In October 2019 I achieved one of my dreams when I spoke at the first ever TEDx Doncaster. To be honest, I only applied because post-stroke I was doubting my public speaking skills and I knew it would be a supported process that would enable me to test myself.
The support was incredible. Based around Helm, a co-working space I’d used the summer before, and hosted at the Cast Theatre Doncaster, I was brought into the orbit of talented and creative thinkers, allocated a performance coach and – for once – put the marketing and design in someone else’s hands. It was an amazing experience and a challenging one as I had to learn my talk by heart.
Naturally, the day dawned grey and rainy and I had the ‘flu. Dressed up to the nines in the frock I’d bought for my son’s graduation, I coughed my way through the first session and had to take refuge in the cafe, so as not to disturb my colleagues. Here a woman stopped me, and gave me the advice anyone would want to hear: you need chocolate to line your throat and stop that cough. So I was accompanied into the wings by a grab bag of Minstrels and adrenaline did the rest!
I’ve made friends through the experience that I hope will be for life and we stay in touch via our encouraging WhatsApp group. TEDx Doncaster is happening again this year – so if you get the chance to audition, go for it!
Here’s what I had to say about practising an Ethics of Joy.