The Story of My Ted X Buffalo Experience: Before, During & After.

I wanted to give you all a little insight to my personal experiences surrounding the Ted X Buffalo event. Sometimes I may seem like a happy robot online – I always try to maintain an image that is positive, kick ass and ambitious. While 99% of the time that is true, the other 1% usually stays quiet. However, since TED was such an emotional roller coaster for me, I figured I would write about it on my personal blog. Here is my personal take of the before, during and after of the whole event.

First of all, Ted X Buffalo is a really inspiring event for anyone and everyone. If you haven’t been to Ted X Buffalo, you have to go!!

Leading up to Ted X Buffalo, I was going INSANE. Ted X Buffalo is a BIG DEAL. Stressed to the max, super anxious and cranky would have best described the week leading up to the talk…  Poor Jason,  he was so supportive despite my craziness. I will never forget when I  exploded in tears because he couldn’t help me and I was running out of time to cut out heart bombs.  I felt the pressure to be GREAT, not just good, which really added to the stress. And of course, most people finalize their TED talk about 3 months before the event and… my talk finally came together about 3 weeks prior. Cramming in all the info in 12 minutes was a serious hurdle. Every suggestion from my friends literally made my head explode just thinking about where to put it into the talk. The hardest challenge in preparing for the talk was doing the talk over and over again because each talk literally took all my energy for at least an hour, making the amount of practicing times very limited. Practicing was literally exhausting.

The day of Ted X Buffalo, I unintentionally had to rely on my brain only. I didn’t bring notes to review backstage! (It was probably for the best…lol)  Even two minutes before I went on, I was standing backstage holding a giant heart with the words “Preservation is Sexy” on it…. with no real plan as to when or how I was going to use it. “Whatever happens, happens….there is no turning back now”, I said to myself.  But when I got up there,  it all flowed out the way I wanted it. The lights weren’t too bright and the giant flashing  red timer didn’t even phase me. I didn’t forget a slide, mumble my words or blank out. At the end of the day, my heart bombs & vacancy vortex TED X talk went off way better than I could have ever imagined it.  Having 400 people put hearts over their heads while I held up a “Preservation is Sexy” heart was super fun! Of course there will always be things to add, changes you wish you made but I am happy that it was clear, concise and inspiring. The best part came afterwards; the influx of texts, calls, tweets, message and emails of support that came from my friends from across the globe- all who had taken the time to watch my talk via live stream online… it was easily one of the best feelings ever.

I found myself in awe of my surroundings the entire day. The audience was super responsive and the speakers nailed it. The Ted X planning crew ROCKED – everything went off perfectly.  I had the best conversations with people who inspire me to learn more and live harder. I bonded with the other TED speakers and found myself appreciative and honored to be included in the small group of Ted X Buffalo speakers. I didn’t even want to fall asleep later that night because I didn’t want the day to be over… a feeling which I haven’t felt in a long time.

The TED event made me realize a few things to add to my talk – a great friend mentioned that comparing rehab versus demolition costs would be helpful in my case for preservation and another suggested that I add a few more photos. Also, I realized the need to actually record my power points presentations on preservation so they can be used in the future. If I want more people to know about the vacancy vortex, I have to get the information ready and out to the world, right?

Lastly, as I write this, I am sitting in Nantucket – a magical island of historic preservation, boats and dreaminess. All that stress from TED made my 6 day get away even better. After days of hanging with family, playing in sand and exploring the island via moped, I am recharged and excited to get back to Buffalo to work on preservation projects, building rehabs and energy efficiency projects!

That basically wraps up my entire Ted X Buffalo experience. Sometimes I feel like a happy robot when I am online and hopefully this gives you a little insight to my thinking, my emotions and my approach to life. 🙂

My personal Ted X Buffalo video has yet to come out but here is a photo from Tuesday’s TED X Buffalo Event. You can watch the long version of the video which includes several presenters, including my presentation here.  I start at about 35 min in!

Please check out http://www.tedxbuffalo.com for all the presentations, they were all very fun and inspiring.

http://new.livestream.com/tedxbuffalo2013/events/2425305/videos/32294489

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