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An Interview With... Zach Jones

Updated: Jun 12, 2019

Having announced this years TEDxBrayfordPool theme, 'FEARLESS' and opening speaker applications, we thought it would be great to catch up with last years speakers!

Over the coming weeks we'll be talking to some of our fantastic TEDxBrayfordPool & TEDxYouth@BrayfordPool family. It's always great to catch up with them and we figured that potential speakers may want to know what the process is like, and how past speakers approached the whole TEDx life.

Our first interview catches up with TEDxYouth@BrayfordPool 2017 speaker Zach Jones.


Before we begin, grab a brew and take 15 mins to watch Zach's talk from last in all it's glory;

Zach Jones: Is it better to be a generalist or a specialist?

Now, on with the interview! Let's get to know what happened with Zach when he went about speaking at a TEDx event;


George: Do you remember your first experiences with TEDTalks and TEDx?

Zach: Yes. My friend sending me a link to Neil Harbisson's "I Listen to Color" talk.

G: What was the thing that stuck with you most?

Z: The impactful and insightful nature of TED talks, I craved more!

G: What's your favourite TED talks, or top three?

Z: "I Listen to Colour" is up there, along with Taika Waititi's TEDx talk, "The Art of Creativity".

Z: I wanted to be part of such an important collection of discussions; I wanted to share my own thoughts on the world and hopefully inspire.

G: How did you choose what you spoke about?

Z: Being a generalist is a way of living that I have always been incredibly passionate about, and always wanted people to see in a different light, given our relatively specialised culture.

G: How did you find the process of applying and becoming a speaker?

Z: It was really easy, although a little nerve-wracking wondering whether or not I'd get it!

G: What would your advice be for those thinking of applying or already in the process?

Z: Don't worry! Just let all of the people reading your application see how much you want and deserve the opportunity to be part of TEDx.

G: How did you prepare to deliver your talk?

Z: My main concern was timing, so I wrote and recorded multiple versions of my talk, almost like essay drafts, and sent them to our brilliant coach Hetain Patel, who gave me feedback on my delivery and content.

G: What were your concerns and how did you overcome them?

Z: I managed to overcome the timing concern by practicing a lot, and fun-tuning my script.

G: How did you feel your talk went and how did you feel after?

Z: At first, I wasn't particularly pleased, although I can now look back and appreciate parts of it in retrospect. I think that I potentially rehearsed too rigidly, and that dulled how much I am passionate about my topic.

G: What would your top tips be for successful applicants?

Z: Talk about something you're passionate about, and let that passion shine through in your delivery. Practice is important, but don't force yourself to stick to too much of an unrelenting structure and content, allow yourself to be excited by the occasion and show everyone how you feel about your topic.

G: If you had the chance to speak again, what would you talk about?

Z: I have thought that it might be interesting to do a TED talk about my first TED talk, a sort of retrospective analysis and advice to potential speakers of the future.

G: Would you do anything differently?

Z: Definitely, all of those "top tips" I gave above!

G: What have you been doing since your last TED talk? Any major achievements?

Z: I have been continuing as a generalist, attempting to finish recording an album and return to writing and games design. I have a lot of projects hanging around that need finishing!

G: Is there anything else about TEDx to share with anyone reading?

Z: If you're considering doing a talk, do it!

There you have it potential speakers! A little insight to Zach about his experiences with being a speaker for TEDxBrayfordPool!

Massive thank you to Zach for sharing with us. We look forward to sharing more past speakers experiences soon!

Remember, be FEARLESS!

Speaker applications close for TEDxBrayfordPool 2018: Fearless on Monday 26th March.


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