Marian Bechtel ’16 Presents at TEDxTEEN Event in NYC

Posted March 12th, 2014 at 9:44 am.

Marian Bechtel ’16 was selected as a presenter at the TEDxTEEN event held in New York City on March 1. Her presentation, “Banjos, Landmines, & Saying Yes,” described her research; combining a love of music with an interest in landmine detection, and the decisions she made to make it all happen.

“The minute I walked on the stage and looked out into the audience, it suddenly hit me,” says Marian. “In the next 15 minutes, I had so much power to convey a message around the world. A message that could actually change lives in big and small ways — that message being the ‘Philosophy of Yes.’ How many young people get that sort of opportunity? And once I realized that, my nervousness turned into pure passion and enthusiasm and I was able to just flow through my talk and enjoy the moment. I got to the end feeling incredible.”

With the theme of the event being “The Crazy Ones,” Marian says she’s proud of the “crazy” person she’s become. “I’ve really come into my own since entering Bryn Mawr. Though I never really lacked self-confidence before, I feel like I’ve really learned to be proud of the person I am — weirdness and craziness included.”

Marian also gives credit to the Shakespeare Performance Troupe, where acting taught her to confidently convey her message to the audience. However, prior to the day of the presentation, she developed viral laryngitis. Marian lost her voice completely for six days, only regaining it the morning of the presentation. “It was a miracle! And also one of the most stressful things I’ve ever had to deal with,” she says.

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