I am a big fan of TED. I love listening to many voices, speak about different topics, with real passion and drive. So many TED talks have left me feeling awed, sad, excited, curious… But always, always inspired.
So when I was asked to speak at a TEDx event to be held at Sir William Perkins School in Chertsey I should have just leaped at the chance. To stand in that red circle, to show that I have something to say. But I hesitated, anxious that I couldn’t live up to the hype, or convinced that I’d get it wrong, or mess up on the night. I know that sounds crazy, I have no problem getting up and speaking to audience, but I just had The Fear.
But in the spirit of my resolution to take more risks in 2013, I eventually said YES and started to think about my topic. Early 2013 has been rather busy, with lots of work and personal commitments…. this meant that, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to develop a totally new talk. But I did have time to present my work differently than I had before. I really wanted to step it up for TEDx.
So, on Friday 8 March 2013, on International Women’s Day, I gave my very first TEDx talk at an event whose theme was “Facing the Future” (details here)……..What an experience.
I’m so used to being the speaker at an event, or just being one voice at a conference… this TEDx event was so different. If you don’t know the ‘rules’ of TED, they’re pretty simple. You just need to have something worth saying, you can’t talk for longer than 18 mins and you shouldn’t use the platform to sell a product. I spoke on how heat is wasted in many mechanical systems, and introduced thermoelectrics to an unsuspecting audience… and I managed it using just pictures as backdrops and in 17 mins 🙂
And much more importantly, I left the event completely INSPIRED by all the other speakers. There were many highlights, but here are a few
– A police officer called Penny stood up and told us about her career which started when she was aged just 17. She made us all laugh with her innuendo-filled truncheon and talk of climbing over fences in skirts. And she made my heart stop when she told us about her battle with cancer – such honesty was remarkable to witness.
– A fifteen year old called Sophia told us about losing her dad to motor neurone disease just last year – strong is the wrong word to use for her. Courageous is probably closer. She was fantastic. She both broke my heart and made me feel proud for her mum. What a daughter to have 🙂
– A poet called Anna also wrote a poem about the evening, including words from all of the speakers, woken together with her inimitable skill. Can’t wait to see the finished product 🙂
As with all TEDx events, all the speakers were filmed….. and our videos will be online at some point in the next few weeks. I promise to be brave and post it here, on Twitter and on FB…. Thanks TEDx, you have reinvigorated me 🙂
Taking risks. That’s my 2013. And I’m loving it so far….