TEDx NAVESINK SPEAKER TALKS ABOUT PRODUCTION PROCESS: INSIDE LOOK
Two weeks ago, I wrote about the TEDx Navesink and how inspiring the speakers were. A few of you emailed me questions about becoming a speaker for next year.
After speaking with Brian Smiga the conference’s lead organizer, I learned that anyone cannot just tap dance their way onto the stage at a TEDx conference. Speakers – as well as their topics – are curated, auditioned, refined and produced to ensure a top tier seminar with valuable topics.
Since the selection process for speakers is so vigorous and somewhat ambiguous, I asked one of the stars of the first-ever area conference, Kerri Martin founder of Second Life Bikes to share an inside look into what speakers go through to “give the talk of their lives… up to 18 minutes long,” as the website says.
TBP: How did you get involved with TEDx Navesink?
Martin: One of the board members of Second Life Bikes approached me in August to speak at TEDx Navesink. I was not sure initially. I did not want to tell the same story as what was on CBS news or the Today Show. This was a talk rather than an interview so I knew it had to entertain and say something personally unique.
After lots of back and forth, I decided the billboard bikes might make a good story with a visual component. When I officially agreed to participate, my brain worked overtime every night writing and rewriting and talking out the speech. My boyfriend heard the speech ad nauseam.
TBP: Through your speech about “building community with chalk,” meaning through the billboard bike you have in front of your Main Street bike shop, you had all the brainiacs in the room in the palm of your hand.
Martin: I originally had 100 slides of various billboards I wrote over the years. Each night I would look at them and try and pick the ones with the best stories (photo above).
My original speech was about seven minutes. Jennifer Cruz worked with me for hours to refine the speech. The editing process was the most difficult but I heard it is important to the conference.
It was easy for me to talk about bikes because that is part of my heart. But editing myself into something that was not too detailed was tricky. Nobody wants to see all your vacation photos even though every photo is important to you. Jennifer had me edit out a lot of photos and add more stories. Ultimately, we added two minutes of meaning and quirky anecdotes to the speech.
We added personal thoughts like how I think electronic billboards are horrible. And a story about the local reverend who took issue with my Easter billboard that read “we believe in the resurrection of bikes.”
He told me that the good book says you cannot use the word “resurrection” in vain. I told him that I looked in the other book – written by Webster’s – and it says that I can. He left calling me the “B” word and it was not “Bike Lady.”
TBP: The audience roared.
Martin: TED let me tell more people the story of the bike shop. It was a great and professional experience from the beginning. I always wanted my billboards to draw people in rather than sell bikes. You will never see “bikes on sale today” on the billboard. I want to invite people in to the party and have them see first-hand everything we are doing. TED helped with that.
Visit Second Life Bikes on Facebook and help with the organization’s crowd funding campaign.
Read The Coaster and TheBPlot’s prior coverage of TEDx Navesink here.
The talks from TEDx Navesink will be posted to TEDxNavesink.com by mid-November, I am told.