Sharing My Half-Baked Ideas with YNPN-TC: My Experience with 'Five Minutes in Hell'

Naaima Khan presents at \Are you planning to attend Five Minutes in Hell on October 23 at Honey? 2012 presenter, Naaima Khan, reflects on why she was thrilled to be a part of last year's event, and the rewards that came from sharing her inner musings with her nonprofit peers.

“If only nonprofit managers and staff understood how to inculcate and implement a culture of diversity and inclusion, there wouldn’t be so much conundrum and lack of action around the issue…”  There again ran my crazy, rambling thoughts as I walked from the conference venue back to my car. If only there was a call to action that would jolt nonprofits out of setting up fancy conferences to talk about diversity into action on embracing it, wouldn’t it be so nice? Such inner-promptings gave rise to many inner-monologues, which, again, gave rise to more inner-musings.

So I was bound to break out my inner musings when I heard that I would have a captive audience of the brightest young nonprofit professionals all focused on me - and all for free! That’s why I was stoked when I found out about YNPN’s Five Minutes in Hell event. It provided the perfect, low-risk opportunity for me to practice bouncing my crazy, half-baked inner rants off of some of the most cutting-edge minds in nonprofit network and see how they would fly.

Now I have to admit that I had to challenge myself to put all of my pertinent thoughts together in a cohesive, five minute presentation, but coming from a policy debate (read nerdy) background - this appealed to me tremendously! All the intensity, passion, and quintessential air of self-absorbed importance that unleashes in a debate rounds that only other seasoned debaters (read fellow nerds) could understand - all came back in a rush of nostalgia. Could performing at this event live in front of my professional, real-world peers be as thrilling as a high school debate round??

No...But I found it more thrilling in new and, dare I say, more exciting ways! After the night was over, I had learned and discovered much from my fellow performers, who delivered off-the-wall presentations on topics ranging from conflict management to stuffed baboons. I also learned about my own style of presentation, what works in messaging my ideas, and how to most effectively get my point across in a succinct way - all skills that are practical and great to build upon as you further your professional journey.

Most importantly (and much to my sheer bewilderment), I got positive feedback from a few audience members after I performed. That’s right - a few of my very own professional peers came to me after the event and connected about experiences that they had where the issue of diversity touched their lives. And this, to me, was the most valuable outcome of the whole night - to know that I connected with people and shaped how they thought about the topic of diversity. That is a truly priceless experience.

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