LGBT Consortium Member Hosts TEDx Talk

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 12:30

Ben from Enlighten UK was very proud to share with us his recent TEDx Talk that he delivered at Brayford Pool in July.

After watching the talk, we can see why. We found it very powerful & emotional and we would like to share it with you, along with a blog that Ben wrote about his experience.

"What I learned at TEDx Brayford Pool 2018"

"Sitting here, sweating, at the end of another scorching week, I have decided to reflect on what was really the starting point of Enlighten UK.

Submitting my application to speak at this year's TEDx event was a lot like a job application. I was excited, nervous and waffling. I knew what I wanted to say and why I deserved this opportunity but the words wouldn't come to me. Not until I looked back and thought, why does Enlighten UK need this platform. Or more succinctly, why do the minority youth in the UK need this platform. Finding out the theme, Fearless, it was time to start being the change that I wanted to see in the world - put my pen where my mouth is and do my duty by delivering a message that some poignant LGBTQ+ youths could not. 

The email arrived to say that I had been accepted and it was then real. I was going to be representing at the Lincoln 2018 TEDx Brayford Pool.

We had a workshop with two speaker coaches Richard and Katy, both were wonderful and gave us constructive ideas how to improve our talks. My rehearsal was ridiculous, but then again that's why we have them. The pressure on my shoulders to get this message right was mounting. I wasn't doing this for me.

TEDx Brayford Pool soon came around, I woke up ensuring I stayed positive, not letting any doubt enter my mind. I knew what I was talking about and if I went off track it's basically speaking from personal experience. I had been one of those lost voices and I couldn't let myself forget that.

The talks started one by one everyone was so inspirational, I sat there watching, moments of dread and fear filled my mind, sat physically shaking. I thought at one point - "I can't do this, just go home." 

My turn soon came around, I sat listened to my talk in a corner, listened to some uplifting songs to take my mind off my nerves and with the theme of fearless resonating in my mind, I told myself, I can do this. 

 I thought I had spoken for 3 minutes with the slight worry that my mouth was going dry. The audience reacted to parts that I hadn't accounted for, having rehearsed in front of friends numerous times. They never laughed at these bits? But then again, these people don't know my mother and so clearly think that I'm exaggerating her character..."

So what have I learnt?

- Do something that scares you.

 I'm not one to shy away from public speaking but having something like TED associated with it made it seem all the more important but the sense of accomplishment once done was well worth it.

- You know this.

I was speaking about work I've done, there's no need to be afraid. 

- Keep a notebook by your bed.

Whenever I'm immersed in a project I tend to think about it before I get to sleep and while I'm relaxing, and that's always when the best ideas strike. 

- Take every opportunity.

Get social, talk to people about your work, revel in the whole experience. There may not be another chance like this, the people I met are amazing, Doctors, Professors, Business Leaders and local innovative people. 

I'll be reflecting on this experience for years to come - if you want to do something, go out and get it. 


P.S. - Be Fearless."

You can view Ben's TEDx Talk on YouTube by clicking here


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