How did I get on the stage for a TED Talk?
Nobody walks right onto a TED stage. There’s always some story
with twists and stops and starts. And, sometimes — they freeze.
When I was asked to give a presentation at a national conference on a topic I am passionate about…
Why Did I Freeze?
I was so excited to tell people about customer service at my company’s annual conference. I had a proven concept that could be used by any other hotel manager to build their customer service success stories. I had already won awards for this — The Susan L. Hamo Award Hospitality Person of the Year.
But, you know, when I was on this podium, I was convinced they were judging me… and expecting me to fail.
Seriously? Stage fright after more than a decade on the stage? Presentation freeze? On a topic that I know and love?
• I felt like a Failure.
• It felt like a Fluke that I’d done anything exceptional — if I couldn’t share it with others.
• I Feared getting on a stage again, ever.
Big fat F in life.
So what did I do?
I took time to decide what I wanted to do. Where I wanted to go. But what I did not know was what to do next.
I needed help.
And, I needed to take a step back to figure out what had just happened to me!
- I have been in the hospitality business for over 9 years when I won the Susan L. Hamo Award from the Summit County (Ohio) Convention and Visitors Bureau which recognizes the top local hospitality professional who has gone above and beyond in the field.
- I was recognized within the hospitality industry for taking an unprofitable hotel to the 5th best property in the company I worked for – in one year. After that, I formed and grew the team to build a new hotel property. I received the Connie Pride Award of Merit from Hilton Worldwide for taking it to the fourth best Homewood Suites franchise in the world.
- Two more hotels that struggled followed — I brought both of them to profitability in record time.
I clearly know how to provide excellent customer service.
That was not the problem.
- Since the age of six, I loved being in the theater and on the stage. I have performed in musicals, one woman revues, and everything in between. I served on the the board of the Broadview Heights Community Theater.
- I have risen through Toastmasters International from a member to becoming a top level director in a worldwide organization that promotes public speaking and leadership skills.
I know stagecraft and presentation skills.
Those are my credentials. But they don’t tell the whole story.
Every step of my career built leadership skills. But those skills always required the ability to present to groups of people and sound…
My background in theater helped build the foundation of my stage presentation skills. I found coaches and mentors who were willing to be brutally honest with me. I collaborated with other performers to build up more skills. I studied form, function, and feelings to discover my ability to connect with my audience.
Remember those three Fs from before?
I went from Failure to Fabulous!
It is never an easy path to TED. Each of my experiences taught me the core of my message: Emotional Glitter.
Every person I served in my hotels, and every coach or mentor who worked with me brought it all together on a cool November morning in Youngstown, Ohio.
Going on the TEDx Youngstown stage recently was a journey I’ll never forget. I worked with other speakers and coaches for nearly a year to prepare my message: Emotional Glitter.
Preparing for this presentation was gut-wrenching. I looked back at the most difficult moments in my life. [Spoiler alert – I lived.] Even the elevator ride up to the stage level in the seconds before my introduction, I was still full of doubt, ready to run instead of going up to start, I faced my fears.
- What if I fail
- Why should anyone listen to me?
- Will they laugh at me?
Imposter syndrome had me firmly in its grip. But as they say – the show must go on.
I stepped onto the stage and into one of the most significant and valuable experiences of my life.
Are you ready to step up on the stage?
Are you looking for that boost that will push you past your comfortable cage and headlong into a new life that is brimming with possibilities?
I have been there. I know what’s on the other side. I want to go there with you.
I was a speaker at TEDx Youngstown in 2018. In 2019, I earned my Masters Degree in Management Leadership from Western Governors University.
My experience is not just for me.
I want to help you, too.
Presentations: from frightful to fulfilled!
Presenters start at all different places. Whether it is stage fright, presentation development, stage presence or audience engagement — all of us have that one stumbling block that trips us up. Presentations are not created in a day and presenters do not step onto a stage without preparation. Or they do — and everyone can tell.
Do you need…
- The skills to deliver your message effectively and with impact?
- The power to develop a speech that will pay for itself in career development or with fees?
- The focus and time to craft a presentation that resonates with your audience?
Then, maybe you need me — Jenilee Taylor.
Here’s another F.
I will you give a free 30-minute consultation focused on your presentation — assessing your skills, your comfort and your content. We will talk about your ability to stand on the stage and communicate with an audience. We will determine your specific needs. It is not a program I offer — it is a hand up to stand on the stage with confidence in your message and yourself.