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This TEDxBaltimore talk shows how the brain deals with stage fright — in real time

Kayti Didriksen seemed like she might succumb to shyness. By the end, she had the whole audience drawing with their eyes closed.

Kayti Didriksen at TEDxBaltimore. (Screenshot via YouTube)

Kayti Didriksen began her TEDxBaltimore talk at Morgan State University with a confession.
“Who else here is shy?” the Brooklyn-based artist and former Maryland resident asked the crowd.
Didriksen went on to struggle through the first part of her talk. It’s rare to see on a TEDx stage, where we’re by now accustomed to seeing speakers relay nuggets of inspiration in a quietly confident voice that suggests a love of commanding the room.
Nevertheless, Didriksen still had the crowd on her side. They were just called to cheer for her a little bit earlier than expected.
Didriksen was visibly struggling through the talk, but the audience — this writer included — only became more enrapt. The acknowledgement of her shyness and the subject of the talk gave Didriksen’s presentation an honesty that some of the most polished speakers could only dream to convey.
As she talked about how the brain works through blind contour drawing, she was essentially explaining the process that her brain was going through in real time.
“The left brain has logical excuses and that’s just its job, but really, blind contour drawing is all about the practice, not the results,” she said.
Then, she got the whole crowd to draw a teapot.
Now that this year’s TEDxBaltimore talks are on YouTube, we’ll let Didriksen take it from here.

Companies: TED

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