TEDxConcordia College: An Interview with Megan Myrdal

Ever been inspired by a TED Talk? Or been to a TEDx event and thought "This is awesome"? Us too! So when our co-founder Megan got a chance to speak at one, she (way more eloquently than this) was like "HELL YES" because we're passionate about sharing why the local food system matters.

So earlier in April Megan gave a TEDx talk at TEDxConcordia. We thought it'd be an awesome experience to reflect on and inspire others. Here are Megan's thoughts.

 

Q: How did the opportunity arise?

In early December 2015 Concordia College sent an invitation for current students, college alumni and faculty to submit a proposal to speak at the first TEDx Concordia College. As an alumni and current adjunct faculty of Concordia, I jumped at the opportunity to submit to speak about my passion - ugly food! I was notified in early February that my proposal was accepted. I spent the next two months working with a stellar team of student organizers who helped me develop my talk and feel prepared for the big day - April 7!

 

 

Q: Were you nervous? What was going through your mind during the talk?

I have to admit I was quite nervous. I was a speech kid in high school but it had been quite a long time since I’d given a talk of this nature. I decided to go sans notes so it took a long time to memorize - a 15 minute monologue is a good amount of information to commit to memory. Basically if you saw me at any time in the two weeks prior to the talk, I was more than likely running lines in my head. Sometimes, I’d pretend I was talking on my phone while walking home from class and I was actually reciting my talk. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do! During the talk I was pretty focused on the goal of adequately conveying my points and engaging with the audience on the importance of food waste. But, I was definitely thinking about what was coming next in my talk and being prepared for transitions.

 

 

Q: If there was only one takeaway from the talk, what would it be?

The title of my presentation was called “The Way You Look At Food Can Change the World.” I truly believe this to be true. If we begin to look at food as more than just a thing. If we start to think of food as a relationship: look at all the people, all the resources, all the time; all the energy, and all the life that goes into producing every single bite of food we eat - it brings our level of respect and appreciation for food to another level. And with respect and appreciation for food’s significance, it becomes much harder to throw any food in the trash.

 

 

Q: What advice do you have for others giving a TEDx talk?

I do quite a bit of public speaking but a TEDx talk was something totally different for me. It’s a much more staged speaking engagement than I think most are used to. What helped me was practicing aloud, A LOT and also enlisting friends and family to listen to the talk and provide pointers. Things can come across one way in your head, but may not be conveyed the same to others. Essentially, it’s the age old rule of public speaking: practice practice practice!

I’d also recommend that if you have the opportunity to give a TEDx talk, seize it! The process is challenging and exhilarating, and when you are finished, you definitely feel like you’ve accomplished and been part of something truly special.

 

Thanks Megan! And thanks Morgan Schleif for these great photos! Killer event.