Part two of “TEDxFortMcMurray Arrives, an Emcee’s Perspective” is here. For those who wish, you can catch up with Part One.
Act Three began with a short, but fantastic, TED Talk: â€œMark Bezos: A life lesson from a volunteer firefighterâ€. I wonâ€™t spoil it for you, but itâ€™s well worth watching.
Our seventh Speaker of the day, and first post-picnic, was Mark Elliott with â€œLife in a Learning Community – Learning, Unlearning and Relearning Fort McMurrayâ€. I found that even the pressure of waiting backstage, and the nerves that come hand-in-hand with that, nothing could take the smile off of Markâ€™s face. He did a fantastic job and helped bring a different perspective for attendees to ponder.
Following Mark, was someone who I promise-promise-promise will never (again) forget.
Just as I was tying in Markâ€™s presentation to the next talk, â€œWaste as a Resourceâ€, I completely and utterly blanked on the Speakerâ€™s name. Poof.
I was horrified, dumbfounded, and yes, speechless. This does not often happen to me – ask my wife… I could see his face, I knew his presentation, yet I just could not pull the name out from my little grey cells. Was this the lack of sleep coming back to haunt me?
Thankfully at that time an attendee (who will go nameless, but it rhymes with â€œMike Durocherâ€) yelled out â€œSomeone, right?!â€ (or something to that effect) which must have kicked me back into gear as I then stammered out a relieved â€œKevin Scoble!â€, turned to smile at Kevin, shook his hand and quickly exited stage left.
As Kevin was dutifully blowing everyoneâ€™s mind with the amazing regional work being done around waste, energy & carbon issues, I humbly tweeted:
Afterwards, I came out, joked about â€œwhatshisnameâ€ (or something like that) and introduced an amazing TED Talk filmed earlier in the month: â€œPeter Diamandis: Abundance is our futureâ€. Kevin then forgave me backstage, although I think I do owe him a beer.
And then came our last Speaker of Act Three – Reinalie Jorolan with â€œUncompromising Commitment to Self, Motherhood and Communityâ€. I will not ruin it (per se) for those who were not there, but I did have to call Reinalie back on stage to receive a standing ovation. It was a nice moment.
Act Four began with a recap of the breakâ€™s homework – â€œWhat is the one thing from today that you will share with your colleagues on Monday?â€, which then quickly switched into the ridiculous and fabulous TED Talk â€œMarco Tempest: The magic of truth and lies (and iPods)â€.
From a talk about the beauty in lies and deception, we then moved the audience to Speaker Maria Fustic, who at thirteen (now fourteen), climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to help raise funds for the Red Cross campaign â€œMalaria Bitesâ€. Maria is someone who continually amazes me with her poise and grace and performed admirably. The community will continue to hear from Maria for years to come, Iâ€™m sure.
Moving from a land of Giraffes and Zebras, the audience was then delighted by a tale of Bobo who married a Unicorn with the TED Talk “Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work“. And if that last sentence doesn’t make any sense, then I urge you to watch the TED Talk.
And so, with a small amount of regret on my part (only because the day was almost over, not because of who was speaking last!) it was time to introduce the last Speaker – Tim Reid with “Third Down Leadership”.
I believe Tim had made the backstage his home all day. He saw the first 10 Speakers prepare, stare, pace, joke, read cue cards, meditate or otherwise try to centre themselves. And one by one, they put on their mics, stood within the wings and left to do their best did Caesar impersonation – Veni Vedi Vici. And when it was Timâ€™s turn, he did no less.
Timâ€™s talk, â€œThird Down Leadershipâ€, was part passion for sports, part passion for teamwork, and part passion for the unsung heroes of every organization. To those of you who were there – have you said hello to your janitor?
And just like that, the day came to a close. With a few remarks, I brought an end to the inaugural TEDxFortMcMurray event.
I’m not sure if it was the lack of sleep, or the gamut of emotions I experienced throughout the day, but I had goosebumps as I thanked the Speakers, audience, volunteers, sponsors and families of the Organizing Committee. It was a special moment for me.
The audience provided some feedback and questions (all so gratifying – “when is the next event?!” etc.), the energy in the room seemed alive and the positive nature seemed contagious. The excitement for TEDxFortMcMurray 2013 was palpable – I cannot wait for next year.
But just before I gave the orders for the ushers to unlock the theatre doors (kidding), I asked Mayor Blake (who partook in the entire day) to come on stage to say a few words.
Mayor Blake was very kind and mentioned that following TEDxFortMcMurray was a challenge for her, and she spoke about the opportunity events such as this have to help share our stories and messages on our own terms. I know the Organizing Committee and the Speakers were appreciative of her time and her message. It was a nice cap to the day.
What You Didn’t See On Stage
What, or should I say who, you didn’t see on stage were the dedicated Theatre Techs who ran the show behind the scenes. Led by Sean McIlveen, the full-time Theatre Technician at the Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts at Holy Trinity High School, the easy-going volunteer crew of Steve Gartner, Ron Scott, Jason Campbell & Mitchell Mulhall made sure those on stage both looked and sounded good.
They dealt with everything for us, told us where to be and when to be, took care of short-notice “house lights up”, or easily dealt with such things as “oh dear, I just realized that there’s a spelling mistake in a slide 10 minutes from now…”.
In short, they were amazing, and deserve the credit. Well done gents. I look forward to working with you again.
Green with Envy – The TEDxYMM Photobooth!
At the far end of the concourse, we had a small but dedicated crew of volunteer teachers and students from Holy Trinity Catholic High School who were manning the TEDxFortMcMurray Photobooth during the breaks. They were in charge of a camera, a small red X and a green screen and they were the hub behind a social media strategy cooked up by the Organizing Committee.
Attendees, Speakers and volunteers took a leap of faith and had their pictures taken with no reference to what would be their backdrop. Our Photobooth Elves then tirelessly worked behind-the-scenes to crop, isolate, then drag ‘n drop the subjects onto one of three Wood Buffalo backdrops.
I think it was about half-way through Act Two when twitter feeds started popping up with the Photobooth images that attendees were receiving by email. It was great to see people proud to share their #TEDxYMM photos then and there, and it’s been even better to see Facebook profile pictures and Twitter avatars be replaced by a “I was there” memento.
While I don’t know the names of all who helped pull this off (I’m so sorry, but you know who you are and you are amazing!), I do take my hat off to the two teachers that did such a fantastic job of running the Photobooth: Brad Wassilaskus and Nathalie Reid. Thank you for helping add a little sparkle to the day.
~ fin ~
And that’s it. Thank you so much for reading this far. If you wish, we’ve made our event program available for download as a PDF. Maybe we’ll see you there for 2013?