Year 12 student Maia won the student competition held by TEDx Youth@Bath to give a talk at the event and share her ideas about how we can all make a difference through unity. Read about Maia's experience below.
I’ve never been afraid of public speaking exactly, but it was never something I actively sought to do. Yet somehow I ended up standing in front of over a thousand people at the Bath TEDx event, delivering a ve-minute talk on my “idea worth spreading”. My idea is that we should unite over what we share. 2016 has been so bad because we keep dividing ourselves which leaves no-one happy. Maybe if we can just work together, next year will be better.
Five minutes is not very long. It was dif cult to t everything I had to say about 2016, unity and the evils of separatism into three-hundred seconds worth of thought-provoking sentences and terrible jokes. But once I had delivered my speech, made my way off the stage with trembling legs, and sat back down, I knew that I had included everything I wanted to say.
It was an amazing experience that is unrivalled by anything else I’ve done. I didn’t ever expect I might win the competition; I’m not overly amazing at public speaking, and I don’t believe I’m all that charismatic of a speaker either. It was my idea that won it. So I would encourage everyone who has a great idea to speak up, even if you don’t think you’re that good at it. Be open to improvements (my final speech was practically unrecognisable from my first draft) but stick with your gut feeling, because it’s probably right.
I was hugely grateful for the opportunity. It was incredibly nerve- wracking to be surrounded by so many accomplished, talented, inspirational people on the day- I was pretty nervous by the time I got on stage. But then I started talking and before I knew it, there was thunderous applause. I had done it. I received a lot of compliments, which I was not very good at handling, but it was fantastic to see all these people who had felt what I was saying resonate with them.
Maia has spoken about her experience in more detail on BBC Radio Bristol, click here to hear the show, Maia's piece is around 26 minutes in.