Talking the talk and walking the walk

University Professor takes part in TEDx event in Lima.

By Pulse Staff

University of Findlay Associate Professor of Communication Megan Adams, Ph.D., spent months preparing for one single lesson. But this one was not in the classroom. It was on a TEDx stage.

“The theme was community and I had also done research (on this topic) as an academic for years,” Adams said.

The idea to participate in the TEDxFaurotPark Lima event came from a conversation she had with a client from her personal business. The client made the suggestion for Adams to apply for the opportunity, and Adams thought it was a great idea.

“The application and interview process was pretty quick,” Adams said. “I submitted in April and was accepted in May.”

She had her first coach within two weeks of acceptance, and

had three coaches total: a writing coach, a design coach, and a stage coach.

“That was the most difficult part for me, it was the most stressful part,” Adams said. “The delivery was something I was scared about.”

The speech had to be memorized and under 20 minutes, but she practiced intensely and felt she got better every time she practiced.

Preparing for the event was a tough task due to Adams’ hectic schedule. Not only is she a tenured professor at UF, she and her husband also own and operate their own production company called Homeplace Creative, and she has two small children.

Adams takes her experiences outside of the classroom and blends them into classroom situations. Her Homeplace Creative production work complements the digital media and public relations courses she teaches at UF.

In her preparation for her TEDx talk she practiced in front of her speech students.

She said that was when the pressure was on because, as the speech instructor, she was expected to be the expert.

“A couple of them were bold enough to give me some tips, which was really helpful and I appreciated it,” Adams said.

The topic of Adams TEDx talk coincided with the event’s theme of Community as she talked about storytelling and its role in community.

“The basis of my TED talk was helping people understand that everybody’s perspective is predicated on experiences in life, along with what we allow to filter through our perspective,” Adams said.

For Adams, understanding and empathizing with different perspectives is a building block for a strong community.

“Given the past year or actually 20 months that we’ve had with the pandemic, I just felt like this was such an important topic for people to learn,” Adams said. “I thread that through a lot of my storytelling classes every semester. I thought this would be good fodder for a TED talk so I’m just going to throw it out there.”

And it worked. The organizers read her proposal and asked her to share her perspective at the Oct. 9 event. Despite the intense preparation Adams says it was worth it.

“It was an awesome opportunity. I really enjoyed it,” Adams said. “I would do it again if I could.”

You can see more about this story here or tune into the University of Findlay Communication Department podcast with Dr. Adams: the UF COMMcast.

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