TEDx Regina just wrapped up yesterday at the University of Regina, and I had the great privilege of being a volunteer for the event. For those who are unfamiliar with TED, it is an organization that focuses on spreading ideas through conferences held around the world with great and influential speakers. TEDx is a variant where local groups in smaller communities can organize similar conferences using TED branding and resources. I highly recommend going to TED.com and watching any one of their 15-20 minute videos – you’ll probably be hooked and want to watch the other 999 that they have.
I was lucky as a volunteer and got assigned to “mic duty”, meaning after each speaker was wired up I got to sit in and watch the entire conference. For me, TEDx Regina was almost a religious experience. I’m not a religious person by any means, but I have been to church, and these speeches reminded me of sermons, in a positive way. I was lucky in that the pastor I used to see pretty regularly was an excellent public speaker. At the end of his sermons, there was always a personal story, a motivating “call to action”, a real push to actually act on the subject matter. And it was done in such an engaging and uplifting way that you really had no choice but to be motivated to follow through.
So when each of these speakers at TEDx Regina came on stage and poured out their heart and passion for everyone to see, it was hard not to be engaged and motivated by their energy in much the same way. I get the same feeling from watching TED videos, but seeing it in person was so much more… live.
The topics discussed ranged from applying improv techniques to everyday life to how public expression can empower you over self-doubt. There was a live performance from Jeffery Straker, and a tech demo with Dr. Gerhard showing ways to reduce the learning curve of musical instruments. There was statistical evidence of how walking to school can improve your chlid’s well being as well as how hip hop has improved the lives of children. And many more.
They could only sit 100 audience members this time around unfortunately, but the recording of every session should be posted online for all to see within the next few weeks on TEDxRegina.com. If there is another one, I highly recommend doing everything you can to check it out.