How being quiet can speak volumes | Dr Andrea Khong | TEDxMaldonWomen | Summary and Q&A

November 7, 2023
TEDx Talks
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How being quiet can speak volumes | Dr Andrea Khong | TEDxMaldonWomen


Many introverts struggle with finding the right words to speak up, but embracing quietness can lead to meaningful connections and contributions.

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Key Insights

  • 🤭 Embracing one's quiet nature can lead to meaningful connections and contributions.
  • 💨 Active listening and empathizing are powerful ways to engage with others and make an impact.
  • ❓ Communication skills are essential for professional success, even for introverts in professions traditionally associated with less human interaction.
  • 💨 Identifying with certain words or labels, such as introvert or shy, can limit one's potential. Embracing these qualities can empower individuals to find their own unique ways of contributing.
  • đŸĨ° Writing can be a powerful tool for introverts to make their voices heard and educate others.
  • 🛩ī¸ Small-town communities can provide opportunities for introverts to make meaningful connections and contribute to the community.
  • 😒 Words we use to define ourselves should never limit us but rather empower us to embrace our strengths.


[Applause] imagine you're sitting with a group of people perhaps you're in a work meeting with colleagues or a dinner party with friends you're listening and thinking and maybe you're not saying much but you are engaged in the conversations happening around you when suddenly someone turns to you and says are you okay how come you never say anything... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Why do some people struggle to find the right words to speak up?

Some individuals, particularly introverts, may find it challenging to articulate their thoughts and opinions in social settings due to a fear of judgment or a lack of confidence. They may also feel more comfortable listening and observing rather than speaking.

Q: How did the speaker's experience with a diabetic cat's owner change her perspective?

The owner's dedication and extensive research on her cat's condition made the speaker realize the importance of active listening. Instead of focusing on finding the right words to say, the speaker chose to listen attentively, which made a significant impact on the owner.

Q: Does being quiet mean one cannot contribute or be heard?

No, speaking up is not the only way to contribute and be heard. There are multiple ways to make meaningful contributions, such as active listening, empathizing with others, and even writing. Each person has their own unique strengths and ways of making an impact.

Q: How did writing a column in the local newspaper empower the speaker?

Writing allowed the speaker to educate not only her clients but also the community at large. It provided another avenue for her to contribute and be heard, even by people who don't have pets. Through writing, she found another way to make her voice heard and contribute to her field.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker shares her experience of being challenged for her quietness and feeling like she failed because she couldn't speak up like others.

  • As a veterinarian, she initially thought her quiet nature would be an advantage, but realized that consulting and engaging with pet owners required effective communication.

  • By listening and embracing her quiet personality, she was able to build strong relationships and make important contributions as a vet.

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