What do you do when you get the chance of a lifetime?
Worry. And sweat.
I was selected to be a speaker for the May 30 TEDx Pasadena Women conference. Being a speaker at TED and TEDx are HUGE goals of mine … so I have to admit: when I received the acceptance, I thought that (perhaps) they had made a mistake and sent the invite to the wrong person. So, I did what I was supposed to do (send in materials, bio, etc), and I waited for the “Oops! Never mind,” email.
When instead, I was given the speaker’s checklist, I knew that I was in.
Between now and May 29 (when we have our dress rehearsal), it’s time to dive into my talk. I already have a first draft, but I know that it’s going to change as the days pass. The folks at TEDx have great coaches who will help be hone my message, and I am sure that my friends will get sick and tired of having to watch me practice. I don’t want to go into this unprepared—TEDx is only the first part of the goal. I want to grace the main TED stage … and soon. And since I am not a household name (yet), I’m going to have to do my best to dazzle the powers that be.
What I am I worried about right now? There are two things: one biological and one mental.
The first is a doozy: I sweat when I am nervous. I sweat a lot. Which is odd, because in every other aspect of my life, I am not a sweaty person. Even when I do press conferences, I don’t sweat. I was never sweaty when I was a performer. But the last thing I want is an HD video of my talk on YouTube with HD focus on my sweaty pits. (“Gee, I think I remember Joelle’s talk. But someone tell that girl to wear antiperspirant!”)
The second? I bet you can guess. Can I pull it off? Is my message powerful enough? Can I deliver it in a way that makes a difference? Will people say: Joelle changed the way I look at the world … ? Will I engage the audience? Will I make people laugh? Am I good enough?
Antiperspirant is the easy part. The rest will take hard work.