Home » After 10 Years Dreaming of Giving a TEDx Talk, David Landed One That Impacted 1 Million Lives!

After 10 Years Dreaming of Giving a TEDx Talk, David Landed One That Impacted 1 Million Lives!

Ever since he was young, ​​David Gerber dreamed of giving a TEDx talk and impacting the trajectory of people’s lives. This desire began to take shape in high school as he took on the role of an informal coach. Whether it was at high school, church, or later college, David continued to help others from his teens into his 20s.

While David dreamed of becoming a TEDx thought leader, the dream seemed distant, even impossible. So while he shared his knowledge informally, he wasn’t sure how to take it to the stage or what message to offer others.

Like most success stories, David’s road to his dream had its difficulties. Little did he know an internal struggle with his ego would become so crippling he’d term it a dragon. Then, the global pandemic would push his dream out even further.

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David’s Battle With His Ego

As a child, David Gerber struggled with his ego, but growing up this struggle was rooted deep in his subconscious. It would take a series of pivotal events for David to recognize and face his ego head-on.

During 2013 and 2014, David officially let go of his full-time job to devote all his time to coaching. However, ramping up his business and teaching himself everything from sales to marketing became overwhelming. While he still dreamed of formally sharing his knowledge via a TEDx talk, he didn’t know how to pursue it.

I thought you had to be x, y, z type of speaker to get a TEDx talk.

I thought you had to be x, y, z type of speaker to be able to get a TEDx talk. I didn’t think it was something I could just go figure out how to do.

David Gerber

Public Speaker and Life Coach

While quitting his full-time job, launching his coaching business, and learning the ins and outs of running his own company, self-doubt began to sabotage him through his ego. During this time, David experienced a significant life event. This event changed the trajectory of his life and directly impacted what he hoped to one day present as a TEDx talk.

David Gerber 11

David Age 11: David Recalls Battling With His Ego Starting At A Young Age

The Housing Project That Made David Almost Give Up

In 2017 David bought a place in California and decided to remodel it into his dream home. Unfortunately, in the midst of the remodel, things went completely sideways:

  • The remodel was over budget and over the timeline.
  • He didn’t have the money because he’d leveraged every borrowing capacity he had.
  • He was so stressed he was struggling to make sales at work.
  • He was worried he’d have to file bankruptcy.
  • Self-sabotage came out like a dragon.

David’s ego dragon kept sabotaging him, his business, and his dreams. His house dreams were falling apart, and his coaching business as well. He’d dreamed of giving a TEDx talk for ten years and still didn’t know how to move forward. His ego dragon had to die.

David’s Journey to Find His Passion

During the house chaos, David decided to take matters into his own hands and go through a visualization exercise with his therapist. Through this process, he realized the ego he thought was his enemy really wasn’t. As a result, David decided to view his ego as a sparring partner rather than a boxing opponent.

This mindset shift from opponent to trainer helped empower David to take things one day at a time.

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He started making sales.

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He passed his final house inspection.

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He was able to keep the house.

Meeting these goals helped him hone in on himself, his calling, and what he wanted to share with the world: a message that your ego is not your enemy. It was time to pursue his TEDx talk rather than dream about it. However, he still didn’t know how to land a TEDx talk, craft a talk, or submit his talk.

David Gerber Speaking

David Worked To Become A Better Speaker Prior to Landing His TEDx

David Had No Idea How to Share His Message With Others

A mutual friend found out about David’s dream and told him about TEDx speaker, Taylor Conroy. David was initially cynical that Taylor could help his decade-long dream come to fruition. He wasn’t marketing himself except for his business, and he didn’t believe he could land a talk. But, despite his cynicism, he decided to book a call and give it a chance.

On his call, David’s Thought-Leader coach told him, “We’ll work with you until we get you placed.” David decided if someone was willing to walk through the entire journey with him, it was time to make his dream happen.

While David knew he couldn’t change everyone’s circumstances, he realized he could empower others to make a change in how they viewed their ego. Sharing his story with others on the stage was the missing piece he needed to make the impact he had desired for so long.

How Thought-Leader Helped David Gerber Share His Message With the World

The Thought-Leader team helped David choose which stories to include in his talk, coached him through how to give his talk, and pitched his talk to about one hundred TEDx events. Then September 27, 2019, TEDx booked David. Finally, his decade-long dream was happening.

When David received the confirmation email, he couldn’t believe it was true.

TEDx booked David to give his talk in March 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. However, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, two weeks before his talk, David received an email letting him know they had postponed the event. This happened again, and again, and again. Eventually, his talk was pushed back an entire year, and moved to Brooklyn.

Then, just six weeks before he was scheduled to speak, David felt an urge to rewrite his talk. He knew he wanted to share his story of overcoming his ego dragon in 2017, but through his emotional struggle fighting his ego and self-sabotage, he had noticed an absence of emotion in men. David decided he wanted to incorporate normalizing male emotion into his new TEDx talk. He had to share his story on a different level.

My Thought-Leader coaches had such a great way of extracting stories out of me

“My Thought-Leader coaches had such a great way of extracting stories out of me. Sometimes I have a hard time sitting down and putting things into the world myself, but when I have somebody to extract things out of me, it’s really, really helpful.”

With the help of his Thought-Leader coach, David completely recrafted his talk. He replanned, rewrote, and memorized an entirely new talk in just six weeks.

Watch David Gerber’s TEDx Talk!

Since Landing a TEDx Talk, David Has Impacted 1 Million Lives

Since landing his talk, David has continued to grow his business without the self-sabotage he had before. It’s not only a credible business card for his coaching business, but his TEDx talk continues to help others see the power of emotion. With hard work, vulnerability, and the guidance of his Thought-Leader coach, David’s TEDx talk is taking the world by storm. He has over 1 million views to date.

Today, David is a coach with Novus Global, an executive coaching firm that works with Fortune 500 companies, professional athletes, and high-profile business leaders to develop lives, transform teams, and elevate companies to go beyond high performance. With over a decade of leadership development experience, David challenges individuals to work with their circumstances rather than fight them.

View life’s difficulties not as a boxing opponent out to get you,
but as a sparring partner to help you grow.

With the help of Thought-Leader, David’s decade-long dream came true. Of course, his journey is far from over, but TEDx provided David with a platform to share his story and impact the trajectory of thousands of lives.


Sarah Rexford
Content Writer
Joelle Cullimore
Marketing Content Manager

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