3 Lessons After Giving My First TED Talk



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November 14, 2023

Wow! What a whirlwind it has been. This past weekend, I delivered my first TED talk at TEDx SFU in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at The Centre of Performing Arts! This was TEDx SFU (Simon Fraser University) thirteenth year in production.

I’ve been prepping for the previous 4 months solid and gained about 20 + years of experience for the content. 

It’s been a BIG bucket list item for me to step on the TED stage in some way, shape or form. 

I’m thrilled, excited, and grateful to have seen this from the idea to the talk. 

I’ve grown and learned so much along the way and have 3 valuable lessons I took away from my fantastic experience.

I want to share those 3 lessons with you here today:

Lesson # 1 - It’s a Team Effort

I can’t stress this one enough. Doing something like giving a TED talk is no doubt a team effort. 

Without the right people around me, I would not be able to craft such a talk, deliver it, and be mentally prepared to do so. 

While yes I am the one standing on stage doing it, I had support from many other pros and people at all times to make it happen. 

An entire expert group is involved when doing anything at a high or elite level. 

Collaborating with the right team and environment allows you to make something truly special and beautiful. 

Doing anything with a production like this is a team effort, not a solo act.

Lesson # 2 - You Are Never Ready

One common theme throughout this journey was - “I don’t know if I’m ready.”

There will always be self-doubt and sabotage for everyone at different phases of your life especially when you’re pushing your limits and trying to get to that next level.

It was sometimes difficult for me to think I was ready to step on a stage in front of a live audience of over 1000 people. 

I thought about it long and hard. 

And I came to the conclusion that I’ve never been ready for anything great I’ve done. 

Whether it was moving across the country, trying something new, or asking someone to hang out. 

The time is now to step outside your comfort zone and do it. 

You will never be ready, so do it anyway, and don’t delay!

Lesson # 3 - Enjoy the Ride!

The final lesson amongst the two others is to enjoy the ride. 

I prepped for 4 solid months.

From forming an idea worth spreading to writing, editing, proofreading, and practicing repeatedly. 

I spent nights off and weekends travelling and performing in front of different crowds around Vancouver. 

I had days and weeks without any progress, and I felt defeated at times. 

But all in all, I knew I had to enjoy the ride.

There will be ups and downs.

And sometimes you’ll feel like you’re going nowhere. 

It’s often easy to forget to stop moving, feel your feet on the ground, and take a few deep breaths. 

Don’t forget to smile and know that you’re doing it. 

This allowed me to stay grounded, grateful, and ultimately happy.


Doing this talk expanded my mind so much. I was fortunate to connect with so many amazing people along the way. 

The TEDx SFU team was amazing and hardworking; everyone involved gave it their all. 

From pro skater Micky Papa to artist Vladimir Kanic, high-calibre people were everywhere. 

Setting your goals and dreams high is 100% necessary. 

I remember thinking that giving a TED talk might be a bit far-fetched. 

As I look back on the experience, I can’t help but laugh at that. 

Imagine what could be possible if you aimed for something 10 X as big as you’re currently thinking. What could be possible from that place?

It’s truly been an honour and a dream to step on the TED stage. I can’t thank people enough for the massive opportunity. 

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Let me know if you like content like this. A bit of behind-the-scenes of my life, talking about my recent experiences.

Chris M Wilson

Chris Wilson is a keynote speaker, CTI coach, and entrepreneur. Through his Hover to Fly framework, he aims to impact the next generation in their careers and lives.

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