‘Warm, down-to-earth, very funny’: Corinna Lim on sharing stage with Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama speaks with Corinna Lim on Saturday in Singapore. Photo: Corinna Lim/Facebook
Michelle Obama speaks with Corinna Lim on Saturday in Singapore. Photo: Corinna Lim/Facebook

Michelle Obama did not disappoint Singaporeans, including interviewer Corinna Lim, who sat down and interviewed the former U.S. first lady Saturday at the Singapore Expo.

Not one but both Obamas, who have been touring Asia, were in town giving separate talks, with Barack speaking at a Ritz-Carlton charity gala, while his wife talked with the top advocate for women’s rights about her personal and public life as she shared pearls of wisdom.

It was a huge honor for me to be chosen to host the event. Michelle Obama is one of the most admired persons of all time, and an inspiration for girls and women the world over,” Lim, 45, recounted in a post yesterday. “It was challenging as I had not done show-host interviewing before. But I was game.”

There were 3,500 in the audience, she said.

Lim is the executive director of the Association of Women for Action and Research, or AWARE, and has been championing causes including those related to domestic violence and support for older women. Now, she can add Saturday’s event to her list of milestones.

According to her personal account, Lim only had three minutes with Obama backstage, during which the duo hugged and Obama told her how she had “enjoyed” listening to Lim introducing her to the audience.

Obama also seemed very easy to talk to, Lim said.

“Michelle Obama was warm, down-to-earth, very funny, charming and wise. She has great presence but does not dominate and has a great way of connecting with the audience and me at the same time,” Lim said. “The questions worked fantastically well. She just flowed with it and left us with many nuggets of wisdom.” 

Obama told the audience not to “box-check through life,” to “give children a voice at the table,” and to be “empathetic, kind and a decent human being,” according to a separate post by Lim’s AWARE colleague Wyn Goh on LinkedIn.

But Lim’s favorite part of the evening was hearing Obama’s response to the question on what keeps her hopeful.

“What keeps me optimistic is young people… We don’t have a choice but to be optimistic for them. Many young people all over the world are working hard to make things better.” Lim quoted her as saying.

“They can’t afford for us to ball up and wring our hands. These may feel like dark times, but we’ve had worse times [in America]… If we think about what we’ve overcome, we don’t have a reason to complain. We have a reason to work.” 

People who attended the event, hosted by The Growth Faculty, seemed in awe of the Becoming author. 

“@MichelleObama I love you! Thank you for sharing your amazing life story and inspiring all of us to become! Enjoy #Singapore and hope to meet someday! @BarackObama Not sure how you’re going to top Michelle’s performance!” @Muloongo wrote on Twitter.

“Thanks for being such an inspiration, Michelle Obama… So much positivity and words of wisdom listening from the fantastic and inspiring lady name Michelle Obama.” Instagram user @Stevewee wrote.



Obama’s better half Michelle to join husband in Singapore, talk about her life

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