As a Certified Speaking Professional who has delivered hundreds of presentations over the last decade-and-a-half, I know my way around the stage. So why did I partner with a high-stakes presentation coach when delivering my program at TEDxTemecula?
Because a TEDx stage is not like the others, and it deserves our masterful performances.
My very dear friend, Crystallized client, and wildly talented messaging coach David Mann of A Simple Message worked with me since Day One on my TEDxTalk, Doodle Your Dream: How a Cocktail Napkin Will Save the World, that I recently delivered on the Big Red Dot.
Back in July when I got the wonderful news that I was selected, I immediately asked David to help me deliver the best possible performance on the enormous, esteemed platform of TED/TEDx. David and I have been buddies for over a decade and have worked many times together on a variety of events and projects. IMHO, he's the best in the business when it comes to crafting high-stakes persuasive messaging and performances.
Our collaboration started in a swanky downtown Minneapolis conference room with just the two of us, a notebook and some snacks, brainstorming on the best approach to share my Idea Worth Spreading in less than 18 minutes.
On the plane ride home to California, I took my scribbles and created a slush file in Google Docs, and over the next several weeks, I turned that slush file into a storyboard in Canva, a VERY rough draft of a presentation in Keynote, and a working script in Google Docs.
And then I refined it. Over and over and over and over again. (11 versions to be exact). Brutal.
I practiced out loud multiple times a day, and every week or so, I'd record myself awkwardly, weirdly reciting my speech, and sending it to David, my TEDx Strategic Co-Creator. We'd talk it through in great detail -- the ups, and the downs (mostly the downs) -- and he'd clearly, gently, and directly give me feedback on how I can improve.
I took nothing personally. I savored every drop of his theatre-soaked expertise. And I eventually found my voice and my rhythm. He helped me through the painful "kill your darlings" phase of the scriptwriting process where I had to say goodbye to some nuggets of awesome. He worked with me on the tiniest of elements -- memorization tips, dry erase board doodles, hand placement, blocking, timing, and countless other little adjustments.
It was like getting coached by Phil Jackson, but for a TEDxTalk. 🔴
After seeing my performance, David proudly shared the video with his community saying, "She truly shines here in all her glory: smart, on-point, funny, with an idea that will help anyone focus their talents and their business so they can shine too." It makes my heart so full of gratitude and pride for this one-of-a-kind experience. Regardless of the outcome (but let's be honest, I am fantasizing about Brene and Simon level numbers), I can rest in the knowing that I took this incredible opportunity and maximized it.
I grew as a performer, a professional, and a person thanks to the co-creative partnership with my dear pal.
Success never happens in a vacuum. We can't create magic like that with AI prompts. In order to create something meaningful like what David said, a "triumphant TEDxTalk" (awwww! 😊 ), we need CONNECTION WITH EACH OTHER to make those dreams a reality.
Who is seeing YOU?