So on September 28th, I did one of the craziest things I have ever done in my life, I did a Ted Talk.
Before I get into my experience I want to share this one with you. This talk was shared with me a week before my own. The message spoke to me about doing things that make you happy. More importantly it spoke to me about keeping what is important infront of you and being in that moment. It is so easy as a teacher to get caught up in the busy-ness of school that we forget what matters. I also loved it because if you are afraid of doing something I would encourage you to embrace and go for it. Have a listen:
I started off the post by saying that this has been the craziest thing I think I have ever done and it is true. Sharing my story not only in front of a live audience of 1500 people but also having it for the world to see is quite frightening. But this has been a really great experience.
The process started in April, almost 5 months before I actually went on stage. I have always wanted to do a Ted talk but never felt worthy enough or felt like I had something to say. However, my journey with Izzy has changed a lot of that. If you have been reading my posts you know that lately have been centered around her and the struggles we have been through.
She has been one of the greatest influences on me as an educator
And so my journey to do a Ted talk began. As soon as I was chosen the TedxKitchener team got to work on mentoring and helping. There was deadlines that at first didn’t seem close but it is amazing how fast they come up. Our first deadline was getting a script ready so we could have a mentor critic and offer advice. I really valued this process as it allowed an unobjective person to see my thought process. Was it clear? Did it accomplish my goals? What biases did I have? My mentors were amazing and helped so much with the process.
Once this was cleared it was time to practise. I think this was the most daunting task for me. We were told that our speech should be rehearsed enough so it was like singing happy birthday. We were told numerous strategies:
- Listen to it in the car
- Practise while doing exercise
- Read it over
- Practise in front of people
But to be honest, none of these really worked. In fact, I found this part to be the most daunting. I didn’t know how I was going to do this. I read it over, I would listen to it, I even ran and listened but nothing seemed to help me. I didn’t want to share with people as I didn’t feel comfortable with what I was saying. All I could do was just keep reading. Well two weeks before the event I still didn’t have it memorized but decided to do my best and bite the bullet. I printed off a list of the important points that I wanted to talk about next to the full script (almost like my coles notes). I then just went at it every day for about an hour. Every morning I would run I would still listen to it. At e-breaks I went for walks and would talk to myself (I am sure many people thought I was nuts). On my planning I would talk to a screen (which I am sure my teaching partner thought I was nuts). But by the end I had it memorized (nothing like last minute to make you learn).
This though did not stop the nerves. Just before I went on stage I was pacing back and forth
I could see the crowd filling in. 500 educators and 1000 students from all over Canada where coming to see people do amazing talks.
and then this happened…… (click to hear)
It felt like a rock concert or the intros to WWE. The energy was amazing. I felt myself getting pumped up. I was jumping up and down behind stage and then the MC introduces me and out I went. The rest is History.
Tedx was one of the coolest experiences that I have ever done. To be able to share my story about Izzy and that all children want to matter was remarkable. I wish I had the video to share but it will be up soon.
In the end, Tedx might not be for you but we all have something we want to achieve but are too afraid to do it. Don’t hold back, run towards it and enjoy the experience.
I want to thank the Tedx committee for letting me experience that. Stay tuned for the video when it is edited.
Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK1EmMg95tI