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TEDx WOMEN’S CONFERENCE: Preparing for my TEDx Talk

This phase of the process finds me juggling uncertainty. Someone should really write a book about that or do a talk on that topic. Ah, ironically, I am!

I had a plan. I had lined up days to work on shortening my talk, writing this blog and doing a video run-through. But the phone rang several times, and instead, I found myself heading back home to help my parents arrange hospice for my 97-year-old grandmother, working out kinks in my book production, and throwing plans out the window. You might say some fog rolled in.

Since then, I’ve gotten busy whittling away at my talk content. It had to be shortened. So, I told myself I was a sculptor, taking away pieces of clay to unveil a work of art yet to be revealed. I tried portions of it out on a life audience and learned what didn’t work. I crossed out, moved content, and morphed it into a very different version of itself. I recorded this new version on my phone to see what didn’t feel natural or where I stumbled. I made more adjustments. And I began to relax a bit. No doubt, refining will continue as I try to dance this talk in under the 8-minute limbo bar.

I also attended the PA Women’s Conference in Philadelphia and had the thrill of hearing Brene Brown, Michelle Obama, Shawn Achor, and Shonda Rhimes speak. I paid attention differently. Why did I really connect with Brene? How did a former First Lady manage to be so credible and yet feel like my BFF at the same time? How did Shawn infuse humor so beautifully into his speech? And where did Shonda get that dress? I came home both daunted and inspired.

It was time to practice. So, I divided my speech into segments. I then increased the font size on my Word document and printed each segment. I taped them to the wall because I’m very visual and will benefit from this visual roadmap, especially since I’m not using Powerpoints to guide me. I then dragged a round brown carpet into my living room and rolled video—realizing that in less than a month, that carpet will be red!

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