Take My Own Medicine

This past weekend (2/18/17) I completed my second ever TEDx talk. This one was at TEDxKentState.

Compared to my first one at TEDxAlbany (click here), I’d give myself about a 5/10.

Don’t get me wrong, there were more than a few things I’d like to change about my first TEDx talk, but overall – I felt like I gave it my best shot and no one’s perfect.

But this TEDx talk had a different feel. I felt… off.

There were some logistical snafus and bad judgment on my part:

  1. The slides were not my right slides – they were the original deck I sent two weeks prior. Not the updated ones. Some key differences. My bad.
  2. The teleprompter was completely on the fritz. Totally distracting. Should have never used it.
  3. I thought I could swing it without as much practice as I did my first talk. Big mistake.

And I was tempted to not share it when it comes out next month. But the irony is, the subject of my talk today is about how we need to fundamentally change the way we look at failure. Rather than trying to gloss over or hide it, we should look at our failures as stepping stones to a better view.


So once the TEDxKentState talks are live, I will indeed be sharing it. Glaring errors, uhs, ums, and awkward pauses and all. And I will use this as a learning tool to be much better prepared for next time. I need to be more diligent in my preparation and follow-up with my materials. They are *my* materials, and I shouldn’t rely on others to ensure they’re correct.

I’m blogging about this now so I remember how I felt the day of the event. I’m hoping my memory of the talk is much worse than the actual talk, but I doubt it. Either way, I’m committed to the process of improving my craft.

Mistakes are an essential part of growth.

Boy, am I growing.

What if we saw failure as stepping stones to a better view? #tedxkentstate Click To Tweet

Time for me to reflect and learn.

4 thoughts on “Take My Own Medicine

  1. Hey Phil, you are still the man in spite of your sucky performance. Keep trying – you might get it right some day.

    Seriously, kudos to you for recognizing ways to improve, but even more kudos for getting out there and spreading the word. I’m sure you know about negativity bias and research (e.g., this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/24/your-money/why-people-remember-negative-events-more-than-positive-ones.html) on why people remember and focus on the negative events in their life. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You done good young man!

    • Thanks Joe,

      Such a good reminder. Love the research on negativity bias. I even speak about it in my employee engagement workshops! (e.g. The danger of the “annual review”).

      Still learning.

      Still taking my own medicine. 😉

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