It is just about one more week to go until the big day on 27 January. We are talking to Rutger Mollee, Host of the Day, who is busily making preparations working from his home in Santpoort. Every speaker has called him personally to ensure the ‘juicy details’ of their talk has been sufficiently communicated. “I want to be able to present each speaker in a way so that the audience will be on the edge of their seats and thinking ‘Yes, we’ve got to hear this, how will this story end?’”.
Mollee is no stranger to TEDx and from his agency Speak to Inspire he often supplies the hosting and presentation coaching services for TEDx’s in such places as Leiden and Haarlem. He loves a good story and an especially good storyteller. “TEDx is a beautiful concept. People are often transfixed by story, a tale, a journey – and that’s how it’s been for centuries. It’s a great tradition to sit around a fire and share stories. Nowadays we are housed in a lecture theatre, however the basic idea is the same.”
What’s his connection to the Sittard-Geleen region? That appears to be a question of conscience. Three times a year he comes here to cycle and his ‘meisje’ speaks with ‘een zachte G’. He’s performed before in this theatrical space, so this is familiar territory for him.
Mollee is quite looking forward to the event. He feels that giving people the opportunity to shine on stage is the best thing ever. However, it’s also up to him to keep the audience engaged between presenters. “Paying attention for a whole day saps your energy levels”. Ensuring that the whole audience’s eyes don’t glaze over, that’s a challenge that this experienced Host of the Day gladly accepts. Mollee is well aware that after five or so presentations one’s concentration is already on the decrease. This has nothing to do with the content, but just how the human brain works.
Rutger Mollee is known for his humour and creativity. In 2014 he was a finalist in the annual Host of the Day competition. One would think that he is then often asked to stand in the spotlight, however that is not the case. The Host of the Day is expected to shine the light on the featured speakers, and not oneself. Any applause he could garner for himself would be from his secondary skills nurtured by appearances as a comedian with Goeroes Zonder Grenzen and De SPELD Live as well as being a trainer at More Balls Than Most. Give Mollee a ball or another object to juggle and you get an unprecedented live performance on the spot.
Could we expect magic tricks or a comedic performance at TEDx Sittard-Geleen? Most likely not; however, you never know. “I’ll see what the room needs at that moment”. Upon hearing the theme for this TEDx: ‘Be Bright Together’ all sorts of bells started to ring for Mollee. Thoughts of mini speed dates in the session breaks, audience interaction in the room itself came into his mind. “I was immediately reminded of the saying: ‘alleen ga je sneller, samen kom je verder’ (alone I travel faster, together we travel further). I want the audience to get to know each other that day. That’s my aim and I’ll be concocting all sorts of fun challenges to achieve it”.
Our Host of the Day hopes that everyone who’s coming to TEDx knows that you’re not just there to sit and listen, that it’s important that you contribute in some way too. It doesn’t have to be too complicated. “If you see someone standing on their own in a break, go over and introduce yourself. We’re quick to assume that we have nothing in common, however there’s always a way to connect with each other. That’s what I am there to help you with. I’m looking forward to a fantastic day. Tot ziens! See you on the 27th!”
More about Rutger? Find his speaker page here.