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Daniel Sih on stage at TEDx Hobart 2023

02 Nov 2023Five minutes with Daniel Sih

TEDx Hobart 2023 Speaker

"We help busy people to make space ... in both work and life."

Tell us why you applied for TEDxHobart 2023

A few years ago, I was having coffee with a friend, and she mentioned that she had once spoken at a TEDx event in her home state. This was the first time I had met someone who had spoken at a TEDx event, and I found it fascinating, particularly because my friend is not a natural public speaker and is certainly not "famous." It made me curious about what it might look like to be on the TEDx stage myself and share an idea worth spreading.

I've always enjoyed learning from TEDx talks and appreciate being able to hear quality talks from world-class speakers through this platform. I knew I had something worth saying. When the next opportunity to speak at TEDx appeared in my own city, I decided to apply.

What was your talk about?

My talk was about how to make space in a world full of technology. I discussed the challenges of "space-less-ness" (why we're always busy) and the problem of excessive internet practice. I provided a framework to help people understand the complex relationship between digital technology and productivity, emphasizing the importance of unplugging for our health, happiness, and productivity. With a minute of silence, my audience was also given space to reflect on what matters in their lives, so they might shape their time accordingly.

How has speaking at TEDxHobart aligned with your business and personal interests?

My business is a productivity consulting company named "Spacemakers." We help busy people to make space what truly matters in both work and life. The majority of my work is within the corporate sector, where I help leaders improve their email, to-do list, and time-management habits. But making space encompasses so much more. I'm grateful that TEDx allowed me the opportunity to share a broader vision of making space to enable a healthier, more well-rounded life.

Since speaking at TEDx, I have discovered more opportunities to serve as a keynote speaker throughout Australia. The skills and confidence I acquired from the TEDx stage have enhanced the quality of my presentations – no more notes! It has also been personally rewarding to hear from individuals who have been influenced by the concept of making space.

What did you learn?

I have learned that I have the ability to speak confidently and with purpose on a global platform, and that my ideas are world-class and worth sharing. I learned some practical skills that have improved my ability to speak in front of larger audiences, especially the ability to speak without notes. I also enjoyed connecting with others who were involved in and participated in the process, as part of a broader community.

What is your advice to other Tasmanians interested in applying to speak at TEDx@2024?

Don’t apply if your primary motivation is to feel important, build up your professional profile, or make a name for yourself. These are not good reasons to stand on the TEDx stage. But if you have a burning idea that is worth sharing, and you have the credibility to share it, then go ahead and apply. You don’t have to be an experienced public speaker or someone who likes attention. You just have to have an idea that is worth sharing with the world – one that can positively impact lives – and the boldness to give it a go. Good luck!

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