Chris Johnson
Up in Arms: Attacking Urban Gun Violence” — Watch HERE.
3rd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen: Showing Up // 30 November 2018

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TEDxWilmingonWomen

Meet the Speakers: Chris Johnson for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

As a first-time TEDxWilmington speaker, I was unsure what to expect.  In preparing my presentation for the Women’s Forum on November 30, I have been incredibly impressed with TEDxWilmington’s organization and support.  The producers have been professional and cordial and have worked around my extremely hectic schedule as a lawyer in solo practice in Philadelphia.

The detailed timeline and links to other TEDxWilmington speakers have greatly assisted me in executing my deliverables.  The instructions are clear and concise and the timeframe specified for different submissions in advance of the Women’s Forum, are very reasonable.  I have also been extremely grateful for the flexibility of the producers, Alessandra and Elissa.  I have been fortunate enough to have spoken all over Delaware to all kinds of audiences including serving as a speaker at the 2017 Millennial Summit.  I have never had as positive an experience in preparing to speak.  The producers serve as careful and considerate curators.  This is all the more impressive, since the producers work with numerous speakers for each TEDxWilmington event.

In my work with Governor John Carney and while running for the position of Delaware’s Attorney General, I learned about TEDxWilmington and its reputation for attracting amazing speakers and engaged audiences.  I fully understand now what has inspired so many people to participate in TEDxWilmington, as speakers, audience members and volunteers.  I am delighted that I was chosen as a speaker and am honored to have been invited to speak at the 3rd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen.

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the TEDx process: Chris Johnson for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

You never know how much you don’t know until you try something new. During my preparation for the upcoming 3rd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen on November 30th, I realized how much there is to learn about public speaking. Fortunately, TEDx has provided me with excellent resources, coaches, and mentors to get the job done!

As an attorney, who has appeared in front of countless judges and juries, I approached TEDxWilmingtonWomen feeling hopeful that preparing for a TEDx talk would not be steep learning curve.  However, upon receiving the critique of my first video submission I learned that the storytelling elements of a TEDx talk are vastly different then how a legal argument is constructed.  In the legal world, there are certain key pieces of evidence, legal standards, and other legal placeholders you must make during an oral argument.  On the other hand, with in a TEDx talk the emphasis is on the story being told and not necessarily every iota and detail of your subject.  Learning how to craft a better story and condense many facts, and in an entertaining way, is one of the true lessons that I have learned preparing for my first TEDx talk.

Now that I am in the final stretch in preparation for my TEDx talk, I am honestly still very nervous, but thrilled for the opportunity to be able to tell my “story”. So far during this process I have only watched videos of TEDx talks from across the nation, so I am looking forward to rehearsals in a few weeks when I get to practice with my fellow TEDxWilmingtonWomen speakers. I look forward to rock and rolling on November 30th!

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the TEDx process: Chris Johnson for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

Wow! What an experience! I am extremely honored to have been part of the exhilarating experience at TEDxWilmingtonWomen 2018: “Showing Up”. Looking back on the transformational aspect of my participation, honestly, I am already interested in participating in another TEDxWilmington event!

Upon reflection, November 30th was actually the easiest part of the entire experience.  After over 50 hours of preparation over the past few months, I felt fully prepared for the main event under the bright lights of the TEDxWilmington stage. The great resources of TED and TEDx videos, practices and a full rehearsal, allowed me to work through the pre-talk jitters that come with giving a presentation.  Further, it was great to engage and bond with my fellow TEDxWilmington speakers during the dress rehearsal and our Speakers’ Dinner.  It was comforting to see the other TEDx speakers make mistakes, forget lines, or experience technical glitches, because it proved that we were are all learning together.  It was rewarding to see my fellow speakers improve right before my eyes.  I commend Ajit George, TEDxWilmington Organizer and the rest of the TEDxWilmington tribe for creating such a sense of community and empowering us to improve and learn from each other.

In closing, I am truly grateful for having the opportunity of a lifetime and to perform in front of a WORLDWIDE (YES, it was!) audience. The guts, tenacity, organization, and toughness it took for each of us to prepare for our talks; while balancing careers and families are truly amazing. Hats off to TEDxWilmington for organizing such a life-changing event and I look forward to supporting future “Ideas Worth Spreading”!

Watch Chris Johnson’s TEDx talk HERE.

TEDxWilmingtonWomen 2018, Photograph by Alessandra Nicole


Chris is an attorney, community organizer, and reformer. Chris is a proud graduate of the University of Delaware and received his law degree from Delaware Law School. He has served as an Assistant City Solicitor for City of Wilmington Law Department where he represented the Mayor’s Office and City Council. While there, Chris worked with what is now the Gabby Giffords Law Center while pursuing different gun violence policy solutions. In partnership with these national experts, Chris has learned methods to incorporate effective practices that are working to reduce gun violence in other jurisdictions. Most recently, he served as a member of Governor John Carney’s legal counsel team and criminal justice advisor. READ MORE

3rd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen: Showing Up // 30 November 2018
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