me and Mileha on stage

Why I really, really take my hat off to TEDx-speakers

Last Friday was the big day of TEDxDelft and since Mileha Soneji, one of last year’s speakers, had been featured on TED.com earlier this year, we thought it would be nice to put her in the spotlight. And I, as head of curation, had the honour of interviewing her. On stage.

It was one of the scariest things I ever did for TEDx. As a teacher, I’m used to speaking in public and I’m able to help people feel cool about their speech. But standing on stage myself, although it was well prepared, was a whole different story. I mean … the microphone, the lights, the looks, the feeling that all the words are being critically appraised…. Oh man, I kept wondering if I wasn’t too dreadful, if I didn’t appear as too nervous, too scared or too awkward. And wouldn’t they think my butt is too big?

Wow.

And I was only interviewing someone; I didn’t even have to cajole anyone into believing my idea. Since last Friday’s event, I have a newfound respect for our speakers and performers. Our TEDx’ers are bigger heroes to me than they ever were before. I realise now, that standing on that stage is quite an ordeal. A beautiful ordeal, but an ordeal nonetheless. Here’s an extra salute to our champions!