DUBAI // A tattooed life coach and a branding expert have been selected as the people's choice speakers for the TEDxDubai conference.
Loy Machedo and Ali Amarsy were among more than a dozen people who pitched their ideas at last month's Talent Search session at the Pavilion art centre near the Burj Khalifa. Their minute-long presentations were recorded on video and the clips, along with 14 others, were put on Facebook.
Members of the public then voted for their favourite pitches by clicking the "like" button, and Dubai residents Mr Machedo and Mr Amarsy won the contest by securing the largest numbers of likes.
They will join 12 other speakers, who are being selected by the organisers, at the conference.
The Indian-born Mr Machedo, whose tattoos cover much of his body and extend onto his head and face, received 5,415 likes for his pitch called "Stone of judgement: how we judge others when fear and prejudice takes over hearts and souls."
He said he was particularly pleased to have been chosen by the public, but added: "It gives me a kind of responsibility that I have to do a good job and give them a worthwhile message. My whole message is, don't judge someone before you even get to know them."
Mr Amarsy, originally from India, is a senior strategic planner at the advertising agency Leo Burnett. He received 1,637 likes for his presentation called "What I've learnt from seduction".
TEDxDubai, a lecture series inspired by TED talks in the US, will be held on October 22 at Sheikh Saeed Halls in the Dubai World Trade Centre.