And like that, 40 folk – mostly strangers – were in a room listening, bearing witness and reflecting back messages and ideas of encouragement, hope and understanding to seven brave souls, speaking #FindUsHere stories.

From 9am Saturday morning 23 April, Tribe Porty is a hive of activity with the 10 odd members of the volunteer team gradually arriving to the warm welcome of hot coffees and rumbling excitement for the day to come. However, the story started long before now; it’s been 4 months of meetings full of planning and pitching as goes the popular TEDx event production process. The teams have been defined, sorted and ticking away on sponsorship hustling, communications planning, volunteer coordination, design and artwork, promotional kit, speaker recruitment and selection, and this is the culmination of all that work: a dress rehearsal before the day of reckoning.

At midday the 7 strong crew of speakers arrive and dive into a session of warming, bonding and welcome with Mel Sherwood. A professional to the highest degree, Mel (of Grow Your Potential) returns for a second year of performance coaching. You can read her thoughts from last year’s session here.

Kicking off at 1pm the Masterclass provides speakers and audience insight to the alchemy of  Mel’s craftspersonship as she gently guides, refines and shapes the core message explored by each speaker. Some presenters have benefit from a preceding one-to-one session and email coaching, whereas others jumped feet first. The results for the audience are both fascinating and telling.

All the while 40 audience members bear witness: when their turn comes, enthusiasm and a critical eye is cast with hope of adding to the potential of each speakers’ story, one comment at a time. Words of reflection are given with intense dedication and commitment across the 4 hour session and most would agree that the process of participating in the meaning making of each talk was a special and privileged opportunity. The speakers certainly left that day with more questions than they arrived, and a bundle of notes detailing key starring attributes and a wish of encouragement for their story’s future development.

‘And may I just say that I do admire the emphasis on the overall process, that you guys place. It’s possible to consume TED content online as if the events ‘just happen’. Of course this isn’t so, but one benefits from a reminder. And also making the whole process transparent sends the message that the rest of us might even feel emboldened to have a go ourselves at some point.’ – Masterclass audience member

Find the full Storify here.

Curious to know more?  Find Us Here, at Tribe Porty, live streaming TEDxPortobello and sharing the stories on one of your favourite social media channels on Sunday 15 May, 2016.

Eugenia is passionate encourager of creative action. She enjoys weaving the possibilities of music, art, yoga and nature through her life, and hosts The Artist’s Way Creative Circle at Tribe Porty. She hosted the TEDxPortobello Masterclass and is super excited for the 2016 event.

Photos by Jon Davey Photography and Ellie Morag.

 

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