If you are wondering what it’s like to be a TEDx speaker, or how to manage a big event when living with chronic illness and life challenges, then I’m here for you. I’m sharing my experience in the hope that it’s useful – which in many ways, is what speaking is all about.
TEDx begins with an idea worth spreading.
Once you find your idea worth spreading, it needs to be summed up in one sentence. If you can’t do that, it hasn’t been refined enough yet.
Once you get down to the core, the key message is usually simple and concise. But there’s a lot of digging to get to that point.
You have your key idea, the message your soul wants to share. Then it’s time for polish and refinement.
Within all this professional development of my speech was a hidden whirl of personal growth.
When getting ready for significant events, it’s not just professional preparation that’s needed.
Working on this level can have deep emotional repercussions around your work, your identity, your brand, your message, your presence, your self.
If you are living with chronic illness or an emotional struggle, this is only intensified.
How to meet this challenge?
Prepare for the emotional aspects:
- Build in Buffer Space: when planning our days we often plan how long we think a task should take, not how long it will actually take us. When planning your TEDx speech or event prep, consider how long a task will actually take, including rest after, or time to settle and regain your equilibrium if the task is an emotional one. Build in Buffer Space before and after a task, notice how the difficulty of the task itself and your energy levels shift.
- Leave Crash Space: do you often find yourself emotionally exhausted after seemingly ‘simple’ tasks? It’s helpful to give yourself a Crash Space – a time to just ‘crash’, stop, pause, rest. To feel your emotions, to express them. So often we are too focused on being ‘together’ and ‘efficient’. Crash Space is your place to be emotionally messy. You can let it all out, and then take action to come back to balance when you are ready.
- Take Your Emotional Toolkit: what do you need to have on hand while you do this deep preparation? I rely on my journal, my iPod stocked with meditations and space outside to breathe and ground myself. When you feel upset or emotional, what is generally helpful to you? If this seems like a difficult question, can you think of the last time you were upset? What did you do then? If what you do to self soothe needs supplies, gather those now and have them on hand.
This is deep work, wellness warriors. Some days it’s true revolutionary struggle, and you need your kit bag with you on the journey.
I can’t wait to take the TEDx stage and see you stepping into your big, brave dreams too!
Image courtesy of Ally Mauro.