Neale Bayly and Tamela Rich at TEDx Charlotte 2-2014

When the organizers of TEDx Charlotte gave me and my friend Neale Bayly the opportunity to talk about the role that chance encounters have played in our lives we jumped right in.

Both Neale and I are motorcyclists but we’re full of contrasts: he’s male, I’m female; he’s been riding for 37 years and I for 5; he’s British, I’m a Yank; he belongs to the  200 m.p.h. club and I wouldn’t dream of trying!

Our TEDx talk explores what we have in common: people we met while astride our motorcycles who would change our lives profoundly. No spoilers here; you’ll have to watch our talk for the stories.

An unconventional TEDx format for unconventional speakers

You’ll notice our talk looks different from other TED Talks. When Neale and I arrived for our first TEDx coaching session we bantered for a few minutes about our experiences. We cut into each other’s stories with side remarks and “Oh, don’t forget to tell them that part.”


After about seven or eight minutes of that Mike Watson and Winn Maddrey turned to each other in unison, nodded  wordlessly in agreement, and then Winn said, “Do your talk just like that.” Keeping it on point and on schedule took a lot of practice, believe me.

I’d love for you to leave a comment with YOUR story of a chance encounter that changed your life.

Oh, and would you share this talk with your friends and social networks? Please, and thank you in advance.

 What’s a TED talk?

If you’re new to TED and TEDx, here’s the skinny. TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.