Saed Nashef at TEDxTaybeh

Saed Nashef delivering his talk at TEDxTaybeh
TEDxسائد ناشف يلقي كلمته في الطيبة

Last Friday I spoke at TEDxTaybeh, so I thought I’d share with you my lessons learned preparing a TEDx talk for the first time.

I speak regularly at various events locally and internationally on topics related to technology entrepreneurship, and early-stage investments. But this was different. TEDxTaybeh was the first time I publicly share bits & pieces of my personal story. It was a challenge to offer a view into a subjective experience while attempting to highlight common threads interweaving our individual humanity so that others can connect and relate. Not less challenging was the attempt to capture these common threads in a single overarching idea that’s worth sharing in 15 minutes.

Here are some lessons learned preparing (and delivering) a TEDx talk:

– The process of extracting from personal stories common threads that can resonate with others forced me to look at my own experience in new ways. It allowed me to draw lessons that haven’t been previously evident. Most of these didn’t make it into my talk, but I may share them here in due course.

– Speaking publicly about a personal experience requires some courage, but it is well rewarded. I found that when opening up, others will reciprocate by being more open and receptive to what I have to say.

– It seems that by our nature, we are wired for deeper engagement when listening to a story. Also, story telling is a core part of the Palestinian and Arab culture. A story can be a very powerful way to communicate an idea. It’s about reaching minds through touching hearts.

– I usually speak to the tech and business crowd. The audience at TEDxTaybeh was more diverse. This required content that’s broadly relevant yet neither superficial nor diluted. Therefore, while a TEDx talk may provide a learning and inspiring experience to an audience, in some cases it is also a learning and growth opportunity to the speakers themselves.

– This was the first time that I delivered a talk/presentation overwhelmingly in Arabic. While I still believe that in today’s world, the language of technology and business is English, I now also believe that there is an argument to be made for Arabic. This experience taught me that in order for a message to achieve wider and deeper reach in our region, it has to be communicated in Arabic. Therefore, I will start working Arabic gradually into all of my online communications – starting with this post! (see below)

I’ll add more thoughts here if/when I think of them. Of course, all of the above is completely subjective and specific to one TEDx talk. If you’ve done a TEDx talk before, and have different/additional thoughts, I’m happy to hear from you in the comments section. Also, if you attended TEDxTaybeh or watched the online stream, I’d love to hear your critical feedback on my talk and the event as a whole.

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  • fadwa

    قصتك كانت مشوقه جدا بالاضافه الى طريقة سردها الذي جعل منا اذان صاغيه للمتابعه. قدما والى الامام

    • saednashef

      شكراً كثير فدوى

  • Roaa Haj-Yahia

    قصتك كانت جدًا شيقه، وطريقة سردك الها كانت رائعه (وع فكره، من طريقة حكيك مكانش مبين انك اول مره بتحكي بالعربي امام جمهور – كل الاحترام) .. بفتخر انك ابن بلدي 🙂 قدمًا والى الامام !

    • saednashef

      🙂 فعلاً كانت هاي أول مرة بحكي كلمة كاملة بالعربي وبصراحة كنت متخربص بحالي

      شكراً على لطفك رؤى

  • Ayah Soufan

    رائع جدا أحييك على قراراك بالنشر بالعربية ايضا 🙂
    اتمنى لو ترفق لنا فيديو من مشاركتك بهذا الحدث

    • saednashef

      إن شاء الله رح أضيف الفيديو هون أو على فيسبوك لما يطلع. شكراً آية

  • Wisam Al-Tarifi

    Looking forward to watch the video, please share it once available.

    • saednashef

      inshalla will do. thanks, wisam.

  • Omar Rayyan

    رائع أستاذي، انت من الناس القلائل اللي بشكلوا مصدر إلهام لألي شخصيا ولكثير شباب في البلد
    .. في إنتظار الفيديو

    • saednashef

      بارك الله فيك يا عمر وجزاك كل خير

  • khadeeja jumaa

    As a matter of fact Saed, I do have many questions about TEDx talk, I just don’t have the time right now!!

    You see , it’s my first time I enter this page of yours !

    Cheers for you !

    Asking The Almighty, more & more success for you


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