Clarity through the process
After 30 years growing up in the technology industry, and many years as a corporate executive, I have delivered hundreds, if not thousands of presentations in my career—some in arenas packed with 15,000 people or more. Preparing for large-scale presentations can be challenging and exhausting. And while I know the audience for my TEDx talk will likely be larger than any presentations I’ve ever delivered, the process of developing my idea worth spreading somehow isn’t exhausting. It’s exhilarating.
From the moment I was accepted as a TEDx presenter, my mind has been in hyperdrive. I have consciously set aside time to contemplate my idea and think about it in new ways and from different angles. I’ve been on a journey to find the most impactful way to communicate and build a movement that will bridge the gap of gender equity in the workplace at scale. Working with the TEDx speaking coaches and some trusted colleagues, I’ve been able to slow down and unpack the why behind the idea and how I can move people to action.
What’s truly exciting about this process is the realization that I can jumpstart a movement that’s been close to my heart for many years. I’ve worked hard to create meaningful change by bringing women into the technology industry. I’ve mentored women in all stages of their careers. I’ve sponsored organizations that support female students and entrepreneurs. And while those organizations have blossomed, we’re not hitting a level of scale and action that is necessary to disrupt the status quo. We are simply not making fast enough progress and meanwhile more women drop out of the industry than join. We need a call to action that will resonate with business and community leaders. Through the process of developing this TEDx talk, I have discovered what that call to action needs to be.
It came to me as I sat down and watched several TED talks in a row. After getting lost in an inspiring rabbit hole of video presentations, I found that the most impactful presentations left the audience with a clear roadmap for people to follow—simple instructions and ideas they could put into practice tomorrow. That was a light bulb moment for me. Tapping into my background in product marketing, I shifted my mindset and came up with a compelling text-based visual to close my presentation. It’s memorable. It’s relatable. And it’s actionable.
With that missing piece in place, I’m more excited than ever to share my idea with the world. And I can’t wait to see what else I discover on this TEDx journey.