What Does TED Mean?
TED stands for technology, entertainment, and design, and TEDx are independently organized events. Tricia Brouk received hundreds of applications when she was the executive producer of TEDx Lincoln Square in NYC, and she has since put more than 45 speakers onto more than 15 TEDx stages.
Applying to any conference can feel overwhelming, especially TEDx. According to TED, there are more than 3,000 events held annually, and we are going to share 3 things that TEDx organizers look for in applications that will help you when you are ready to apply for one of those conferences.
For those who don’t know, TED is an amazing speaker platform for ideas worth spreading. It started in California as a one-off conference, and soon took the world by storm when the talks moved online and became accessible globally. TED Talks have been given by presidents, the Pope, Grammy-winning musicians, award-winning actresses and Nobel prize winners. At the local level, leaders, authors and influencers are applying to countless TEDx events in the hopes of wearing the TED crown.
See Related Post: What is a TED Talk?
Here is what TEDx organizers are looking for:
- Pitch Your Idea, Not Your Business. Many people make this mistake. An idea is something the audience can potentially adopt as their own. Pitching your business is simply selling something.
- Relate Your Idea to Theme of Event. This should be clear. Making waves, risk-takers and change-makers, these are just a few themes that are actually happening. So when you’re applying, make it clear that your idea is somehow related to the theme of the event.
- Serve the Community. Organizers wants to see how your idea is going to better serve the community. How you tie that in is by saying it point blank in the application.
How to Vet a TEDx Organizer
If you are thinking of a applying to a TEDx events, there are certain things you should be asking the organizer. When vetting a TEDx organizer, ask the following five questions:
- “When did you receive your license?” If the organizer is a first timer, you have nothing to go on in terms of their ability to pull off a great event. If they have not produced an event before and you’re willing to take a risk on them, be sure to ask how many months they will spend planning the event. If the organizer has produced the event before, ask for a list of speakers from the past event and reach out to them to ask about their experience.
- “Do you have a team in place?” This is important to ask because if the organizer thinks they can do this alone, they are mistaken. Any organizer who has no team will be unable to do anything well, and might actually ask you to help put the stage together the day of the event. If they do have a team, ask who the team members are, as well as what their roles are. When you know that you have a stage manager, a lighting designer, a tech director, videographer, editor, house manager and volunteers, you will be taken care of.
- “How many speakers are you curating?” Asking this question will give you insights into what the audience will be expecting. For example, you likely do not want to be in a lineup of thirty speakers, because if you are last, the audience will have speaker fatigue and you will likely be speaking to a bunch of zombies. Additionally, if there are only three speakers, this could be a red flag, too. Look for a good middle ground.
Tricia Brouk is an award-winning director, writer, producer and public speaking coach. As an expert in the art of public speaking, she puts speakers on TEDx and other big stages. She also hosts The Big Talk is an award-winning podcast on iTunes.
Tricia can give help you become the confident, inspirational speaker you are meant to be. If you’re looking for a speaker coach who can get you to the next level, reach out to Tricia Brouk today! In the meantime, check out her YouTube page for more public speaking tips and tricks.