In this episode, TEDx Speaker, Mentor, and Certified Feng Shui Practitioner, Kate MacKinnon, talks about getting on to TEDx stages.

Today, Kate talks about overcoming roadblocks in the application process, how to prepare your presentation for the event, and how she decided on the topic of her TEDx talk. What does it feel like to share an idea worth spreading?

Hear about her own experience getting on to the TEDx stage, being mistaken for Kate McKinnon, and get Kate’s advice to her younger self, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.


Key Takeaways

  • “It’s not an outside thing. It’s an inside thing.”
  • “We’re in a society that values youth, youthful looks, the up-and-comers, etc.”
  • “Age is just a number. But I know so many women feel like they’re not heard, especially if they’re over a certain age.”
  • “We get better as we age. That’s the thing that we really need to get.”
  • “There are a lot of TEDx talks out there. You want to vet them. You want to find out about who’s producing them.”
  • “Don’t bother the TEDx producers. They’re not the ones to ask these questions of.”
  • “Reach out to past TEDx speakers.”
  • “Ultimately, you dont want to just be practicing in front of your cat. You’re going to want to practice in front of other people.”
  • “Don’t get too overwhelmed by it. You can learn.”
  • “If you want to get better at tennis, you hire a tennis coach. If you want to get better at speaking, you hire a coach that can teach you how to be a good public speaker.”
  • “If there’s one person out there that I can touch and make a difference, there’s that ripple effect.”
  • “You have everything you need to be successful right now. The only difference between me and you is experience.”


More about Kate MacKinnon

Kate MacKinnonKate MacKinnon, Feng Shui Expert, TEDx Speaker, and Mentor, is a Certified Feng Shui Practitioner, consulting for businesses and individuals for over 20 years, both locally and globally. Before becoming a Feng Shui Expert, Kate had a management technology consulting company and was Vice President for JPMorgan Chase & Co.

She taught the first online Feng Shui course for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a workshop for the Hospital for Special Surgery and Global Real Estate Women’s Group at JPMorgan Chase. Kate has also written articles on Feng Shui and been a guest and interviewed by thought leaders on Speaking, Life Transitions, and Women Empowerment.

Kate’s mission is to use Feng Shui’s power to illuminate and inspire women to step into their power and greatness and live a life of Beauty, Grace, Dignity, and Abundance, and make a difference in the world. You can find her inspiring talk on Women, Aging, and Visibility on


Kate’s TED Talk: Women, Aging, and Visibility

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Suggested Keywords

TEDx, TED Talk, Speaking, Public Speaking, Feng Shui, Women, Age, Aging, Visibility, Talking, Influence, Learning, Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Inspiration, Motivation,


To learn more, follow Kate at:


Facebook:       Kate MacKinnon

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Twitter:            @fengshuikate

LinkedIn:         Kate MacKinnon


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Read the Full transcript here: 

Speaker 1 (00:01):

Hi, Kate, welcome to the podcast. I am happy to have you on. Thank you,

Speaker 2 (00:07):

Karen. I’m so excited to be on with you.

Speaker 1 (00:09):

And just so the listeners know, as you probably heard in the intro said, my guest today is Kate McKinnon, which it is. And so how often are you getting mistaken for the famous comedian, Kate McKinnon also in the New York area?

Speaker 2 (00:26):

No, all the time. I just a quick funny story, because the first time it happened to me when she was just becoming popular was I made a dinner reservation at the Odeon. And when I showed up, somebody said, are you Kate McKinnon? And I said, yes, the star, Kate McKinnon. I said, yes. And then he realized I was not her. And I said, well, I am, am I

Speaker 1 (00:49):

That’s great.

Speaker 2 (00:50):

It’s funny. And then my husband said, I’m going to start making dinner reservations,

Speaker 1 (00:55):

But that, but the thing is, she actually

Speaker 2 (00:56):

Spells her name. M C K I N N O N. And I spelled M a C K I N. So she’s ruined the spelling, my name, but that’s okay. I’m delighted to be the Kate McKinnon not the comedian.

Speaker 1 (01:09):

Absolutely. And, and, you know, you can probably get a table anywhere. Oh yeah. Oh yeah, absolutely. And when you show up, you’re not lying. I think it’s great. And now, but you are a star because you were on the TEDx stage and this month we are talking all about Ted X talks and how to get onto that stage. So, like I said, in the, in your bio that you were on TEDx Farmingdale stage in 2020. So talk about your experience. What was it like?

Speaker 2 (01:44):

My God, can I tell you a little history to it? I mean, it’s, it’s an amazing experience. It really is because I I’ve been wanting to do TEDx for a while, but to be honest, who I was not born a speaker and we met, we actually met with Tricia, Brooke at her speaker salon in 2018, the spring, I think it was 2018. And that was the first time I’d ever spoken on a stage in my life. And honestly, it was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done. I thought it was going to die. And it was the first time I’d done a talk that was even remotely like a TEDx. And what I did love was the power of being able to get up and be an authentic speaker and have a message that resonated for people on. And I just want to share that quick story because I S I talked about my two greatest losses being my two greatest gifts, and I lost my, I lost my hearing in my left ear at one and a half for meningitis.

Speaker 2 (02:39):

And then I lost my mother at four, and I talk about that and I couldn’t even put it on line for a long time, but I finally did. I went to Spain. I was in a, at a Tapper’s party in the mountains of Spain, and somebody came up to me and they said, I heard your talk. I’m deaf too. And they wanted to talk to me about it. And what I learned then was it doesn’t really matter. You could speak to a hundred, you could speak to a million people, but we’re really, we’re really trying to get to that person that, that touches. And if it’s only one we’ve made a difference in somebody’s life. And so that just gave me the bug. And so I then did Trisha did another speaker salon in the spring of 2019, and then it wasn’t. And so I did another talk.

Speaker 2 (03:25):

And then finally the third talk in the fall of 2019, I I was going to do at the speaker salon to talk about my business functions way, but Trisha had this masterclass on doing a TEDx talk. So I took it, and it was during that, where we went through the process of how do you actually create an application? So it starts with the whole process of, of an idea worth spreading. It’s not like having an issue or a problem. It’s like, you’re creating an idea that’s worth spreading. And, you know, we go through a whole exercise and she gives us questions that we answered to just kind of dig deeper to those things that are important to us, that we feel like we want to talk about. And in the process of going through the class we I dunno at one point I somehow got talking about women and how mentoring women and the importance of me, of women.

Speaker 2 (04:18):

And, you know, there were, there was sort of this topic around there. And somehow it got shaped where it was about me turning, you know, at that point it was, I was 62, I think, 62 or 63. And somehow it got shaped around what it means to be a woman aging in this society. Oh, and I know that was really the key. We were doing it with a TEDx in mind. So there was a TEDx on women. And so the topic became of that. I’m sorry. That’s right. That’s like talking about that and sort of digging deeper into that. And that just really resonated. And so there’s that the idea where it’s spreading, which ended up being for me that society deems women invisible after a certain age, and this is something we can change now and forever. So our younger sisters never feel they’re like go out, which still makes good silica gives me chills.

Speaker 2 (05:12):

I mean, it just really still came so deep from with me. And then the next question is when you’re doing the application, why are you the person to give this talk? And I was like, I don’t know. And Trisha was really funny. She goes, can I answer that question for the church? He goes, because you’ve been doing this your entire life. So that, that it wasn’t just like an intellectual thing. It was a thing that had been important to me for a long time, but I didn’t really know it, but once these ideas come up and they come out, they sort of take on a life of their own. They really do. And so in that, that speaker salon, I had a chance to actually work on my talk in a workshop environment. So as you know, with the speaker salon, we have other speakers.

Speaker 2 (05:57):

So you get up on stage and you get to practice and get to write you get feedback and stuff like that. And it just, I could see from my fellow speakers that it was really resonating with them. So that was really powerful. Like I felt like there’s something here that I really have to talk about. And so that idea then grew and grew and grew. And actually I had an opportunity to present it that, for that particular TEDx women’s talk and I went there and the environment wasn’t there, wasn’t right. For me, I felt totally out of alignment. I didn’t get support. It was like, I’d been with Trisha. We were so well taken care of. And, you know, you just show up, dressed up, made up, get on stage, you tech is taken care of. And it just wasn’t that kind of event.

Speaker 2 (06:43):

And I felt like my talk deserved an event to really showcase it. So I actually had the talk a year before. So in December of 2019, it was ready to go. And that was really hard to walk away from. But by the time I did it for TEDx farming tale, it was just, it was in me, it was part of me. I probably can still do it with a little practice. It just came from me. So to me, that’s a really powerful thing to say about doing TEDx talks. It’s, it’s an idea, but it’s like, you end up, it’s like, it comes out of you, you speak it. And then as you’re speaking, you learn to embody it. Like, it’s, it’s a really interesting, like you talk it, but then it becomes part of you. So when you’re actually presenting it for me, it was a full body experience.

Speaker 2 (07:30):

That’s amazing. It just felt like it came from me. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s so good. And, and don’t worry everyone. We’ve got the link to it in the, in the show notes here. So you’ll be able to watch her talk. But I love, I just want to circle back to something that you said when you were filling up the application, why should you be the one to do this? And you said, I don’t know, had Trisha take that one. She does not like the, I don’t know. She does it well that well, and that’s, what’s so funny because she goes, she goes, well, I do. And so she knows me. She knows me well enough to say that, but it was, it was funny. She was like right on it. She was right on it. And and I think a lot of people might hit that, that roadblock in the application process. I don’t know why should I do this? Like, you know, those, that imposter syndrome creeps in and why shouldn’t you be the person to give this talk? That’s a really hard question to answer. So what advice do you have for people if they’re filling out an application and they get stuck, they hit a roadblock.

Speaker 3 (08:39):


Speaker 2 (08:41):

Yeah. You know, I I’ll tell you something. I I’m an, a big believer I get, I always get help. I, you know, I have a community of people that I can ask things and run things by. And I think it’s really important for something like this, because you want to get a sense that does it land, does it resonate or like people even knowing what you’re talking about? Do you know what I mean? I just, that, that has been my experience that I think it’s really been important for me to be able to run it past people. And, and in this case because I was in that masterclass setting, the other thing I was going to say was really, there was an interesting part of that because as I was working on the idea and that’s part of it, it’s like, sort of, it’s like, we’re responding, but we’re working on the idea that somebody said to me, I got up and I don’t quite remember how I said it, but at one point, one of the women said to me somewhere we both know, she said to me, why would I like, you know, cause I looked pretty good for my age.

Speaker 2 (09:41):

Right? Like I’ll say, yeah, I look. And so a lot of people don’t realize how old I am and it’s just, it just sort of, you know, I always say to my father, he looked, he looked young until he turned 70. So I have a few more years. And so she said, why would women, why would women believe or trust you if they, you look like you do? And I said, but it’s not an outside thing. It’s an inside thing. But that question was so important, right. To get that kind of response. And I think, you know, that’s, the other thing is like, you know, for me, you know, of course since I’ve done it, but like even doing it where it resonates for men, like there was something about it. It was, it was more than just being a woman, even though the conversation was about being a woman.

Speaker 2 (10:23):

And I got that from testing it out. Right. And talking about it as I was writing it that it needed to resonate beyond like, yeah, why would I listen to her? Cause she looks great. What does she really know about? So my story tells how I know deeply about what that experience is. And I think that’s that, that one question stayed with me the whole time. It’s like, it’s gotta be beyond like, just looking at me and saying, Oh yeah, like, you know cause that’s not really what it’s about our inside light. And it’s interesting since I’ve done the talk and lots of people have talked me about it. Men, women, men have talked about how it’s affected them. Men have talked to me about how they want their wives to listen and, you know, gay men have talked to me. I mean, like it’s really kind of across the board.

Speaker 2 (11:13):

But there was Oh one woman. I was somewhere and she came up to me and she was you know, like a 32 year old Afro-American woman. And she goes, identify. She goes, I’ve been feeling that she said, not only because you know of my race, but also because as a woman that I feel like I don’t get taken seriously and I’m invisible. And I thought, wow. And I said to her, this is why I’m doing the talk because I like it so that you, you women, your age never had this experience ever. And you know, we’re in a society that values youth that values youthful looks that values, you know, the

Speaker 1 (11:54):

Up and comers, the Anji news, the et cetera, et cetera. Right. And so, you know, when you, it’s, it’s surprising to hear someone in their thirties say that, but I, I mean, I’m in my forties and I know I feel that way. Yeah. You know, and, and that’s why listening to your talk is actually quite healing because you’re like, Oh, well, wait a second. I’m not the only person that feels this way or wait a second. It doesn’t, that doesn’t matter. It matters. What would I, like you said, the light that I have on the inside and how is that B how am I sharing that is kind of like what I got out of it. So I found it to be like, really affirming that like, Hey, and I know this is so cliche age is just a number. But it is, but I get, I know so many women feel that way. So many women feel like they’re not heard especially if they’re over a certain age, they’re passed over if they’re over a certain age. And so I think that’s why the talk resonates so much.

Speaker 2 (13:05):

Yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s, it’s also interesting, you know, it’s like the, you know what they say, like, you know, you see your, you see a yellow VW car, you know, Volkswagen car, and then, then you only see them, right? Like, it’s like once I started writing about this talk and then reading books and it just happened, right. Like it seemed, but it was very synchronistic. How many in the books, like women over 50 writing stories about when they turn 50, when you know people in you know, broadcasting, people consulting people, you know, high-level executive women. It was really it. I suddenly saw it everywhere. I said, wow, I didn’t even realize that this is just in the water of the conversation. Like we don’t even know it’s existing. So when I started talking about it, it’s been out there, but I think people heard it in a new way.

Speaker 2 (14:00):

And my conversation, I actually just had this happen the other day, a woman I haven’t and a beautiful, beautiful young woman who I haven’t seen for years. I met her at a workshop up in Syracuse. I met her mom and she’s been, you know, we’ve been sort of tracking each other on social media all these years. And then she reached out to me because she wanted to do an interview on funkshway. And she told me, she’d heard my talk. And she said, and she started quoting it. But the thing that she said that really struck me is what I had said, but she really mirrored back was that we get better as we age. That’s the thing. And that’s the thing that we really need to get. And so my talk is looking at the hero, not looking at the women behind me, but looking at the women who are out there, I start with an Amash, if you will, to, you know, by time I did it.

Speaker 2 (14:52):

And, and Farmingdale, Ruth, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first woman. I mentioned queen Elizabeth, Jane Fonda, Lily, Tommy, Tommy, like they’re in their eighties and nineties and they are living full out lives. That’s the message. We, we don’t need to stop at our fifties. And if we’re turning our light on and we’re excited about what we’re doing and we’re out there, you know we were alive and that is what people see. That’s the beauty. I mean, to me, that’s really the beauty. It’s like, we’re living, we’re living our life. And I, you know, I talk about Jane Fonda. She had a movie you know, five at Jane Fonda in five acts.

Speaker 1 (15:33):

Like she’s still out there. Like she continues.

Speaker 2 (15:36):

I used to be out there. And she’s now, you know, climate change and, you know, getting arrested for protesting and stuff like that. I love her. I love her. Right. That’s, that’s what I want. That’s where I want to be looking. That’s what I want to be looking at. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (15:52):

And it reminds me too, of like Joan Rivers, who was at her prime when she was 81, she had four TV shows a best-selling line on QVC all over the place. I mean, this is a woman who didn’t stop, talk about always looking forward. Right, right. Definitely one of those women. So obviously your TEDx talk was a talk and an idea worth spreading touch people’s lives a hundred percent. What do you have any other tricks or tips for the listeners about applying for your talk? And then, so you gave one have people around you to bounce ideas off of, I want to circle back because I want to know if you have any others and then we’ll talk about the prep, the preparation. So any other tips or tricks? I, I,

Speaker 2 (16:48):

I would say so. I, I honestly I’m not here to promote anybody, but I would say it helped to have a coach. It really helped to have somebody knowledgeable because I’ll tell you what I did learn from her is you kind of, you want to vet, there are a lot of TEDx talks out there and you want to vet them. You want to find one that is going to be, you know, preferably find out about who’s producing it cause they’re independent and they have guidelines and they should be following them. But sometimes a first time producer may or may not be prepared, right. Fully prepare to really give the, the, the kind of support you need. And that was my experience. It was just, I was, I was spoiled by the kind of sport I’ve been getting, but I saw that I needed to not worry about anything other than getting myself on stage and speaking and letting everything else be taken care of.

Speaker 2 (17:42):

So you want to vet and and that’s, again, through a coach, I have somebody who who’s experienced, she’s placed other TEDx she’s up place, but helped other people get on the TEDx stage. So that, that, that certainly for me was true. And you know, now it really getting out and you can, I, now we have club, you know, clubhouse people, you know, clubhouse event with people talking about TEDx and, you know, being able to do that 90 minute pitch and stuff like that. And people talking about is this topic. And, you know, for me, it was gathering information about it sort of understanding really what it was, watching them, watching them learning, you know, seeing what worked, what didn’t work. And you know, certainly that’s a big part of it. And if you know people, I had somebody reach out to me on LinkedIn cause she was going to do TEDx.

Speaker 2 (18:34):

So she wants to just talk to me to find out more about it. I think it’s, it’s one of those things where you, there are ways you can find people to find out. One of the things that, you know, Trisha will recommend, like don’t bother the TEDx producers, right. If you’re like an apply, you’re going to apply, they’re not the ones to ask these questions. They’re really not. They’re like, so you need to find that information elsewhere, but there’s enough. There’s like, Oh, and then that’s it. Chris Anderson who started, it’s also, he has a good book out on that. There’s a number of books on it. I mean, it really kind of guides to help you think the process through, think about what you’re really talking about. What’s the difference between a TEDx talk and doing a key note for instance, or, you know, a lot of people. Yeah. I, I did you know, I worked in corporate America for a long time and I did a lot of debt, you know PowerPoint presentations, it’s not the same, right. Like really kind of begin to understand really what it is that distinguishes it from other kinds of talks. So those are some of my thoughts just off the top of my head. That’s amazing. I love, I would never thought

Speaker 1 (19:44):

Reach out to pass TEDx speakers. That’s such a great tip. Such a great tip. All right. So let’s talk about preparing for at the talk. So you just don’t say, Oh, practice it a couple of times and wallah I’m up on stage. So talk about your preparation. Yes.

Speaker 2 (20:04):

So when I, and I, and again, I had a little bit of a jumpstart because I was in and working on another talk and then I ended up practicing my talk and the speaker salon. But

Speaker 1 (20:17):

It it’s it takes

Speaker 2 (20:19):

Time. I, you know, I think there maybe some, somebody who’s a better speaker than I am, but like if you were to apply and it was three weeks from now, and by the way, P TEDx neuro doesn’t work that way apply. And then it’s several months out, but you really need time to write the talk if you haven’t written it to practice it memorization as a whole process, by the way, this is one of the things about getting older. I was afraid I was not going to be able to memorize a talk longer than three minutes. And my talk was I think, nine minutes and I’ve done 18 minutes, but learning the technique of memorization because they are a memorized talk and, and you don’t necessarily have a teleprompter as a whole process of like, how do you memorize? So you’ve written the talk now you Steve to memorize it.

Speaker 2 (21:09):

And so that’s a really important part. And part of the memorization, again, I’ve, I’ve had a lot of coaching from Tricia where you know, ways of memorizing, how to break the script down, sort of, you know, learning a little bit at a time, learning a little bit of time and then starting to put it all together. But part of that practicing is, you know, for me practicing at least three times a day, at least three times a day. And ultimately you don’t want to just be practicing in front of your cat. You’re going to want to practice in front of other people. But part of that practice was I’d go out walking and I’d practice the talk I’d be driving. I practice the talk. I mean, really I have to, for me, I had to get to the point where it was.

Speaker 2 (21:52):

So it wasn’t just up in my head. It kind of has, I don’t know how to describe this, had to drop from my head into my body. Right. And also part of that was to choreograph it. So, you know, like sometimes people have a way of rocking and, you know, they walk around the stage. You have a little, as far as I know for TEDx, there’s you have your red circle, which can be a small rug or big rug, but I think you’re not supposed to go off the rug. I’ve seen some Ted dot coms where they do it’s a different staging, but the idea is you kind of are in a small space. So you have to practice being able to really stand fairly still, or like move a little bit. But when you’re moving, not just because you’re rocking, but we actually, I actually choreographed what I was doing and I do it like a performance to be honest with you.

Speaker 2 (22:40):

And so I got helped with that performance and I got had, you know, somebody I trusted and, and, you know, ultimately Tricia, you know, have somebody see me perform, tell me how to move. You know, maybe I should say it this way. And so it was for me, it was, I had the opportunity to prepare my TEDx talk over three months for the one the one in December of 2019. Then I actually performed it again for speakers who day or another Patricia Ray, after the pandemic. And I had to learn how to do it into a video, looking at myself, that’s a whole other technique. And then finally, actually on a stage for a TEDx Farmingdale, which was not, it was live stream, but it was, I did not have a lot live audience. And so each thing each time was something different.

Speaker 2 (23:34):

So there’s a preparation for what you think it’s going to be. And then you show up and you have the experience. So it’s, it’s practice, practice, practice, practicing in front of people. And the other thing we learned is, you know, and then if you’re going to practice in front of people two weeks before the talk, don’t ask them, you know, you can say, I want to practice. But don’t ask, don’t have them like start ripping your talk apart, like a certain point. You have to have a few trusted people where they’re going to give you good feedback, but it’s not about redoing. The talk is a certain point. That’s the talk, right. It’s very interesting. It’s a very it’s a, it’s a lengthy process. I hope, I hope that answers it. It’s like you know,

Speaker 1 (24:18):

Oh yes, absolutely. Absolutely. And I just, I, I love that you’re giving the list,

Speaker 2 (24:25):

The insight into these things

Speaker 1 (24:30):

Talks like, Hey, like this takes time, this is months of preparation. This is months of memorization. There are techniques to it. You know, you can memorize one sentence and memorize a sentence, add another sentence at another, till you have a paragraph, right. It’s not like you’re just going up there trying to memorize a nine minute talk right off the bat, because that’s so daunting. And I, I want the listeners to know that you do have time before these talks that it’s not like you apply. And they say, okay, see, in

Speaker 2 (25:01):

A week, right.

Speaker 1 (25:04):

Yeah, no, they want to make sure you’re ready to, yeah.

Speaker 2 (25:07):

Thanks about the application I forgot to say is very often they ask for video. And so you do like a one to two minute video of yourself. Partly because they want to see who you are, how you speak at a sense. So it’s not like if they select your, you just sort of seeing your application and that’s it. And so that’s always interesting because you know, that was in writing a piece of my talk, not, it was a way of giving, giving the essence of my talk. Actually what I did was I wrote something that was the essence of the talk without like doing the talk. Right. But giving them an opportunity to see me on camera, to get a sense of how I am as a speaker is really important. And that is always a challenge, right? Like I still, I’ve been doing this for a while and I say this so people understand, like, you know, have, have a little hope because if I can do it, honestly, if I can do it, other people can do it because it, it was an area that I wanted to do, but it was a challenge for me.

Speaker 2 (26:07):

And I had to learn to do everything, everything, it was always learning something new, something new. And again, I could say at my age, you know, it was tough, but that’s not really what it was just, I hadn’t learned how to do it before. Right.

Speaker 1 (26:19):

Yeah. Don’t, don’t, don’t get too overwhelmed by it because you can learn,

Speaker 2 (26:24):

You can learn and that’s really the point you really can learn. But I, you know, I, I say this with all all respect to anyone who wants to try this, if there’s a way that they can find, you know, if you, they can find someone to help them with this. For me I’m one of those people, I’ve done many things in my life. I like to have somebody help guide me because it does seem so daunting. And so the other way, it just feels like, okay, I’m shooting in the dark. I’m not sure because you may never hear from the people that you’ve applied to. Right. So you have no idea why they didn’t accept you. And so it’s helpful to get some feedback and guidance from somebody who, who has some experience or expertise in this area.

Speaker 1 (27:11):

Yeah, absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. I mean, we have coaches, like if you want to get better at tennis, you hire a tennis coach. If you want to get better at golfing, you hire a golf coach, you know, it’s the same thing you want to get better at speaking, you hire a coach that can teach you how to be a good public speaker, which is why I joined the speaker salon way back when, why you did and, and here we are. Right. Right. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. I think that’s great advice. Now, is there anything that we glossed over or any other points that you want to make about your experience on the TEDx

Speaker 2 (27:50):

Stage? Yeah, I just it it’s I have to say if someone really wants to do it, I think that’s half the battle. You really want to do it. You really, really there’s something for me. It wasn’t just like I did it halfway and said, Oh, this is too hard. There was something in me that felt like I had something I needed to say that, that, that, and that really is, it’s something, it became something bigger than me. It wasn’t just getting up and doing a talk. It had to be something for me to keep going, had to be something bigger that I felt like there was an important message that I needed to say. And I think that’s part of it that that is part of what had me do it. And then go to a stage and say, this, this just wasn’t the environment, like from a functional perspective, let alone, like, just that, for me, wasn’t an alignment with what my talk was about.

Speaker 2 (28:53):

And I would rather not do it just to say I did it. I th there was a, there was a challenge in that for me, but ultimately I said, it wasn’t about saying it just to say it and get it done. This was an important message. And I wanted to be on the stage that I can convey it to where I felt like it could get out. And so that desire that there’s a bigger message and that desire for me if like that person in Spain, if there’s one person out there that I can touch and make a difference, there’s that ripple effect. So it’s, it’s, it’s something that’s bigger than us ultimately. And I think that’s the important thing. And even like, starting with, you know, that, I don’t know why am I the one to say it? Like we don’t even know sometimes, but the more I worked on it, the more I realized it was something that had been for me to say for a long time, I just didn’t know it.

Speaker 2 (29:45):

And so it grew and I grew, and there was something so beautiful for me when I finally got on that stage. I really, it really was, I was prepared. I was more than prepared, made up, dressed up a beautiful stage, great support. And and I, I have to say there was one moment where I was moved by my talk. Right. That’s the other thing, you know, if you have emotion, but when you’re doing your talk, you don’t want other people to take care of you. Like they’ll just fall apart on the stage. It’s really like, you want them to have the experience. It’s like, you’re giving them a gift and you want them to have the experience. But there was a moment my husband even saw it where my eyes started watering up. I was so moved by what I was saying. It’s like, every time I said it, it was new to me.

Speaker 2 (30:37):

It was new to me. That’s the kind of talk. I think that we’re looking for something that is so deeply important and satisfying and feel like I am the one to say the talk that, that, that is the thing that kept me going with all the challenges and all the new things to say I wanted to get there. And when I did it and walked off the circle is one of the most satisfying things. I, it really is a peak experience in my life. I’ve had a few of them. It’s really, it’s it probably at this point in my life feels like my greatest achievement, to be honest with you so strongly about it.

Speaker 1 (31:15):

Oh, that’s so wonderful. Thank you for sharing that. And now Kate, where can people find you? Like I said, we will have the talk in the show notes for the, for this episode, but where can people find you if they want to do a Ted talk and they want to reach out to you for some advice and just where people can find you on on the regular, regular.

Speaker 2 (31:38):

Okay. I would say probably my, I am on LinkedIn, Kate McKinnon, spelled M a C K I N N O N. That’s probably, you know, that’s certainly a good place to reach out to me. I’m on Instagram. Funkshway K at funkshway Kate and Facebook I’m Kate McKinnon. But I also have a website at, M a C K I N, and M-Sci K I N N O N, that cog and you know, a place where you can send me an email that way as well. Also, I I’m reachable and you know, all of those are, you know, I check everything, so please feel free. I would be happy to, you know, people really want to talk with me about it, be my honor and pleasure. Really. That’s awesome.

Speaker 1 (32:30):

Awesome. Thank you so much. And last question, knowing where you are now in your life and in your career, what would you give to

Speaker 2 (32:40):

Your younger self? Oh, I love this question. I, I would say, and I’ve said this to young women before, who kind of remind me of my younger self. Like I have an assistant working for me. It was like 23 years old. And I’ve had women like in their 1819 that I would say you have everything you need to be successful right now. The only difference between me and you is experience. I love it. That’s great advice. Yeah. Excellent advice. Thank you so much, Kate. This was a great talk. And I think the listeners now have a better idea of what it takes to get on that TEDx stage. And we will regroup with you and Kaia and Trisha for the TEDx round table, which I’m really excited about. So thank you so much. Thank you, Karen. Thanks you so much for asking me to be on it’s my honor, and privilege, and you know, to be able to talk about this, obviously I get really excited, but I, I really love sharing with people and I really hope that people really look to themselves to see where they might actually have that message that they want to do this.

Speaker 2 (33:57):

That would just mean the world to me. So, and I look forward to seeing you with Kaia and Tricia at the round table. Yes, I’m definitely looking forward to that one and everyone thanks so much for tuning in and listening. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy while at the, in smart.


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