“At the beginning, failing was nothing but a strong motivation to start all over again.” When Qatari teenager Riham Al Nasr took to the stage at last year’s TEDxYouth@Doha, she did something that she never thought possible.
For the first time, the musician showed the live audience members and live stream viewers from around the world her musical talent while speaking about how she had taught herself five instruments and battled to prove to people that music was a worthwhile pursuit.
TEDxYouth@Doha wants others to follow Riham’s example, to talk about their passions to a captive audience, to share their story at this year’s November 17th TEDxYouth@Doha event. The first opportunity for those thinking of becoming a speaker is a series of Open Auditions being held by TEDxYouth@Doha to find multiple people to deliver a talk at the main event.
TEDxYouth@Doha is an independently organised event licensed by TED.
This chance is jazzed up by adding a public voting element to the equation- those auditioning will be filmed, and shortlisted candidates’ videos will be put online to a public vote. In short, it is Qatar’s chance to choose a speaker on stage.
For those thinking of trying out at the auditions, the advice from TEDxYouth@Doha’s Co-Curator and Content Manager, Uzair Mohammad, is simple: “There is no theme for the auditions. You can talk about whatever you want to talk about. What gets you up in the morning, what keeps you up at night- a project, a person, an idea? We want to hear you speak. Come tell us a story.”
The TEDxYouth@Doha Open Auditions are being held on: Wednesday October 6 from 11am; Saturday, October 10 from 5pm; and Wednesday, October 13 from 11am. The auditions will take place at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, Education City, in room 3035 on the third floor. Each speaker will have 10 minutes for their presentation.
Uzair said: “The natural question those reading are asking themselves is who can audition. And to that our reply is always the same: anyone. It is an open stage, and an open invitation to everyone in Doha.
“We’d like to hear you talk – young professionals, high school students and experienced mentors are all encouraged to audition and speak about whatever they wish, be it an idea, an invention, inspiration or aspiration. It might be an intimidating thing to audition, but the rewards are made obvious by stories such as Riham’s, who reaped both acclaim and benefits from her talk.”
Talking about her experiences and how she conquered her fears to take to the stage, Riham, now 17 and studying in Edinburgh, said: “The TEDxYouth@Doha event changed my life last year. I never knew I could be an extrovert with courage to stand on a stage and share what I had not shared with anyone before. Since then, I have met great people who value my music skills. They are proud of me and for that I am grateful, and will always be grateful.”
“I’m not the person I was before my talk at TEDxYouth@Doha last year. Since then, I have met great people who valued my music skills. They respected my efforts and are proud of me, and for that I and truly grateful.” The theme of this year’s event is #failbetter and the fear people might be feeling about the thought of auditioning, and the exhilaration they could feel once they do is the embodiment of that idea.
In the spirit of this year’s theme, TEDxYouth@Doha will also be offering public speaking coaching sessions on the day of the auditions to help aspiring speakers fine tune their talks.
Uzair said: “This event is designed by youth for youth. Our challenge is to highlight the best of Qatar to the youth of this nation. By involving Qatar in making the final selection of speakers along with us, we hope to provide Qatar, both individually and as a collective”
If you or someone you know might be interested in speaking at TEDxYouth@Doha, email OpenAuditions@TEDxYouthDoha.com to register your interest.
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