Ignite the night and free yourself

Srey Kumneth / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Pen Ponita, giving her five-minute presentation at the Ignite Phnom Photo: Srey Kumneth

Ignite Phnom Penh was established back in 2016 and its mission is “Everyone Speaks”.

“We believe that public speaking builds confidence in individuals and that events like Ignite build community spirit. Our goal is to make it possible for anyone, anywhere, to learn to present their ideas and their stories,” said team leader Chea Sokhy.

Ignite captures the best of geek culture in a series of five-minute speed presentations on topics ranging from Positive Thinking to Stop Body Shaming.

“Imagine that you’re on stage in front of an audience of hundreds of people, doing a five-minute presentation using a slide deck that auto-forwards every 15 seconds, whether you’re ready or not. What would you do? What would you say? Could you stand the pressure?” Ignite Phnom Penh writes on its Facebook page.

Ignite was started in Seattle in 2006 by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. Since then thousands of five-minute talks have been given across the world. There are thriving Ignite communities in Paris, London, New York City, San Francisco, Sydney, Seoul and over 350 other cities and locations all around the world.

One of the speakers at an Ignite Phnom Penh event last Sunday at Cambodia-Korea Cooperation Centre, was Pen Ponita, a Business Administration student at the Institute of Foreign Languages.

She addressed the issue on “Stop Body Shaming” in a talk titled “This is Me Giving Up.”

“I always had an inferiority complex, thinking that I was a fat, ugly and unhealthy person,” she told the audience.

“My outer appearance could never define who I am as a person and I gave up on trying to be pretty for anyone else but myself,” Ponita said with emotion.

“I gave up on giving power to other people’s opinions. And I gave up on hating myself.”

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