You have a message to convey. Check. You may even have a book that promotes that message. Check. Now you want to deliver that message to a captive audience, on stage, just you and a spotlight. You are ready for a TEDx Talk. But how do you get one?
Before we begin, it’s important to understand what a TEDx Talk is. TEDx differs from TED Talks in its approach to spreading ideas. According to the TEDx website:
In the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading,” the TEDx program helps communities, organizations and individuals produce TED-style events at the local level. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis, under a free license from TED.
TEDx Talks don’t grow on trees but there are a few steps you can take to get your time in the spotlight. A mix of researching your options, organizing content and themes and investigating the application process of a TEDx Talk are integral to booking a TEDx presentation of your very own.
Much like any conference or presentation event, TEDx Talks are scheduled in advance. Sometimes as little as a month or as long as a year. Researching upcoming talks that are still in the planning stages yet have a date set, is a golden opportunity for anyone seeking to gain a spot in the lineup. Visit the TEDx event page for information on scheduled talks all over the world. Start researching talks in your area or ones that address the topic you hope to cover.
Other research that would be helpful is to study other TEDx Talks, review past TEDx Talks sponsored by the TEDx community you are seeking to engage, and look for opportunities to include variety and diversity in your topic so that you have something that is exclusive to your talk.
Many TEDx Talks have a theme associated with them. Organize your content around the theme. Your content should make sense if you are customizing it to fit within a theme. Don’t try to be a square peg in a round hole if your topic doesn’t fit. The organizers will not appreciate a pitch that doesn’t adhere to or utilize the theme.
The TEDx application process is a process. Some communities request proposals and some offer an open call to fill presentation spots. Keep in mind that TEDx events are done at the local level. Do yourself a favor and investigate what makes the community unique or what is important to them. A half-page, thoughtful proposal that explains why you would be a good presenter, what makes your information valuable, and draw on any connection or affiliation you have to the community goes a long way to crafting a standout submission.
Start local with your pitches. It’s worth noting that you should clearly understand the TEDx mission of “ideas worth spreading.” Is your idea worth spreading? It should go without saying but let’s say it…if you have a proprietary idea, don’t share it at a TEDx. The goal is to distribute ideas so be aware of this before exploring a TEDx speaking engagement. It is not easy to get a spot but stay persistent and apply to a wide selection of talks. TEDx Talks are a powerful opportunity to shine.
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Kristen White is an award-winning journalist, documentary filmmaker and entrepreneurial media expert. Her media credits included the award-winning film Shamanic Trekker, Journey to the Source and Mandala, a new series featuring best-selling authors in spirituality and wellness, both are available on Amazon Prime.
Kristen is the CEO of White Media Agency who provides online business marketing and development entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, life coaches and businesses in the wellness and personal development marketplace.