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 educational program as quickly as possible. I took part in International Speech Contest, winning on 3 consecutive levels. That exposed me to the world-class competition. I was 19 at the time.

After that I started speaking out of Toastmasters. I was delivering trainings on public speaking and webwriting for media people. I didn't get paid for that, but I enjoyed it.

I decided I wanted to be a public speaker. So I moved to London to conquer the world. Or so I thought.

The problem was that speaking about public speaking is an oversaturated market. I had the delivery skills, but nothing to present. Or nothing that people would pay for.

I needed to become an expert on something.

In the meantime I started working as a barista. I fell in love with coffee. I withdrew from the uni, 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 even started training people on that. I've become a trainer. That was my goal before I got into coffee. However even with public speaking background it wouldn't be possible without full commitment.

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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