My TEDxBloomingtonWomen Debut
I have always been a goal driven and ambitious woman and my aspiration to give a TED talk has not been kept secret. I became more focused on achieving this goal 3 years ago when I attended my first TEDWomen event in New Orleans. TEDWomen is part of the TED enterprise. This thematic event has been going for 10 years strong and showcases women speakers (and some men) with topics and themes that are particularly relevant to women around the world.
The TED experience has profoundly impacted the way I view the world. You may not know that in addition to curating the speakers through a rigorous audition process, the audience is also selected after an application process to ensure cognitive diversity and representation globally. I was honored to make the cut!
TED talks via video have long been a source to quench my intellectual curiosity and a way for me to learn and to be inspired by others sharing great ideas. From Amy Cuddy’s now iconic power pose to Brenè Brown, whose 2010 TEDx talk in Houston about vulnerability catapulted her to become a household name and the definitive research authority on shame.
I first auditioned for TED 3 years ago and along with thousands of others, I submitted my 60 second video (videos over 60 seconds are disqualified) hoping to be called back for a live audition in New York City. I crafted my pitch, shared it with my focus group of friends and colleagues for feedback and sent it off eagerly waiting to hear back.
While that initial audition video did not lead to a TED talk, it did introduce me to the TEDx arena.
TEDx brings the spirit of TED’s mission of ideas worth spreading to local communities around the globe. TEDx events are organized by curious individuals who seek to discover ideas and spark conversations in their own community. TEDx events include live speakers and recorded TED Talks and are organized independently under a free license granted by TED.
With over 1,000 TEDx locations around the world, I set my sights on this entry point into the TED speaking realm. I auditioned for TEDxBloomingtonWomen in May 2019, and offered the opportunity to speak at the December 2019 event in Bloomington, IN – 8 weeks ago.
The dream had become a reality and for 2 months I worked intensely with TEDx coaches to hone my talk and pare it down to “one great idea worth sharing” – the TED philosophy. The time limit for all TED talks is 18 minutes or less and my coaches encouraged me to shoot for less since the human attention span is shrinking fast.
The TEDxBloomingtonWomen event was held last week to a sold out and supportive crowd. I was truly grateful to have a cheering section in the live audience and around the world virtually. My talk was about reframing failure and defining success on your terms as told through the experience of my first career as an opera singer.
My official TEDx video will be released in January and I’ll share it widely. I’m still a bit numb from the exhilarating experience of presenting a TEDx talk. The preparation was rigorous, and the TED village comes out in full force to help those selected to speak.
Now that I am an official TEDster, (Googlers don’t sound nearly as cool now) I am eager to pay it forward and help others navigate this journey. The TED community is dedicated to sharing great ideas and all of my encounters with TED and TEDx were distilled down to the simple reality – people wanting to change the world for the better. That’s the company I want to keep.
Let me know how I can pay-it-forward and help you navigate TED if you want to share your great idea with the world.