When you receive the email that you’ve been accepted to give a TEDx Talk, you immediately begin thinking about how you’re going to craft a conversation that will hopefully greatly impact your audience, where they leave thinking thoughts that they wouldn’t have previously considered. You hope that their conversations expand and that their view of the world makes space for a completely different way of being. But I can attest that I didn’t realize how much the experience of preparing for a TEDx Talk would change me.
From the moment I said yes, I began learning more about myself which ultimately helped me learn more about what I wanted to share. When crafting the speech, I thought I knew the journey I wanted to take the audience on, but as I wrote, the talk evolved into a question that I had to answer myself before I shared it with everyone else – “What are the things that keep you going and how are you ensuring that your life is filled with them?”
This may not feel like it has anything to do with TEDx talks, but I’ve watched many of them, and each time I’m left with that same kind of question. What do I enjoy? And is my life filled with that? While working with my brilliant speech coach, I was encouraged to go even deeper into this question for the audience, and I continuously came back to the conclusion that this is the reason we connect. We want to do the things we enjoy with others, we want to hear about what others are enjoying, we want to be a part of what others are enjoying. We want our lives to be filled with the beauty of us and others.
To me, that embodies what TED is about, a complete melting pot of stories, deeply profound questions, and hopefully the opportunity to question how we see ourselves in what someone else has so bravely shared. This experience has opened my eyes to how wonderful it is to be responsible for forging connection in our communities through sharing. It’s an invitation for all of us to freely share our wisdom and experiences with the world.
Watch Yasmine Cheyenne’s talk here!