TEDxSaintFrancisHS takes the stage

by Elsa Ying (’23) | March 21, 2022

Photography by Gabriella Dominguez (’23)

On February 26, the Saint Francis community gathered to hear from thirteen student speakers at the TEDxSaintFrancisHS event. TEDx events are independently hosted by local organizations as a branch of the main TED speaker series, and the Saint Francis TEDx crew worked for over six months to put together the third annual TEDxSaintFrancisHS conference. Speakers ranging from sophomores to seniors presented about issues like mental health, feminism, and the immigrant experience.

The process of organizing the event started last September, when the board members opened applications for speakers. Applicants were required to submit a short video proposing content and direction for their potential talks. After speakers were chosen in October, board members began to work with individuals on developing their ideas into polished talks. The current board included many past speakers who were able to offer their personal insight into presenting TED-style talks, as well as other members experienced in coaching and logistics.

Board member Philip Goo (’22) noted, “In the talk development phases, we focused on the actual content of the talks, so it was a lot of topic brainstorming, which then transitioned into verbalizing thoughts and creating more cohesive speeches. Towards the end of the content workshop time, we focused on grammar and talk flow so that we could start going into the actual talk delivery and presentation practices.”

After the content of each talk was solidified, the TEDx team moved to rehearsing the actual presentation of the talk, which included working on eye contact, body language, diction, intonation, and other aspects of public speaking. Speakers routinely rehearsed their talks with an audience of board members, who provided feedback in a continuous cycle of preparation.

The actual event was held on Saturday evening, with refreshments and programs available as attendees gathered to listen to the thirteen talks. Speakers and board members alike were able to see their months of hard work pay off in the culminating conference. Speaker Alexander Chang (’23) explained, “TEDx helps bring a lot of student stories which wouldn’t have been heard to the forefront. It also brings a sense of community with everyone involved.”

This sense of community was felt across the team, with speaker Nitish Gourishetty (’23) adding that his favorite part of TEDx was the connections he built. “I got to meet a lot of new people, some people who I have never interacted with at all, and hear all of their fascinating stories and perspectives in life,” he elaborated. “The people in TED definitely made it a super memorable experience.” Chang continued, “I really enjoyed working with the directors and other speakers. We built a strong bond that I never thought we would.” 

This year’s TEDxSaintFrancis event was successful with a great turnout and lots of valuable insight offered by the thirteen speakers, introduced by various board members. The speeches served as a reminder of the importance of embracing individual voices and perspectives. Goo concluded, “Overall I would say that it was a very successful event because in the end everybody contributed to create an amazing conference.”

Categories: News

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