Meet the Speakers: Shavon Lindley for TEDxWilmingtonWomen
Every day we witness behavior that makes people feel excluded. Like when you are not invited to lunch, or you are interrupted twice during a meeting, or you hear someone make fun of another person.
How do you behave when you witness potentially exclusionary behavior?
Do you act awkwardly, do you remain silent, walk away, or do you address the behavior in front of others?
How do you wish you responded?
My default behavior when I felt excluded was to remain silent, and I had become deeply shameful of my lack of response because I’d dedicated 10 years of my life to empowering women to own their voice.
During my TEDxWilmingtonWomen talk, I will reveal new neuroscience research that explains why many of us remain silent and will explore the 4-step strategy I now leverage to address exclusionary behavior in a way that won’t leave the other person feeling attacked or on the defensive.
The experience of crafting this talk has been exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. I have been digging deep to expose three personal stories of exclusion: the last time I remained silent, the first time I finally spoke up, and a time where I was the offender.
Courage inspires courage, and my hope is that through my vulnerability people will no longer feel ashamed of their response and will begin to seize those moments of exclusion and turn them into moments of mutual enlightenment.
the TEDx process: Shavon Lindley for TEDxWilmingtonWomen
The process for crafting my TEDx talk has been all consuming. It has hijacked my every thought and I love it! It feels as if my entire life has lead me to this moment and I arduously consider the impact of every word.
For me, the hardest part was staring at a blank screen on day one and determining the first word to type. The overwhelming pressure became too much, and I broke down. Sinking in to those feelings seemed to be my only way out. Luckily, the TEDxWilmington tribe supplied amazing resources I was able to immerse myself within plus I hired TEDx speaker coach, Mark Lovett. These combined helped walk me off the ledge and the words finally began to flow.
I am at the stage of this journey where I am testing my talk among different audiences. The feedback is instrumental in illuminating gaps in my narrative and to pinpoint where more work needs to be done. It is equally as important to recognize when to ignore the suggestions and stick with your gut.
I am infinitely a better speaker due to this process, and I am eternally grateful to the entire TED and TEDx community for the opportunity and experience. Thank you TEDxWilmington for recognizing the potential within me and for providing the stage to share my idea worth spreading. I will not disappoint!
Reflecting: Shavon Lindley for TEDxWilmingtonWomen
The day finally arrived that I got my turn on the red carpet. I took my last deep breath from behind the curtain and walked on the stage with the biggest smile on my face and gave it everything I had. After my performance, I was greeted with a standing ovation and Ajit Mathew George meeting me on the stage with a compliment that will resonate with me forever, “Shavon, you are a force to be reckoned with.” I will never forget this experience!
After 2 grueling months of preparation, I was ready to arrive at rehearsal and meet my fellow TEDxWilmingtonWomen speakers. We all immediately began bonding and getting to know one another by taking turns introducing ourselves and the purpose of our talk on the stage. The admiration and excitement were palpable. Then the real rehearsal began. In order, we practiced from start to finish until 6 pm. Every speaker got personalized feedback from 4 TEDx speaker coaches on ways to enhance our performance. The camaraderie continued late into the evening at the private speaker dinner.
I wish I could say I slept well, but the words of my talk echoed in my brain all night. The anticipation slowly built and I knew I could only hold it all together for one more day. As the audience filled the seats in the auditorium the next morning, my heart began to race. The audience was mesmerized from the very beginning of the event and I was finally able to sink in to the moment and watch each speaker with complete openness. It was extraordinary experience, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Thank you TEDxWilmington for creating the safe space and support system required to share my idea worth spreading.
Watch Shavon Lindley’s TEDx talk HERE.