Turning an Academic Topic into a Powerful TEDx Talk with Tanya Golash-Boza [Big Ideas Series]: Podcast Ep. 211

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We all love TED talks, right?

The best ones tell us something we haven’t thought of before and inspire us to take action.

TED talks became so popular because they showcased Big Ideas that oftentimes came from or were influenced by the speaker’s own personal story or experience (plus they’re under 20 minutes!).

In this episode, I’m joined by Tanya Golash-Boza, who recently delivered her TEDx talk called “How to Kill a Neighborhood and Make a Profit” about how disinvestment in Black communities during the 20th century has led to gentrification in the 21st. 

Tanya is currently in our Thought Leader Academy and worked with us to create her TEDx talk.

As a professor of sociology at the University of California, Merced, and founder of the Racism, Capitalism, and the Law Lab, Tanya knows a lot about her topic (she’s writing an entire book on it!): years, statistics, and the specifics of policies like redlining and racial restrictive covenants that led to segregated neighborhoods.

Her challenge was to take an academic topic for a niche audience and turn it into a powerful TEDx talk for a general audience – and she did!

In this episode, Tanya and I talk about:

  • Narrowing down her content and finding the throughline for her talk
  • Integrating her personal story and experiences growing up in D.C.
  • How she iterated her scripts and added more storytelling with help from one of our speaking coaches Joy Spencer
  • Getting feedback from various people in different disciplines
  • How she memorized her script and prepared for the filming
  • What she’s doing next: taking her TEDx talk and expanding it into a signature talk and keynote, using our framework
  • What has been the most beneficial aspects of being in our Thought Leader Academy

This episode is the second in our Big Ideas series.

 

About My Guest: Tanya Golash-Boza is a scholar who focuses on gaining a deep understanding of systems of oppression and exploitation. As a writer, speaker, and teacher, she tells stories of people and of systems to help colleagues, students, readers, and listeners understand how racism and capitalism structure our lives and what we need to do to change this country and the world.

About Us: The Speaking Your Brand podcast is hosted by Carol Cox. At Speaking Your Brand, we help women entrepreneurs and professionals clarify their brand message and story, create their signature talks, and develop their thought leadership platforms. Our mission is to get more women in positions of influence and power because it’s through women’s stories and visibility that we challenge the status quo and change existing systems. Check out our coaching programs at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com

 

Links:

Show notes at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/211

Tanya’s website: http://www.racismcapitalismlaw.com 

Tanya’s TEDx talk: https://youtu.be/eakUZX-pRCQ

Tanya’s blog post: http://getalifephd.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-to-write-compelling-tedx-script.html 

Register for free for our Brave. Bold. Beyond. Live Virtual Summit at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/summit/

Get on the interest list for our Thought Leader Academy: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/academy/

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211-SYB-Tanya-Golash-Boza.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

211-SYB-Tanya-Golash-Boza.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Carol Cox:
How can you turn an academic topic into a powerful Ted talk? This is what I talk about with my guest, Tanya Golash-Boza. On this episode of the Speaking Your Brand podcast. More and more women are making an impact by starting businesses, running for office and speaking up for what matters. With my background as a TV political analyst, entrepreneur and speaker, I interview and coach purpose driven women to shape their brands, grow their companies, and become recognized as influencers in their field. This is speaking your brand, your place to learn how to persuasively communicate your message to your audience. Hi there! I am so excited for this episode as we’re continuing our new series on Big Ideas. Welcome! I’m your host, Carol Cox. I like to think of big ideas as ones that aren’t getting talked about in your circles, in your community, or in your industry. And big ideas can oftentimes be found at the intersection of your industry and a trend. Last week, I talked with Jackie Roby about her thought leadership project and how she identified her big ideas by noticing what was missing in her industry. In today’s episode, I’m joined by Tanya Golic Bosa, who recently delivered her TEDx talk. Her big idea called How to Kill a Neighborhood and Make a Profit, about how disinvestment in black communities during the 20th century has led to gentrification in the 21st. Tanya is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Merced, and the founder of the racism, capitalism, and the Law Lab, so she knows a lot about her topic. In fact, she’s writing an entire book on it.

Carol Cox:
She knows all the years the statistics and the specifics of policies like redlining and racial restrictive covenants that led to segregated neighborhoods. Her challenge was to take an academic topic for a niche audience and turn it into a powerful Ted talk for a general audience, and that is exactly what she did. Tanya is currently in our Thought Leader Academy, and she worked with us to create her talk, and it was so fun to see where her original draft started, to what she ended up with. Now, I don’t know if she would say that. It was fun to see all the iterations, but it was definitely enlightening to me to see her work with me and work with her coach, Joy Spencer, to take the talk from where it began to where she ended up. So in this episode, Tanya and I talk about narrowing down her content and finding the through line for her talk, integrating her personal story and experiences growing up in Washington, DC, how she memorized her script and prepared for the filming. I know I get so many questions from people about how to memorize, and for most public speaking, you don’t want to memorize. But for Ted talks that are about 10 to 12 minutes long, you generally do need to memorize them. And then Tanya and I talk about what she’s doing next. She’s taking her Ted talk and now expanding it into a signature talk and a keynote using our framework. Now, I believe Ted talks became so popular over the past ten years because they showcase big ideas that oftentimes came from or were influenced by the speaker’s own personal story or experience, which is exactly what Tanya did.

Carol Cox:
It doesn’t also hurt that most Ted talks are under 20 minutes long and even under 15 minutes long, and this Ted style framework is what we use for our Brave Bull Beyond Live virtual Summit. They are ten minute Ted style talks that are powerful, real and impactful. This is what we did when we held our Brave Bull Beyond event last October. And what we’re doing again for the one that’s coming up on April 1st. And our summit speakers officially started working on their talks yesterday as we kicked off with a training workshop for them. We have 12 diverse women speakers and four themes, so three speakers per theme talking about how they’ve used their voice to challenge the status quo. The themes are the stories we tell, changing the narrative, advocacy and social impact, and reclaiming your power. Each speaker is assigned one of our speaking coaches as they work on identifying their through line and writing their script. And you’re going to hear about this process in this episode. It’s definitely intense. Our brave will be on live virtual summit is entirely free for you to attend and happens live on April 1st. This event is our thought leadership project. It’s a way for us to champion and amplify women’s voices and to give back to you our community. You can register for free today by going to Speakingyourbrand.com/summit. Again, that’s speaking your brand.com/summit. Now let’s get on with the show. Welcome to the podcast Tanya.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Thank you Carol. It’s so wonderful to be here. I’ve been listening to your podcast for years so it’s awesome to be here with you.

Carol Cox:
Well I am so glad to have you. You are currently in our Thought Leader Academy and shortly after that started in November, you received an invitation to do a Ted talk at the university where you’re a professor. So it was perfect timing. And you recently delivered the Ted talk, not even virtually, like on the stage, obviously filmed with a very, very. Small family only audience. Write for that. And now the video is available. So we have the video to your Ted talk in the show notes, so listeners can go watch that. And I want to talk to you today, Tanya, about the experience that you went through preparing for your talk, actually creating the script. I know you had several iterations of it and really taking a dense academic topic and making it relatable to laypeople because people all over the country and all over the world find Ted talks and listen to them. So there’s kind of a mass audience. So I really want to talk about how you took this topic and made it so that people could relate to it.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
So the very first step was figuring out, okay, what is the one thing I really want to say? What’s my through line? What’s my argument? And as an academic, that’s hard because obviously I have lots of things I want to say, lots of arguments I can make. And I love this, um, this image you gave us not too long ago on the Thought Leader Academy. You’re like, just imagine your talk like a palm tree, not an oak tree with one through line. And then you can build from that. So getting that so really so narrowing down like exactly what that through line was took some time. But once I had that so I decided, okay, the through line that I want to make is I want to argue that disinvestment is what made gentrification possible. And here’s the thing for academics, for an academic that sounds very simplistic and like everyone knows that. But it’s not true, right? Like, not everyone knows that, and it’s not that simplistic. And if you build it out in a way, then you can make it clear. So I think that for me was the hard part was getting that argument down and figuring out what’s this one thing that I want to say. And then there was a process of building that argument out in a compelling way.

Carol Cox:
So, Tanya, let’s talk a little bit about the idea in itself. The disinvestment in black neighborhoods and black communities leads to gentrification. So rising property values that then the the people, the black people who originally lived there are priced out of those neighborhoods. So this is a topic that you have been researching and working on in your role as a professor. So tell us a little bit about what brought you to this topic in the first place, something that you wanted to research?

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Okay, so I grew up in a neighborhood in Washington, D.C. called Petworth, and I grew up in the 1980s and 90s. And one thing that I really enjoyed talking with you is I think we’re about the same age, and we grew up not in in different places, but in a similar time on the East Coast. And kind of similar things were happening in cities. So when I was growing up in Washington, D.C., in the 1980s and 1990s, the neighborhood that I grew up in was nearly all black, and it also experienced disinvestment. And I think at the time, obviously as a child, I didn’t think about that a ton. But looking back on that time period, I realized like, wow, you know, I grew up during a time period when I knew a lot of people who lost their lives. You know, I knew people who ended up incarcerated and I and now I have three teenagers of my own. And and their lives are very different. So I’m realizing, like, wow, what how would it feel for my children to be growing up in the environment that I grew up in? Right.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
So those there’s those memories and in the way that I think about my, my experience. But at the same time, there’s a lot there’s a lot that I value and I treasure about my experience growing up. There’s a lot that I value about the community. So when I go back to my neighborhood and it’s changed, like meaning that it’s reinvested, there’s new restaurants and there’s new bars, but the people are also gone and the people are also priced out. So what I find really interesting, what I really wanted to communicate and share with people, is that is this tension that I feel like on the one hand, the neighbor that I grew up in was Disinvested, and that really is a tragedy. And on the other hand, now that it’s been reinvestment, it doesn’t just erase all the violence, all the trauma, all the displacement that’s happened. So trying to figure out a way to tell that story in a compelling way so that people get the message and people care about it, that’s what got me to writing about it.

Carol Cox:
And you’re doing you’re working on a book right now to be published. It’s obviously going to have a lot more detail and a lot more in it than a 12 minute Ted talk can have. So was it your your experience growing up in this neighborhood in D.C. that led you to want to write about the book and tell us, do you have a title of the book, and tell us a little bit more about what it’s going to be in the book?

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Okay, so yes, my it’s a combination of my experience growing up in this neighborhood, growing up as a white kid in a primarily black neighborhood, and also going to school on the other side of town in a primarily white school. So growing up, really seeing the inequalities and then also returning home. So the book is about the book is, um, well, the first thing, one thing you should know is authors that publish with traditional presses. We don’t choose our title, we don’t have final say. But the current tentative title is Before Gentrification, um, the Violence of Disinvestment in Washington, DC. So that’s what. So that’s the general sense of the book. So what the book is about is, first of all, how did the neighborhood that I grew up in get disinvested in the first place? Right. What what happened? The neighborhood didn’t just, you know, no one’s. Going to build a neighborhood like expressly to be poor in Disinvested neighborhoods are built by developers, so obviously they build them with the goals of making profit. And and usually and usually neighborhoods are actually built to be nice. Um, and Petworth, the neighborhood I grew up in, actually was built to be a nice neighborhood. It was built, um, for white, middle and working class residents in the early 20th century. And it actually was 100% white because in the in the early 20th century, real estate developers put covenants in deeds that, um, could that would say, like black people could not move into this neighborhood. So anyway, so the neighborhood then, uh, transitioned when those laws were out, were when the Supreme Court ruled that those laws were not enforceable. And then the neighborhood changed and became primarily black. And that’s when it started to experience disinvestment. So and then now it’s experiencing reinvestment as white people are returning. So what we see is that when the neighborhood was all white experience investment, when it’s all black, it experienced investment, but only in the form of policing. And then now that it’s becoming white again, it’s seeing investment in the terms of better schools, better facilities, better restaurants.

Carol Cox:
So really, your experience in this book is such a case study of taking a personal experience and universalizing it. So even though your book is very specifically about Washington, D.C., and this neighborhood, which I know academic books are very granular on a very specific topic, I think of my my thesis, my history thesis, which, like no one in the world would want to read except for 100 people. They’re so granular. But the thing now with the Ted talk is you take something that is that granular, and then you have to universalize it. You have to pull out a bit so that that lay audience, the viewers can relate to it. So, Tanya, take us back to why did you decide that you wanted to do a Ted talk in the first place? Was it something that you had in mind, or did the university reach out to you and invite you to do this?

Tanya Golash-Boza:
I am an academic, which means that I speak a lot and I speak at conferences I teach, so I actually have been. This is why I also listen to your podcast. I’ve actually been thinking about how do I become a better speaker like I should become? I should be working on my craft, you know, and I know you’ve read this, this work on deep work that says, like, it’s not just about doing something over and over again, but it’s actually trying to get better at it. In order to try to get better at something, you have to stretch your boundaries. So I’ve been thinking about I want to become a better speaker for a long time, and looking into different programs and things that I could do, and that’s how I found you. But doing a Ted talk is an example of that, right? Because it’s saying, okay, here’s a here’s an example of a of a kind of talk that people give that’s usually very engaging, that can go viral, that has a particular format and a particular feel and a particular style. So me trying to do me wanting to do a Ted talk was primarily about me wanting to become a better speaker.

Carol Cox:
And do you feel like that’s what happened?

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Oh my gosh, yes. I learned so much. Well, I hope I guess my next event, people can tell me whether or not I’m better, but I think I learned so much working on that Ted talk.

Carol Cox:
Yes, that is what I hear from everyone because it is such an intense process, because it is only 12 minutes long and because you have to, in this case, memorize it because it is very short. There’s no time for ad libbing or kind of going off on tangents. So then so Tanya, you started working on this, and I remember when you came to one of the mastermind calls and the Thought Leader Academy, and you, you shared a part, a portion of the script that you had started with. And it was a lot about the racial covenants and the deed restrictions and a lot of statistics and years. And, you know, 1950 this happened, 1970 this happened. And so which was a great start to it, you know, thinking about like the the timeline, the chronology. And so then where did it go from there? Okay.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
So I shared it with you and in the, in the mastermind, and you gave me some feedback on how to like, break it down a little bit. And then I shared it with my speaking coach, Joyce Spencer. And she was like, yeah, Tanya, I just listened to your talk and I feel like I went to an excellent academic lecture. Exactly.

Carol Cox:
Like so like, yes, you check that box on you. You are an academic, which is great. I am an.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Academic. So I really want to say, though, I mean, that version of the talk that I shared with Joy would be considered a very good, very clear academic talk because I really explained this is what redlining is. This is what blockbusting is. This is what white flight is. But what I had to learn how to do was take some of that out. I couldn’t explain everything, because what I had to do was explain something and provide a story along with it so that people could see it. So the storytelling part, and I know you always talk about storytelling and you can and I’ve learned I’ve known for years that I need to do more storytelling, but actually trying to do it is a challenge because it’s not just about creating the narrative arc and talking about people, but it’s about using those elements that you talk about, like using dialogue, evoking the senses. Okay, I was like, evoke the senses, like smells. And okay, I can’t do smells, but I can do sight. I can talk about what I saw or I can talk about how I felt. So I decided I could talk about a couple of senses, namely like my emotions and what I saw. But I wasn’t going to be able to go all out on like, what I heard and what I smelled. That was too much of a leap for me, but I think. But learning how to to take to take this thing. Okay. In the mid 20th century, banks refuse to grant loans in areas that are predominantly black. You can tell people that, but then tell them a story of like what actually happened? How did that actually work? How did that feel? What what were the consequences of that?

Carol Cox:
Yes. And I’m thinking, Tanya, to your to your speech and to your talk, and you did evoke the senses because there were sections of it where you talked about walking down the street and like, smells coming from, I don’t know if it was an Indian restaurant, I forget, but, uh, you know, something that was new, like a new restaurant and the yoga studio and, you know, kind of things that did not exist when you were growing up there in the 80s and 90s.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Yes, I was able to. Yeah. To describe in detail the food and yeah, it took it took a while to get me there because at first I was like, you know, there’s this fancy restaurant that replaced the carryout. I was like, okay, you know, you can do better than that. Be specific, give the details. And that took a lot of work because it’s just not a style that I’m used to using at all.

Carol Cox:
Yes. It’s definitely very different from an academic conference, an academic presentation that you’re, you’re you’re going to. And so so you had your initial kind of script or outline, which was very like, you know, to the audience, I’m going to explain these concepts to you. I’m going to explain, you know, what happened during the 20th century and how we got to where we are. And then Joi, who’s one of our coaches and the Thought Leader Academy, and she’s been on the podcast a couple of times, is I know you were working together with her, and I love how she’s very direct in her and her coaching approach. And then I love that she said to you, okay, I feel like I was at an academic lecture, and she talked about when she was on the podcast last time, this idea of going from story of self to story of us to the story of now, which is the public narrative methodology, and I’m sure that she that was what also informed her and working with you on that. So then you really and I want listeners to go watch your Ted talk to get the full impact. You really brought us in to the story, into the scene, into the moment, right from the very beginning. And you helped us contextualize, like how what you’re going to be sharing relates to us watching. Because we didn’t grow up in Petworth, we didn’t grow up in Washington, D.C. we may not have grown up in that time period at all. So do you remember a bit about how you opened your talk and why you chose to open it that way? Yes.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
I originally um, and this is something that I often do in academic talks. I kind of knew enough before all of this that that starting with the story is a good thing. So. So I had initially jumped right into a story, you know, last time I visited my parents, this is what happened, something like that. But actually talking to Joy, she recommended that I don’t just jump straight into the story. You kind of need the audience to to give them a second to adjust. So ask a question. So what what she recommended was sort of take a little bit of time, and time is so precious, but take, you know, 15 to 20s in the beginning to get to situate people, to get them into the mood, to get them to think, okay, I’m going to we’re going to be talking about a neighborhood, we’re going to be talking about race. We’re going to be talking about difference and inequality just so that so you don’t just jump straight into your story. So that. So I did start out with, um, a series of questions just to kind of prime the audience. And that was the suggestion I got from Joy.

Carol Cox:
Yes, that was great. It was it was kind of like these questions around, like, have you ever wondered why your neighborhood looks the way that it does? Have you ever asked yourself why some neighborhoods are ravaged by drugs and violence and others are not? So like you’re already planting the seeds at the very beginning, and then, you know, for the the viewer, the listener, they’re like, oh, okay, I guess this is where we’re going to be talking about now. And now, as Tanya is describing her neighborhood. As you go into the story now, what I’m naturally going to do is I’m going to start thinking about my current neighborhood or the neighborhood that where I grew up. Yes. Okay. So then so you’re working on the scripts, you’re working on the iterations. How were you feeling during this time? And like, this must have been December now, because I know you recorded this in mid-January. What was it? What was going on in your mind as you were working through this in December, prepping for your filming date?

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Well, I was working on it a lot and all the time, pretty much every day. So I think it’s and I think I have this experience with any creative project that I work on. I go from, this is great, this is terrible, this is great, this is terrible. Like the highs and lows are just all that. Sometimes I’m reading it and I’m like, oh, wow, that line, you just nailed that line. Then I read it again. I’m like, what is the through line? You can’t even see the argument, where am I going with this? This is a mess. So I think it definitely lots of emotional highs and lows working on it. But I did get feedback from a ton of people and that helped both make it better, but also give me confidence. So um, I got feedback not only from the speaking coaches. But I get got feedback from my family who’s from also also from the same neighborhood. I got feedback from my friends back home. I got feedback from academic colleagues. I have a couple of friends that are, you know, very professional speakers in addition to being academics. I got feedback from them. So I just I got a lot of feedback and that helped. Um, and but sometimes they would tell me to do things that were hard.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
So then I would go, then I would, then I would be like, oh my gosh, I don’t know if I can do that. I think particularly with, um, one of my colleagues who is, uh, she, she does editing for, for podcasts for, for radio and podcasts. So she was like, Tanya, you really need to set the scene better, right? You really need to take us there. And I was like, I don’t know if I can do that. Like, I don’t know if I can. So sometimes I feel like, oh, I can’t do that. And then, um, the same thing with the conclusion I had, I struggled a lot with trying to come up with a conclusion that felt, um, real, that didn’t feel like just a throw away, like, okay, we told you all this, and now here’s one thing you can do, or here’s one policy I’d like to suggest, because nothing was really fitting. So that was another one where I was like, I don’t know if I can come up with a good conclusion. I can’t come up with a call to action. I don’t have a call to action. What am I going to do? So yes, definitely. Um, lots of highs and lows.

Carol Cox:
And I remember us talking about that time, your your conclusion and having a call to action for the audience and figuring out like, okay, so they heard the story. They’ve learned about what has happened with disinvestment and gentrification. Now what are they supposed to do about it? And it’s not something that one person can do. Like they can’t just go like, wave a magic wand in their neighborhood and have things, uh, change. And I love and I love this part of your talk where you’re. And this is where, like, I am such a big proponent of just honesty and transparency because it’s very effective. So you say, uh, you know, are you ready for the six part policy plan that will fix all of this? Well, there’s not one right type of thing because there’s not. And and I and you know that honesty about it like this is like structural right. This is systemic that these are big things that haven’t been talked about as much. And that’s why you’re doing this talk to bring it to people’s, uh, mind and then figure out, well, what are we going to do about it as a society. Right.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Exactly. So so that’s the question. I think Joy asked me that question. Okay. What do you want people to do? I was like, well, I just want people to think about this. I want them to think about their own neighborhood, and I want them to think about, did this happen in this in their neighborhood? I want them to think about how racism, you know, shapes structures and society, how capitalism shapes structures and societies. She’s like, okay, well, tell them to do that. Ask those questions at the end. So so again, so that’s why. And so I think that part of the call to action was hard because I, I heard it as tell people to go sign this petition, but that didn’t work. Or tell people, oh, we should build more affordable housing. But that also doesn’t work because affordable housing is a whole nother morass that we just didn’t even get. We we didn’t have time to get into. So I think, um, trying to figure out that at the end was a challenge, but I like the I like where it ended up.

Carol Cox:
Do you feel like the 12 minute time limit was useful for you? Do you do you feel like it was a better talk because it was only 12 minutes versus, say, if you had 25 or 30 minutes?

Tanya Golash-Boza:
I think it’s a better talk for what it is, which is designed to appeal to a very broad audience. Um, because I think my initial response is no, in a keynote I would explain everything, but I think in a keynote you would have an audience of even, you know, 500 people, but they all would have come ready to learn about this thing, and they’d be sitting in an audience and they would be engaged on the internet. You’re just trying to get someone to I mean, getting someone to pay attention to you for 12 minutes on the internet is already a big call. So I think it’s I think it’s it’s better for what it is, which is designed really to pull in as many people as possible, and the shorter the better for that. And I think it definitely forced me to pick only the most compelling pieces to to hone in really on exactly which parts of the argument I wanted to pull out. So yes, I do think it’s better.

Carol Cox:
I want to chat with you a little bit about how you prepared for the delivery. Since you did have to memorize the script. I know this is a question that I get from clients all the time is, you know, how do you go about memorizing something even though it’s 12 minutes long? 12 minutes is short when you think about putting all your content in there, but it’s long to have to memorize. So what were some techniques that you used?

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Yeah, and I actually asked around because I do have some friends that are actors. And they were like, yeah, you just meant like, there’s no secret, there’s no there’s no shortcut. You just have to memorize it. I was like, okay. I was hoping they would give me some tricks. So the only the tricks that I used were, um, I when I had the script ready, I print, I made it a PowerPoint with it just. And that’s just because I’m not that technologically savvy, but it allowed me to put an image with each, um, section. So I ended up with, like, I think 24 images, because there is research that shows that images do help you remember, and there would be points. I had an image of a pizza, of a pizza, and I talk about a pizzeria. I would remember that line. So that was one trick. Um, but the main thing that I did. As I go on a walk every day. So I would just listen to it. And what I did was, um, I would listen to like a one minute segment and then I would repeat it. And at first that was also causing me to edit it. So I was still editing, even though I thought I was done, I felt like I should be done because I needed to memorize it. When I would speak that one minute aloud, you know, half the time I would end up changing it. So then I would speak it back into my phone, the slightly changed version, and then I’d go home and and I’d listen to what I had said, and then I would edit it. But basically every single day I would listen to and I was like, okay. I also had to make it feel manageable. So I was like, okay, if I listen, if I memorize one minute a day for the next 12 days, then I’ll have it memorized, you know, a week in advance. That’s 12 days in advance. So I think that’s so I think the goal of memorizing one minute a day was a reasonable goal for me.

Carol Cox:
I like that, I like that breaking it down like that. I remember, uh, our client, Tammy Lally, who did her TEDx talk in 2017, and when she set out to memorize hers, she walked the beach here in Florida because she lives in Orlando. She walked the beach every weekend, you know, to do the same thing, like she would have recorded it. She would listen to it and then she would memorize it. So walking, that’s a good tip. Like I think it’s the the physical activity helps with the the brain with memorization.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Definitely. And then also, um, you’re supposed to move around on stage a little bit. So that helps too. Right?

Carol Cox:
So it’s the day before and then the morning of the event, what did you do anything in particular to help you kind of get in the zone? Okay.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
First of all, let’s remember that we’re in a pandemic and I am not a hairstylist or a makeup artist. I will say this is another tip. Um, I found this company called Bluffington and they do virtual makeup classes. So what I because I’m really bad at makeup. I mean, I don’t usually wear makeup, so I didn’t I just don’t I did not feel comfortable doing it myself. And I also didn’t want to call anyone over to my house to put makeup on me. So I, um, I, I did a practice session with them the week before just to see if it would work, because part of it, you know, 90% of it probably is confidence. So I need to feel like it would work. So I did it beforehand and it works. And then so that the second time at least, I had everything in front of me. So that was very helpful. Um, and I had my outfit picked out, you know, a long time ago, figuring out, you know, the jewel tones. And anyway, so having everything ready and then also just trying to, um, I did meditate. I try to meditate regularly, but like the month leading up to the Ted talk, I meditated every day. So the morning of was no exception. Definitely took time to to meditate and to calm and to and to do, you know, some visualization exercises just to kind of get into the mindset of the day of yes, and I got to leave the house. Woohoo! That’s great. That’s very.

Carol Cox:
Exciting. Like to get dressed up and go somewhere.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
I know it was a big deal.

Carol Cox:
All right. So now your Ted talk is live out in the world. What are you doing to get it out to more people to promote it?

Tanya Golash-Boza:
So, um, I knew that it was going to be released. So one thing that I did is I created a social media post that said, you know, hey, I’m having this Ted talk come up. You know, I’ve delivered it. Sign up here to be notified of the release. So I was able to create a mailing list that’s specific to the Ted talk. Um, because I do have other mailing lists, but this one was very specific if you want to be notified. So that way I feel like those people are interested in this particular topic, and then I can reach out to them on other issues and other related things in the future. I also am I probably use too much social media, but at moments like this it’s useful because I do have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, all those avenues that I can use to promote the talk. So I’ve been creating some posts with images and links and and I’ve also created a couple of short videos that I will share in the next couple of days, just to kind of I find the multimedia, um, posts get more attention. People are visual, just like us. The visuals are good.

Carol Cox:
Yes for sure. Captures the eye as people are scrolling through their feeds. And I love the idea that you had people sign up to your email list in advance of even the talk being released, so that kind of like an interest list to get them on. That was a great idea. All right, Tanya, so you have this Ted talk now. It’s done. You have it out there. What is next for you? What do you want to do next, speaking wise?

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Oh, so next speaking wise. The whole time I’m writing the Ted talk and sorry, the whole time I’m cutting from the Ted talk and cutting and cutting. I’m saying, okay, this will go into the full thing because this is definitely could easily be a full keynote address. So I have been working on, um, building out that talk into using the signature canvas, um, building it out into a more comprehensive picture. So the basic idea is like Ted talks keynote book. And I and I have been working on the book for a while, but actually going back, like cutting it back down to the bare bones is a really great exercise for, um, for making sure that the structure makes sense. So I’m so and I’ve also even given talks on the topic, but I totally revamped the talk based on the Ted. I have the Ted short version, which is like built out into a longer keynote, and I am giving, um, I’m giving research talks at a couple of universities, um, kind of those stakes talks with friendly audiences. And that would be a good way to sort of see how that message is working in this, in this sort of in this new, expanded format. And then we’re still working on the book. And hopefully when that comes out, I’ll, I will have a well prepared keynote address to give to multiple audiences.

Carol Cox:
And I want to come back to the frameworks. But before I do that, I know you received an invitation to do a keynote talk, and fingers crossed that you’ll be able to do it with Covid and everything, but and so I remember you, you posted that in our Mighty Networks group for the Thought Leader Academy. And then I asked you why? Where did this come about this invitation? So share a little bit, because I think this is really helpful for listeners to think about, like the long terme, the long terme plan, like just how relationships build over time.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
I’m pretty sure I met the person that invited me, um, at a conference that we both attended in El Salvador and at the time. So we we met at a conference and then we’re kind of in the same field. So I’ve seen her at different conferences over the years, and I and she did invite me to give a smaller talk at her university a few years ago. So it’s it’s just it’s. Yeah. So this is the first time this is a much bigger event. So yes, those are relationships. This is someone that I’ve known for years. Um, so and I think I’ve even told her specifically that I speak French and that I wanted to go to France, so I think so. I think that probably planted a seed in her mind like, oh, I have this event in France Tanya would probably like to attend. Well, that’s a.

Carol Cox:
Great example of telling people. I often tell people all the time, like, tell people that you’re a speaker, like let people know that you do speaking because people don’t know unless you tell them. So same thing. Yes, I love that. And I know you mentioned the the framework, the signature talk canvas framework, and I and I neglected to talk about this earlier when we were talking about kind of like your through line in the palm tree and things like that. And what I have found so fascinating with, as we’ve been working with you all in the Thought Leader Academy, is that the doing the Ted style talk first, for a lot of you has been really beneficial. Really impactful, I think, is because it’s a shorter format and because it really forces you to think about that through line, like that one hypothesis or one argument that you want to make and that how that your personal story or experience will drive that content. And then doing that first. And we have a, a framework that we help you all to do that with. So you’re not staring at a blank page and then like you are doing, taking that and then expanding it out into the larger keynote or into the larger signature talk, and then it’s like, oh my gosh, look at all these things. I get to add now.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Exactly. And I’m sure it’s too long. I actually put it together. Um, based on the canvas, I think it’s about 60 slides. So it’s but I was like, that’s fine. That’s a lot of slides. I know it’s a lot of slides, but I also think it’s probably fine because the advantage of having the canvas is then I can sort of it makes it easy. If I figure out, okay, I can take this out, I can take this out or and I can just so I’m going to do is I obviously save the big PowerPoint that I made, but I’m going to practice it out loud and see how long it is. And if it’s too long, then I’ll just cut it. But then I can always switch those stories back in. So I think having that longer piece is going to be fine, because I will want to switch switch out the stories just to mix it up for my own self, especially if I’m going to give it multiple times.

Carol Cox:
Yes, definitely keeps it more interesting for you. And I’m a slide person, so I like a lot of slides justice and I know some people don’t. And so I always tell people like, do whatever you like to do. If you don’t like slides, don’t use them. If you love slides, use them. I will say for virtual presentations, Tanya 60 slides is just fine for an in-person presentation of, say, the same length of time. I would say probably you want to do more like 35 slides versus 60, just because the in-person dynamics are so different than the virtual, but virtual. You got to keep those viewers engaged. Like you just keep clicking the slides. So keep them. Keep them handy. All right, so then, Tanya, I know that in addition to being a professor and you have this book that you’re working on and you’re also, uh, and the founder of the racism, capitalism and the Law Lab, which is fascinating. And but you also do offer retreats for other women in academia. So tell us a little bit about that. And why did you decide to start doing that? Okay.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
So I started a blog. It’s called Get a Life PhD in 2009, I think so a long time ago. And, um, and that blog I sort of developed in order to like, as I was learning things myself, to share them with people. It’s kind of like tips and tricks to become a successful academic. So basically one thing that I’ve done as an academic pretty much my whole career is to try and democratize knowledge in the academy, to create a situation where people who come in, who maybe are not from academic backgrounds or are from, you know, don’t have anyone in their family that’s in academic or unfamiliar with this space, are able to quickly learn the things that you need to be successful. One of those things is just kind of figuring out how to manage your time. And so maybe seven years ago, I had the idea, and this is like one day I was driving to Oakland and I just had the idea, you know, it would be interesting to not only share that information with people on the blog, which I do, but also to show them, you know, to take a week to take people for a whole week and show them. I want to show you that you can have an amazing week where you see nature, you meditate, you connect with people, and you’re going to get so much writing down, you won’t believe it so, and you won’t suffer like you’re going to have a great, beautiful week. Um, and I think people really need to actually see it because the blog is about, you know, do take time to meditate, make sure you get your sleep, make sure that you get your writing.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Make sure you talk to people. Make sure you engage. I was like, but I can show people like that. You can actually come together for a week and I’ll show you, look, we’re going to write for two hours in the morning, and then the rest of the day we’re going to enjoy ourselves, but it’s going to be it’s going to be all connected. So by enjoying ourselves, I mean like we’re going to talk to each other, we’re going to read each other’s work, we’re going to go on hikes. But while we’re on hikes, you know, we’re academics. So obviously we’re going to be talking about our research. So it’s all going to and people are always like they see the schedule. They’re like, Tanya, we’re only writing for two hours a day. I’m like, yes, but I bet you you don’t really write for two hours a day. Even if you if you had the whole day, you would and you tried to write all day, it might add up to like 90 minutes because you’ll be doing other things. But here you’re not going to be doing anything else. You’re going to write for two hours. And people always like, oh my God, I got so much done that week. And then they also end the week feeling rejuvenated. So that was the idea just to show people, because you can tell people, here’s what you need to do, but until they see it in action, then they don’t necessarily believe it. They have to see it to believe it.

Carol Cox:
So then with Covid now, are you doing virtual retreats or have you just paused?

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Yeah, I did a couple of virtual retreats for, um, I did one as a fundraiser for our local food bank, and I did one for a group that we have on campus of new faculty. You know, I love the retreats so much because part of it is about being able to be together and be out in nature. So I know people are doing virtual retreats, but I it kind of my co-organizer and I were like, it just breaks our heart to do it virtually because we’re supposed to be in Belize and now we’re just doing it from our homes. So we we postponed the, um, 2020 retreat. It is scheduled for June 2021, and we just are kind of waiting to see, you know, what happens. And working with the, um, retreat center people in Belize to figure out what’s going to happen. So we will have them again one day and hopefully this year. But but yes, that sounds delightful.

Carol Cox:
I want to go, even though I’m not working on an academic book.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
You’re welcome anytime. We’ll find a slot for you.

Carol Cox:
I’m happy to talk about academic topics. It’s just not what I’m particularly I’m not what I’m working on right now, so. But I do miss like I miss I, you know, academia. Like my dream was to be the professor in the ivory tower. Like, I’m totally, like, fine with that stereotype, but. So this might, might rekindle some of my, uh, my definitely my love of research. All right. Tanya, so then as an academic and obviously like, speaking in your brand, the work that we do is very much geared towards entrepreneurs, towards women entrepreneurs. I mean, you are one because you’re like you’re doing these retreats. But what drew you to wanting to join the Thought Leader Academy.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Several years ago is when I realized, okay, you know, why are academic talks always very, so often boring? And why is it that it’s it’s it’s unusual that you go to a talk given by an academic and it’s engaging and it’s amazing. And I was like, where do they learn to do that? Why are some people so good? And. Like I said, a lot of my blog is about demystifying the Academy. I was like, there must be a way to like this must be a skill that you can learn. It’s not like these people are all born magical gifted speakers and the rest of us are just boring. I’m like, I’m sure they learn. So I’ve actually been on the lookout for ways to learn how to become a better speaker for years. I think in one Facebook I was I’m in maybe 4 or 5 years ago, someone mentioned your podcast. So I started looking, listening to it, but at the same time, I was actually actively looking for a speaking coach and I couldn’t find one. And I did see you, but I was like, well, she’s, you know, she’s she’s for entrepreneurs. So I won’t go with I won’t go with that. And I couldn’t find a speaking coach that was specifically for academics that I thought I wanted to work with. So I kept listening to your podcast. And then this this year I picked it back up again and I was, I’ll say I was very impressed and very heartened by your explicit anti-racist and feminist message. And then, um, and then as I thought about it, I was like, well, you know, Carol, because, you know, we academics, we do like each other. And I was like, well, Carol went to graduate school. She knows what I do.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
It’s not going to be a complete because so many people are like, what is it that you do? But I was like, Carol knows exactly what I do. She’s also anti-racist and she’s a feminist. And then I went to the virtual summit, so I blocked out my calendar. I was like, you know what I keep saying? I want to become a better speaker, and I’m not really doing anything to to become that other than like listening to this podcast and reading a couple of books. It’s like, I’m going to go to the virtual summit and see what this is all about. And I was blown away. I was like, wow, that was really, really good. I was like, first of all, you know, I need to up my zoom game because like, my events are not nearly as interesting or fascinating as this one. So it was very inspiring. And then you when you said thought Leader Academy, I think even just the title, I was like, that sounds you know, this. I think Carol does get what I want to do. So then we set up the phone call and then I decided I was like, you know, let’s just go all in. And, um, and honestly, I was looking for a space that was particular to academics. But now that I’m in this space, I am really I’m really glad to be in this space. It’s not just for academics or primarily for academics, because we do end up in our own bubbles. And I think, um, speaking to different kinds of people, like, um, people that are doing totally different things as just opened up a lot of possibilities and a lot of pathways for me that I hadn’t thought of before.

Carol Cox:
Oh, I’m so glad to hear that, Tanya, and thank you for being a long time podcast listener. And here’s such a a great example of really speaking your brand and how you said that. You know, when I started doing these podcast episodes in early 2020. So about not quite a year ago, about feminism, about anti-racism, that drew you closer to me and I and I hear, you know, so many people ask me questions all the time, like, aren’t you afraid of offending your listeners or offending your audience or pushing people away? And it’s like, but those issues are so core to who I am. Like, fundamentally who I am as a person and the values that I have, that if I push people away by talking about them, it’s like to me it means they they don’t align with my values. So it just seems like an obvious answer to me to start talking about them. And I’m so glad that I did. And this is, you know, a case in point of of why, why to do that?

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Yes.

Carol Cox:
And I know you you do the same thing, Tanya, with the work that you do.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Definitely.

Carol Cox:
And what is so far, I know we’re about a little over halfway through the program right now. What do you feel like has been the most beneficial aspects of it for you?

Tanya Golash-Boza:
I do think the group aspect, um, I know when we originally talked, you said, you know, I want to do the individual program or a group program. And I kind of thought about it like, oh, I really want to get all the information out of Carol’s head into mine. Can we just download it? But learning is does happen in community, right? So I do think, um, having the community has been super helpful for me because it just sort of seeing what other people are doing with information and also feeling supported by this broader group of people. So the community aspect I think is my favorite part.

Carol Cox:
Oh well, good. I’m glad to hear that, uh, that that has been, you know, surprisingly the most beneficial. And I know that you are have also added the one on one coaching. And so you’ve been working with Joy Spencer again on that, which is again, something that I feel so like such a valuable aspect of the work that we do is offering one on one coaching to those who want to have that option, because there’s nothing like having a 1 to 1 conversation that can really pull out a lot of the ideas and help you think of things in a way that the group calls just can’t do because of the nature of groups versus one on one.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
And I think I’d say we have all three levels because we have the one on one with Joy. We have the masterminds, which is like just four people, and then we have the broader group. So it’s the best of all three worlds.

Carol Cox:
I love that, and thank you for sharing, Tanya. And also thank you for mentioning the summit that we did last October. It was an incredible experience and so incredible that we’re doing it again coming up this April 1st, 2021. So our brave, Bold Beyond Live virtual summit is free to attend like it was last time. And there’s going to be nine speakers delivered. Ted style talk. So again about that 10 to 12 minute length of time because it is so impactful, so powerful. And so for those of you listening, you can register by going to speaking your Brand.com slash summit. Again that’s speaking your brand.com/summit. Just register. It’s free to attend and block off April 1st on your calendar. I know that there are so many people who told me they were just going to pop in for an hour or two, and ended up glued to their computer screen for the entire day.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
That was me.

Carol Cox:
All right, Tanya, where can listeners connect with you and find out more about your retreats? If they’re academics and they’re interested?

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Okay, wonderful. So you can find me on Twitter at Tanya Boza. Tanya b o z a. And or you can find my lab website which is racismcapitalismlaw.com.

Carol Cox:
Okay, great. And we’ll make sure to put links to all those in the show notes to your website, your TEDx talk, your Twitter. Also throw in LinkedIn because that’s where I’m most active too. And I know that you’ve been doing stuff on LinkedIn. Tanya, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and for sharing about your experience creating your TEDx talk. I know that I’ve learned a lot from you, and I’m so appreciative that you’ve been part of the Thought Leader Academy.

Tanya Golash-Boza:
Thank you. It’s been more pleasurable than I could have imagined getting to know you. So thank you.

Carol Cox:
Thanks again to Tanya for coming on the podcast. Be sure to connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn. Those links are in the show notes. Tanya is going to be on one of the panels that we’re doing at her Brave, Bold Beyond Live Virtual summit on building your thought leadership platform so you can register to attend again. The event is entirely free by going to speaking your brand. Com slash summit again, that’s speakingyourbrand.com/summit. The next few episodes we’re going to be talking about how to be an excellent emcee. I’ve had the honor and the pleasure to be an emcee for a friend and a clients event that happened the week before this episode airs, so I’m going to be doing an episode with our emcee, Amber Holley, to talk about the five rules to be an excellent emcee. Should you ever be in the position to be an emcee, or if you’re an event organizer, what you should be looking out for for your emcee? We also have coming up an episode on the Voice of Thought Leaders. So Voice is an acronym. And of course, because if you’ve been listening for a while, you know how much that Diane D is. And I love acronyms and alliterations. So we have this one that we came up with called the Voice of Thought Leaders. So be sure to hit subscribe in your podcast app. And until next time, thanks for listening.

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