FHC Inspires 2023 Q&As: Autumn Vansolkema

Position: Speaker

Title: “The Impact of Handwritten Letters”

Why did you apply to be a speaker?

“I don’t like public speaking, but I think that would be a really cool experience, and I think it was more fun to write the talk [since] you were talking to adults instead of kids. I think my talk is decent, and it can inspire people to write and change lives because writing my letters has gained some of my closest relationships.”

How are you feeling about speaking at FHC Inspires?

“[I’m going] last, so I’m really scared because I have to close the whole show.”

What was the process of perfecting your speech?

“I typed up a little script, so I know what I’m going to say. Then, [I] read it over and over again in [my] head, and then I slowly start to do it with [my] slides and get to practice, get more comfortable with it, and start adding inflection and gestures.”

What does your message mean to you, and what should it mean to the audience?

“Now, a lot of people are texting and emailing, which is fine, but if you take the time to write a handwritten letter, you’ll feel so much love, gratitude, and appreciation for the person, and they’ll feel the same [because] you thought of them like that. So, my goal is [to inspire] people can start writing letters again.”

Did you ever see yourself speaking at FHC Inspires? 

“When he said ‘TED Talks’ and showed us, I’m like, ‘I’m not doing that.’ But then, here I am.”

Does your Google slide presentation reflect your topic?

“The background is nice lined paper, and it’s blue and matches my dress. The background is the color of what I’m wearing, and it shows the topic with the lines.”

What’s the best time of day and why? 

“Golden hour because it’s starting to cool down. So, in the summer, it’s not insanely hot. It’s just getting a little bit cooler and still warm, and then the lighting is so pretty. When [the] sun sets, that time of day is so pretty.”

What’s something you can’t live without?

“Music, family, and friends. Music just makes life so much happier. Belting or dancing to a song is really fun. And then, [for] your family, you need good people in your life to make you thrive.”

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