On October 9, 2021, I did something scary and exciting and wonderful: I gave a TEDx Talk about the modern day root canal and the importance of saving teeth.
I am SO excited to share this talk with you. Honestly, I’m really, really proud of it. I also believe it makes a difference for everyone who has teeth! So if you’re willing to share it with your social media friends and your patients, I’d be super grateful.
Give it a watch! It’s only 12 minutes:
I’d love to tell you a bit more about the backstory for this TEDx Talk. Keep reading!
My Road to TEDx
Back in 2016, I created a vision board for what I wanted the next few years of my life to look like. One of the things on that board was giving a TED Talk. The idea scared the crap out of me, but I figured that meant it was worth doing.
I decided that 2021 was the year I was going to make it happen. So I hired a coach specializing in helping people create and give TED Talks: Tricia Brouk.
From January to June, we worked on my speech. We came up with the topic, and then I started writing. From there, we refined it a whole bunch.
And then it was time to start applying to different stages. It was a whole bunch of work to do this, not to mention while running my practice, running E-School, and doing everything without a nanny for my three kids.
But if you set your mind to something, you can achieve it! And that’s what happened.
In September, I got word that my talk had been accepted at TEDxFarmingdale on Long Island in New York. It was getting real!
Preparing for my speech
There was a lot to do to get ready!
I had to cut down my talk from 18 minutes to 12 minutes.
And I had to memorize it and rehearse a bunch. One of the little tricks Tricia taught me to practice the speech was to say it as fast as I could, then again while doing the dishes, and then again in a fake accent. (Of course I picked an Indian accent, haha!)
To make this a success, I needed all kinds of help from the people around me.
My husband helped take care of the kids while also working full-time. My house cleaner started coming weekly instead of every other week. I hired a chef to make sure my family had nutritious meals to eat. I had a stylist come to my house to help me figure out what to wear (since I didn’t have time to go shopping). And my team at my practice stepped it up even more than they usually do!
Plus, I had to travel up to New York every other week for rehearsal while I was in between other speeches and conferences. It was a LOT!
But finally, the weekend was here.
My TEDx experience
With my husband, my coach, and two members of my Ballantyne Endodontics crew there to support me, I had lots of cheerleaders. And the venue was this awesome little speakeasy! (With a hidden door and everything!)
But even with the cozy environment and so many loved ones there with me, I was still scared! The idea of getting up on that stage was terrifying.
You know what helped? Realizing I wasn’t alone. The other speakers were all trying to get in the zone before their talks with meditation, deep breathing, mantras, and music.
As for me, Tricia read the Maya Angelou poem “Phenomenal Woman” to me, to help me keep my head high. And I just kept reminding myself that the world needs my message, and I’m absolutely the one to give it.
When it was my turn to take the stage, I did so with equal parts fear and confidence. There were a lot of people there to watch, and there sure was a lot of recording equipment. After all, this little stage was actually global.
And that’s ultimately why I was there. To get my message out to everyone.
It was my time to shine. And as soon as I got into the speech, I fell right into its rhythm, just like I’d practiced.
Lessons learned from TEDx
I discovered so much from this experience. I learned…
- My voice matters, and my message is important. (Well, I already knew this, but it’s really important to reaffirm that from time to time! Knowing and believing are two different things.)
- It’s great to connect with super-smart people from other fields. All the other speakers were amazing, and I loved meeting them. And who knows, there may even be some cool collaborations that come out of our meeting.
- If you set your sights on something and work towards it with all your heart, you’ll get there. And it’ll be even more fulfilling than you could have imagined.
- It’s not just about teeth.
Let me explain that last one.
As I was prepping my talk, my daughter, Karina, told me proudly, “Mom, we’re learning about TED Talks in school. And I got to tell everyone my mom is about to give one.” I melted when she told me this. To me, it was evidence that my TED Talk was already making a difference. Not just in educating people about their oral health, but in inspiring my daughter. This helped her affirm that she’s powerful and can do anything she puts her mind to.
I’m grateful to have had this experience. When I was celebrating afterwards, I thanked Tricia for helping me achieve my goal of giving a TED Talk. She told me that she’d helped me do my first TED Talk. Isn’t it wonderful to have a coach who believes in you?
She’s right, though. There are still important messages inside me. So stay tuned!
Spread the word
If you’d like to help me share the word about my TED Talk, please share the video with your patients, colleagues, friends, and family. Just click here to get the link:
Thank you so much! I’d love to hear what’s on your vision board in the comments!