Being A Tedx Speaker
Ted Talks, over time, have come to be known for their immense contribution to a thinking society. People often turn to Ted Talks to find inspiration, to listen to people who have a deep and unique perspective on life. As someone who is himself an ardent admirer of the organization, when I was recently asked to deliver my own Ted Talk, the invitation solicited a surprising mix of feelings in me!
First, I felt hugely validated. Having shifted career paths dramatically in my mid-30s, going from being in the Media Industry to Teaching, with absolutely no academic or professional background in the latter; that an organization such as Ted would reach out and ask me to deliver a talk, automatically meant that the past six years of relentless teaching, and extensive writing on Communication Skills, Education in general, and Parenting, had not only made an impact but was starting to be noticed, acknowledged. To me, the invite for a Ted Talk serves as one of my biggest rewards.
However, after that initial gush and rush of adrenalin, disbelief, acceptance, and pride – what hit me almost instantly was – what do I talk about! If I were to draw an analogy, it’s like that one time you’re asked to make an award-acceptance speech and you don’t want to mess it up. The stakes here, however, were even higher, much much higher. See in an awards-speech, no one is expecting you to provoke thought, inspire thought, serve as an example to bring about change. At a Ted Talk that is specifically addressing children (since I was going to deliver the Ted Talk to kids at a school), it HAD to be inspirational, yet simple. Meaningful, yet not preachy. Have gravitas, yet not be boring. And really put out a strong message delivered through real, personal examples from my own life. Hence, my nervous anticipation!
Anyway, I calmed myself and thought things through. The great thing about Ted Events is that they assign a theme. The theme was simply, The Future You. And under that broad theme, there were more specific manifestations of that theme that one could adopt. Kudos to the wonderfully curated talks I was able to construct my speech around three distinct incidents from my own life, that, hopefully, inspired the student-audience, and subsequently, the online audience (which is yet to view the video as it is not uploaded yet), to really evaluate their own strengths and passions in relation to their respective future-selves.
The event itself was meticulously organized, faultlessly executed. And though I had, despite having delivered countless lectures and speeches across India, butterflies when I got on to the stage, they dissipated as I got into the meat of my talk.
It was an absolutely terrific experience and one that I will remember fondly, forever!
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.