The TEDx Talk

It just occurred to me today that I’ve never shared the TED talk video on my blog!  It’s nothing personal, probably most likely due to the fact that I’m an introvert and don’t much like being in the spotlight.

But in the spirit of sharing, I thought it was high time I posted it here.

I adapted a lot of what I say in the TED talk into the text of our book–I worked on the talk so very hard, and I thought it told the best version of the story of the collaborations I did with our daughter.

I had months to rehearse this.  And I did.  I memorized it until it felt natural, which you’d think would be easy to do with a story that actually HAPPENED to you…but it’s actually quite difficult to get everything out you want to say IN THE WAY you want to say it IN THE ORDER you want to say it and make it sound natural.  Because despite my awkwardness at being in the spotlight, I wanted it to be so natural it was like sitting down and telling you a story in my house or something.

Thank goodness I did, because when I got on stage, my voice started to clench up a bit, and I found myself having trouble breathing.

“Psst.  Your voice is shaking.”  My inner Me said, as I gave my talk.  “Knock it off.”

“I KNOW!  I’m trying!  I don’t know WHY it’s shaking, I’m not even that nervous!” I’d say back.

“Well, you’d better snap out of it, or you’re going to look like a moron.

“I KNOW, I’M TRYING!  –Oh, jeez, wait…what part was I on?  Did I already say this part?  Auugh!”

So I pulled it together the best I could…until my slide show clicker didn’t work.  Thankfully, with a few hasty video edits, they’ve spared you the worst of my awkwardness, but dang…that was ROUGH.  And it wasn’t so much about being nervous about people looking at me, but looking at me if I should potentially mess up.  Did I mention I’m a perfectionist?  I hate messing up.  Which, I realize, draws mistakes to me like a magnet.

Before I had done the talk, I watched LOTS of TED talks online.  Friends sent me their favorites and their worst.  But there was one in particular (I’ll keep it anonymous) that stuck with me, because the speaker was SO shy and softspoken that they almost seemed like they were going to cry.  Although it was a great talk, it was so uncomfortable to watch–I just wanted to run up there and give the speaker a hug.  I wanted so badly to make sure my talk didn’t make anyone feel like that….

So even though I’ve told this story a hundred times, on paper, in my head, and in the mirror, for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, here it is.

As for me, I watched it once, and that was about all I could handle.  Thank GOODNESS.  I really REALLY enjoy sharing our doodles and our story with people.  I absolutely LOVE to talk about art and kids and kid’s art and projects and doodles and all kinds of artsy art things.  But I learned that I don’t really feel comfortable sharing with a spotlight shined on me, in the middle of a stage!

But here it is, in all its awkwardness.  And if it’s too awkward, just wait around for the book.  I tell a simpler version of it in the book.

Plus, in the book, my voice doesn’t shake.  :)

20 responses

  1. I spoke at a conference a few years back and the best decision I made was taking a half of a Xanax about 30 minutes before. It was just enough to take the edge off because I definitely get the shaky voice syndrome.

    1. Ha! It might’ve been helpful if they gave out glasses of red wine beforehand to help with the nerves…

  2. Your voice really didn’t sound shakey to me, you sounded very confident and charismatic. You know, everyone is always their biggest critic, but what the rest of the world sees is different from what you see in your own talents and abilities. You are a pro! I really liked the talk too, I think everyone can identify with the message. I know I have such an issue with people “messing up” my projects. My husband can’t come near my work! Certainly something to work on.
    On a different note, have you ever drawn a monster or animal type of head, and had Myla draw a human body? Cause I think that would look cool.

    1. Thanks so much! Yep, we’ve done monsters and animal heads–they’re all on the blog. But she doesn’t draw people bodies on them–that’s an interesting idea!

  3. Your voice really didn’t sound shakey to me, you sounded very confident and charismatic. You know, everyone is always their biggest critic, but what the rest of the world sees is different from what you see in your own talents and abilities. You are a pro! I really liked the talk too, I think everyone can identify with the message. I know I have such an issue with people “messing up” my projects. My husband can’t come near my work! Certainly something to work on.
    On a different note, have you ever drawn a monster or animal type of head, and had Myla draw a human body? Cause I think that would look cool.

    1. Well, thank you! I think as awkward as it felt, maybe if I did it a few more times, it’d get easier. And yes, it takes some getting used to to let someone work on your artwork! Myla’s not drawn people bodies, but we were really into monsters for awhile. They’re fun to do! http://busymockingbird.com/2014/01/26/here-there-be-monsters/

  4. Great to see you and hear the whole story!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  5. I watch a lot of TED Talks, and just watched yours. Side note: I think I know the talk you mentioned, with the soft-spoken woman who gave a great talk but seemed as if she was about to cry the entire time! I’m sure we’re thinking of the same one. Anyway, I’ve read your words and followed your work so much but it was really nice to see you, the real life human, speaking.

    “It’s a platypus, with people hair clips!” > best moment.

    I love your story, you’ve inspired me to let my niece in more in collaborating with my artwork, because I’ve had the same problem with her, but it’s really not a problem and I want her to know that I LOVE creating with her. She’s an artist just like your daughter, and inspires me in the same way.

    Thanks always for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much! Actually, no–the one I was thinking of was a man, and I just felt so bad for him the whole time. It’s so good to hear about you & your niece–if you want to post some of the things you both do, share them on the facebook page. I’d love to see them!

  6. Thanks, Mica. You were great up on stage!

  7. I loved the video!! Congrats and can’t wait to see that book for real in my hands!! You’re an inspiration for creative moms!!

    1. Thank you so much, Crystal–you’re such a creative mama yourself!

  8. Well done you. Great talk altogether!

  9. Such a sweet story. :) I loved watching your TED talk. It was easy to sense your honesty and the passion you have, and I couldn’t detect how nervous you were. Thanks for sharing the video with us!

    1. Thank you so much! I’m glad it didn’t show too much!

  10. You’re too hard on yourself–The talk was great! I like the end picture of your daughter’s hand in your hand. I hope it’s framed somewhere in your home.

    1. I’m glad–thank you! I love that photo too. We had just spent the afternoon doodling, and I looked down and both our hands were covered in marker, and I had to get a photo of it!

  11. I thought you were fantastic and it was lovely to hear how the process happened. I can’t remember how I discovered your site now it was a little while ago, really like your drawings and the collaboration between you and your daughter. Beautiful, Brilliant, how inspiring :)

    1. Thank you so very much!

  12. […]  Life Lessons From a 4 Year Old Artist […]

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