When I found out I was nominated to speak at TEDxGreenville 2014: Unzipped I was absolutely psyched! I watched hundreds of TED talks and never ever saw myself giving one. So when someone else thought, “people should know about you, what you do, and the people you do it for,” I immediately wanted to explore the opportunity. I was aware that if I made it, I would be a part of an elite group of people…cool people, in-the-know people…people who had “Ideas Worth Spreading”…yaaaaasssss!
I can remember this feeling of total awe as I walked into the Kroc Center for the rehearsal… It was surreal! The stage… it was a stage like many I had seen in numerous TED and TEDx events given around the globe, and now I was standing upon one of them — doing a mic check! Wow, I was super excited!
The Big Day
On the actual date of the event, I was so amped up! I hadn’t gotten any sleep! Actually, the night before Chauncy Beaty (another presenter) and I stayed up all night rehearsing! Being on the stage and presenting was like being in a dream where all eyes and ears are on you! The greatest feeling is having the audience laugh where expected, sigh where expected, and ponder where expected. Their responses let you know that paradigm shifts were occurring and people were actually getting your “Idea Worth Spreading”! The experience was so life-altering for me that, when I finished, I immediately ran up to the Curator, Lisa Corley, and said please let me be a part of this experience for others any way I can!
Every member of my Unzipped family is special to me. I remain in contact and support each one to this day. We are Facebook friends and keep each other updated on who is doing what in our community!
When I watched my video for the first time, I thought to myself, “my shoes are absolutely fabulous!” Then I thought, I’m so grateful that I was able to execute my thoughts in a way that the audience was able to receive them. My passion was clear, and that green dress was working fabulously on my figure. Intellect and fashion! Yaaaassss!
One of the things that has become a major by-product of my TEDxGreenville experience is the number of people who are using the video to stimulate conversations around re-entry. I’ve found the video in a corrections officer group discussion on LinkedIn, on Facebook, and in use by Leadership Greenville (via the Greenville Chamber of Commerce) as a part of their program! How cool is that?!
I have a chance to help every class that comes through that program. An opportunity to help them think and react differently toward reentering people. TEDxGreenville and New Mind, changing lives, one mind at a time!
The overall experience of TEDxGreenville changed my life. To me, it really is a small way that can become a major way to change the world for the better. The largest gift has been that the past curators and Russell saw something special in me, something that represents TEDxGreenville to its core. I am honored and humbled and so looking forward to continuing my TEDxGreenville experience.
Browse the TEDxGreenville 2014: Unzipped Flickr album for more pictures of Caroline, fellow presenters, attendees, and volunteers.