By Hannah Deakin
On Friday 17 June I spoke at a TEDx conference at my old school, Sir William Perkins’s School.
TEDx events are local, independently organised events where people share a TED-like experience. They are events where you can be motivated and inspired by speakers.
The TEDx conference was a wonderful experience, with an array of very interesting and talented speakers. The theme was self/less and the topics of the speeches ranged from mental health in young people, to transgender experiences, to fears of public speaking, to being a journalist in a warzone. There were so many ways in which the theme could be interpreted, applied to different people and their experiences, or personal situations, meant that every speech was very different and unique.
I spoke for about 15 minutes in front of an audience of around 350 people. My speech is called ‘Values in Life’ and it is about becoming ill and disabled, spending many years in hospital, experiences I have had in my life and how they have shaped and changed my outlook. It is also about the charity Starlight Children’s Foundation, who granted my wish and whom I now fundraise for. I talk about appreciating and valuing your life and those nearest to you and not taking things for granted. You never know what is round the corner and what the future holds.
I had never spoken in front of an audience before and prior to speaking I felt extremely nervous. Although many people said I didn’t look it! I am the sort of person who wants and tries to achieve the best with my life and go that extra mile. I like to challenge myself and achieve. Sometimes maybe physically expecting a little too much of myself!
I knew that I would be nervous, but I also knew that I could do it and that I would be really pleased with myself once I had done it.
It was an amazing experience and one I would recommend to other people if they get the opportunity. I felt very proud of myself once I had finished my speech that I had hopefully made a difference and achieved something. I had given young people an insight into illness and disability and events that they would not normally experience in their lives.
The idea behind TED talks is that they are ideas worth spreading. TED talks are always less than 18 minutes long, as this is meant to optimise interest, then they get recorded and put online. If you would like to watch my speech the link is: youtu.be/WFA8QEzQp2s.
I hope that in the future I may get the opportunity to speak at events or maybe even for a charity. I would like to make a difference and help make the world be more accepting of disabled people.
By Hannah Deakin
You can follow Hannah on twitter: @HannahDeakin2
‘In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).’