4 Reasons to Attend a TEDx Event

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If you have never attended a TEDx event, you have missed an inspiring learning opportunity. TEDxUrsulineCollege at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland was one of the most amazing and educational events I’ve ever attended.

I was fortunate and honored to join 19 other speakers, but I was equally thrilled to be part of an intimate crowd of about 80 guests, who learned about sustainability, science education, feminism, being a single mom, and religion, among other subjects.

Not sure what TEDx is and why you shouldn’t just wait for the videos? This may help.

4 Reasons to Attend a TEDx Event
  1. You’re surrounded by smart people: TEDx attendees are diverse, engaging and intelligent. I spoke to many guests, who weren’t speakers, on a variety of subjects. All brought an array of personal and professional experiences. Frankly, these people made me feel smart, and that’s a pretty good feeling, especially when you have to stand in front of them and deliver.
  2. You’ll meet brilliant speakers: While you may not see TED legends like Sir Ken Robinson or Daniel Pink, TEDx presenters are hidden gems. TEDxUrsuline included big names like New York Times bestselling author Harlan Cohen, CNN legal analyst Avery Friedman, and network broadcast producer Cara Lemieux. There were local and regional stars, too; lower profile professionals, who are true game changers. TEDxUrsuline also featured museum and business executives, college deans, authors, educators and politicians. Sure, you can watch the videos of all the talks, but meeting these amazing people makes being there much more enriching.
  3. The format: TEDx is not your typical workshop. Speakers are grouped in blocks of four or five. They deliver rapid-fire presentations, with few if any visuals, for 8-12 minutes. Presentation blocks are separated by 15-minute coffee breaks and an hour lunch period, which provide ample time to meet the speakers and other smart people attending (remember, reason 1).
  4. You’ll become a better person: While TEDx talks fall under one event theme, they differ in subject matter considerably, making the breadth of knowledge shared truly powerful. Every talk may not impact your life, but I can’t imagine that you won’t find one or two that will change your life in some way. My guess is a TEDx event will make you a better person. I know TEDxUrsulineCollege had this effect on me.

What are you waiting for? Find a TEDx event and register to attend. It might just change your life.

Meanwhile, don’t miss the wonderful talks at TEDxUrsuline; videos will be available here in November.

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Mark Barnes is the Founder and CEO of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series -- books that provide right-now solutions for teachers and learners. Mark is the author or publisher of dozens of books, including Bestseller Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Join more than 115,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.