What I learnt through my TEDx talk.
My TEDx Talk is now one week ago..damn, that was exciting! I shared some of my preparations with you and wanted to also write about my 'learnings'.
Before the talk, I was incredibly excited and nervous. I kept trying to think of something comparable I did before – there was nothing. Of course, I had important talks, interviews, performances, .. But nothing could really compare. In this case the brand was SO strong. Since I was invited to speak, people constantly congratulated me, the week before the TEDx Talk almost every client wrote “Good luck for your TEDx talk” under the emails (often I didn't even know, how they knew!).
And then there was this 'internet'. That is what scared me the most. A TEDx talk in front of 300 people – fine! But of course it would be recorded and ‘forever’ to be found under my (rather rare) name… So yes, I was excited and nervous.
The TEDx went (very?) well, the feedback was great and I was happy with my performance – even though I am SO excited to see the recording myself, because I can’t really remember what I talked about...which was also an amazing learning – if you prepare REALLY well, you will deliver! My brain just went into absolute “presentation mode” and everything just came out of me – every word, every move. Yes, of course, I was still excited and it was not perfect, but I was so amazed how I did not even think for a split second about my next word – everything just came out!
My three key learnings:
1. Practice, practice, practice … and when you think you can do it – practice a bit more.
After around 4 weeks of pretty intense preparation I knew my talk. The last two days before the gig I had reserved only for the TEDx talk practice. Already in the morning of the first ‘final prep day’ I thought “If I have to say this talk one more time, I will throw up.” I really could not do it anymore. I knew that I knew it by heart.. but I also knew, that there was still some scope for improvement and that THIS was the moment to distinguish the good from the great (haha!). That moment, when you think you can’t do it anymore – that is the moment you have to pull through. I wrote down how many more times I wanted to practice the talk in which way (standing, sitting, like talking to a friend..) – and did it. Each time I crossed one of the options and it felt so good!
I think, that was the most important learning for me – sticking in there, when it gets hard. Hard work beats talent. Trying to improve, even when you think you can already do it.
2. Find an expert to work with!
Sometimes I am hesitant to seek professional help, because I think with research, reading and YouTube I will figure everything out ... I am so happy that from the first moment I decided to hire an expert – wonderful Barbara Bosch supported me so much and helped me design a great talk. Save yourself time and nerves and find an expert to work with. Especially for something so ‘big’ and new, I am happy I decided from the first second to seek help.
3. Leaving the comfort zone is so hard and feels so good :)!
It was definitely one of the most challenging things I did (probably after moving to China at 19 years old) but of course it felt so good after! I was so proud of myself. I did it! I faced the fear – and I did it anyway. I am so so thankful for this opportunity – because things that feel the hardest will make you grow the most!
So, what could be your next challenge to tackle – to learn and grow?