Teddy Talk: Define Yourself

Reported by Fajar binti Benjamin

Edited by Supriya Sivabalan

Image credits: TedXSunway

On Thursday the 27th of June, TedX Sunway University Salon organized a Teddy Talk (A.K.A a mini-workshop) themed “Define Yourself”. The workshop was a shining opportunity for students to hear inspiring speeches, loosen up their own impromptu speaking skills and make a couple of new but intimate friends.

The emcee, Manaal kicked off the event with an explanation regarding the theme before introducing us to the president who gave a rousing speech. “We often are confused about who we are, so what do we do? We go online and do personality tests, we get feedback from other people, we doubt ourselves and in the end, lose our identity”. She proceeded to explain the rest of the evening’s flow and how that by the end of the night, we’d be able to define ourselves with a diverse approach.

Our lovely host

The events for the evening started with a video played for us. It was a Ted talk by Tim Ferris titled “Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals”. In his talk, Tim explained how identifying your specific fears when making a decision then listing the possible outcomes and solutions, will help you move forward in life much faster than just charging towards goals.

Once the video was over, each table of 6 was given a large paper to work on a 5 minute presentation of “Fears”. With only 15 minutes to work, the groups fell into easy teamwork, spinning ideas and counselling each other on fears and phobias revealed. When it was time to present, each team went up, with each member laughingly revealing their fears and the steps they must take to overcome them.

“Let me be your counselor guys”

Common fears included failure, disappointment, conflict and uncertainty. Uncommon fears such as the fear of deep oceans or the fear of being sad were also shared with advice being lobbied back. The solution for all fears is of course, to think it through.

Manaal then explained to us the next interactive activity themed ‘life’. Each member of the team had to write down both a positive and a negative trait within them, then the team would string all the traits together into one story with a moral at the end. The stories resulting from this activity were ridiculous but entertaining with morals like “stand up for yourself” and “don’t get distracted by sakura trees”. By the end of the activity, everyone had hurt their kidneys laughing.

Things getting real

The second and last video was shown to us, titled How to Introduce Yourself by Kevin Bahler. Kevin pointed out a very interesting fact of life. As we grow up, the way we introduce ourselves tends to become standardized to what course we’re doing or where we work. His hypothesis is that we choose to introduce ourselves with what course we’re doing because everyone has one, therefore making it a common denominator without awkwardness. In Kevin’s opinion, we should introduce ourselves with our passions, interests, philosophies, favourite shows or books, anything but “Hi I’m Kevin and I’m doing Business in Finance”.

Once the video was over, Manaal introduced herself with the controversial statement. “Hi I’m Manaal and I hate cendol”.

We moved on to our last activity of the night, a “Q&A session” wherein Manaal asked us questions and we answered them as honestly as possible. The questions she asked were personal but the participants had no trouble digging deep and giving satisfying answers. “Is it worth it to have friends who you can’t be yourself with?”, “Is it important to fit in?” and “what aspect of your innocence would you like to have back from your childhood?”.


The event ended with a photo session before the participants left the hall to mingle over sandwiches, exchanging contact information and building new friendships with strangers who they’d gotten to know better than their own friends over the past 3 hours. It was a really fun way to spend the evening and the kind of event to look out for.

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