Writing The Speech - TedxTalk Blog #2

One thing that really resonated with me about doing a TedTalk was their process of assigning mentors to it’s speakers to aid in the process of developing our speech. In addition, they also arranged a monthly hang out with a special guest to educate and inspire us. My mentor was the amazing Virginia “Ginny” Slocum, a leading speech coach and member of Toastmasters. 

 

Being that Ginny lives in Paris, we met over Skype every Monday at noon for an hour.

 

On January 2, I started to write my speech. Nervously, I sent her the first draft and waited patiently for initial comments.

 

The first thing she asked me was how long my speech was. “Roughly 15 minutes” I naïvely replied.

 

Apparently, I was wrong, for she chuckled and said, “This draft is more like 45 minutes”

 

…Okay I had some trimming to do. But I had so much to say!

 

That was the learning curve. I had never written a speech before. Talk in front of people? That has never been problem. I can ramble on with the best of them. But a speech? This was a whole new animal.

 

And boy, was I up for the challenge.

 

I trimmed and trimmed and then I trimmed some more, but still it was too long and too much.

 

During the first week of April, I went to France for one of my songwriting retreats, which meant I finally got to meet with Ginny in person, as well as Ben Sabry and Evelina Judeikyte, who run Ted Talk Paris. I finally I got to rehearse my speech for them, which was a true blessing. 

 

Having 3 mirrors, reflecting my performance and words back to me was an eye opening. It was their experience, and constructive criticism that propelled me to truly refine and define my dream. That’s when my speech really took shape.

 

When I got back home, I edited my speech for what would be the last time. 

 

I got this.

 

My next hour long Skype with Ginny was a relief. My mirrors agreed with me. I got this.

 

Now on to memorizing it…without cue cards.

 

*takes a deep breath*

 

I got this.