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TEDx is all about spreading ideas
but what if you had an idea and you wanted to communicate it
with the person sitting next to you,
but you knew when you opened your mouth, the words wouldn't come out.
It might sound like I'm quoting the lyrical genius rapper, Eminem.
But no. This is how you might feel when you're nervous, shy,
scared, embarrassed, or just flat uncomfortable.
For people that have a speech impediment,
this is how they feel all the time before they are about to speak.
I was born in Tabriz, Iran, which is on the northern side of Iran,
close to the borders of Azerbaijan.
Now, in Tabriz, the language Azari is also spoken
but it's also the native language of Azerbaijan.
I grew up in a household where Azari was spoken at home,
and I was exposed to Turkish in various forms of media,
and Farsi everywhere else,
because it's the most commonly spoken language in Iran.
Now, with being exposed to these three languages
my family created its own hybrid language which consisted of these three languages
so we would say words that would mean the same thing
but would be easier to say.
So for words that meant the same thing but only had two syllables,
compared to a word that had three syllables,
I would say the word that had two syllables. Pretty simple.
But I did that more than my parents and the reason I did this
wasn't because it was easier, I just couldn't say it.
So I would substitute with easier words to say this.
I had a speaking problem at that time but it wasn't apparent.
People just assumed I was going through my baby talk phase
but I wasn't.
When I moved to America in '96, this all changed.
I got introduced to English.
This language is not like none of those three.
(Laughter)
There's no overlap. The sounds are different.
It's a complete new world.
The only person that speaks English in my household is the TV.
(Laughter)
My dad came here before so he was my role model.
I looked up to him because he could speak it the best.
When it came to me, staying at home, I just watched TV
grasped a little bit of English here and there,
But I didn't really speak it.
I was embarrassed to speak it because I couldn't speak it.
But this became obvious through my lack of speaking.
I used to speak through my body language.
If I wanted to talk, I used to act it out, like charades.
I used to read your body language in return.
Now, my charades phase, as my parents called it,
became evident when I was in preschool,
because in preschool, there is a moment
which my parents would never let me live down.
The teacher had even called my parents and told them to come in the class.
The teacher has reading time and during reading time,
the teacher sits in her rocking chair, rocks back and forth, reads her book,
and makes all of us sit, criss-cross, apple sauce,
on the carpet, listening to her.
There are two problems here.
I can't read your body language when you're just rocking back and forth,
and I don't understand English.
As a toddler, I can only listen for so long before I get bored,
and when I get bored
I was combing this girl's hair in front of me, like a Persian cat!
(Laughter)
There's two things I'm confused about
besides what the teacher was speaking, if the girl liked me back,
because it was apparent from my body language I liked her,
but that's a whole different talk in a whole different language.
(Laughter)
As times goes on, I go into elementary school.
In elementary school it became more evident
that I had trouble speaking so I went to see a therapist,
a speech therapist.
We worked together to pinpoint areas where I struggled,
and at one point,
I thought it was the entire alphabet I struggled with.
I figured it out. It was CH, C, S, TH, Ts. I'm going to stop there.
(Laughter)
So we worked on sounds but then we worked on phrases.
Phrases were especially difficult
because I just said words as he told me to say
but I knew I couldn't say them, and she knew that too, which was bad.
So we worked with these phrases but they were like tongue-twisters.
You know the tongue-twister in English: Sally sells... Come on, say it with me.
Audience: Sally sells seashells on the seashore.
I never really learnt that but that's not the point.
(Laughter)
She made me say this but I never couldn't say it so I would go home
where she told me to practice this, but I wouldn't.
I would go home and go to my best friend: the Thesaurus.
Because they had the answer to what I lacked.
The words I could say but meant the same thing.
So that exact same thing you said, that's how I feel when I was speaking English.
So I substituted that. It became: Sally hustles seashells on the beach.
(Laughter)
(Applause)
You get the gist but it doesn't really sound the same.
That's still how I speak now.
I use that word a lot so if you are near me
you can hear: hustle hustle hustle.
Why doesn't this kid ever say the word sell?
That's the reason why.
I got teased while I was going to school
because I used to talk like this growing up.
This put me in a state of isolation
but inside this isolation is where I found my passion.
This passion was running.
When I ran in elementary school,
I didn't have to talk and no one talked to me.
It was my safe area.
When I ran, there was something I was running away from:
the problem at hand.
But I enjoyed running so in my fifth grade,
my school put on a prize.
Whoever ran the most miles gets the prize.
And I thought subconsciously:
if I run the most miles, I will get the prize
and I will earn the respect of these kids that tease me.
Well, I ran the most miles, I got the prize, I got some respect
but that didn't change my speaking.
I was running away from the problem.
It wasn't until high school when someone said:
Aslan, if you want to be successful you have to get out of the comfort zone.
And I did that exact thing.
But what happened is that my flaws where being exploited
so when I spoke, I failed, and people laughed;
but the laughter for once didn't stop me. It kept me going.
The laughter motivated me.
Because I knew that when I laughed with them
I was connecting with them.
That connection was something I've wanted all my life.
So I failed, failed, failed, I connected, connected, connected
and this is where the Hello World moment hit me.
This is the part where my weakness becomes a strength.
Now I wanted to take my flaws, getting up my comfort zone to a new level.
So a person that can't speak English very well
takes a job selling.
So in my first job, I started selling pool supplies.
I went from being a SOI employee
within three months I have some of the highest units sold.
So I wanted to do this again, so I started selling cars.
I don't look like a typical car salesman
but I had a huge running curve to go through.
I wasn't the loudest one at the car dealership
but I did talk the most.
If you go back to the dealership and asked: who talked the most?
Without skipping a beat, everyone there would say my name.
And from this process, of this continuing with these flaws,
with this getting out of my comfort zone
even standing up here getting out of my comfort zone,
I've realized that something that I viewed as a weakness,
something I avoided, something I've been running away from,
I hit it straightforward.
I solved that problem by turning that weakness into a strength.
Then I turned it into an asset by capitalizing on it,
by seeing what I could do with it.
Putting me in a position where I had to do that, and face it.
Through this process, I've turned that weakness into a passion.
I love talking, any time you see me I'm probably talking.
(Laughter)
I'm going to leave you with this:
Speak loudly, speak proudly and get out of your comfort zone.
Thank you.
(Applause)
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載入中…

【TEDx】克服演說時的失序 Finding your voice by overcoming speech disorders: Aslan Maleki at TEDxOU

21658 分類 收藏
林岳霆 發佈於 2017 年 9 月 23 日    Wendy Liaw 翻譯    Mandy Lin 審核
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