Presenting at TEDx… Spreading an idea worth spreading

February 22, 2014 in Inspirational
Miki Adderley wing-walking

Craig Priddle
Created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading,” the TEDx program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.

With TEDxSydney on again at the Opera House in just over two months, we wondered what those presenting might be feeling. Miki Adderley, an Aussie who now resides in Switzerland, has just been through the whole experience, presenting at TEDxZurich in October last year.

Miki, a mechanical engineer, has let her curiosity take her to some exciting new places for someone whose job is about being rational and safe. She has done some amazing things, and we count presenting at TEDx among them.

Miki was invited to present in Zurich when she made initial enquiries about being a volunteer. As she revealed she might not be contactable for a few weeks because she was going to be learning how to wing walk, having already done aerial silking in a variety of places including off a hot air balloon, there was the suggestion by the organisers that people might like to hear about it. I wondered what it was like to share her story on the TEDx stage.

Miki’s presentation (see below link) takes you through her aerial adventures, but she revealed that presenting at TEDx was far scarier than any of the adrenalin pounding activities she usually sought out. In high school Miki had always dreaded public speaking and it was only that the invitation to present was too thrilling an opportunity that convinced her she had to say yes.

Her number one tip for presenters: “Practice, practice, practice, in every way possible, then practice some more”. The pressure, real or imagined, is on at TEDx with not only a live audience but recordings of presentations being made for the ongoing dissemination of ideas worth spreading long after the event itself has finished.

In learning how to tell some of her story, the process of distilling it to “the absolute essence and passion” was harder work than she had expected. Working on doing that well gave her great respect for those who make it look easy. She advises eliminating redundancies, that shorter is better, and practice again and again.

Asked if she had any tips for those attending as audience members, Miki commented that the audience members are another highlight of TEDx. Her suggestion is to talk to everyone, and if they aren’t chatty, move on to the next person. “This is the kind of crowd that is a pleasure to spend time with, so don’t miss out on them!”

TEDxSydney is on again. Saturday 26th April 2014 at the Sydney Opera House. Speakers and performers will be announced in March.  While you are waiting for the announcement, why not catch up on some of the other great ideas that are already available online. The TED website is a great place to start surfing ideas.

We don’t know yet who will be sharing ideas to excite, inspire and challenge at TEDx in Sydney….but as Miki suggests, just being there and talking to the people you meet is well worth it. Enjoy.

Miki Adderley’s presentation at TEDx Zurich 2013:

TEDxSydney website:

TED website: