I think most speakers are chosen because they have expertise in some subject like artificial intelligence. When they invited me to speak they said they didn't have a topic in mind, only that I would have to go through many rehearsals like the other speakers. Whoa.
I immediately thought of topics in my comfort zones: photography, earth science, Silicon Valley innovation. But what could I say that Annie Leibovitz, Al Gore or Elon Musk couldn't say with more authority?
I asked @amacbean16 (my daughter). She said what's most interesting about me is that I've lived so many lives, from growing up on the streets of Oakland to 1 on 1 craziness with Steve Jobs. What ties them together?
My stomach fell. Not the streets. Too hard to speak about. But when I mentioned the possibility at the first rehearsal, my fellow TED speakers and the organizers jumped on it. Ugh, this would be hard.
It reminds me of what women say about childbirth: excruciating. Worth it.
Would love to know what you think.