Mary Watson is the Organizer & Founder of TEDx Grand Junction. Since 2000 Mary Watson has been evaluating and sharing written critiques with hundreds of writers, speakers, and presenters through various public speaking and educational events. Mary spent three years in Benin, West Africa teaching and presenting events. She has been a successful public speaker and continuously motivates adults as well youth through Toastmasters programs/events, Ignite Grand Junction!, TEDx Grand Junction, and several Communication and Leadership Workshops.
What are TED talks?
TED talks are presentations dedicated to researching and sharing knowledge that matters through short talks and presentations.
The goal to inform and educate audiences in an accessible way.
What does TED stand for?
“TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less),” according to ted.com. “TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics – from science to business to global issues – in more than 100 languages.”
What is the difference between TED and TEDx?
Essentially, TED Talks are aimed at a global audience while TEDx talks are designed for smaller, local audiences.
For example Denver, Boston, Vail, Mile High, etc.
Why did you bring TEDx to Grand Junction?
TEDx are independently run, local events that follow TED guidelines for sharing ideas in communities around the world. Watson decided to create a TEDx event in the Grand Valley after watching several TED talks. The Grand Valley has awesome leaders and this is one way the community can network to see what is happening.
How do you prepare TEDx Grand Junction presenters?
Coaching mentors are assigned to each speaker – to vet the presentations and assure they abided by TED rules. Each pair worked together prior to the event via Zoom, by phone, and/or in-person. Presenters can’t be selling a product; they can’t be preaching, It must be an idea worth spreading.
Is each year the same? What’s new this year?
We have 18 awesome presenters – the full line up is on our website TEDxGJ.com
TEDx Grand Junction added a new element this year – mini-workshops that will take place from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. prior to showtime starting at 11 a.m. Doors open at 10 a.m. The mini-workshops – How Do You Ask For What You Want?; Explore the Grand Valley like a local, even if you are one. and Simple & Effective Stress Busting Techniques.
How do you put on such a big show every year?
We are proud to present the 5th TEDx Grand Junction this year. This could not be possible without partnering with community members and businesses. Thanks to all our partners and supporters Atlasta Solar Center, Long Point Digital, and Enstrom’s Candies for their support
What inspired you to pursue this event?
I think we should all use our gifts for good.
Being a Toastmaster and achieving the highest education award DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) has been great. Now, I look for innovative, progressive, fun, leaders to partner with for other community events such as Ignite Grand Junction!, TEDx Grand Junction, Communication and Leadership Workshops, and serve on community boards like Mesa County Anti-bias Task Force, Mesa County Library.
Connect with Mary Watson of TEDx Grand Junction