Written by Kelly Schuler


What happens when you bring together inquisitive thought leaders to speak onstage at TEDxYYC, to an equally curious and insightful audience? There is both a kind of instant community connection and timeless suspension.

Our speaker coaches get the exciting opportunity to share in the speaker and participant experiences and watch how our presenters connect with our community. 

Here’s what has stood out most: TEDxYYC is a phenomenal SHARED experience.

Speakers have an experience that binds them together, creating important long-term connections based on the intensity of preparation and delivery. Some presenters are polished speakers with a passion to share their gift, while others are passionate about their idea and rather terrified to deliver on the big stage. 

Watch their expressions when they’ve delivered their talk. The audience members, rightly called participants, can share in all their glory.

At TEDxYYC 2019, there was one moment when what has been documented as most people’s greatest fear came true, live onstage. The presenter shared a vulnerable moment and froze. For that moment, all eyes were on her, and, all bottoms on the edge of their seats. 

An act of spontaneous compassion erupted, as participants moved her with their warm thoughts and encouraging comments. This seemed to help, fostering the regaining of her confidence to carry on. For a moment, we didn’t know if she would summon the courage, but she did, and in her vulnerability and bravery, we all felt closer to each other and to her. Great cheers erupted! 

As 2019 presenter Todd Hirsch commented, “that actually became a highlight moment and part of community building. We were so proud of her.”

It is in situations like this that we realize just how strong the connection is between speakers and the audience, and how much energy is being exchanged every moment of the event. 

The speakers share their stories, inspiring the audience members to create and expand upon their own ideas. But at the same time, our audience is lifting each presenter and helping them grow and shape their ideas in new ways. 

Together, we learn to connect, to grow, and to level up.