Lindsay Hoffmanby Lindsay Hoffman

As someone who is accustomed to speaking in front of an audience in my college classrooms, I’m pretty comfortable speaking in front of people. I often speak with few or no notes and enjoy interacting with my “audience” of students. I also welcome new challenges and saw this TEDx talk as an opportunity to explore my research, connect with a wider audience, and hone my public speaking skills. I mean, I’ve taught public speaking, so this should be a breeze, right?

Yes, and no. One challenge I didn’t expect comes from my own love of words. I’m what I’d call a “word nerd”; I have been getting Dictionary.com‘s “Word of the Day” emailed to me since all the way back in 1999.  I love to use visual language to connect with others and impart my ideas. But with no notes, how could I make sure I have the right words? It turns out, it takes practice. A lot of it. A memorized speech simply isn’t engaging, but using notes is not in the spirit of TED’s ethos.

The other challenge I found is the time constraint. I’m used to speaking from 50 minutes to 3 hours at a time! How could I possibly whittle down an idea that forms a semester-long class into 9 minutes?! Well I’m proud to say that I have, and I hope the talk will be engaging and interesting to my audience in Wilmington and beyond. I look forward to sharing my words and images in just a few short weeks. It’s been a great journey and I can’t wait to hear from the other inspiring speakers.