On December 20th last year I spoke out loud my wish to speak at a TED event. By the 30th of January I was signed up to present at TEDx Derby on the theme of ‘Let Your Ideas Take Flight’. It’s funny how things turn out, isn’t it?

The crazy thing is it all happened by a remarkable bit of serendipity – I asked someone for help, explained my goals, mentioned that I’d always wanted to do a TED talk and the chain of events kicked in from there. I was chuffed to be selected (even more so now I’ve met and shared a stage with the other speakers).

TEDx events are independently organised and framed within the strict guidelines of TED global. Everything has to be done properly – the website, the staging, the way the event is documented and eventually loaded up to the TEDx YouTube channel. The events are live streamed – so they are globally accessible. It was great to get instant feedback from as far afield as Toronto and Florida.

The talks are extremely well organised – with several technical run-throughs and plenty of encouragement to practice in advance. Nigel Vardy, one of my fellow speakers tweeted ”Been rehearsing for ‪@tedxderby in the garden. The neighbours think I’m mad..! Nothing new there then…”  

I did most of mine in the car travelling up and down the motorway.

The event generated huge camaraderie across the team – speakers and organisers alike – Christine Cawthorne, Filomena Rodriguez, Lucie De Lacy, compere Coretta Barry and all the other team members worked together to create a framework within which the speakers – Nigel, Simon Hancox, Pranali Parikh, Jim Dixon, Gavin Munro, Professor Philip Moriarty and Natalie North could relax and give their very best. Photographer Richard Gardner did us all proud with these fab images.  Do follow the speaker links – there’s some fantastic stuff to explore.


The whole thing was a blast from start to finish. My talk – Cheeky Letters and Dream Lists – was based on the idea that most of us are held back not by the quality of our ideas – but by the quality of our courage and ambition. We know what we ought to do, but for some reason we fall short on the follow through. Based on my experience as a coach I wanted to illustrate a few things that people can do to successfully overcome or work around these blocks and make significant things happen. 

Confidence is a mercurial thing – we have it one moment, lose it the next, and then get it back again – often in a more developed form. Whether we are quiet or brash, it’s always possible to develop a platform for ourselves that suits our skills and temperament – upon which we can flourish and communicate our ideas effectively. In essence, the talk is a summing up of the themes in my next book – The Art of Shouting Quietly – due to be published on Kindle early this summer.  You can find out more here

How do I feel now it’s over? Life seems strangely still without the anticipation of @TEDxDerby      Please can I do it all again?


Twitter: @petemosley

TED Facts:

Since June 2006, the talks have been offered for free viewing online, under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons license, through TED.com. As of January 2014, over 1,600 talks are available free online. By January 2009 they had been viewed 50 million times. In June 2011, the viewing figure stood at more than 500 million, and on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, TED Talks had been watched one billion times worldwide, reflecting a still growing global audience.  Source: Wikipedia