I love watching TED/TEDx talks. I find them really interesting and some of them are just down right captivating. If you don’t know what a TED/TEDx talk is, it’s basically a video of someone storytelling. It’s an opportunity for speakers to present an idea on a certain topic in a time span between 5 and 18 minutes.
A ‘TED’ talk is from a large conference, usually with a much larger audience in mind. A ‘TEDx’ talk is a locally organized event, put on with a more community based concept in mind under 1 general theme. It’s kind of like a TED talk multiplied with local voices.
There have been a host of topics on TED. Some are an idea or invention while others have been about beliefs or perspectives on different things. One of my favorite TEDx talks is one called “The Price Of Shame” given by Monica Lewinski. Yes, THAT Monica Lewinski. I know what you’re thinking but you might want to view it and see if it doesn’t open your eyes to that whole situation when you hear from her and how it impacted her and her family. Check it out here
When I heard about the opportunity to become a TEDx talker, I jumped at the chance. I have told my story a bunch of times in different settings but to be able to be a TEDx talker was something I never saw coming.
The library in the town in which I am a firefighter was hosting their first live TEDx event and were taking applications for speakers. The title of the program was “Embrace The Unexpected” so with the circumstances that have happened in my life, it felt like a perfect fit.
The application process was really a simple one, where I got the opportunity to tell a short version of what I would be saying in the talk. I thought it would be much easier than it actually was though. I have always talked without a time limit or really a script. Now I had 5 minutes to tell some form of my story and show them that it would make an interesting TEDx talk.
The time came for me to meet the committee and give my audition speech. They could not have made me feel more at home and comfortable. It was interesting seeing a 'behind the scenes' view of a TEDx talk.
I thought I did OK during the audition. It was really just telling a portion of how I got to this point in my life. I went home and figured that if I didn’t hear anything, then at least I did my best and I’ll let God take care of the rest.
A few months later, I got a call asking if I would like to be 1 of 4 speakers in the live TEDx event. I couldn’t get the word “ABSOLUTELY” out of my mouth fast enough.
The next several months leading up to the event consisted of writing my talk. I had never given a fully prepared speech on my life before, especially one that had to be under 18 minutes.
I watched a lot of TEDx talks while I was in the process of writing mine. I really started becoming more and more intimidated as the date of the event got closer. The talks I watched were so inspirational or educational or funny or emotional. It didn’t seem like I was really adding anything to this TEDx family of speeches. I literally started thinking about pulling out of the event.
My wife is really my biggest supporter in anything I do. There are times that she will back me in whatever I choose to do or not do. Then there are times like this when she just spoke truth to me. Truth in love, but still truth.
“You’re doing this talk. You never know who is going to be impacted by hearing it. No way you are not doing it.”
She doesn’t talk like that often so when she does, I pay attention.
So, here is my TEDx talk. It might not be the most inspirational, educational, or thought provoking, but it was such a blessing to be able to be a part of this great event. I pray that someone will be blessed by it.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things though Christ who gives me strength.
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