In The Spotlight: NCS Grads, Jess And Izzy

ncs 2/04/2019

The Foodbank Friendly NCS team are continuing to make us proud with their brilliant social action success. Previously, we’ve told you about their ‘priority food item labels’ initiative and how their regional scheme went nationwide. Now, with the support of TEDxExeter, it’s going global!

On Friday 5 April, Jess and Izzy will be taking to the TEDxExeter stage to tell the team’s success story as part of the ideas festival. We caught up with Jess and Izzy ahead of their big speech to find out more about their exciting journey.

Obviously you smashed it with your NCS Social Action project, what tips would you give to others developing their own ideas?

“Don’t let a bit of rejection scare you, because you often learn from your mistakes and come up with an amazing idea.” Izzy said. While Jess reminded us that, “Sometimes it’s not just about how much money you raise but raising awareness is just as good.” Izzy suggested you should “just start off with a small simple idea that has the potential to grow.” And together they explained that “sometimes the most simple ideas have the greatest impact.”

How did you deal with being interviewed for live TV? 

Izzy said, “Oh, that was scary! But it just comes down to self belief. And knowing that actually you can do it.”

“Yeah, and we felt like we’ve really done the story, we’re just sort of telling it to other people. So we’ve done the hard bit. We’re just telling everyone about it.” Jess added.

What skills might you be using when you do your Ted Talk?

Jess answered with: “Confidence. For me, a lot of confidence. Because before NCS I would not have gone on a stage in front of hundreds of people and spoke. So yeah, a lot of confidence and self-belief that I can do it.”

And Izzy added, “Probably social skills as well. In that being able to give a talk but have an actual conversation with people so it doesn’t feel staged, it just feels like it’s genuine and from the heart, because for us, this talk is that.”

How has TED helped you prepare for the talk? 

“So, from the initial meeting we had with our speaker coach and the creator of TedxExeter, they’ve been really supportive and really flexible and they’re always just at the end of the phone if we need to talk to them. And they’re just really lovely people!” Izzy told us. Jess added, “We’ve had several rehearsals, online and in person.”

What tips and tricks have they given you?

Jess responded with: “Definitely don’t doubt yourself, it’s an amazing opportunity and not everyone gets this experience so be proud of yourself, and just go for it.” 

“And if things go wrong, just keep going because the worst thing you can do is stop and tell yourself off. Because at the end of the day, the audience doesn’t know your script so just keep going if that happens.” Izzy added. 

Jess offered some extra words of support, “And always remember the audience want you to do well, they’re there to support you, they’ve paid to see you and support you, so they want you to do well.”

Your talk is just days away. How are you feeling about the big day? 

Jess said, “Very nervous...” “...But incredibly excited.” added Izzy.

What are you worried about?

“I think just messing it up, and if it goes wrong really,” admitted Izzy.

What are you most excited about?

“That moment when we walk off the stage and we’ve proved to ourselves and everyone else that we’ve done it and we can do it.” Izzy said. “And the fact that we’ll have got to share our idea with so many like-minded people and tell our story, is brilliant,” she added.

Can you share your top 5 tips for presenting?

Amazing, right? And you can watch their TEDx Talk LIVE (plus all the other great speakers) from the comfort of your own home. All you’ve got to do is register with TED for ‘The Art of Possible’ session.

Want to know how they get on? Keep an eye on the blog for more from Jess and Izzy and the rest of the team!