TEDx Youth Derry/Londonderry by Jude Williams.
In August 2021, I was invited to participate in an event called TEDx Youth Derry/Londonderry. I was immediately interested and felt quite excited about the prospect of talking in front of an audience that could potentially be thousands, but I was also slightly nervous. Both my Dad and Uncle had previously presented Ted talks and gave me useful tips to help convey the message and explain what I needed to do.
At the time, I had no idea that I would be the youngest person there, with most other speakers being older. I watched some Ted Talks, including my Dad’s and my Uncle’s, so I could get an idea of how to approach it. Soon, I started coming up with ideas for my talk and I constantly debated on what the best topic would.
As October approached, I had narrowed it down to two options. I began creating a rough structure of what topic I would do. By the end of September, I had decided to use an acronym to base my speech on. I used the word G.I.N.G.E.R since I have ginger hair.
Over the following days, I began thinking about what each letter would stand for. Over the next few weeks, I was constantly revising and tweaking the speech to make my talk as interesting as possible for my generation. For instance, I used examples of my involvement in Cross Country and Triathlons to demonstrate the need to face challenges in life by just not giving up – by carrying on and being relentless no matter what the situation. At the real TEDxYouth, I did not use any notes or cards, as I had revised it and knew my topic well.
Soon, the day arrived. The venue, named Echo Echo dance theatre, hosted the event. The audience at the live event was quite small, with about 40 people being present overall. I knew that my speech was well rehearsed, and I had repeated it many times and that it was second nature to me. However, I still felt a combination of excitement and nerves, which remained as the first two people gave their talks. Then it was my turn. I moved to the centre of the stage and stood on the designated red circle and it began!
My talk was aimed at teenagers and the toolbox talk was to encourage them through life. I used the acronym G.I.N.G.E.R and as an example the letter “I” stood for Individual- I tried to convey that its okay to be different as we are not all the same. Similarly, the letter ‘N’ for Nurture/Nice as its always important to be nice to each other and to nurture each other.
I hope that I have inspired others to always try hard and never give up when faced with challenges and to be the best person they can be.
I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend the whole experience.