“Preparing for death is one of the most empowering things you can do. Thinking about death clarifies your life.”
Before I Die I Want To… is a terrific 6 minute TED Talk that shows you how to:
- Handle tears when they start rolling down your face in the middle of a presentation,
- Make sense of a personal sadness by channelling it into a powerful social movement,
- Take one simple idea, link it with a universal story we all relate to, use visual examples to explain the concept and demonstrate the how and why it’s spread around the world,
And all in 6 minutes. The talk is elegant, clear and uncluttered and refreshingly natural. Candy advocates using public spaces, like the sides of unused buildings and bus shelters, to encourage people to anonymously talk about their greatest hopes, dreams and fears… it begins conversation between people, the community and, the world.
Spaces are set up for people to write their answers to big statements like: “Before I die I want to…” The spaces fill up quickly. Most people understand that “life is brief and tender” yet have few opportunities to explore the fears, hopes and ideas that this and other big questions, ask of us.
I like this speech for many reasons. I recommend it to clients who worry about breaking down with emotion in public. Candy’s feelings surface throughout her speech and it doesn’t detract, it enhances. It makes her message more powerful and sincere because she stands her ground and rides through the storm, letting it flow through her as she keeps going. If you are interested in more tips on how to handle strong emotions when you present, here’s another article I’ve written: “But What If I Cry?”