At last, it’s landed. I gave a TED talk earlier this year on how modern life is changing our facial appearance has made it online. It was a terrific experience and I learned so much about how TED talks work and happen. As I was standing in the wings watching the previous talk, one of the runners asked if I’d done my vocal warm ups. I didn’t even know that that’s what people were doing. I’d never done them before but immediately ran to the roof of the theatre, overlooking Tunbridge Wells, and began umming, ahhhing, and ba-baing until my lips and jaws tingled with the same nervous energy as the rest of me. But what I remember most is the waiting. The waiting in the ‘quiet’ (there was also a ‘noisy’) dressing room. All the while, going over the talk in my head, and hoping and hoping that I would remember most of it. All I could do was wait for my slot and fill the time as best I could. When I walk on stage, I couldn’t see anything because of the lights. All I had was a screen at my feet so I could control my slides.
It was an amazing experience, and It was a bit like a marathon. I’ve run a marathon, and there is less preparation, but there are so many other similarities, not least the amount of head space it occupies and the sense of occasion and shared endeavour amongst the participants.
If you get chance to do a TED talk, do it – it won’t change your life, but like a marathon, you will never forget having done it.