For me, being the emcee of [TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2012] was much more of a challenge than merely doing a 15-minute presentation, as I did back in 2011. The reason for this is that this time, when I presented the speakers to the audience, I really had to understand what made each presenter unique and interesting. After weeks of practicing, I finally took the stage on Sunday, December 2nd. It was an incredible experience of which I was very proud to be a part.

Personally, emceeing this event was a powerful moment in my life. After almost a year of suffering with health issues, such as migraines and orthostatic intolerance, I never thought I would be able to do anything like TEDx again. Being able to get to the event, having full energy throughout the afternoon, and not suffering from a migraine afterwards were all huge accomplishments for me.

In addition to health issues, I have been a very shy person throughout my whole life. Although I faced some of my shyness issue when I presented at TEDx back in 2011, I never thought that I would be able to overcome my shyness even more as an emcee.

TEDxYouth gave me the opportunity to challenge both my fears and my health issues so that I could conquer the “impossible.” As I took a group picture with the presenters at the end of the day, I realized that for the first time in a long time, I was part of something much bigger than myself. Looking back at these last two events, I truly believe that I am a braver, stronger, and wiser person because of TEDxYouth.

TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2012 emcee, Matthew Temmer

TEDxYouth@TampaBay took place as part of TEDxYouthDay, TEDx’s worldwide celebration of youth innovation, invention, and creativity.

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