Pittsburg State University is hosting their first ever TEDTalks in the spring of 2018. A massive email went out to all faculty members that would like to do a TEDTalk having them submit their cv, application, and an abstract of their research presentation.
I sent in my application for a TEDtalk outlining a presentation I have been working on titled, Self-Care: it’s not what you think. I had recently written a paper on self-care for my doctorate Leadership class and was planning to submit this presentation to the Kansas Art Education Association (KAEA) annual conference. This research was fresh in my mind and readily available. The dates from the original email to when the application was due did not allow for new research at my current pace. The timing over winter break and the Christmas holiday meant that I would need to pull something ready or spend my time researching a topic to submit. I chose the first option of submitting something already on my shelf.
I was selected as a finalist, and from the email invitation was given possible times and dates for my video audition. The email included a YouTube linked to two TEDtalks that show TED’s conversational style.
I practiced my talk out loud in my apartment the weekend prior. I was having a difficult time getting the research element and conversation style down to the 18-minute time frame.
The day of the audition I planned my outfit accordingly and was 15 minutes early to my 3:00 pm audition. The conference room was set up to be very intimidating, and I was nervous. I walked in and went past the table with six committee members waiting with their notes. The coordinator cued the video to begin recording and told me I would get hand signals from her when I had 2 minutes left in my time frame. I walked to the front of the conference room and began talking about self-care.
My talk ended at the 14-minute mark and I know I was talking too fast. I had put bullet points and quotes on small index cards that I could hold in my hand. I like index cards because they don’t show how nervous you are. A larger piece of paper without a podium would shake in my hand and give me away. The panel clapped at the end of my presentation, and the room coordinator gave me a paper that outlined that I was one of 200 people auditioning for nine presentation spots.
I got an email two weeks later stating that I was not chosen this year. I will continue to audition and try out next year and the following years because a TEDtalk is on my professional bucket list. I would be honored to be part of the prestigious organization of writers, artists, scientist, and researchers that makeup TED, just like I am honored to have been a finalist for the Pittsburg State University inaugural year.
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I teach future art teachers at Emporia State University. Here is what is going on in my classes.