To say being selected as a TEDx speaker for the SA Tricentennial was a complete shock would be a magnificent understatement. I was encouraged to apply by a colleague who believed in my message, but I was intimidated from the beginning. Then again, TEDx is a branch of TED, and I happen to be a super-fan of TED talks. No way would I get selected to stand on the RED DOT and share my idea. To support my fear-based thoughts, I stressed the application video and waited until the very last minute, the last 30-minutes to be exact – thinking I would get it in last and be completely disregarded for my procrastination if nothing else.
Within two weeks I learned I was selected to talk. This must be some kind of mistake, is what I thought. The process of going from application to presentation was incredibly supportive and intense, not just for me as a speaker but for my curator Emily Noll as well. Toward the end of the process, I realized toward what pressure I was placing Emily. Sure the curators aren’t up there on stage speaking, but they also work extremely hard throughout the process to support the speakers and to ensure, as much as possible, that we don’t go on stage and completely lose our minds. Success!
One of the most beautiful parts of the journey was showing up with my original idea, typed out and reading it to the group of volunteers – only to have it completely morphed and polished into something else. The integrity of the idea remained intact however, the content and delivery was improved immensely. As someone who thoroughly enjoys teaching and public speaking, this was unlike anything else I have ever experienced. It was one of the greatest challenges of my career.
The reward was immediate and ongoing. The feedback I have received has inspired me to spread my idea even further. From being approached in an H-E-B by a woman who became emotional telling me a personal story that she doesn’t normally share, to an African American woman telling me how my talk changed her perspective on law enforcement officers and describing the talk she plans to have with her three sons. All of this, and more, before the talk has been released to the public.
As one of the recent TEDx alum, I am both humbled and awestruck to have been selected to speak with an incredible group of speakers, curators, production team, and volunteers. Finally, with a grateful heart, thank you TEDxSanAntonio.
Speaker, TEDxSanAntonio 2018