Since a very early age, public speaking has been in my blood. Starting with debating in high school, then spreading to the world of public broadcast, and now through market seminars where I’m at the front of the room, speaking has been front and center stage in my life. It’s only natural that I should become a devoted fan of the entire TED universe, but until recently I had no idea how one came to be a part of a TED convention.
A few weeks ago I attended a life planning class and discovered a key feature in these classes was that they put you in the position of formulating realistic goals for your life, a virtual bucket list, and putting them down on paper. Among some of my most desired goals such as running in the Boston Marathon and golfing at Pebble Beach, I also included speaking at a TED conference.
A Bucket List Wish Becomes Reality
A short time later, I was working around my house one Saturday and watching a regional TED convention. Another Wizard of Ads partner, Tim Miles, was a featured speaker at that convention and he presented a superb speech. His speech served to light a fire under me and I decided to find out just where TED conventions were being held in Texas and Oklahoma since they are closer to home. I knew individually organized TED events were held around the country, and when I did a little research, I discovered one was held in San Antonio. There was an application process and I made the decision to apply just to see where it might take me. Their return email is one of the nicest emails I’ve ever received, nice enough that I’m going to just read the introductory paragraph word for word:
“Congratulations! You’ve been selected for the 2012 TEDxSanAntonio event, Saturday, October 13, 2012, at Trinity University. We believe your bold idea will not only inspire our local community, but also further elevate San Antonio on the world stage. Your application rose to the top of more than 100 submissions and we are delighted that we can extend this opportunity to you.”
After I detached myself from the ceiling and calmed down a bit, I read the rest of the email which outlined further steps that needed to be taken in this process. They required selected speakers to attend a curation event where I would be assigned a curator. This curator serves as a coach and I must also submit my initial proposal to her, which I am currently diligently honing. I am required to meet with her twice in San Antonio; first, for a walk-through strictly with her, and second, a group rehearsal. This rehearsal takes place on October 12th, the day before the big event, in the Arthur Stieren Theater at Trinity University.
I think it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that I am honored and humbled to be selected for this TED event. Many people view spotlight moments in different ways, but few realize what a few moments in time for a speaker truly signify. These are our moments to shine in the spotlight and knowing that our words will be forever etched on the internet is distinctly gratifying.
For more information on this event, check out tedxsanantonio.com. Again, it’s October 13, 2012, at the Arthur Stieren Theater at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.