“Caregivers Need to be Selfish in Order to Survive“
3rd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen: Showing Up // 30 November 2018
Meet the Speakers: Dave Nassaney for TEDxWilmingtonWomen
While my wife and I was at the National Publicity Summit in New York City interviewing National producers, pitching my caregiver segment, “How To Prevent Your Loved One’s Disability From Actually Killing You.” We met Elissa Ben-Eli, the assistant producer of TEDxWilmington, and Ajit George, it’s founding producer. I always wanted to do a TEDx talk, but never got around to finding out how. I spoke to them and filled out an application, and waited to be selected. A few weeks later, I was informed that I was not selected!
I was very disappointed, but went on with my other speaking and media appointments all over the country. To my surprise, I received an email about a month ago informing me that I have been selected out of a couple of hundred speakers to speak at the 3rd annual TEDx woman’s conference.
I was so excited, especially because I didn’t realize that they kept my application.
I immediately got started, and quickly realized that the weekly deadlines were forcing me to not procrastinate. I gave my first practice talk to my Toastmasters group. They gave me good reviews, but thought it would be a good idea to call this person who was running a group specializing in TEDx. I attended that club the following Sunday, and joined after realizing that they were very knowledgeable and experienced in TEDx talks. I even hired the leader to coach me.
She has given me so many pointers and tips so far that I never would have known otherwise. I feel much more prepared to do a TEDx talk now, because I now know how important it is to do a spectacular job, because if it is worthy enough, it may appear on their websites for years to come, and I may even be considered for a TED talk one day. I’m very excited.
the TEDx process: Dave Nassaney for TEDxWilmingtonWomen
WOW! I have learned so much! This talk is the most challenging talk that I have ever prepared for to date. I am so out of my comfort zone, it is good, but very uncomfortable. I was challenged by TEDx’s rule of not promoting myself or what I have achieved in any way. I was to just concentrate on an idea worth spreading.
That brought a new dimension to me and my talk that surprised me. I concentrated on that idea and how it was able to change the world, one person at a time.
I was finally relieved when the text of my talk solidified after 2 weeks of going back and forth with my coaches, because I didn’t want to begin the memorization process until that happened. There is nothing worse than trying to un-memorize something.
The following week, I was able to begin thinking about my delivery — the tone and the speed. That was hard. By speaking slowly in certain sections of my talk, I would exceed the 10-minute time limit imposed on me, but by speeding it up, that might reduce the emotion and connection with the audience. It was much better to remove something that was non-essential in the talk, than to speed up a section that needed to be spoken slowly and deliberately.
Now, I am concentrating on the body language, how long to look at someone on the left side of the audience before moving on to someone else. Making sure to look them in the eye, connect with them emotionally, and then find another to connect with on the other side of the room.
Until a speaker actually does this to you personally during a talk, you won’t understand the power and connection that it has on a listener. I remember feeling, “Oh my gosh, he is looking directly at me, speaking to me.” It gets your attention, and makes you listen even more intently than you were. I remember feeling important, and I really liked that he took the times and attention to look at me.
You might be able to connect with half of the audience, or even more, doing this. It is very powerful. That is my goal right now, and also to keep my gestures to a minimum. That has always been hard for me, because I’m ethnic, like the Italians, I speak with my hands.
All good stuff that I am learning. It will definitely make me a better speaker. I can see improvement every single day as I rehearse. Thank you for this opportunity.