So…you’ve been selected to give a TEDx Talk. Instantly, you begin prepping to give the most informative thought provoking talk ever. The day of the event comes and you walk into the venue. You see a big TEDx backdrop as well a pamphlet with your name on it before you make way backstage. You get backstage, wait a while, and get notified your turn to speak is coming up. As a mic check is being done you hear the current speaker talking, but it sounds muffled and distant. Not because their voice is unclear, but because you’ve become so zoned out trying to remember your speech.

As the speaker before you is close to finishing, you find a vantage point backstage where you can see about four people in the crowd, but they cant see you. You lock in on those four people…and stare. You realize those four people don’t remind you anything of yourself. They all look like the person you walk past everyday. The people you subconsciously avoid all of your life because you already know there’s nothing in common. You know that your age, political stance, religious beliefs, cultural background, and of course your race…will play a factor in a barrier being created. You take a step back and hide removing those four people from your sight, trying to recollect yourself before you go on stage.

The host begins introducing your talk, and thoughts begin to go through your head such as “Will I remember all of my speech?” And “TED is global platform who’s slogan is ‘ideas worth spreading’…is mines worth listening to?”

All of a sudden…you can hear clear again once your name is announced to walk on stage. Each step you take towards the middle of the stage reveals the crowd is much larger than you anticipated. You make it center stage and stand on the trademark Red circle shaped carpet assisted by bright lights shining down on you, and hundreds of unfamiliar eyes are staring. At this point, what do you say?

This is what I said…

After my talk, I had an epiphany. My biggest lesson learned from speaking at TEDxColumbus, was the fact people have always been prepared to listen…I just was never prepared to speak. I spent over half my life keeping all of my ideas to myself, sabotaging my own imagination, killing my creativity, and holding MYSELF hostage from free thinking.

If you haven’t figured it out yet I’m using me, to talk to you, about you being me, while using me as you. I’m us and you are we. Don’t try to figure it out, just accept it. We are the same person now. But enough about ME, lets get back to YOU and your TEDx talk.

The key to having a good TEDx talk is giving yourself a good ol fashion YOU talk beforehand. You were not chosen by TEDx to sound like you have a PhD in explaining far-fetched anomalies that exist on another galaxy. You have been chosen because YOU are the subject being studied. The audience is studying to get a PhD in understanding YOU. Your idea is the anomaly that exist on another galaxy. So YOU have to get in your time machine, travel to that space where no one else can go, grab that idea that no one else can see and bring it with you to the TEDx stage. Keep in mind you have a time limit on stage though, so leave the time machine in the garage.

You’d be doing a disservice to the world full of listeners as well yourself by doubting your idea. All the world renowned Speakers, Business owners, Authors, and anyone who is thriving as of now…believed in that thought they had. Once they decided to finally share it, people began to listen. This is exactly what a TEDx talk is. Your moment, as well everyone else’s to be reminded how much we all have to offer and that we all have a duty to listen and speak.

So with that being said, to all of my soon to be TEDx speakers…

Yes…you picked the right topic.

Yes…you’ll remember all of your speech.

Yes…you’ll remember all of your speech.

Yes…You’ll walk off stage and feel more alive than ever.

Yes…you’ll realize you can NOT go back to your normal life.

Yes…You’ll begin recognizing other peoples ideas and you will support it.

No…the time machine is not included in changing the world, which makes you realize you have to do it NOW.

So every thought, every feeling, every dream…everything you have needs to come with you that day because when your standing backstage at your TEDx event, and your name is called and displayed on the screen, your going to have the worlds attention.

When that moment comes…what you say is going to be stuck in time for all eternity. So please do the world a favor…

Give the talk of YOUR life, so we all can live forever.


Donte Woods- Spikes, A.K.A. DonTedx 🙂