TEDx Bucharest – The presenters

TED x Bucharest 2012 – The Presenters  : Bassam Gemayel & Irina Sarbu

Picture from the TEDx Album on Facebook.

To start with : This is a piece of learning. About leadership and holding the room.

All occasions are moments of learning : If there is a will ! 

TEDx events always opens up with the Presenters.  As this was  TEDx BUCHAREST 2012 I expected that the presenters would be great leaders who could brilliantly hold their space, up at stage. I expected  them to be outstanding. That’s what we were there for:  to be exceptionally inspired.

It takes 2-5 minutes to make impression. During those minutes it is good if the presenter manage to make the audience laugh or  connect with them in one way or the other.

Those two presenters didn’t do that.

Instead they brought chaos.

From the very beginning it looked like we were witnessing an unhearsed rehearsal. They were whimsy, babbly and had no capability to ”hold the room”.

When a leader is taking the space 100 % the audience feel no need to help or fill in anything. At TEDx, us, in the audience  had the  big urge to go up to stage and say : please remove them ! Especially Irina. She was completely marginalizing herself. Making herself smaller than she is. Silly. Ridiculous. I expect a woman on stage, in a forum like TEDx, to be strong and a leadership-type, modeling  ”can do” capable attitude. To be a strong role model for other women. Romanian women need that too !  

Irina  was the opposite.

I believe Bassam, the guy, could have done a much better job without her: or : Irina should have practice more before going on stage !    There were times when the audience  could see a glimpse of Bassam’s strengths as a moderator, however, he lost faith in himself and played along with the silly game on stage.

What a shame.

A host couple can be funny and intelligent.

These two were not.

Take it as a learning TEDx !  

Both individuals and organizations can always learn more and develop.

So, this was not a failure. It was a huge learning occasion for the organizers and for the presenters.

Take responsibility and do something about it for next year.

2 thoughts on “TEDx Bucharest – The presenters

  1. Dear Yvette,

    Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais once said “sans la liberté de blâmer il n’est pas d’éloge flatteur” – “if there is no freedom to criticize (to blame), no praise can be taken seriously”.

    Your feedback is useful.

    Your posturing bemused me, yet your exaggeration (and generalizations) served your point poorly: “to be strong and a leadership-type, modeling ”can do” capable attitude. To be a strong role model for other women. Romanian women need that too !”.

    Your statement is just an outdated political feminist rhetoric void of practical meaning, Romania would be proud to have more women like Irina Sarbu.

    Brute force is not the only solution, charm and charisma are also options for keeping an audience. These might not be your ideal instruments, though they sure are the trademarks of Irina.

    Kind regards,

    Bassam Gemayel

    1. Dear Bassam Gemayel,

      Romania needs a new generation of leaders.
      Romania needs great, positive role models.
      Young people need enthusiastic, open , strong examples, to see that change is possible.

      I believe in charisma as a main point of a good leader,in order for others to get involved. I believe in charm too !!!
      I also believe in strong leadership, clarity and ability to express it in a professional way.

      She/the two of you had a great occasion to be all that at TEDx.

      Irina is still charming and still an amazing singer, she still seem to have a friendly attitude.
      However, she was not doing a good job on that stage at that forum in mine, and many others’ eyes.

      Feminist rhetoric? You bemuse me. I think it’s completely taken out of the blue. I also believe that you are making assumptions that have no connection with reality. I don’t know how you can make those assumptions without knowing me.

      I am very surprised that, you, as a moderator at TEDx reacted so strongly on the feedback about your performance. I would have expected a more mature way, as in : taking it as a gift, a huge learning occasion to grow. That’s what TEDx is about !

      We all fail sometimes.
      I do.
      You do.
      Everybody fails.
      The failures are presents for us, showing direction on how to grow and develop as people.

      I do not intend to have a word fight with you.
      I accept if we have two different ways of looking at things.
      That’s ok.

      Here is a quote about failure and , at the same time encouragement:

      “Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”
      Benjamin Franklin

      Kind regards,
      Yvette Larsson

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