The fact that I had to address an audience of 200 development studies students plus my colleagues was freaking me out. Representing AMI (African Maths Initiative) freaked me out more, but I had to. I had to talk about my experience and role as a volunteer at AMI. Writing a talk then memorizing it was my only option, I had never spoken to such a big audience. I wrote several but each on memorizing, it was like a boring speech with the tone of a lecture. I would hate listening to such a speech.

On Wednesday, 2 days later, an idea struck me, INTEGRITY. Wholeness, oneness, being an honest me, doing from my heart, are all part of integrity. By being me I had to try be spontaneous in writing the talk, expressing myself the feminine way made me feel composed and I could now see myself speaking to the audience.

It was exactly the same in front of the audience. I was completely in touch with myself, aware of every statement I was making and how I was expressing it, I could even listen to myself while talking. When I smiled, it felt like an energy coming from deep inside me and when the crowd smiled back I felt in like I was in control of myself and the crowd. My experience and role in AMI is exactly how I said it was, that was me.

4 minutes later I was done, shaking a bit but not really so noticeable. That felt like my best moment, the audience’s applauses confirmed it.

It was not really perfect but a worth first time…planning is key.




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