On becoming a TEDx speaker

Originally posted on my personal blog – kenthinksaloud . My TEDx talk takes place on Wednesday 7 September in Whitehaven, Cumbria. I hope to see some of you guys there!

Uff so sorry guys that it has been an age since I last posted. I really need to pay more attention to this blog but life is a little full at the moment – and about to get a little bit more!

I can finally announce publicly that I will be a TEDx speaker this September. I’m a little bit excited about this to say the least.

TED talks, for those of you who don’t know, are world-famous and TED has produced some of the most watched presentations available on the internet. Their slogan is “Ideas worth spreading” and they certainly are, without fail. Since 2006 they have put the videos of their talks on the web for anyone to watch for free. TEDx has been a remarkably successful spin-off from these. All the talks are 15 minutes long and range in topic from technology to arts to social and cultural awareness and more.

TEDx are independently produced talks created by people who have obtained licence from TED and stick to the principles outlined by TED. TEDx, at its best, is indistinguishable from TED. I use TED talks all the time in my research work for clients and I find no difference between them. In fact, one of my favourite talks of all time (by Yassmin Abdel-Magied) is a TEDx from the Southbank.

TEDx talks started near to where I live in the north of England last year and enjoyed great success. I had been invited to speak then but I declined for personal reasons – perhaps just as well, I would have hated to jinx their success! I was asked again this year and really couldn’t refuse a second time. I feel very honoured to have been asked at all.

I hope, time allowing, to feed you all more information about the talk I’ll be giving as well as links to various related things over the next few weeks. In the meantime don’t forget that you can sign up to my Facebook page (click on the link on this page for Sonali) which usually keeps up with my writings online (and the odd writing advice meme for those of you who are budding writers) – or follow my writing blog Writeoutloud. I’ll make sure more news on my talk is posted there. You can have a look at my bio for TEDx here and keep an eye on other speakers as they are announced throughout July too.

One good thing about the forthcoming TEDx talk for me personally is that it is forcing me to squeeze time between my commercial writing and educational consultancy work to get my books sorted. I’m reissuing a new version of Sonali as an Ebook soon with Bangla/Bengali translation alongside the English. I’m also finally giving myself a shake and getting my collection of short stories out. It has been ready for well over a year but living in the virtual equivalent of my top drawer for all that time. There’s no excuse for it other than being excessively nervous about publishing it. But I really need to get on with it. I have two other books on the go which I hope to start looking at publishers and agents for soon and I’m also delighted to be writing a book with a very good friend about our experiences of living in England and Bangladesh. Exciting times!

And if you’d like to get a feel for TED talks generally, I’ll leave you with this brilliant and funny talk from Yassmin. This woman’s passion, drive and general niceness is inspirational.


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