Connecting to and communicating with passion (my talk at TEDxTacoma)

Apparently, the only thing that terrifies me more than giving a talk at TEDxTacoma about passion-based communicating is watching myself give a talk about it.

Still, I felt is was important to put on my Big-Girl Pants and watch it. The whole thing, slightly less than 18 minutes, because I got a little nervous and forgot some stuff.

My objective (as possible) critique? Not as horrible as I’d thought it would be, even good in places! I think the main points come across, and I think there’s valuable information in there for anyone starting out on the road to putting out the word about what moves them. I forget sometimes, but it really is confounding, having all that energy and no funnel to put it through; the discipline of acting has a lot of valuable information for building your funnel and practicing the use of it.

Also? MY MOUTH WAS SO DRY. I’d forgotten until I watched this again, but I was sort of freaking out on stage because I could feel my mouth drying, drying, drying up. That’s what all that weird, old-people-tongue-moving stuff is about: trying to keep my lips from sticking to my teeth. I know: disgusting. But there it is. A technical reality of speaking, especially early in the morning after you have had not enough water and too much caffeine. Gonna have to work on that.

Finally, the sound is iffy in places. I’m talking into a headset mic, but the audio seems to be coming from the ambient me, not the mic’ed me. And we’re in a chapel, so it gets a little boom-y and I come off (much to my embarrassment) a little preachy. Maybe that’s a function of the chapel’s acoustics, but I think there’s a bit of me to blame, too, in that. So. You know. Working on that, too.

It’s a process, right?


Video of me speaking at TEDxTacoma shot by my new pal, and dead ringer for Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, only the goofy, fun version, Kyle Sleeper, one of the fine students of the amazing Michelle Jones at Puget Sound University University of Puget Sound who helped get this shindig birthed. You can watch all the videos of the talks from TEDxTacoma on YouTube, including my fave “talk” of the day, the performance of the a capella group, Garden Level. Love them boyses who raise their voices, yes, I do!

Thanks, Michelle! Thanks, Kyle and all you crazy kidz! Thanks, UPS! Thanks, TEDxTacoma!


  1. Hallelujah and Amen, Sister Wainwright. Wherever your church is, I’m a comin’. I thought it was a great message and it’s a real treat to get to see you out there doing it. One tid bit tip from the singer whose mouth gets very dry before getting out there: I have a very small spray bottle I got at a beauty supply (fits in my pocket) and i fill it with aloe vera juice. pretty bitter but amazing stuff. i give myself a few blasts in the back of the mouth and lube it does.

    I thought i’d take this e-chat to alo let you know a couple very meaningful ways in which your passion and the communication of it have impacted my life: I went to the Clutterbusters workshop with Brooks and left without my wedding dress which had been in the trunk of my car for 14 years – i’ve been getting clear of stuff since that weekend and it’s been awesome. And, I have kept my kitchen sink clean and clear for a little over 3 weeks now and I am in awe, truly, of the freedom from shame and resentment it has given me. It feels f-ing great to wake up to a clean kitchen – who knew?

    You are changing the world Colleen ~ and i for one am very grateful.

    1. Al! Thanks for the tip (what a great tip—someone hire me to speak for more than five minutes so I can try it out!), the words, the feedback—all of it. And more. But you know about the more.

      So glad you got to experience Brooks live and in person. What a great story about the dress. I’d laugh about the “in your trunk for 14 years part” except that given my own proclivities, that would be some serious pot-on-kettle action.

  2. I have also been changed by you. My favorite part of the talks is when you are vulnerable. You have made me more comfortable with my ability to make progress vs. my anxieties.

    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s the hardest thing to do and the least immediately gratifying. So much more fun to go for the joke. But really, while I maintain that the joke IS, in fact king (and all hail the joke), the joke is still in service of the truth. Let me never forget that.

      Also, you are one classy f*cking dame. If I had some small part in helping you with anything, I count myself lucky.

      1. Colleen, you’re so welcome. If I’m a classy dame in your eyes, wow, that’s the best thing I’ve heard in ages. I have enormous respect for you as I read you here, and I imagine you aren’t too much different IRL. Please let me know if I can ever support your endeavors in any way.

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