Being #10%Braver - Part 2


Part 1:

My first solo keynote was this week, at the BETT Academies show. The show was dead & the room was quiet, but the audience were supportive & engaged.

My first TEDx talk was yesterday in Norwich.

It didn't really sink in until last Sunday that I was doing it. It has been a crazy few months of changing jobs, moving house, running recruitment and managing admissions for my new school.

I hadn't really had time to process what I had committed to. I didn't have time to get nervous or 'feel the fear'. 

Until Thursday. Two days before the event.

I sat down with my notes & the following facts suddenly dawned on me:

You are speaking live, in front of 350 people.

You are travelling down and sharing this experience with close friends who you respect and admire including two of your new SLT.

You are going to be caught on film, on Youtube forever. 

You are potentially about to commit career suicide.

The gremlins got me. The panic set in. 

I spent 48hrs rehearsing my speech over and over. I recorded it on my phone and listened to it, cringing. 

I stood in front of my mirror and practised standing still, not rocking from foot to foot and not swinging my arms. 

On Friday night I tentatively sent an audio file to someone who I hold in high professional & personal regard. @awilliams‍ gave me brilliant constructive feedback on my content & my delivery.

I slept on it. I woke at the crack of dawn. I practised again.

It was past the point of no return. It was D-Day. I was in Norwich. I was at the venue.

From 9am until 4pm I watched & listened to the superb speakers. My nerves were in check, under control.

I cheered in support of @astsupportaali‍, I wept in empathy with @jazampawfarr‍, I applauded in agreement with @jenniferhart‍ and I sobbed with Spiderman & @nataliescott‍.

I borrowed Natalie's mascara & reapplied the war paint. My armour. 

Standing in the wings about to go on stage I felt sick to the pit of my stomach. Sean the techy cracked a few jokes & gave me some water to sip.

Then I heard my name being introduced, my career trajectory being shared. I walked on to stage to hollers of support from my tribe. I stood on the red spot & looked up. I composed myself & I began.

I will blog separately about the issues I spoke about regarding diversity in our school system. My Why for speaking. These reflections are on the journey I have been on and my How.

I didn't nail it. It wasn't perfect. I fluffed a few words. I forgot my closing statement. But does it matter?

What matters is I did it. I rose to the challenge. I proved to myself I could do it. I conquered my fears. I lived our #10%braver mantra. I modelled our #BeBoldForChange Pledge. I made myself proud. 

Author Profile

Hannah Wilson

Hannah Wilson

Executive Headteacher | DfE Coach | #WomenEd Co-Founder | SLE | NPQML/SL facilitator | NPQH | Governor | Leadership Matters Ambassador

238 stories


Amy Anderson Amy Anderson @mrsanderson1982 8 months ago
Love this!!!! Xx
Annemarie  Williams Annemarie Williams @awilliams 8 months ago
Hannah as always you speak with passion, conviction and empathy. I was gutted that I was unable to watch you in person, but I was honoured to listen to your Ted Talk Friday night and it really blew me away with the boldness of your vision. Keep the fire burning for all of us.
[Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] 8 months ago
Not just #10%braver and #beboldforchange but a talk reminding us to inspire generations to secure change. YouTube video is already up and running - such a great group of speakers. You were all awesome! Just wondering what your next #10%braver challenge is?
Shirley Drummond Shirley Drummond @sdrummond 8 months ago
Hannah! You have been not just 10% but 100%! Loved reading this.. you are a true inspiration. You should be so proud of all you are achieving both personally and professionally. Your journey is wholeheartedly at the root of #womened . Keep up the amazing work! Look forward to catching up soon.
Amy Anderson Amy Anderson @mrsanderson1982 8 months ago
You are welcome I couldn't be more proud to know you and am so grateful for everything you have done for me! Send through info for #TEDwomen sounds amazing!!!
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 8 months ago
Thanks, Hannah - I didn't see it (out and about) but will catch up!

I'm proud of you too. You are essentially yourself when you speak, and that is compelling. It doesn't matter if you fluff or stumble - what you gain in spontaneity and humanity is much more important. Far better than being too mechanical/wooden.

Will watch it and enjoy it, I'm sure!
Suzie Happy Suzie Happy @suhappyness 8 months ago
Have read Part 1 and 2 Hannah and I am really inspired by your journey. The honesty of it all is great. Thank you for sharing
Niall Alcock Niall Alcock @niallalcock 8 months ago
Loved both part 1 and 2. This inspires me to not just be braver but also more vulnerable. It's so admirable. Thank you for everything you have done for me. Looking forward to seeing you at TFInnovation Final. PS link above doesn't seem to work...
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 8 months ago
Thanks @jillberry @suhappyness @niallalcock for your comments and feedback. The link has been taken down so you will have to wait for the edited official version now. Hope to see you all soon and will be nudging you to apply next year! x
Kathryn Lovewell Kathryn Lovewell @themindfulteacher 8 months ago
Such an inspiration. The song 'Invincible' springs to mind! Awesome x
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 8 months ago
Look forward to watching when the link is available, Hannah - and I would love to do this! It's just fallen at a time when I've been committed the last twice.
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