Sitting with Shreya: The Background of TEDx 2022

TEDx at IMSA | Source: IVC

TEDx talks are extremely valuable to many students throughout their lives. Whether to inspire them, make them laugh, or inform them about a new topic — TEDx is a well-known grassroots initiative that aims to discover “ideas worth spreading.” 

On April 3rd, IMSA TEDx presented three student speakers and three faculty members covering various topics. The student speakers were: Shreya Chakraborty, Kevin Qu, and Liz Soyemi. The faculty speakers were: Mr. Kearney, Dr. Trainor, and Ms. Townsend. 

Here is a quick rundown of all the speeches:

  • Shreya talked about recreational therapy for children with special needs, specifically taekwondo.
  • Kevin discussed mental health in the sports industry and how it is often downplayed.
  • Liz spread awareness for menstrual education.
  • Mr. Kearney explained international relations.
  • Dr. Trainor explained the importance of statistical analysis.
  • Ms. Townsend focused on imposter syndrome. TEDx concluded with a speaker Q&A so the audience could engage with the speakers and ask questions. 

Shreya Chakraborty, one of the speakers, gave insight into the inner workings and her experience with presenting at TEDx. Shreya’s talent in taekwondo is evident, but she also has experience as a mentor for students with special needs. Her passion for spreading awareness of recreational therapy led her to apply to speak at TEDx. She explains the process for applying, such as the video you must include as well as the interview portion. To prepare as early as possible, Shreya already began researching and interviewing students before she was accepted as a speaker. She explains that the script-writing process is one of the harder parts of the entire process since you have to find unique ways to engage the audience. Additionally, you have to follow the TEDx guidelines and be between 12 to 17 minutes long. Although this may seem lengthy, Shreya stated, “You can’t talk about something for 17 minutes without being passionate about it.”

Although it can be hard to stay motivated and memorize a 17-minute script, Shreya mentioned that the TEDx community helped lessen her “growing pit of worry.” The speaker coaches and community became more involved closer to April, which helped her stay confident. As the only junior on the team, Shreya was a little intimidated to be speaking at TEDx. However, her experience working with the other student speakers, Kevin and Liz, helped tremendously since she was able to learn from them.

If there is any topic you are passionate about, TEDx could be your first initiative towards spreading awareness about it. Shreya’s advice for speaking at TEDx is all about passion: “Be confident and passionate about your topic because if you’re passionate about it, it will feel natural.” 

If you missed the TEDx event and want to watch these speeches, TEDx will later release the videos for public viewing. Thank you to Shreya for sharing about TEDx!

About the Author

Elaina Xiao
Elaina Xiao is the Opinions Editor and Graphic Design Specialist. She is a senior and lives 6 hours away from IMSA :0. Outside of The Acronym, she is passionate about coding, political science, singing, and trying all the food at Lexington. You can often find her running across Yare to get to class, watching TikToks in the IRC, or ranting to her family on FaceTime.

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