TEDx Carmel club to have conference on Jan. 22, students, sponsor discuss public speaking

Ryan Zhang

Club members and sophomores Naomi Fields and Elizabeth Palmer plan the TEDx conference. The TEDx conference will be held on Jan. 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the freshman cafeteria, and student presenters will use this platform to talk
about various personal topics. (Siri S)

The TEDx Carmel club will have a conference on Jan. 22 in the freshman cafeteria. At this conference, students and adults will present speeches. According to Maddie Wilson, a speaker at this conference and senior, presenters give speeches pertaining to a theme. 

“So this year’s theme is Through the Looking-Glass and so it’s kind of up for interpretation depending on who’s speaking. (My speech) specifically is to spread awareness, but it can just be about learning something insightful and just changing people’s perspectives and stuff like that,” she said. 

According to Annabelle Carpenter, TEDx Carmel officer and sophomore, conferences are open to anyone who is interested. She said the purpose of this conference and other conferences hosted by TEDx Carmel is to give an opportunity to share perspectives.  

“TEDx is an organization that’s all about getting different people from different backgrounds up on that stage to spread their experience, to spread their ideas and to let others enjoy them, marinate on them,” Carpenter said.

TEDx Carmel sponsor Allison Hargrove said TEDx Carmel is open to all students. She said it’s a club that hosts speeches, so members aren’t required to speak. 

“Student speaking allows us to hear from the often overlooked, but incredibly important youth demographic,” Hargrove said via email. “It allows students to have a voice to tell their own thoughts, stories and ideas.”

Carpenter said the club is in the planning process for this conference and members are working with speakers and setting up a location. However, she said this conference has come with challenges. 

“We need to find a place that’s open and organized. We need to find food, and we need to find speakers,” Carpenter said. “The adult speakers, actually, this year were a challenge. So we are still trying to find a few of those. And finding the right people, especially students to speak (is a challenge).” 

Carpenter said TEDx Carmel aims to give those who don’t necessarily see themselves giving speeches to speak. She said those aspects are what make a good TEDx speaker. 

“It’s usually the people who don’t want to speak up on stage as much that have the better talks because they’re not trying to self-promote at all. They’re just trying to get up there and share what their knowledge is of any certain topic,” Carpenter said. 

Wilson said she relates to this and said, “I’m kind of afraid of giving speeches as well.  I think  the more opportunities that you take to give speeches, that’s how you get better at it. That’s what I’m trying to do with this.”

Carpenter said besides learning new perspectives, youth speaking is important to help students reach towards necessary skills for their future. 

“I can’t think of anything where you don’t have to talk to anyone,” she said. “You can’t even get a job, and you can’t even order food without talking to someone. So it gives you practice with that, and it gives you practice communicating, problem-solving, negotiating and anything you can imagine, (speaking) is really helpful.”