In December 2019, I organised the TEDxAinleyTopWomen event in Huddersfield.  The day was a huge success and 19 amazing speakers gave their first-ever TEDx talk.  The audience were wowed, the speakers were phenomenal, and the organiser went home exhausted but very happy. 

So, who were they – the intrepid bunch of speakers?  And why did they put themselves through the process?  I interviewed all of them, to give you a behind the scenes look at the whole process.  Perhaps you might want to get involved in a TEDx in the future. These interviews will shed light on what it takes, why you might want to do it, and who you need to be, to be a TEDx speaker.

In this interview, I spoke to Kath Wynn-Jones.  Kath is CEO of Bury Local Care organisation in Greater Manchester, she is also a meditation teacher, coach, and Mum to Emma 14.  Kath is passionate about resilience and building people’s personal resilience and the impact that has on their personal well-being, their family and the workplace.

If you prefer – you can watch the video or read the blog below.

“Kath, why did you want to do a TEDx talk and was there anything that might have stopped you applying?”

I found out about the opportunity from the Live Love Laugh Lounge and the Professional Speakers Academy.  Over the last 12 months, working with the Find Your Why Council, helped me define what I am passionate about and I thought it was time to get it out there.

The thing that might have stopped me was my own self-doubt, that I was good enough to do it.

“What was the title of your talk and why is that subject important to you?  Why was it something you wanted to share?”

I found out about the opportunity from the Live Love Laugh Lounge and the Professional Speakers Academy.  Over the last 12 months, working with the Find Your Why Council, helped me define what I am passionate about and I thought it was time to get it out there. The title of my talk was :-

“The 3 F’s of Resilience”

At the time I was going through a separation situation, and so my own personal resilience was being tested, and I was questioning myself in terms of – Am I good enough? 

“What happened when you submitted your video for approval?”

Despite technical challenges, I got the video done.  But my main challenge then was that I knew I wouldn’t have any prompts on the day.  So, the video was OK – but I was concerned about remembering it all on the day without a flip chart in view (which was how I did the video ‘audition’). 

What really helped was going through some coaching with you Cheryl.  You helped me with some anchoring techniques – how to relate my content to where I was on stage for example (even though you can’t move much for a TEDx talk).  Practicing with you, at your house and your coaching on preparing for the talk, was massively helpful. 

Here was a time on stage when I did actually forget my content but the anchoring brought it back. 

“How did you feel on the day of the talk?”

Because I had been to the venue the night before, some of my anxiety went away.  The nerves were less on the day because of that and I was really excited on the actual day.  Until about 10 minutes before I went on.  At that point, I thought, ‘Oh my god, what if I trip, what if I forget everything, what if my mike doesn’t work?’.  I remembered something Lisa King said to me – nerves are the same as excitement, so I just told myself, ‘I’m excited’.

When I came off stage, I felt really proud of myself.  I had overcome some of my fears around public speaking and also was proud of myself for sharing my story and being vulnerable.  It wasn’t perfect – there were places I forgot stuff, there were things that didn’t go quite as I wanted, but overall, I was proud. 

“So then there was Xmas, and the talks were submitted for approval. The talks started being approved and there were just 2 left.  What happened was going on for you at that time?”

It was really interesting – I almost had an intuition that mine was going to be an issue – because I had made quotes about health benefits and hadn’t been as clear about the evidence supporting that as I had planned to be.

 As everyone else’s was being published, I became more convinced that mine was definitely not going to be published.  When you rang me to say they had put it on hold, I would have probably given up if you hadn’t been so encouraging.  There was a lot of negative stuff going on in my head.  But then when we put together a strategy around giving additional information, I felt better. 

After the fact, I can see now, this was such a positive thing for me to do.  Putting together my qualifications and all the evidence, made me realise that I did know what I was talking about and that my talk was grounded in science. 

I then disassociated with the outcome.  I didn’t check my WhatsApp or YouTube.  And then one day on my way to work and got a message from Lisa (King) saying I had gone live and had 2,000 views already.  I was so excited and have never been so proud of myself.

It was so great that – after waiting so long, your video went to number 1 of the TEDxAinleyTopWomen talks!  It was almost like the Universe was rewarding you for walking your talk (being resilient!).

“What has been the effect of your TEDx experience?”

One of the big things for me was that my daughter Emma wasn’t there on the day – as it was a school day.  I really wanted her to see it, as it is about my journey and her part in that.  So being able to share with her how important she is and how she inspires me was a massive benefit for me. 

From a professional point of view – it has been great for me to have something to show people that illustrates a side of me that maybe isn’t apparent.  Especially within my organisation, it has been valuable to show people how passionate I am about how public services need resilient populations and resilient people delivering the services.  I’ve been asked to do some talks since then including at International Women’s Day.

This has also helped me develop relationships.  I have been part of the Live Love Laugh Lounge, Find Your Why and the Professional Speakers Association – and it has helped develop deeper relationships with the people in those groups through shared experience and support.

If anyone asked me whether they should do a TEDx talk, I would say just get out there and do it.  You have a message within you. Get clear on your message.   Find a community and coaching, and the support that comes with that. And just do it. 

Thank you, Cheryl, for your support and help.  I am eternally grateful.  

If you need help with professional speaking or are looking for speaking opportunities – contact

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