TEDx Experience with Xandra Robinson-Burns
Part of: Bucket List: Give a TEDx Talk.
Have you shared your idea before or was TEDx your first time sharing that particular idea?
I founded my personal development school, HeroineTraining.com, a few months before the TEDx process, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect — the freshness of my idea and my new project meant that I could channel that initial passion into my talk.
Did you find and apply to TEDx or did the organizers reach out to you?
I applied — I had just started my master’s degree at the University of Edinburgh, which was hosting a student speakers event. I didn’t feel ready, but I had to go for it while it was right in front of me! I’m so glad it was!
Did you have a speaking coach?
The other speakers and I had a whole training programme that walked us through coming up with our subject, crafting our talk, and mastering public speaking skills. I was surprised by how the process was less about “public speaking” and more about honing in on our passions and what made them specific and unique.
How did you practice?
Mostly in front of the bathroom mirror, walking down the street talking to myself, and presenting in my living room to anyone who would listen!
Are you hoping to do another one?
Sure! It would be fun to decide what to speak about next — I could go in so many directions!
Did your TEDx create new opportunities?
A few people have reached out to me because they saw the talk, and having my mission statement in the form of my TEDx talk on my website is a reminder to myself and my readers of what my work is all about.
What has the reaction been like?
Great! I’m too scared to watch the playback video myself though!
Would you do anything differently to prepare?
The one thing I didn’t prepare for was walking onstage. I was the first speaker of the evening, and I was trying to hide backstage, like a good theatre student, so the audience couldn’t see me. I should have taken that time to myself, to prepare psychologically.
How has your idea evolved since your TEDx?
Paring my talk down to the time limit challenged me to think about the core of what I wanted to say the most. My talk has become the official thesis statement of my work: which is to allow and embrace fiction in our reality. I have since written online courses, given in-person workshops, and continue to play with different ways of sharing my message, so that others can not only hear it, but live it too.
Xandra thank you so much! Your insights and YOUR IDEA are inspiring and I’m grateful to live in a world where there is a YOU doing YOUR work. Here are my big takeaways:
“I didn’t feel ready” Ready is such a forward thinking feeling….I’m not sure that I’ve ever experienced something and felt TRULY ready. And yet, part of me has been waiting to feel that way. Ready is a state of action — not a feeling of assuredness. I need to remember this!
“I was surprised by how the process was less about “public speaking” and more about honing in on our passions and what made them specific and unique.” This ties in to being ready as well but keeping my focus on honing in on my passion is a thread that keeps coming through.
“Prepare for was walking onstage.” When I read Xandra’s answer I was so grateful I asked her these questions because I can totally see me doing that thing where you’re backstage and you’re not sure how to walk on. It’s on my practice list!