Shahira Qudrat

Preparing the not so perfect speech

The TEDx event is sold out! Some mornings when I wake up, I pinch myself and check emails to validate that my dream is turning into a reality. The event is within arm’s length and the countdown has begun. While my talk focuses on the layers of one’s identity and the importance of belonging, the biggest struggle in this moment is letting go of my own ideas around perfection. Curating the perfect speech is accepting that the experience is completely human and that I must be open to the vulnerability of change on a public stage. GULP!

Instead of focusing on memorizing my speech, which is what I expected myself to be doing at this point, my focus has shifted to What is the ONE thing I want people to remember when they wake up on Saturday morning after the event? As I visualize the walk to this moment, I realize something bigger has occurred in the last few months. I’ve deepened the relationship to myself by listening to others and asking them what they remember about their favorite Ted talks. It’s no shock when the response is typically “I was really moved by how the speaker made me feel” or “I loved the story the speaker told.”

Connecting the layers of our identity to tell a story is a powerful tool, and I realize a great privilege. Through the feelings of nervousness when I first applied to the butterflies in my stomach as we inch closer to the event, I am at awe and gratitude for all those who I share the stage with. If anything is guaranteed, it is that Nov 30th is going to be an unforgettable day full of heart and community.

Posted in blog, blog2-2018

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