How I got to speak at TEDx

For 3 years I had a dream of speaking at TED or a TEDx event. Last month I got my 15 minutes of stage at TEDxTallaght in Dublin. Some people ask me how I got in…and here’s my answer. More and more TEDx events invite speakers to send in their idea, either in text or in a short video. So did TEDxTallaght. Here’s the little video that I made that got me in 🙂

I can highly recommend using Imaginative Play for whatever goal you have in your life. It may take 3 years before it becomes reality…in the end you can say; I did it anyway 😉

Annemarie Steen

PS Having a good friend (thank you Padraig) close to the organizing committee also had a positive influence on the decision.

You’re more than welcome to join my Licence to Play community for inspiration and resources on playfulness & playful learning.

Click on “What happens when you press Play” to see the actual TEDx talk

My personal experience doing a TEDx talk (in Dublin)

Annemarie Steen at TEDxTallaght

One day before my TED talk at TEDxTallaght in Dublin I was visiting a local pub. An alcoholic toothless guy (his name was Dan), came up to me and asked me “Where are you from?” And ofcourse I replied with “I’m from The Netherlands, I live in Eindhoven area”. And I asked him the same question: “Where are you from?” And his reply was: “Earth”. I laughed and we started talking. He said “the moment we say where we are from, we distinct ourselves from others, while the earth is such a tiny place in the total universe”. And I thought he’s absolutely right. We are all earthlings.

Last minute, I changed the start of my TED talk based on this idea and my starting sentence became: Hello, my fellow earthlings 😉

Later in our conversation he said: “So you PLAY with people all around the world, AND get paid for it? That sounds like the best job in the world!” And I replied with a big smile: YES!

My biggest fear was that my time (15 min) was too limited to tell my story AND get the audience up and invite them to leave their comfortzone (Play is something very scary for adults) and enter their playzone. Play is an experience product. I invited the audience to experience  5 different types of play; object play, imaginative/pretend play, movement play, creative play and social play. And looking at the faces…it went gr8! (pictures by @rocshot)

tedxtallaght

tedxtallaghttedxtallaght

Now, it’s waiting for the video to be released…(3-4 weeks).

If you want to have the first look…you’re welcome to follow/like myfacebookpage.

Wish you a playful day!

Annemarie Steen 🙂

What childhood dream is still present in your daily life?

When I was a child, I remember watching an animated childrensprogram on tv. It was about a pelican with a big mouth. Whenever there was a problem, he carried everything he needed in his beak. I found this a facinating thought and decided to create something alike. From a carton box I built sort of a robotsuit for myself, with my arms sticking out. In the suit I would put all kinds of handy stuff to carry with me, like scissors, tape, rope, pens, paper, extra cloths, something to eat, etc. I felt I could deal with every possible situation that would occur and that felt very good (ignoring the fact that walking around in a box looks a bit silly).

In high school I bought my first hiking backpack, and often it was just standing in my room, packed and ready to go. When I was 17, I made my first independent of my parents trip with my cousin, to France & Spain. This went very well and a year later we went to Egypt and Israël. Since then, I loved to travel with my backpack, sometimes for months at a time. Everything I needed was in my backpack, and that felt good.

A couple of years ago I bought my dreamcar, an old Mercedes Campervan (1983). In it, two double beds (after doing some rearranging), a little fridge, cooking possibility, even a small toilet/shower space, lots of little cupboards to put in my handy stuff and clothing in, and best of all, I can drive it to wherever I like. Eventhough I bump my head regularly, it is very small livingspace for 3 people (my family) and the car starts to seriously show rusty signes of old age…I feel totally happy with it. I can carry around all the stuff that I need to deal with every possible situation…like my childhood cartonrobotbox.

What childhooddream is still present in your daily life?

With enthusiasm,

Annemarie

Benefits of playful laughter, “Fake it, till you make it!”

ImageHi,

Yesterday I facilitated a Laughtersession for a group of 25 people from a mental/ healthcare institution. I did this as my alterego, Yamuna. I started the session with explaining how Laughter Yoga started with (Yamuna’s uncle) Dr. Madan Kataria from Mumbai India in 1995. As a physisian he believes in the benefits of laughter for your health (both physiological and psychological), so he decided in 1995 to start a laughterclub with some friends in a park in Mumbai. After a few get togethers, they ran out of jokes, so they didn’t have something to laugh about. Then, they decided they would laugh anyway for no reason at all. And they felt equally good after the session.

What Dr. Madan and his friends discovered was, that by starting to laugh for no reason in a group, soon it turned into real laughter. So the saying goes: FAKE IT, FAKE IT, till you MAKE IT!

Scientific research confirms that the body doesn’t know the difference between real and fake laughter. So when you start to laugh for no reason, your body will send signals to your brain, telling your brain you’re in a good mood, and your brain will tell your system to start producing the hormones endorphine and dopamine (which make you feel good) and reduce your stresshormones cortisol and adrenaline. Also laughter will increase vascular bood flow and oxygenation of the blood, increase memory and learning and improve alertness & creativity.

Now, over 600 laughterclubs are active around the world and they have developed many playful laughterexercises. Many of them can be found on the internet and youtube.

The most fun part of facilitating this group for me was, that I invite people to leave their comfortzone and join me in very playful exercises. The best moment was, when I asked the question of “Who knows a nice way of greeting people?”. One woman spontaneously blurted out “touching noses”, and immediately reacted shy; “oops, did I actually say that?” So we invented a “touching noses” laughter exercise on the spot and the whole group joined in. Watching the people having fun and joining in, making the woman’s ‘blurt’ an important contribution to the group, made me feel totally happy. After Yamuna was gone, Annemarie reflected with the group on their experience. They felt less inhibited, more open, more space, energized, relaxed, closer connected to eachother and tired in a good (after exercise) way.

When I ask myself why this moment gives my the greatest pleasure, it is because it touches my personal mission, which is (for now…it’s an ongoing proces):

To inspire people to leave their comfortzone (where learning & growth takes place) by sharing my experience & knowledge and by creating playful & meaningful learningexperiences.

With playful greetings,

Annemarie Steen (& Yamuna)

PS If you want to laugh with me…send me a message and we’ll set up a meeting (on- or offline)

 

Make your passwords work for you!

Hi,

Do you have many different passwords to remember and type in when you log in somewhere? Well, I do. At first I found this annoying, and tried to make it easier by clicking on ‘remember me’ to make the login proces go automatically. Untill I wanted to login from a different computer, and all of a sudden I didn’t know my password anymore and I had to go through a forgotten password procedure. I even had to go to my bankoffice to get a new password. Not fun!

So, I thought of a solution to 1. remember my passwords more easily and 2. to make the whole process a little more fun and meaningful. This is what I did…

I changed my passwords into something meaningful for me personally. Something that would give me energy, words that focus me on a goal I have, words that work as affirmation, words that inspire me or words that relate to the account I have to sign in.

For example:

To create an attitude of gratitude, your password could be something like: grateful3 (so you think of 3 things that you’re grateful for, everytime you log in)

To keep your focus on a salestarget, you can choose a password like: over50

Are you in service, you can choose something like: clienthappy

If your computer asks to remember your password, ofcourse you say no. It’s more fun and effective if you have to type it everytime you log in.

With enthusiasm,

Annemarie Steen (1nsp1repeople)