Monday, December 21, 2020

Lessons Learned from Getting to Give a TED Talk


As a speaker and performance coach, delivering a TED Talk (Technology Entertainment Design Talk), is a goal and a dream combined. (Click HERE to watch it)

I was fortunate to be asked to share a TED Talk first as a replacement for Tony Dungy (yes, that Tony Dungy) two days before an event for MacDill Air Force Base called LIFTx. I was not insulted at not being the first choice, rather thrilled to fill in. The talk was called "You, Magnificent You!". Some of you have seen it. It was wonderful to share, and while that feed did not go to the full TED organization, it was a goal achieved, and a dream come true - plus, getting to share with those who serve our country, made it THAT much more special.

Even so, I was not able to get the message out to many more in a way that would be fulfilling to give people the ideas and convey the desire to increase people's confidence and self-love.

Then, along came Beth Socoski and TEDx Westshore with an invitation last year to deliver a full TEDx Talk on May 1, 2020. Then it was postponed until October 30th, and then it went virtual. Beth, in her graceful and deliberate leadership, let us decide as speakers if we wanted to speak virtually (live for recording, yet without an audience) or wait until next year.

She'd been so kind to include me, I wanted to do whatever would work best for TEDx Westshore, and we agreed that was filming this year.

Less than two months after donating my kidney, I delivered, in one-take, the 12:55 TED Talk, "Who CAREs?", and the link is here, and below. The gratitude (and energy) I have for it is foundational and grounding while lifting me up to think of the opportunity seized. Here are the lessons learned from that evening in front of an audience of four:

  • Step up and take what is offered at face value, as there is value in each chance we get!
  • Practice, even if words are from your heart, honor the audience, and practice. (Thanks to Skip and Barb for letting me rehearse and grow into my CAREs talk to hone it, even though it has been a LUNDBERGism for years)
  • Give someone a surprise. I asked if Michael could join us safely, and Beth agreed to have him with the two camera operators and her. He never heard it before, and so he had the chance to be that special audience member.
  • Respect differences. Others opted to wait. I may feel different, and yet wish them the best and look forward to their TED Talks next year, too!
  • When you have the chance to inspire, speak from the heart without inspiration as your direction, rather draw on, and embrace that vulnerable sharing as your base.
  • Know that some will criticize, and they have the right to disagree and look for feedback and learning in their words (or even that heart-sinking thumbs down).
  • Be grateful for every comment and every person positively impacted. The ability to get to share is a gift, and that gift may not be one-size-fits-all, and still, it is a gift that keeps on giving, even if nobody says thank you or that they saw it! Gratitude is an attitude, and it is contagious!

From the bottom of my heart and the depths of my soul, I ask you to please share your journey and learnings, whether in a TED Talk or otherwise, as this experience is a reminder that you may not love the timing, every word you said, and yet, loving the impact beyond self is so much more important and lasting!

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