This week I’ll be speaking at the Cityworks (X)po in Roanoke, Virginia. I was invited to speak on behalf of the TEDx global community, which now equates to 3417 events in 117 countries. Humbled, yes. Nervous, no. Since this is my “TEDx” season, the content is omnipresent in the brain, especially thanks to a great hour-long talk show with our leading local radio host.

For those of you curious about my preparation runway for a major talk, here are my 5 steps. These aren’t for everyone, but they work for me.

  1. Research on everything. Audience, venue, potential facts to include, reading trends, other related videos. Then let simmer.
  2. Work on governing idea – what’s the one thing I’ll leave them with? Develop no more than 3 key buckets of support. Brainstorm stories to resonate the buckets.
  3. Talk it through on my voice memos app. Transcribe it. Reverse engineer the outline to revise number two.
  4. Talk it through again, and make a list of visual imagery I need to resonate the stories. Research, download, buy or borrow visuals.
  5. Practice, syndicate and practice again. Make a note card with outline as backup.
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