Mike O’Krent
“Past Forward: How conversations with loved ones can change the course of our future
3rd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen: Showing Up // 30 November 2018

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Mike O'Krent for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

Meet the Speakers: Mike O’Krent for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

It would probably seem odd to most folks that a guy whose expertise for over a decade has been to produce living stories for families, helping them share their private “ideas worth spreading”, has yet to find a place to share his own idea worth spreading. Well, I am that guy.

I became a fan of TED talks soon after I started my business in 2006. In the speeches I give to groups in and around central Texas, I reference a few of my favorite TED speakers. With admiration, I’ve told myself for years, “Boy, I’d love to be on one of those stages someday.”

You can’t imagine how thrilled I was when I received an email that read, “…the TEDxWilmington tribe is delighted to inform you that you have been officially selected from a large pool of applicants to give a TEDx talk at our 3rdAnnual Women Conference on Friday, November 30,  2018!” I was doing the “happy dance” for days.

Soon after the first happy dance was over, I then thought, “Oh, no! Now I have to prepare a talk that is worthy of the TEDx stage!!!” Fortunately for me, TEDxWilmington’s organizer, Ajit George, and the team at TEDxWilmington, have proven (as we say in Texas) “this isn’t their first rodeo.” Their processes, instructions, and requirements for preparation before the event immediately put my mind at ease. They know what they are doing and will be sure my TEDx talk is worthy of the big red carpeted circle.

As I go through each step of the process, I am gaining more and more confidence my talk will be one that I will be proud of. I can’t wait to share my idea worth spreading with the world.

If you’ve ever dreamt of being on a meaningful stage feeling confidence, apply immediately to be a speaker at TEDxWilmington. You’ll be glad you did.

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the TEDx process: Mike O’Krent for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

With every speech I have ever given in the past, I’ve had with me either the speech in print or a written outline of notes to fall back on in case I ran into trouble. This TEDx format is a whole new ballgame! No notes. No outline. Nothing but a smile, perhaps a few slides on a screen and a well-rehearsed speech. Oops. What did I get myself into?!

What I got myself into was a lesson in professional speaking. As mentioned in my last blog, the people at TEDxWilmington have a process that is both proven and successful. Never before would I have dreamt of giving a full 10-minute talk without notes and with full confidence. But I now feel great about getting in front of a crowd and a camera to deliver my idea worth spreading.

I must confess at this point that I had an additional tool in my toolbox to accomplish this feat. As suggested by the TEDxWilmington team, I hired a speech coach. In my case, I am fortunate to be working with two pros who work together,specializing in helping people make their TEDx talks successful: Taylor Conroy and Tucker Stine.

The Idea Collective is Taylor and a team of specialists helping people become thought leaders in their industry using the best tool in the world, the TEDx stage. I feel fortunate to have the two organizations, TEDxWilmington and The Idea Collective, working together to make my TEDx talk a success.

I invite all of you to see the fruits of their labors by attending TEDxWilmingtonWomen on November 30, 2018. I look forward to giving them their due credit when my talk is finished. And if it bombs…it’s all their (oops) all my fault! 😉

See you in Wilmington November 30.


Mike O’Krent is the founder of LifeStories Alive, LLC, a business specializing in producing living stories for families and businesses. In a life-changing experience, from 1996 through 2000 Mike interviewed Holocaust survivors for Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.  It was through that experience he discovered the significance and technique of recording the life stories of loved ones, and which forms the basis for his LifeStories business. Since founding the business in 2006, Mike has expanded its expertise beyond capturing personal histories for families to now include recording the histories of businesses and non-profit organizations. The professionally produced videos can be used externally to promote the organization or internally as a training tool for new employees/volunteers.  READ MORE

3rd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen: Showing Up // 30 November 2018
More Info | Get Tickets