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To Ted or Not to Ted

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

Daniel Kahneman writes about the experiencing self and the remembering self. He argues that what we experience in the moment is very different to what we remember afterwards.

With just over four weeks to go before my first Tedx talk, I consider this post an experiment that tests his widely-cited theory. With public speaking the most dreaded event in most people’s professional lives - regardless of age or tenure, this one is no exception.

Just emerging from the zone of terror, I wondered hard about this self-induced exercise in vanity over sanity. It’s not something I would ever recommend to anyone. It takes over your life and your mind. I wake up rehearsing my opening line.

The false allure of millions of views is simply that. With 3000 talks a year, there are also, by definition, 80% of talks have an average of 387 views. In this era of conspicuous social media presence, ego pervades most decisions. I’m guilty as charged.

My biggest fear isn’t a bored audience and low online numbers however - although a decent number would make it feel worthwhile - whatever a decent number may be!

My biggest concern is more memory-based - at 55, getting stuck, losing my place and losing time is a high probability! It’s a frantic rush to the 18 minute deadline - so much to fit in! I haven’t time to ad lib or pause for dramatic effect!

Why not remove more content I hear you logically ask? Such a challenge that! I’ll try.

18 days to go, when this is over, I will reread this post and explore if the dread I felt in the moment really is remembered more positively. Perhaps I will even reframe it as a ‘learning experience’ or an opportunity! Ironic that given my topic is about reframing.


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