The biggest challenge by far in preparing for my TEDx talk has been the difficult work of deciding what to include and what to leave on the cutting-room floor. I feel passionate about so many issues in higher education and find myself wanting to tackle them all at once. But I also understand that the most effective talks have a tight focus, so I’m working hard to sharpen my idea into a single, powerful narrative.

Overall, I think the process has been a little more challenging than I anticipated, but also very enjoyable. I see the experience as an opportunity to examine issues I’ve been thinking about for many years. An unexpected joy in the process has been sharing my idea with others for their thoughts and feedback. I’m a very collaborative person, so talking through the main points with friends and colleagues has helped me begin to figure out exactly what I want to say and how best to say it.

One thing that has me very excited about bringing my idea to the TEDx stage is the fact that there doesn’t seem to have been many past talks about higher education. And it is such an important topic! There are so many myths and misnomers about colleges and universities in our country right now and I’m hoping my talk can shed some light on the truth about higher education and its value in our society.