I had always dreamed of becoming a TedX speaker – and that dream has come true! I will be speaking at a TedX event in Camarillo, California on January 28th.
The TEDX application
The on-line application requested a video “exactly two minutes long” explaining why I believe my message is important. I immediately did a word-count calculation – 130 words X 2 minutes = 260 words. So I drafted this – 259 words:
The remarkable Helen Keller, deaf and blind almost since birth noted that of the two physical disabilities, blindness and deafness, the latter, deafness, is most severe. Blindness causes one to lose connection with things, while deafness causes one to lose connection with others.
Therein lays the importance of my message. Connection with others is vital to personal and professional success, self-esteem and overall sense of wellbeing. Numerous studies reveal that loss of connection with others leads to isolation, which leads to depression – and for seniors – dementia.
Over 8 million Americans struggle with hearing loss. The rest of us struggle to stay connected, to successfully communicate with them. The value in understanding the dynamics of hearing, and how to capitalize on them when communicating with a hearing-impaired person cannot be overstated.
As a person who has been severely hearing impaired since birth, wrestled with hearing aids and a recent recipient of a cochlear implant, I am intimately familiar with the challenges of not hearing well. A published author and professional speaker I have a strong understanding of the dynamics of communication.
In my honest, often candid talk, I dispel some of the common myths associated with hearing loss. I provide insight as to why shouting doesn’t help, and share three simple tips that can save communication with a hearing impaired person from dying on the vine – I call them “CPR for hearing loss”
My talk is important because hearing loss impacts the ability to communicate, to connect. And connection with others is everything, isnt’ it?
However, when I practiced the pitch out loud, it was too long. It is said a talk delivered live is about 30% longer than when written or even practiced silently in one’s mind. So, I worked and worked and worked to shorten it and have it end at EXACTLY 2 minutes. I used the Toastmaster Timer – available on Google Play – to keep me on track. Of course, having almost thirty years of practice in Toastmasters Table Topics (impromptu speaking for 1-2 minutes) helped tremendously. Here is the resulting video that helped me be invited as a TedX speaker:
Am I excited! You bet!