Have you ever watched a TED talk and thought about what you would say if given the stage? I’ve done that about a dozen times.

A few months after moving to DC, I was having coffee with a new friend who was a professional speaker. Our conversation got around to TED, and he casually mentioned there was an upcoming TEDx in our area: TEDxRockCreekPark.

A few weeks later, I was auditioning my 10-minute TED talk. It focused on my belief that everyone can be a powerful speaker if they tap into something they’re truly passionate about. That passion makes them authentic and inspiring, and it also helps them empower others. I used my own musical journey as background – it was the first time I brought together my two roles as teacher and singer.

The organizers called me afterward. “We loved your talk,” they said. “We’d love for you to share it with our audience. And we’re going to give you 5 minutes to do it.”

Wait a second, 5 minutes to give a TED talk? Ironically, I teach a workshop on “getting to the point” and now I was going to have to do just that.

After about 5 revisions, I was ready. And on May 4, 2013, I finally gave my TED talk.

I hope you enjoy it!