As I’m preparing for my trip to Wilmington to give my first TEDx talk in a few days, I cannot help but be grateful for the journey thus far.

When I was invited to give a TedX talk by Ajit Matthew George at TEDx Wilmington, I was at first apprehensive. But as has always been my policy in life: “commit first and worry about details later” I accepted without hesitation. One thing I have learnt is to never say no, especially when the Universe sends an opportunity that stretches you to do something you have never done, and challenges you to be better than your best.

Besides, who turns down a TEDx talk? I was honored indeed, and there was no way that I could, or would, refuse the invitation!

Every speaker dreams of taking the TED stage. It’s a great honor to be asked to speak at a TEDx event, to share “your idea worth spreading” with the world and hopefully inspire your audience with your message. At the same time it’s quite a pressure as well.

As an award-winning Bridal and Fashion designer I have taken bows on numerous stages across the globe, from Milan to New York, after each of my runway shows for more than 30 years. I have been in front of numerous cameras, TV shows and interviews for more times than I can remember. I’m totally comfortable being in front of large audiences. However, preparing for TEDx, I have found, is a whole different ballgame.

For my first TEDx talk I chose the topic closest to my heart: Body Image, a subject of great angst to our society today. The title of my talk “Is Your Body Image Holding You Back? is, in my opinion, definitely an “Idea that matters” and whose time has come. It is my hope that the subject will help create a shift in the consciousness of many and make a difference in the world.

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One thing I know for sure: To be vulnerable and expose yourself by sharing your message with the world takes a lot of courage and conviction. Unlike some interviews I’ve had in the past, there is no editing here, just one do-or-die take. No second chance.

That is what has me freaking out so much. What if I forget the lines? What if I go over the allotted time limit?

I took a solid two months to prepare for my TEDx speech – writing, re-writing, editing, and then re-writing again and again. I wanted my talk leaving the audience feeling thoughtful and above all, inspired. I don’t take this opportunity lightly and know that this talk would be one of the most important talks I will have the pleasure of giving in my speaking career to-date. My talk preparation was broken down in three stages:

1. Content Creation

2. Rehearsal

3. Mental Prep

I have learnt in the process thus far that when you are authentic and speak from your heart, and are talking about a subject that you have lived through and experienced first hand, then words flow effortlessly.

Seinfield wasn’t kidding when he said: According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.

Ultimately as the day draws near, I have come to realize that if I can just be myself and talk as I normally do, it will be received well by the audience. Even if I feel nervous the audience will cheer me on.

One thing is for sure: when you feel your message is important enough that were it to touch even just one soul, then you have accomplished your goal. Such is the power of TED.

Here’s to success!

© Rani St. Pucchi, 2017

Rani St. Pucchi is an award-winning Couture Bridal and Fashion Designer, a Style & Image Consultant, and a Relationship Expert. She is a Bestselling Author, a Speaker, an Inspirational Coach and a Trainer. Her #1 International Bestselling Books, Your Body, Your Style: Simple Tips on Dressing to Flatter Your Body Type and The SoulMate Checklist : Keys to Finding Your Perfect Partner are now available on Amazon and at Barnes & Nobles.

For more information on Rani please visit www.ranistpucchi.com

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