half a year ago, but looking back at this given opportunity, I still feel so much pride, relief and appreciation. For me personally, it was a point of no return.
Good to know: being challenged to introduce the theme ‘As a matter of Faith’ by a personal story in front of a big dark room full of people and knowing there are also viewers online, for sure is frightening!
So double thumbs up and all my respect to the officially speakers at these events all over the world!
Let me take you to those few moments before the start of the event.
That moment the room is slowly filling up and I’m standing backstage behind a black curtain. I give some last – ofcourse silent – high fives to the production team. Meanwhile I can already feel the energy of the growing audience and I hear the noise of excited people finding their seats.
The Head of Production announces, we’re going to start a bit later, because of delayed trains, which have to transport most of the audience to the venue.
It gives me extra time to repeat the words of my TEDx coach in my head: ‘Take your time, enjoy the energy and take the stage!’
Where that last part is most important for me to keep in mind as I’m used to offer the stage to others.
‘Take your time, enjoy the energy and take the stage!’
The room turned dark, the TEDx opening video starts and at the back of the screen I’m waiting for the last sentence, which is my cue: ‘And know… on with the show!’
If that wouldn’t have done it, the slightly to enthusiastic push of the stage manager was quite a clear cue. And I still love him for that as it was the perfect ice breaker.
I go up there and start the event by what I ask others to do on a daily basis: I take the stage and share my story.
After that, I practice with the audience how I want them to support the speakers when coming on stage and finding the red dot.
In the short period of time I’m on stage and after sharing my personal story, I already connected with the audience. My TEDx coach told me that would happen, but to experience it up there is truly amazing.
It is time to introduce the first speaker of the day and at the same moment it’s my turn to get off. While I am walking towards the backstage, I think: ‘I did it, and I’m damn proud about that!’
More high fives with the production team behind the black curtains: ‘We are… on with the show!’
Immediatly I get back to my chair in the corner to be completely focused for the rest of the night. In the end, I am here to do my job as a host for the audience.
Why I share this experience with you?
As you may or might not know, TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading.’ The theme of this years event, the exciting speakers, the energetic audience, the big group of hard working volunteers and professionals, just all of them involved, inspired lots of people. Not only during the event, but ongoing as all talks are available online.
It made me realise, that this for me, is what life is all about: Everybody has a story. Even if only just one person gets inspired or feels a connection by somebody else’s story, it’s more than worth sharing.
And I want to keep on giving a stage to these stories. I try to capture them and want to share them with the world.
‘Everybody has a story. Even if only just one person gets inspired or feels a connection by somebody else’s story, it’s more than worth sharing.’
And now having the experience opening up to a room full of strangers, I more than ever know what that can do to others.
I got overwhelmed by positive reactions starting at that same night from people in the audience during the break to people who are close to me and everybody in between.
The reaction which touched my heart was from my dad. As he was on holiday during the event and doesn’t have any social media accounts, he read my story later on when my aunt showed it to him.
He got emotional by reading what my grandmother, his mother, meant to me in life. Ofcourse I told him that before, but he explained how it is different to read it black on white as you are never present when somebody else talkes about you to others. I’m truly grateful for this moment where we shared our thoughts and feelings with eachother about this.
And what about that point of no return?
First of all, by opening up, I closed a door behind me. Maybe even several doors. And believe me that still feels as a major relief.
At the same time, this new door, as the saying goes, definitly opened.
I proofed to myself that I’m able to overcome misserable times and how to take that as an opportunity to grow as a person, every day. To be confident about myself and not to bother about things which I can’t influence. I have an even more open view towards the world around me than before. I see the upside in life and welcome every new experience with open arms and a – sometimes rather naive – curiosity instead of fear and insecurity about the unknown.
As a Matter of Faith!
Get a visual of TEDx Delft 2018
For the full experience the livestream is still available and can be watched here.
On stage interview with EAT ART Collective:
More information and all TED Talks can be watched at the TedxDelft website: https://www.tedxdelft.nl/2018-talks-performances/
The official TEDx event opening video:
And ofcourse there is an official aftermovie:
Please note that all photo credits: TedXDelft – 22 maart 2018 | © Verkijk