by Rachel Hutchisson

It’s been about a month since the news arrived that I will be delivering a talk at TEDxWilmington, a month I have enjoyed and valued.  Sure, the initial news was one of excitement, of acceptance, of validation.  Who wouldn’t be pleased that her “idea worth sharing” was actually deemed worth sharing?  But being accepted is such a “me” focused thing, and what I’ve experienced since that day has been all about others.  It’s all about:

  1. Being humbled.  Having been involved in a TEDx in my hometown (but not as a speaker) I knew, intellectually, that I was going to meet a group of interesting people.  But I didn’t expect the group to be so diverse, so widely varied in topic, so compelling.  Frankly, I’m humbled to be one of the many who will speak on August 24th, and I’m eager to learn whatever it is my colleagues have to teach.
  2. Being focused.  Although I know how TEDx works and have been involved in planning two events, it’s not the same as being a speaker.  There’s a kind of focus that develops, on that one idea, that just isn’t the same as juggling multiple parts of one big day.  As I’ve found during other moments of my life, focus – the ability to leave other thoughts behind – is a gift.
  3. Being prepared.  Sure, immediately after the thrill of hearing I was to give a talk that dreaded “wow, I’m actually giving a talk” set it.  I think that’s natural.  The good news is that it didn’t last for long, and I attribute this to the planning guidance Ajit George provided.  You could choose to look at it as a list of deadlines, but to me it was a plan, a way forward to ensure that I was thinking about the right things at the right time.  Any good idea needs time to germinate.  And turning an idea into a talk requires time and thought.  

So that’s my big take away so far, one that leaves me in a place of reflection.  Reflection about the talk, reflection about the process…and both reflection and building excitement about how the entire day on August 24th will unfold.

This series of blogs captures the firsthand reactions of the speakers who were selected (from a field of more than 100 applicants) to give talks at the TEDxWilmington Conference on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at the World Cafe Live at the Queen. Tickets are on sale here.