“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Expected time to read and watch TEDx talk: 13 minutes
Just like that – it is done. I have given my first TEDx talk in Wilmington, Delaware during the 7th Annual Conference. I felt like I blinked and it was over. It was a “long” journey there that culminated in 7.5 minutes of a talk.
I first applied to give a TEDx talk back in 2016 when I thought I was ready. But as time and chance happens, I now know that I actually was not. The message I initially applied with was for a different aspect of my career in the business technology industry; it was a good idea, but not the [best] idea that was worth spreading for or by me.
When I submitted my application for TEDxEducation earlier this year, I honestly thought it would be an “easier” decision for the team and I would be a shoo-in considering I am a college and scholarship and the higher education area is my field. Once again, nothing came of it.
A few months later and a third time around, I submitted my credentials, but absolutely did not think anything of it. I literally just submitted paperwork the team asked of me. A couple of short weeks later, I received my official invitation for the 7th Annual TEDxWilmington Conference and was flabbergasted to say the least.
It’s not that I did not believe I could get the invitation to speak on the TEDx stage; it was more of a surprise that the time had finally come. For the next few weeks following my invite, I spent time crafting my talk to ensure I would tell the audience the importance of promoting the right type of education for students based on their individual needs. With feedback from the TEDx coaching team and my sisters, I completely threw out my first draft and wrote my entire talk again. I initially had 5 minutes to deliver my message, but when I received all the great constructive criticism and finally got my flow, I knew I had just a tad bit more to say, so I requested more time to tell my story. What I didn’t realize was that in the last “rehearsal” video I had to send to the coaching team, they wanted to see it how I would deliver my talk – which meant without notes, cue cards, nada. I now had less time than I “thought” I had to memorize my entirely new talk. I took the next 12 hours to get it all in my head because I absolutely could not miss my deadline. Let me just say – I have not had to pull that type of all-nighter since college having to memorize information to deliver it the very next day – but I did it!
After I submitted my final video, I practiced my talk in front of my family (my biggest critics!) countless times (they probably know it as well as I do, haha) and tweaked delivery here and there to guarantee my optimal delivery of what was a well curated talk. The discipline the TEDxWilmington team has instilled into their (past and present) speaker team is evident from the delivery of the speakers’ messages during their events. From the deadlines to the drafts to the videos, there was a step-by-step guide perfectly implemented by the team behind the scenes to keep us in check and ready for our show time. TEDxWilmington brought speakers from all over the world together to create an experience for us to cherish and hold onto in our respective lives, businesses, and careers; it has also brought together people in friendship for time to come. I am beyond super grateful this was my first TEDx talk. The bar (and my expectations) has been set high by TEDxWilmington for teams I will work with in the future.
Because I loved my introduction so much as well, I thought to include it here for you on my Instagram page. Such sweet kind words I truly appreciate from my host.
So without further ado, here’s my TEDx talk I gave on September 27, 2018 during TEDxWilmington’s 7th Annual Conference – Now What? (Click the picture.) Tell me what you think about it, like, comment, and share.
I wanted to make sure I looked like the black woman I am during my talk: big hair, full bright lips (I wore an orange lip during my talk), and of course my Anakra print dress in my Upliftology™ brand color – orange. I contacted one of my first tailors whom I just adore – Kenia Nunez – who knows my body like no other to make my dress, and she said yes without hesitation. Here you have this amazing little number which I totally love.