On Saturday, Apr. 14, a group of 16 innovative and creative men and women will deliver ideas worth sharing at the third annual TEDx Chilliwack, as well as delight audiences with the skillful art of public speaking.
Because each of the speakers at the upcoming event believes they have an important message to share with the community, they’ve spent months honing their public performance to engage and inspire audiences with their specially crafted speeches written for specifically for this event.
And although many of the ideas shared at TEDx Chilliwack range across the philosophical, scientific and moral compass, besides being inspired, what audiences are most looking for is to be entertained.
Which is why “we implemented rehearsal nights this year,” said Scott McVetty who’s been involved with TEDx Chilliwack since its beginning.
“Three speak each night, they go through what they’re working on and they get feedback and suggestions. That’s been really effective: getting that instant feedback from people who want you to succeed.”
McVetty, who works as a Real Estate agent, spoke at the first TEDx Chilliwack event about how racism changed Cash Mob, which he co-founded in Chilliwack.”The second year the organizers asked me to help out and from there I ended up fully-infringed.”
This year he’s coaching the speakers towards success as they tackle this year’s theme: Time to Reboot.
“What it comes down to is the content of what they’re talking about,” said McVetty. “It’s really easy to get off track, so we work on a lot of things like posture, gestures, and pauses, which are a big thing that newer speakers aren’t used to.”
As with other arts, public speaking is a very specific skill that one typically acquires through practice that also expresses human creativity and imagination.
And although McVetty is helping coach public speaking now, he wasn’t always so charismatic on stage. “My first speech I had my notes handy and tried to not shake too much … but the more you do it the easier it gets.”
To practice his speaking skills, McVetty and his wife joined Toastmasters in 2011, which he credits with improving his public speaking skills. “I became a better public speaker,” he said. “I actually like now.
“And I am definitely much better at being a realtor because I’m much better at communicating. I went from hating small talk to liking social mixers. My wife’s also seen tremendous growth at work that can be linked to (her public speaking practice).”
Like stage actors preparing for a big performance, McVetty says a public speaking engagement can be a fairly consuming undertaking for anyone.
“I probably worked harder on (my TED speech) than any singular event of my life,” McVetty said. “It was really rewarding, but there was lots of nervousness. There’s a lot of expectations with a TED talk, that it needs to be a really good idea and well presented.”
But it’s all worth it because public speaking also “helps you better formulate your thoughts and deliver them,” adds McVetty. “This is how leaders are made, and it’s not just about public speaking, it’s about working with others and communicating.”
TEDx Chilliwack is taking place at the Graham Theatre, on Apr. 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at TEDxChilliwack.com.