I love that any given cohort of TEDx speakers make up an incredibly diverse crowd. As a graduate researcher, part of my job is to share my ideas with those in my field. We routinely present at conferences, write papers and engage with those inside our field of work. TEDxCherryCreek, however, piqued my interest as a way of sharing and hearing ideas beyond the community of scientists, engineers, and academics that I would normally interact with. I love the people I meet in my line of work but after getting accepted as a TEDxCherryCreek speaker, I was most excited to meet my peers. I was most excited to meet incredible people with amazing stories from far beyond the bare white walls of the laboratory that usually surrounds me.
As much as I am fulfilled by the work I do, I often miss the diversity of conversations that I had before I really specialized and chose a field of work to delve into. Even with the current restrictions on in person meetings, thus far, being part of a TEDx cohort has not disappointed. I have already had the opportunity to meet (even if over zoom) most of the women with whom I will be sharing a stage. I continue to be impressed with the broad range of backgrounds and topics that we are going to cover.
The biggest challenge I have faced so far is dramatically changing the way I talk to an audience. I am comfortable explaining technical details. I am comfortable fielding questions from an audience interested in the underlying technology. However, I am less experienced with making the work we do applicable to a far broader population. The team at TEDxCherryCreek puts in immense effort to ensure that we, the speakers, are best prepared to talk to their audience.
Overall, I am incredibly excited that I will be able to share an idea which I am genuinely passionate about. I am also excited to hear talks, stories and ideas that I would never come across in my day to day. Beyond that, however, meeting the people behind the ideas that are so far flung from my everyday has been the most exciting part of my TEDx journey so far.