Day 22: My TED Talk

Random Observation/Comment #309: I watch a TED talk every day. It’s become a religious habit (probably more frequent of a habit than our generation’s religious views nowadays).  TED Talks foster inspiration and make my day that much better.  It’s fascinating how science is taking shape and spreading ideas with the same techniques that worked so well 2000 years ago.  It all makes sense as a story.

see lemons present

What is TED?  If you know me and you haven’t heard me talk about it, then you probably either haven’t known me for that long or don’t know me that well.  I think the best explanation I’ve found can be watched in a TED talk by Sebastian Wernicke called “1000 TED Talks, 6 words”.

TED talks are my little nuggets of inspiration that I wish existed so readily when I was growing up.  These presentations come from experts around the world doing some of the coolest things covering Technology, Entertainment, and Design.  I wish I could have watched these when I was younger because it would have helped me dream bigger.  I would have found that speech that changed the course of my life and made me read everything about astrophysics or deep sea photography.  When you are shown what’s possible with hard work and passion, impossible is nothing.

From a presentation perspective, behind the flawless deliveries of these presenters and their explanations of their passions, is the inspirational message that they’re trying to effectively communicate.  It’s about organizing a speech that moves people to see the world in a different light.

The Challenge:
Write and present my own TED talk.

The Reason:
I know many people who have a desire to give a TED talk (Okay, maybe it’s just me).  But most people stop because they’ve realized the biggest hurdle:  Before you can give a TED talk, you have to have something to say.  After going through this Epic 30 day challenge, I think I have a message.

The other equally important side of this TED talk challenge is the test of my ability to effectively communicate.  I have done many presentations for Credit Suisse Speak Up Toastmasters and obtained my CC and ACB distinctions.  I hope this speech presentation, with the accompanying thought process and notes, will help people prepare for their own presentations.

The Result:

Speech Outline – (I always write this out so I can reorganize the content of the speech and make sure I cover all the pieces.)

  • Story to draw in the audience – “How many of you believe in the end of the world?”
  • What is the 30 day challenge?
  • What are some of these challenges?
  • Why am I doing it?
  • What have I learned from it?
  • “Today is Day 22 of my Epic 30 Day Challenge. Present my own TED Talk”
  • What should other people do? Call to Action.

Speech written out – (Sometimes it’s just easier to sit down and write out what first comes in your mind)

By a raise of hands, how many of you believe the world is going to end on Dec 21st? By another raise of hands, how many of you are a little worried in the back of your mind that something might happen?

 I wouldn’t call myself a believer, but I am definitely a planner. Similar to how some people follow religions just in case there is an eternity of Heaven or Hell, I am doing my “EPIC 30 day challenge” (Say with deep voice) to seize THE day. Well, more accurately, seize THIRTY days sequentially.

 So what is this challenge? The 30 day challenge is a list of activities that I have compiled that covers all of the side projects that I have had for the past 25 years. You see, I have a terrible tendency of starting side projects and not finishing them, and I just wanted to feel the satisfaction of completing these tasks.

 What are some of these challenges? I started this on Nov 21st

[start slides]

Started as a list while I was traveling home. Categories: Fun, Photography, Writing, Technical, and Daily.

The first day was to schedule the projects I would work on.  I decided on the things I wanted to do while speaking with friends and polling.

Thanksgiving was my first challenge – It was my first turkey and had fun cooking all day in the kitchen for my parents.

The next day, I spent the day drawing my self-portrait – 4 hours

I printed personalized postcards and sent them to 53 people around the world.

Created a book for my god son and sent it to my friends and his parents.

Took an anti-gravity class

Reviewed my master’s thesis – reread research

Wrote about the top things to eat in NYC – fave food, foodtography

Grew out my mustache and made a gif of myself shaving it – created a gif

Wrote a fashion blog for my roommate – nyc style

Took a contra-dancing class in Brooklyn – spin your partner round and round

Cut my hair like a Mohawk

And shaved my head for St Baldricks foundation – 800 personally, 20k with NYU foundation

 So why am I doing this? Why not? It’s a journey of self discovery and a reflection on all the things I haven’t done with my life. In the past 22 days, I feel like I have truly lived. I feel like a better person giving back to my community and enjoying the little things about life.

I’ve learned that it’s not hard to be a good person or a good friend, and it’s easier to help others than turn away. I’ve learned that giving my time is more precious than giving my money, and making a kind gesture is contagious.  The underlying theme revolves around community.
Today is Day 22. Present my talk about this 30 day challenge. I have 8 days left with some fun tasks in store.  I hope I have inspire my friends to do that thing any one of you had always wanted to do. What are you waiting for? Carpe Diem.

Speech printed and highlighted for memorization – (I like marking up my speeches and highlighting so it’s easier for memorization. Certain words summarize sentences for me and sometimes you need to write the outline, write the speech, and then create the outline back from the speech to have the fluent understanding of the structure of your delivery. I also mark where I can do some tonal changes or hand gestures).

see lemons prep

Presentation Practice – (Practice is key. I read over my notes fully for timing and also did a few runs for timing. I noted the structure and just gave myself ways to remind myself of the next paragraph topic)

Presentation Day – I’ve never really had a problem with presentations when I’m prepared. I still get sweaty palms and may forget some of the techniques I learned with using the stage or with eye contact to include everyone into the conversation.  When you have the content down, just speak to the crowd as if you’re having a one-on-one conversation with each person in the room and conveying that idea separately.  Tell them a story they can follow and have fun telling it.

Here is the presentation I created for this: Epic 30 day challenge

The recorded presentation from yesterday: Epic 30 day challenge presentation

The Conclusion:
I’ve spoken about my 30 day challenge to a lot to my friends, but now I can just point them to a video.  It summarizes much of what I’ve learned while doing this and how I will move forward.  The presentation part of this was just killing another bird with the same stone.  Every person should be an effective communicator and be able to summarize anything in their life in under 5 minutes.  I will write a more thought-provoking reflection of my 30 day challenge when I Reflect on 2012.

~See Lemons Talk