‘So, You Want to Talk for TED’ – A Personal Report by Ellouise Schoettler

TED and TEDx talks are a kind of popular mini-theater that has a world-wide audience. Although it wasn’t spelled out on my ‘bucket list,” having a chance to tape a TEDx Talk for the internet has been on my list of things I wished for. Then what do you know – – my wish was granted.

Jane O. Smith.
Jane O. Smith.

Jane O. Smith organizer of TEDxBethesdaWomen, invited me to be one of twelve women who would video-tape TEDx talks in Bethesda on December 5, 2013.

Jane O. Smith and her committee invited a very diverse and unlikely group of speakers: a storyteller, the president of a community college, an international newscaster, an internet business guru, a singer and actress, several others from business, a young woman who has plans to provide basic personal and intimate supplies for women in Africa and 5 others. Their bios are listed on the website At first glance it seemed that their only connecting thread was that they were women – women who could and would speak their minds. It promised to be an intense day of listening to “talks” that challenged the status-quo and nudged for change.

 Ellouise Schoettler.
Ellouise Schoettler.

The day did not start that December morning but months before when Jane O. Smith decided to pursue a dream and pull this day together. Like any theatrical production that “pulling together” took skilled organizing, lots of determination, effective networking, enthusiastic sponsors and just plain hard work. From what I heard there was also luck and good will.

The stories people told about the creation of this day reminded me so much of stories behind many of the key events of the 1970s women’s movement when forces joined to “make it happen” because a group of like-minded people came together to do something they agreed was important and valuable. Several days after the taping, I wrote a personal post for my Blog which included the backstory as I knew.

The big day started at 10 am and ended at 4 pm. The room was charged with a kind of excitement I had not felt since gatherings for the “firsts” of the 70s and 80s. As I listened to the “talks,” I felt that I was feasting on an endless buffet of high-calorie desserts – except these were all “good” for me.

Actually this event was a first – for Bethesda Women and more because December 5th was the TEDx International Women’s Day and similar events were being videotaped that day in 58 countries. It was special and you could feel that people were proud to be a part of it.

Articles in Rockville Patch and Washington Jewish Week both written that day, reflect the flavor from the standpoint of eye-witnesses who were caught up in the excitement.

The videos of all the “TALKS” went LIVE on You Tube this week. It is an event. You are invited to hear “Lively, spirited and sassy” women – Theresa Daytner, Ellie Giles, Ph.D, Molly Mahoney Matthews, DeRionne P. Pollard, Ph.D, Dr. Pamela Peeke, Ellouise Schoettler, JillDougherty, KateCampbell Stevenson, and Kathy Korman Frey – share ideas and wisdom on a wide range of topics.

As a storyteller I took this opportunity to tell a few stories and to share my ideas on the importance of family and personal stories. We all want to be remembered during and after our lives and we all have stories to tell. Our stories are a sure way of being remembered. The title of my talk is “Your Story is Your Legacy.”

Have you thought about that yourself?

Don’t miss this opportunity to tap into a rich vein of wisdom and insights from a group of “sassy” women who are doing interesting and important work in the world. They are all in one place, or watch them below.

Thanks to technology you can savor these talks on your phone, your tablet or your computer – 15-20 minutes at a time where-ever you are, whenever it is convenient for you – and there is no charge.

So here’s to the ladies!


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