Hosting the TEDx Battenkill event here in Manchester, VT… was awesome.
A fun and inspiring weekend meeting cool and accomplished people, both the speakers and members of the larger Vermont and TED community. Broad thinkers and like-minds on multiple levels.
And I got to tell a bunch of jokes. I love jokes. Big thinking and being ridiculous coexisting to magnify the level of awesomeness going on… yup, 100% how I roll.
I am absolutely on the path to give my own TEDx talk soon. A personal and professional goal I’m working toward in 2016. I tell you guys to keep this goal at the higher end of the heap, hold myself more accountable to taking actions toward it. Telling people you don’t want to let down most definitely motivates. In my case, it’s you.
If anyone in my network knows of a TEDx event you think I’d be a good fit for, I would love to hear your ideas. Thank you.
And likewise, anything I can do to help from here, I’m all ears.
Vigilantes of awesome, we are! 😉
Keep killin it, team.
Blue Skies Magazine, Dec 2015
Life Coaching Column #64
“Vigilante of the Sky and Stage”
By Melanie Curtis
This weekend, I hosted a TEDx event. As a life coach and person who believes in consciousness and employed courage as access to expansion and most everything awesome in life, I was stoked to support and participate in this event. In other words… f*ck yeah.
So all day Saturday, I had a microphone in my hand. I took the stage 11 times in total, at the start, finish, and before and after every speaker. It was my job in those times to engage and entertain the audience, keep us all enlivened over a long day of using our brains and sitting on our butts. But also being inspired by all the exceptional people we were hearing. Lots of energy flowing through that room. Up, down, all around. It was my task to weave the off time into a fabric connecting the whole day into something that fit together despite having topics ranging from climate change and economic prediction all the way to the family unit and vulnerability. Great sh*t across the board, and definitely unconnected if looked at individually. Through the theme, “Vigilantes of Extinction,” I called the audience into short conversations that stemmed from the talks and expanded on them too. Each speaker a vigilante for the topic they brought to the stage. (I may or may not have been a vigilante of bad vigilante jokes. I confirm or deny nothing.)
So, why tell this story here? What’s the point for you guys, right? Well, this has me thinking about how we often think the things we did before don’t support what we’re doing now. Like for me in this case it initially seems like a stretch at best to see how professional skydiving could actually set me up for better public speaking.
But it does.
Our expertise grows with every experience however disjointed they may seem.
Look for yourself… what did you used to do? What broader skills can you see that you earned from that experience? How can you see those skills helping you a layer or two back from the obvious interpretation of what you’re doing now?
My experience in skydiving actually pretty specifically parallels in that I had a mic in my hand and spoke and MANY skydiving events over my career, getting stuff communicated to groups while simultaneously entertaining usually by making fun of myself. Hahaha awesome. Never not ridiculous. And as such, fun and funny too.
On the deeper level it totally parallels too. We obviously face and act through the fire of fear when we first and likely often leave that airplane door. Totally normal. Absolutely parallel. I mean, sh*t, they say public speaking is more feared than death. DEATH. Seriously! According to the polls, people are literally less afraid of DYING than talking in front of a crowd of people. That screams fear of judgment. Also totally normal. And also something I call out as completely f*cking NOT OK. Not that we fear judgment, that’s totally understandable for anyone who puts themselves out there in any form. No, I mean that if there is so much judgment in the world that it literally scares us more than DEATH… damn. The vigilante in me says to all the a**holes of the world who judge those people who have the guts to get up there, I say shut your sh*t up and learn how to appreciate others for the courage they employ to get in the ring of life in whatever ways they do. LE-f*ckin-GIT. Can you tell I get fired up to defend these kinds of courageous badasses regardless of performance or outcome? Hell yes, I do.
I also acknowledge my stand for the good and gutsy people of the world is a version of judgment too, but we’ll save that conversation for another column and just plant that seed here now just like TED does with all their ideas worth spreading.
On that note, I’ll leave you this month with this:
A vigilante walks into a bar. Bartender says, “What’ll ya have?”
Vigilante says, “Just-ice.”* F*ck yeah, we will. Tizzle 2.0, out.
*When I realized I wanted to tell some jokes while hosting, I promptly texted my 5 funniest friends at which point of course I got a flurry of text hilarity. Brian Stephens gave me this one. And it wasn’t even close to his funniest contribution. If you want to hear that joke, email me directly through my FB page and I’ll happily tell you. http://www.facebook.com/melaniecurtis11
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