It's nearly embarrassing to admit, but yes, I have delivered four different TEDx talks.
[Clearly, it's some form of addiction.]
My very first talk was for TEDxLjubljana nearly a decade ago.
The TEDx community was just getting started, and there were barely any people in the room.
I prepared a powerpoint that did not look good on video.
So, it was a waste for everyone involved - and I learned that form, not only content, matters.
The second talk was with TEDxKlagenfurt.
I got so excited that I ran out of time.
The talk literally sped up like a bad cartoon at the end - and I learned that less is more.
The third talk was for TEDxNavesink.
The team worked so hard to get us all ready and truly prepped.
The day of the event I had an insane fever, my skirt kept making it hard to walk, and I re-did the slides the morning of the event.
Perhaps because I was miserable and sick - or because my AMAZING coaches kept nudging me on - but in the last second, I decided to start the talk by opening up about my childhood.
And I learned that stories - not well-researched facts or remarkable cases - is still what connects us.
And then came the fourth talk - with TEDxBucharest, 2018.
For as long as I could remember, I proudly and very loudly insisted on never writing up any talk in advance.
"It's all about being authentic - not scripted," - I would say again and again. "The audience can always feel when you are just reciting the words prepared in advance."
But this time I took months (not weeks) to work on every word.
I wrote it.
And re-wrote it.
I practiced like some sort of Kazakh LeBron James of public speaking.
And when I walked onto that stage, I learned perhaps the most important lesson of my life.
Practice does not make you less authentic.
Rehearsal does not make you fake.
It's the other way around: working on your craft day after day, honoring every element with the attention it deserves, allows you to find your authentic voice - not to lose it to the script.
And here comes the biggest surprise: once you really prepare, once you really build that unshakable core, you can let go - and face any challenge, truly present, ready to improvise and reinvent.
I hope this 2-minute video will show you just that:
P.S. I would love to share more lessons learned from these truly remarkable experiences. If you want to bust some myths about TEDx talks and learn my biggest discoveries, please join me for our new format - our live | free | online Reinvention Happy Hour.
The first one takes place this Thursday, October 31st, 2019 at 2 pm US EST - dedicated to "How to become a TEDx speaker" - but we'll go much deeper into personal brand building, effective communication, and more.
Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva helps companies such as Coca-Cola, Kohler, and IBM turn change and disruption into an opportunity.