I think the talk went pretty well, but I finally got a chance to see the video of my talk, and I have a few tips, in hindsight, that I'd like to share so that your first TED talk is even better.
- Wear color. The TEDx background is black. If you wear a black dress like I did, you might look like a floating head and hands.
- Wear something with large pockets. My dress had none, which meant I had to hold the microphone pack in my hand.
- Convince the organizers to light and shoot video from above, rather than below. I don't think the angle in my video was the most flattering -- who looks best shot from under their chin? And the lighting made some weird shadows.
- S-l-o-w D-o-w-n. Both my movements and speech were a little too hurried, especially at first. I didn't realize how fast I was talking.
- Make the audience laugh early in the talk. I told a joke early on, and it helped me to feel at ease and more connected with the people listening.
- Outline your talk ahead of time, but don't script it word-for-word. I think this is one place where I succeeded. I had planned out the points that I wanted to hit and really studied those. I used the images on my slides as a way to remind me of those points. This allowed me to relax and tell my story without the fear that I would ramble on and miss something important.
- Be vulnerable. I told a story that was, and is, very painful to me. I had a lot of people tell me that they identified with it and had their own similar experiences. If I had kept things abstract instead of making them personal, I don't think I would have had the same response.
The video of my talk is embedded below. See the other speakers' videos in the TEDx WayPublicLibrary playlist.