Last Saturday afternoon, I did a talk for TEDxUWA:Masterpiece the inaugural micro-conference of a new TEDx organisation in WA, TEDxUWA who are in their first year of operation. This was a fantastic experience if a bit boundary pushing for me.
This was the first time I had planned, written, rehearsed and delivered a full talk, with some help from my lovely best friend (and wife), Annmarie. It was also the first time I had ever really talked about myself personally in front of a crowd of people, laying myself bare so to speak. This was quite liberating. Opening up and showing parts of me that are normally hidden from casual observation.
We had seen the call for talks on Facebook and had submitted a suggestion with the expectation that we would probably not hear back about it. Our initial elevator pitch description was “Creative expression starts with connection and the support to express yourself. Connection and support starts with the family.”
We were a bit surprised to hear back that they wanted an interview and after that went well I was offered a speaking slot. So then we had to write a talk. Annmarie wrote out an initial idea which I took some of from. We worked out a goal and after a lot of nervous uncertainty, I finally wrote a finished talk a few days before the event. Then feverish rehearsing and finally a good talk.
In the end, the talk was mostly about my personal transformation from a goth/punk in the mid-90s, not really sure about who I was and what that meant, to now where I feel more like I am me and dress and act more like me. The talk also touches on the influence my opening up to myself has had on my kids growing up and their development of confidence in themselves. I hope it’s a talk that lots of people can find something in.
The volunteer crew that organised the event were great and very helpful and supportive. The other speakers were also lovely people and the rest of the talks were interesting. Although it is not something I thought I’d be good at, I really enjoyed it and in the end, felt I accomplished something, and would definitely do it again, if given the chance.
I’ve put up the full original text of my talk here.