Friday, July 10, 2015


INSEAD hosted the very first TEDx INSEAD with a theme "Re-Think" on 24th of May 2015.

And this post is not so much about the main event (which by the way was fantastic) but about my TEDxINSEAD story.

It all began when I saw a message on FB calling for students and partners to participate in a TEDx talk competition but what I can recollect is how excited I got seeing that :). It was an opportunity to become a TEDx speaker - an opportunity to inspire, educate, share your passion and become a part of the TED world!!

Oh by the way, I am not a public speaker. I have never presented or given a talk to a large audience. My presentation and public speaking skills have been limited to team meetings. But it's one of those things I've always dreamed of doing - talking to an audience to inspire, to challenge, to ignite minds..

But there was one problem..I didn't know what exactly to talk about!

It was a week before the deadline to enter the competition. There was a whirlwind of ideas. But after advice from family and friends, I decided to steer away from controversial topics that needed a lot of research. So that surely helped me narrow down the list.

Two days to go before the deadline to submit my idea and still my ideas were vague and broad. I was in two minds and I wanted to back out. But my friends and family pushed me to go for it. After a long chat with my dear husband, I finally had a topic but still didn't pack the punch.

I had to submit a paragraph about the topic and if selected would be called to pitch the talk within 5 minutes! Yes! 5 minutes.

Finally after probably several hundred iterations, here is the topic I submitted:"What can you do to support women through life transitions".

But after I sent the my submission, I realized that life transitions don't just impact women but anyone who goes through them.

So I refined the idea further and finally had a concrete topic - "Re-thinking Life Transitions".

A day or two later, I was invited to pitch my idea to the INSEAD community and a panel of judges. There were 15+ other students (including one other partner) I was up against and there was going to be just one winner from the Fonty campus who would get a place in the final event.

It would have been amazing to win, but I was so happy just to be a part of it. I mean, I felt great to be sharing the stage with INSEAD students. I loved the fact that the organizing team was so inclusive and had extended the competition to partners as well and remain eternally grateful to them.

The experience is something I will forever cherish as one of the best during my INSEAD journey as a partner. I am glad I did this. I am so glad my husband pushed me to do this. I received lovely messages from students and friends about how much they loved it and it felt good to see that those 4 minutes actually made a difference!

Here is the video of my talk. Use password : INSEAD to view the video. Please leave your comments below. Would love to hear from you.

TedExStudentComp from Aishwarya Bajpai on Vimeo.

1 comment :

  1. The Password doesn't seem to work! Would love to watch this!