X Marks the spot: Researchers embrace chaos at TEDxCharleston – MUSC News

This should be no problem. Smile. Stay on the red dot. Breathe.

These are some of the directions posted backstage that three researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina ponder before making their debut on the TEDxCharleston stage where this year’s theme is to “Embrace Chaos.”

Michael Schmidt, Ph.D., a microbiologist at MUSC, paces in the background. “I’m like a nervous parent pacing behind the scenes,” he jokes during a break.

Schmidt, who was the first MUSC faculty member to do a TEDxCharleston talk, knows what it’s like. “Ten minutes to convey a complex and life altering idea is very challenging. To do it with data and authority is next to impossible. The TED process makes the impossible, possible.”

Part of that process is working with speech coaches, unfamiliar terrain for many scientists and clinicians. It’s something Schmidt hopes to change and one reason he volunteers to be a TEDxCharleston coach. He was instrumental in recruiting speakers for this year’s event. Of the 16 speakers, three came from MUSC.

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