I gave my first TEDx (x= independently organized) talk on Saturday, October 24th at St. Edward’s University in Austin. What an incredible experience.
I have wanted to give a TED talk for a long time. It has been a business goal and bucket list item for many years. Having applied once before and been rejected, I was afraid to apply again. One of my best friends found this opportunity and recommended me. This time I was accepted, and I was simultaneously ecstatic and terrified. This was the shot I’d been waiting for. The challenge was that I’d only been given a little over a week to prepare. Ouch!
PRACTICE MAKES PANIC!
I’ve been doing this long enough to know that a good speech takes work, and a great speech takes a LOT of work. If this was going to be successful it simply had to be great. It meant writing, declaring it crappy, tossing it, re-writing, practicing every chance I got, meeting with my coach, sleeping, eating, and breathing TEDx, all while traveling and doing speaking engagements. It was hard to keep everything straight and panic began to set in.
There came a moment when I literally had a conversation with myself. “Ok, quit freaking out. You have to choose what this experience will look like. You want to look back and remember a positive experience that ends with you being energized and proud of the accomplishment.“
So, more practicing. And practicing. And practicing. Until finally, there was nothing more I could do but NOT practice.
IT’S SHOW TIME!
I went to the staging area to get mic’d up, stared at that famous, small piece of red carpet in front of me, took a huge deep breath, and walked out. I’ve been speaking professionally for 20 years, and I cannot remember the last time I felt this nervous.
I said the last line of the speech, and the audience applauded, and then they stood up! People began to cry, laugh, and come up and hug me. It was one of those moments I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
My presentation was titled “Find Your Courage”. Rather ironic since I’d been so afraid. It’s funny that it took writing a speech on courage to find mine. Here’s the thing about courage, in order to find it, you have to go through being insecure and uncomfortable to get it. Courage means being afraid and doing it anyway.
We have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. It’s the only way we truly grow.
Don’t let fear hold you back. What have you always wanted to do, but have been afraid to try? What is one thing you can do this week to get out of your comfort zone?
Want to See It?
Me too! I still don’t have a video yet, but you can be sure I’ll send the link to the presentation as soon as I have it!