How would you feel if you suddenly got invited to do a TEDx Talk? Pretty good, right?
How about if that was going to be your first talk ever?
Momen Machlach, 22, has been doing parkour for 8 years now, and rooftopping for 5, and is one of the people who has seen some of the best cityscapes in Denmark, from up above. And as of April 13th 2019, he can add a TEDx stage to that list of heights.
“I have no idea why you’d want me to go up there” Momen said when the TEDxOdense team invited him to audition; he has lots of reasons though to get on top of places where you or I would never climb... “But if you want to get yourself in trouble let’s go ahead and do it. So it turned out like it did.”
Momen accepted the invitation and a few months later he was giving the first talk in his life ever at TEDxOdense:
While Momen’s talk was about facing one’s fears – the red dot got a bit too intense and fear overwhelmed him. Anyone who has ever stood on a stage and performed before an audience knows how easily that can happen. However, it’s something we readily forget, when we watch our favourite talks on YouTube, or even from our comfortable seat in the audience.
As a part of the organizing team of the event, I’ll let you in on a little secret: we definitely don’t wish it on any of our speakers – it’s terribly difficult for them to go through this – but we also don’t really mind it if they quiver a bit. It serves as a good reminder that this whole speaking in public business is not that easy :)
What came next was one of the most honest, human reactions: Momen asked for help from his speaker coach, Christina Andersen – and it came not only with a round of applause, but also with a standing ovation at the end of his talk.
Momen recalls the last 5 minutes before going on stage as both the best and the worst, but if he could do it all again, he would, very simply cherish those moments more.
He also revisits the idea of the preparation work he had earlier called “boring” – and zooms in on what the speaker coaching process did for him: help him discover what’s interesting about himself.
With the same openness with which he previously admits he has always winged everything in his life (tztztz :) ), Momen talks about how everyone can give an interesting talk, if they just do it in a way that helps people. The youngest speaker of TEDxOdense 2019 looks at coaching from a wonderfully humble perspective that reminds us there is not only something to learn from everyone, but also that together we are better at bringing it out: