Video: My TEDxCMU Speech (Career in the Age of the App)

Remember that one time I almost panicked in front of an audience 500 people? Well folks, the moment-of-truth video has arrived! A quick recap for those who didn't read the original post: I had the great pleasure of speaking at Carnegie Melon in April for their TEDxCMU conference. I was the opening speaker, and about five minutes in I realized that the audience couldn't see my slides. I debating stopping altogether, but decided to continue and power through because I didn't know if I would have the opportunity to do it over, and there were 1,000 eyes staring at me waiting to hear what was next. So I kept speaking, but as the crew worked to resolve the issue I could no longer see my own slides. I delivered most of my speech from memory while watching one monitor count down my 18 minutes and the other monitor flickering with various troubleshooting methods.

Which brings us to today: I was so nervous to watch my TEDxCMU speech back -- I tend to be self-critical as it is, and I was dreading seeing the panic wash over my face when I realized my slides weren't working.

The crazy thing is that the moment of near-panic and confusion I experienced is almost imperceptible, as is my distraction throughout the rest of the speech waiting for my slides to return.

My stomach was doing backflips and my heart was pounding out of my chest, and yet -- in this video, you can hardly tell (it happens right around 5:50 and again at 7:07). I realize that's a very good thing -- but it strikes me as a reminder that a) there often more going on with people than meets the eye, and b) we are probably a lot more self-conscious about imperfections, speaking, or social situations than others actually notice. (The slides finally come back around 13:18 and I let out an embarrassing Howard Dean scream -- remember him??).

For those who don't want to watch the whole video: click here to read the transcript (this was my prep document so it won't be word for word, but you can see how I prepare for a big speech). Alexis Grant of US News & World report also summed up my career development philosophy quite well in her article, Treat Your Career Like a Smart Phone.

TEDxCMU Video -- Career in the Age of the App (click here to watch in a new window) -- 18 minutes


Life After College is in the news! Check-out some of the recent media coverage:

Stay tuned for some long-overdue book tour updates and launch party pictures! To get the full behind-the-scenes peek at everything (and access to an upcoming Q&A call), join my Inside Scoop monthly(ish) newsletter.