This past weekend I auditioned for TEDx Monterey. What is TEDx you ask?
TED (Technology Entertainment Design) is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, under the slogan “ideas worth spreading”. TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event. The annual conference began in 1990, in my current hometown of Monterey, California. TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.
Listen to this weeks podcast where I share how I got to audition, what the audition was like, and most importantly why I think you should audition too! In this weeks podcast I give you 10 compelling reasons why you should audition even if you never have any intention on actually presenting!
10 Reasons I think you should audition for TEDx
1. Fear isn’t the problem in our lives. Fear is simply a feeling and “oh by the way?” we’re the ones who create it! So, we shouldn’t hate it or judge it as much as we might do. Instead, we should focus on our response to fear. Auditioning for something like TEDx, even if you have no intention on really becoming a speaker, is one way to practice. The goal here is to practice challenging our past response to fear. Our response to fear probably hasn’t been working for you has it? The only way to get comfortable responding differently is by practicing.
2. Stimulate that creative muscle of yours! TED is all about spreading ideas and I can only imagine how many amazing ideas you have! One of the best ways to cultivate more ideas is to get creative! So go out and do something creative. You’ll not only be stimulating that creativity muscle but you’ll be amazed at how many ideas you can foster! You might even come up with a solution to a current problem you have. Often times I wind up solving problems to other things in my life when I shift focus like that!
3. So many of us, myself included, question whether or not we’re an expert on anything or “good enough” to present something to a group of others. TEDx is about spreading ideas. Everyone has ideas right? Trust me, my 4 and 5 year old have plenty of ideas and I’m sure you have many of your own. Presenting at TEDx doesn’t mean you have the cure for Cancer, it just means you’re curious about something and have some thoughts on how you might want to respond to it. Auditioning for TEDx provides some solid proof that you are an expert, an expert idea maker!
4. You might share similar ideas as others. In fact, I’ve thought to myself that I shouldn’t share something because a million other people already have. The truth is nobody else can share that idea just like you. You are unique and a one-of-a-kind. In the history of the Universe there has never been another you and there never will be again. Are you going to prevent the one and only you from being heard?
5. You’ll meet some amazing people in your community. Because TEDx is a locally organized event it means that the majority of the speakers will all live near you. I was amazed at the number of inspiring, creative, and intelligent people that live in my Community. In fact, there was a friend of mine I saw in the audience during my audition. It turns out he was there with his wife who was also auditioning. I learned something new about him and his wife and I wouldn’t have known otherwise. The speaker that went after me was an Olympic Gold Medalist!
6. We thrive in community yet most of our life we’re taught that we’re supposed to do things alone. When I was getting ready for my audition I reached out to many people. I reached out to some for advice and others to give me feedback. It was great to be among the company of others and auditioning allowed me to share in the joy, creativity, and spirit of others who wanted to see me succeed.
7. It’s not too often we get to slap shame in the face. About 5 years ago if I would have attempted something like this there’s no way I would have told anyone about the audition until after I had already found out I was picked! If I wasn’t picked I wouldn’t have said a peep to anyone about it. I know now that my self worth and the value of my message has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not I make the cut. So I told everyone (including you now) that I auditioned in the face of the fact that I may very well not be selected. This is a great opportunity to slap shame in the face sit in my own truth.
8. Doing something like this is a wonderful example to set for your children (or other family members). My children are 4 and 5 years old so they don’t quite realize what I’m doing. However, this is great for any of our youth to see as it shows that literally anybody can pursue their dreams. Just auditioning is a huge deal and a wonderful example to set for the youth in your life.
9. I talk a lot about focusing on intention and surrendering to outcome/expectation. Most of us live our lives the other way around though. We’re fixated on the outcome and won’t stop at anything to ensure that we get it. Even if it means shifting our initial intention. The reality is when we focus on our intention and surrender to outcome we open the door to a world of possibility. For me, my intention is to share my message. Even if I don’t make the cut for TEDx it doesn’t mean that bigger things aren’t right around the corner. Bigger things are around the corner for you too!
10. The practice of Rejection or not: You’ll win either way because if you get picked you’ll have an opportunity to share your amazing idea with the world. If you don’t get picked you’ll have the opportunity to affirm what an amazing person you are in the face of not getting picked. Remember, who you are has nothing to do with someone else accepting or rejecting anything you do.
1. Do something creative and start cultivating those ideas
2. Sign up for a local TEDx audition
3. Practice, practice, practice
4. Go Audition!
What if you agree with all of my reasons for doing this but you either refuse to audition or there isn’t a TEDx near you? That’s okay. Look, I want everyone to benefit from the message and the exercise here. It’s not about “TEDx” per se but rather stepping out of our comfort zone. Many local communities host contests for “Best photo” or dance/singing contests, etc. This is about stepping out of our comfort zone to benefit from the list of 10 I have above! Of course public speaking is one area of discomfort for so many of us and TEDx is an amazing conference that’s global which is mainly why I focused on that. So, please don’t let the “TEDx” thing be the reason you don’t join me!
Finally, I’ll know in about a week or so if I get picked to speak at the TEDx Monterey this April. I’ll certainly let you all know either way. Whatever happens, it’s been an amazing experience and I’m truly just proud of myself for going through with it. In many ways making the actual talk is irrelevant as I am living my intention and for me that’s what life is all about!