TYL #16: How to Give a Great TEDx Talk (Even When You’re Terrified)

Written by on 24 May 2016

Your palms are sweaty.

Your heart is racing.

Your mind feels blank.

You have a vague concern that your underwear might be on the outside of your clothing, and you're really not sure why.


Yes, friend, we've all been there.


These are the tell-tale signs of the anxiety that most people feel when they approach what is now officially the scariest thing a human being can do:


Speak. In. Public.




Have you ever set out to do something scary, say speak in public, write a poem, tell someone you love them, and wondered, "Does anyone else FEEL like this?!"


I know I have!


So I used the podcast this week to open the kimono on one of the most personally terrifying and simultaneously gratifying things I've ever had the honor of doing in my life-- giving my very first TEDx Talk.


Just a few days ago, Friday May 20th, to be exact, I stood on stage and delivered the most well-prepared 18 minutes of my entire life. In one moment it felt like I'd only been standing there for 30 seconds. In the next moment, I could have sworn I'd been on stage for 30 minutes. My life flashed before my eyes. I felt vaguely hungry.


At one point, I exited my body and watched myself giving the talk of a lifetime.


Ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration.


Either way, I completely understand what it feels like to be nervous and excited at the same time, and I wanted to record myself feeling terrified and relieved so that you know that even those of us who do this stuff for a living go through the paces... just like you.


This episode is awesome for you if you've ever wondered what it takes to apply for, prepare for, and actually deliver a TED or TEDx talk. It's also great if you just want to hear someone's honest experience of going through something so scary and so gratifying that it often caused me to question my sanity and my motivations. In all seriousness, this episode is a great testament to the fact that we all struggle, we all fell nervous, and we can all believe that there is light and life at the end of the tunnel.


Without any further ado, please enjoy my preparing for, celebrating after, and actually delivering my very first TEDx talk. Enjoy!



Play by play:

1:00 Welcome to my TEDx experience

3:30 Friday afternoon right before the speech

17:30 Saturday morning after the speech

28:00 My TEDx Talk!

44:40 Hope you enjoyed my struggle

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