How I became a TED speaker


Some time ago I did something I had dreamed about.

I delivered a TED talk.

How did it happen?


Public speaking
I started being interested in public speaking in high school. I wanted to become good at it. I volunteered for school presentations, started reading books and articles on the subject.

Then I heard about Toastmasters. A non-profit organisation where you learn how to speak. I committed myself, going through the educational program as quickly as possible. I took part in the International Speech Contest, winning on 3 consecutive levels. That exposed me to the world-class competition. I was only 19 at the time.

After that, I started speaking out of Toastmasters. I was delivering training sessions on public speaking and web-writing for media people. I didn't get paid for that, but I enjoyed it.

The problem was that speaking about public speaking is an oversaturated market. I had the delivery skills, but not much to convey.

I needed to become an expert on something.





Coffee
In the meantime, I started working as a barista. I fell in love with coffee. I left the university, decided I want a career in coffee and forgot about public speaking altogether.

I started writing a blog about coffee, taking part in competitions and became a part of the coffee world.

People started to associate me with coffee.

I've become a trainer. That was my goal before I got into coffee. However, even with the public speaking background, it wouldn't be possible without full commitment.

TEDx
One day, I opened my inbox and I couldn't believe what I've seen.
"Hey, what are you doing on TEDxBielsko-Biala and why do you have a speech about coffee?"

A typical cheeky polish way of asking somebody to do something.

I didn't feel ready. I didn't feel good enough. I almost rejected this opportunity.

Fortunately, my mentor convinced me I have something interesting to say.





The speech sparked a lengthy conversation at the conference. People were genuinely interested. My goal has been achieved.

I know my TED wasn't perfect. I didn't prepare as much as I should. But it is one of the most fulfilling thing I've ever done.



Pictures - courtesy of TEDxBielsko-Biala

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