If you’re ever going to give a TEDx Talk, it will consume your life, especially the closer you get. I seriously thought that I’m such a good speaker, I’d just saunter in day-of, give the speech, and that would be that. I’m an idiot.
I applied for this talk with TEDxHartford back in February, did a round of interviews in April and got the good news on May 1. In early June, there was a virtual meeting for the organizers and I was teamed up with my coach a couple weeks later. Since then, it’s been writing, rewriting, practicing, cutting, practicing, adding, subtracting, practicing, rinse, wash, repeat. At this point, I’m practicing 2-3 days per week through Zoom. I’m also doing the “in front of the mirror” bit at least once per day. The last time I practiced a speech this much was the time in 2013 I gave the commencement address for the largest high school in Maine. If you’re so inclined, that speech is below:
I think that speech went well. This actually shows a functional alcoholic. I was sobering up at the time, but three hours earlier, I had a handful of beers before I went to give this speech.
The Big Event Grows Near
A confession: I’m not an avid TED Talk watcher. My daughter loves going through them on YouTube. My attention span usually leaves my mind wandering. I’m left, like in church, or anywhere someone talks for 10 minutes, wondering what was said. Since I have been awarded the talk, I’ve watched exactly three. The one my coach gave a few years ago, a funny one that he linked me to that mocked the process and one by a woman I’ll be working with soon who has nearly 750K views of one of her speeches when I looked at it.
This past weekend, we had our first full-scale rehearsal. I was a little apprehensive about sitting through three hours of TEDx Talks and then trying to give feedback. Thankfully, most of them were very good. A couple were great. I was apprehensive of urging people who follow me to watch the whole event if it wasn’t going to be great, but I’m guessing some of the very good ones will become great and a couple of the great ones will become phenomenal. I’ll reserve judgment of mine. Response was a mixture of shock, awe and being impressed with my bravery to tell my story — all things regular readers of this blog have long got over 🙂
Here’s the motley crew of organizers and speakers on our call yesterday:
I’m still trying to figure what I’m going to wear for an outfit. They said my flowered cowboy shirt has too much bright white. Good thing I have others. My TEDx Talk will not be denied!
See All My Hard Work
Anyway, I want to urge you to consider jumping online Sunday, December 6, and check out these TEDx Talks, including mine. Here on the east coast, the “pre-show” starts at 5 p.m, which will include interviews with some of the speakers, organizers talking about how to apply for talks and other interesting TEDx-related topics. At 6 p.m., the talks begin. I will not know until day-of where I am in the order. I will try to post something here, or on my other social media, letting people know when to expect me. However, like I said, I think you’ll like the entire program. With seven speakers, and none of us allowed to go over 15 minutes, math dictates we should be done by 8 p.m. Again, all EST times. Adjust accordingly.
There is no charge to watch the event online, unless you want to make a donation, but you do need tickets in advance. From what I’ve been told, when you sign up, you also indicate who you’re most interested in hearing. Obviously, please pick me. By December 3, you’ll get a link to follow on the day of the event.
If you’d like to know more about the event itself from the organizers and want a rundown of the topics of everyone’s speeches, I urge you to take a look at this press release:
The release explains the subtle different between TED Talk and TEDx Talk. It’s about the organizers.
So, please, go ahead and click on this link TEDxHartford and click on Buy Tickets. Thank you.
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