What I learned from doing a TEDx Talk
If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would stand on a stage in front of hundreds of people and do a TedX Talk, I would have laughed and laughed …and LAUGHED. Despite doing numerous daytime TV cooking demos for our local stations, the truth is I am pretty petrified with public speaking. I’m a naturally shy person, so every time I do something like this I have to consciously prepare and be extra engaged so I come across interested on camera. See I’ve been a fan of Ted Talks for so long, I love watching them and sending some particular favorite ones to friends when you just need a certain pick me up or are interested in a subject. I’ve always looked up to these individuals who can stand up there on the red dot and speak with authority and are engaging for 15 ish minutes.
Some things I learned from the process…
you have to have a clear message…
If you don’t have a clear message, a one sentence stance on what you truly believe or know, things can get pretty hazy as you write out your one speech. Also, make sure it is something you truly believe and know to be true and are passionate about. My TedX talk was called “connection through comida” I wanted to explain that food is one of the most powerful means of memories, communication, and love, it’s much more than just some ingredients plopped on a plate and our culture should evolve to treat is as such.
you must Practice, Practice, Practice
I had no idea the months, yes I said MONTHS of practice that you need to do just to get ready to stand on that red dot and give your speech. Not only do you spend a month or more honing in on your topic and editing, editing, and editing, but then you have to practice by yourself, practice with others, and practice with a coach.
One thing that I absolutely hate is watching myself back on video… cringe, cringe, cringe.. do I really sound like that, do i do really give that look? ugh, but I once had a coach that made me watch myself and it truly does help… I urge anyone who has to do any sort of speaking engagement or interview to film yourself, you will improve so much from watching yourself practice.
Listen to Critique, especially from your coach
Critique is hard for anyone, especially when you’re spending so much time dedicated to something. You are emotionally invested, so when someone has “opinions” you may want to take them personally. My advice is to get a coach that you trust, that can be anyone, it can be a friend or family member, although I didn’t want to put a family member through that, I wanted an unbiased opinion that I wouldn’t get offended by, so I hired someone to be this role. Also, set up small practices where you can do your talk in front of small groups, do this at least once a week if not more, trust me, it will help your nerves subside.
WHEN IT’S TIME TO GO, JUST GO
I had a little help from my friend Tequila, actually almost everyone that went up there had a little something, something, right before they went on, that’s just the inside scoop, but it actually did calm my nerves :) But really, with all of the practice and rehearsals, you will be more prepared than anything you’ve ever done before so just trust in all of the work you’ve put in and you will be fine.
a few pictures from behind the scenes….
Melissa, one of my coaches !