Mariam Hayrapetyan – TRANSCRIPT
During TEDxKids@Yerevan 2015, I was in the audience. I learnt I could take part in the open mic, and present my ideas under a minute.
I talked about our chance of making the world a better place, which we overlook. Before going on the stage, I was in the backstage area, and the closer it got to my turn to speak, the more stressed I became I was so nervous, I even forgot what I was going to talk about. Then I had an idea, I thought that as soon as the host introduced me, I would disappear. I only wanted to run away, as far as possible.
After making this plan, I raised my head to leave and the host was looking at me and calling me to go on the stage. So I had to do that.
I took the microphone, smiled, and started. But I don’t even remember what I said. I only remember talking so fast, trying say all the things I had in my mind. When that one minute was up, I was very satisfied with what I did, and wanted to go back to my friends. By then, the excitement and stress was already gone.
When the event was over and we were leaving, someone touched my shoulder and said that he liked my speech as I was very honest. So I realized that my message reached the audience, though it lasted only a minute. And the most important factor of my successful speech was being honest. Well, I am not as experienced as some skillful speakers, but they argue that honesty is important in public speaking. We all know TV and radio host, Larry King.
Once he said, “Speaking is the most important joy in my life.” How do you think he started his joyful career? The first day in radio, he could not talk at all as it felt to him that his mouth was full of cotton. Instead of his voice, people could hear only music, but its volume rose and fell several times. This went on until the director opened the door and shouted, “Here you need to talk!” Larry King then concentrated, and started talking. He was honest with everybody.
People liked it and accepted him. Once he was a guest at TV show, and he was spinning on the chair for many times, it was very funny. Then he honestly said what he felt during those minutes, and again, people liked that honesty.
What about Steve Jobs? He had some unique talent for public speaking: hands in open positions, eye contact, gestures, and of course honesty. This is what I had to say about Larry King, Steve Jobs, and me.
But there are many people who are afraid of speaking in front of public. This is one of the most common social fears. It’s second to the fear of death. Psychologists say that this fear comes from childhood, when our parents made us keep silent “It’s rude if you talk loudly” “Keep silent; speak only when you are spoken to.” We all have been told that it is not right to speak if adults are speaking. All these things influence our ability to speak later on. I am sure, as I say this from my own experience.
Some years back, I had this problem. I was wondering what to say and how to say it so that people would listen to me, especially when there were older people in the audience. You cannot imagine how happy I was when I saw that people with blank expressions started smiling after my speech. At the end I want to say that fear is an emotion that we perceive to be real but we have created. We can influence our calmness and safety. Believe me, it’s very safe and calm to talk in front of the public, unless the audience has tomatoes.