#MakingTime: A Day in the Life of A New York TEDx Producer and Public-Speaking Pro

Tricia Brouk

Photo courtesy of Tricia Brouk

July 19, 2024 at 12:43PM UTC

Women can do anything — but not everything. As the largest online career community for women, we at Fairygodboss realize that balance is a myth, and that picking what to prioritize when everything feels important on a day-to-day basis isn't always easy. In the #MakingTime series, women share with us how, for one day, they chose to spend their most precious resource: time.


Who: Tricia Brouk

What: Director, Writer, Executive Producer of TEDxLincolnSquare and the NYC Speaker Salon

Where: New York City


4 a.m.

This first thing I do every morning is say goodbye to my husband Joe, and hello to my cats, Lola and Bella. Joe leaves the house early and has replaced the horror of an alarm clock with a lovely kiss and a "have a great day. " I change into my work out clothes and then press the "go" button on the coffee maker. Joe loads it up for me ahead of time. It’s the little things. 

My brain fires rapidly early morning. I’m clear and productive. I’m inspired and awake. Once I’ve got my coffee, I open emails. This particular morning I start with emailing the speaker’s bureaus that will be attending the fall Speaker Salon in New York City. I send them a follow-up email expressing my excitement for their attendance and a PDF of the speakers and their fellow colleagues for the salon. I’m a big believer in the personal touch. I want them to know their participation is extremely valued. After my priority emails, I respond to everyone who’s emailed me after 5 p.m. from the night before. I have a hard stop at 5 p.m., so I can end the day with my husband. 

6-6:30 a.m.

I meditate every day in order to allow for the space to accomplish everything I need to but also to allow for the space for patience, compassion and truth. Meditation gives me the space to make better decisions throughout the day about everything. 

6:30-6:40 a.m.

I walk to the gym, say hello to Franz at the front desk who always greets me with a "welcome back!"

6:40-8 a.m.

I love working out. As a former dancer, I’ve always been deeply connected to my body. Working out and being physical is extremely important to me.  It’s physical mediation for me. I rotate between the elliptical machine, the stairs, recumbent bike and the treadmill. Today is a cardio and weight training day —  60 minutes of cardio, 30 on the stairs, 30 on the elliptical, and 30 minutes of dumbbells and abs, followed by a quick stretch. I need to improve on my stretching.

8-8:15 a.m.

I walk from 11th avenue and 55th street to 57th and 6th Avenue to my chiropractor. The city has woken up and everyone is commuting. I get to see all the New Yorkers going from home to work, and always get excited that I get to go home to work after my appointment. 

8:15 a.m.

Dr. Joe gives me an adjustment and I’m ready to take on the world. I’ve been going to chiropractors, massage therapists, and acupuncturists for my entire life. When you are a professional dancer, the maintenance doesn’t stop when you stop dancing. It’s part of your life to always to make sure the aches and pains are handled. 

8:30 a.m.

I walk back home adding a few more steps to my apple watch. I’m not competitive at all, except when it comes to my watch. I love getting tapped, meaning that I’ve met or outdone my personal goals. 

9-10 a.m.

I have breakfast, shower, get dressed and prepare for the work day. This includes looking at my to do list, and adding to it. I am a big believer in lists because my brain doesn’t have the space for anything extra. If my list of what I need to accomplish is on an external hard drive, my brain functions at a much faster rate. 

10:00 a.m.

Today I have a speaker client coming in from Connecticut, so I’m working with her in-person. I am a member of the Stage, Directors and Choreographer’s Union, SDC, so I’ll be meeting her in their conference room on 44th Street. It takes me 30 minutes to walk from 57th and 10th to 44th between 8th and 9th, which also gets me some more steps logged. In order to maximize my time, I’ll be working at SDC until our appointment at noon. 

10:30 a.m.

I posted a link to the application for TEDxPhiladelphia on Facebook this week and it got lots of questions. Since I’m launching The Fearless Speaker masterclass in September, I want to create buzz surrounding what it means to fill out a winning application. I do a Facebook Live answering the questions about whether you should apply or have someone nominate you, whether you should apply to several events, and whether you need a completed talk before you apply. If you're wondering: if you are totally comfortable talking about yourself, then apply. If you are not, have someone nominate you. You can apply to many, but stick to one idea. And you do not need a completed talk to apply, just your awesome idea. 

11 a.m.

I move to the next item on my list, the Chicago Speaker Salon. The Speaker Salon in New York City has created such buzz on social media; people from around the world have reached out about me coming to their cities to do a salon there. I have salons lined up for Chicago, Austin, San Francisco, Canada and London. Chicago is first on the list, and it’s in a week, so I email the host from the city to make sure we have everything we need to have a successful event. 

11:30 a.m.

I’m going to be a featured guest on a new podcast called Smart Women Invest and they want to do a pre-call meeting with me. Being prepared is everything, so I love when people want to hop on a call ahead of time to make sure we all have the information we need to be successful. One tip however, if you are a podcast host or a podcast guest, don’t talk about the main points on a pre-call. Save those for the actual show, so they sound fresh and new. 

12-1 p.m.

My client arrives with a new script in hand and I have her read it out loud. I make notes as we go. This is her first draft, from our initial active listening session, where I ask her tons of questions about her idea. During the first session, we uncover many new ways of thinking about an idea she’s been sitting with for years. This is my favorite part, because I get to reflect back onto my clients the part of the idea they may not have seen, since they are so close to it. Once she gets through the script, I always start with what’s great. Then I move into what needs to be worked on. I go through page by page, making notes and pointing out ways of improving. I believe in my clients and their ideas, so it’s an absolute gift to be able to work with people who want to make a difference in the world. We wrap at 1 p.m. and talk about the next steps, which will be putting the puzzle pieces of her script in a different order since right now, for me, it’s too linear. 

2 p.m.

I hop in a cab from 44th between 8th and 9th to 26th and Park Avenue South and head to the Creative Coalition Speaker Series where I’m talking with their summer interns. I arrive to meet Tara, Billy and Opy, the loveliest, most articulate college students. They have their notebooks and their eyes wide open. I believe having a mentor can make the difference in a young person’s life. I mentor young people as often as I can, and this day is an opportunity to share as much about my story as I can to hopefully spark a thought that these young interns can hold on to long into their journey of their lives. We talk for an hour and in that time learn about what they are interested in so I can make introductions to people that can potentially continue the lineage of mentorship.

3:00 p.m.

I hop in a cab back to my home office on 57th Street and during the ride check my phone for any missed calls or emails that snuck in during the hour I was away from it. The cab ride takes 25 minutes, but because I meditated this morning, it helps me keep from stressing out that I’ll only have five minutes to turn on my computer, put in my headset and hop on a Zoom call with my client.

3:30 p.m.

Today I have a virtual work session with a client who’s rehearsing for TEDxSouthLakeTahoe. We’ve been working on her script for weeks. She’s the longest running leading lady from the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and has created a beautiful talk about learning to fall in love with fear. She is the kind of client I love working with because she’s doing the work.  When I woke up, I logged into our Google doc and saw she made changes from the night before; so before she woke up, I made notes for her to work on until we meet up now, in the afternoon. We go through the changes together and get one step closer to having a finished draft. By helping someone turn their idea into a big talk, keynote or TEDx, I get to help them make the world a better place by touching the lives of others. It’s the kind of legacy I want to leave in the world. 

4:30 p.m.

On Monday of this week, I led The Art of the Big Talk workshop in Detroit to a company who is revolutionizing the ways we can recycle batteries to reduce the negative impact on the environment. They have an incredible message on the how and why we need to recycle our batteries everything from the double A’s in our remote controls to the batteries in our computers. Since their message is super important, they asked me to come and help them craft and deliver their talks, so they can be better speakers. I had a follow-up call today with the contact of the event, to see about the next steps with the company. 

5:00 p.m.

I shut down my computer, put my phone on the charging doc and Joe arrives home. We always sit down at the kitchen table and talk about our day over a vodka martini. Once we catch up, then we turn on "The Beat" with Ari Melber on MSNBC to stay tuned into what’s happening in the world of politics. This always gives us a lot to talk about and laugh about!

 6:30 p.m.

We feed Lola and Bella and then ourselves. Dinner can either be at the table or in the living room depending on how tired we are from the day. Tonight, it’s dinner and Netflix on the couch.

7:30 p.m.

I go to bed between 7:30 and 8 p.m. every night. And I’m not ashamed of it! Most people know this about me, so I won’t be attending anything during the week that happens after 5 p.m. Every once in while I’ll rally and make it to an event, but it’s rare. And the reason is simple: I have a lot to accomplish in the world and I want to be my best. Being my best means getting enough sleep to function at the highest possible level. I take my role in my life very seriously and I want to be a great director, writer, producer, curator, mentor and wife. I know what I need to do to make this possible and I do it.


Interested in contributing to Fairygodboss' #MakingTime series? Email [email protected] with "#MakingTime" in the subject line.

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