I have been asked many times as to how I got the opportunity to do two different TEDx talks. I'd like to share my 10 tips so that you can be a TEDx speaker too.
1. THINK AHEAD - Most TEDx events have speaker application deadlines four to six months in advance so you'll need to apply early to be considered
2. REACH OUT (to the organizers) - This was key for me so I've detailed a step-by-step approach below:
a. Search Events - https://www.ted.com/tedx/events
NOTE: Each TEDx event is completely separate and has their own organizing committee.
b. Elimination - I skipped any event that was happening in the next three months (all speakers were MOST likely chosen)
c. Find ANY contact details - I clicked on a chosen event to see - was their website available? Was there an email for the organizer? Was there a name for the organizer?
d. Contact organizer - My purpose here was to express my interest in speaking, understand IF their speaker list was full and if not, what was the process for their specific event. Short and sweet!
NOTE: Contact info is not often readily available, therefore
• If they had a website, I'd send the message on the "contact" page
• If they didn't have a website, I'd see the name of the organizer and send a message via LinkedIn or Facebook
• I'd follow up with a different means of communication if I didn't get a response
e. Schedule a Call - I think having a conversation with the organizer allows you to understand more about the event, the theme, audience and see if there is a mutual fit. It also adds a personal touch. (You want to stand out right!)
3. APPLY - most TEDx events have an online application form that you must complete to be considered. Just do it! Even if you are not sure of the exact topic - fill it out. You never know!
4. WAIT - that lovely phrase "patience is a virtue" comes in handy here
5. IF NOT CHOSEN - try another event. Be persistent and don't give up! (I was not chosen/rejected for many events! So keep trying till you get it)
6. IF CHOSEN - I highly recommend working with the organizers, developing a great speech and being open to their feedback and suggestions. Bounce ideas off of them, ask for help - they are wonderful and really WANT you to do well - you just have to ask.
7. DEVELOP TIMELINE - Develop a timeline and work backwards so you are prepared. It will help combat those nervous jitters that will inevitably come up closer to event day.
8. PRACTICE - Practice practice practice. Out loud! In front of a webcam/phone. In front of friends/family/mentors. Take advantage of any practice sessions at the venue as well as dress rehearsals.
9. FIND YOUR GOOD LUCK CHARM - Have something on event day that you can look at to quash the nerves. I put a list of seven things to remember on my phone including "Power Pose", "You are going to ROCK it" and others that I looked at right before I went on stage.
My sister was also backstage with me to pump me up (and hold my hands which were shaking uncontrollably) Have something that gives you an extra boost of confidence -- whether it's a list, object, person -- anything!
10. ENJOY YOUR MOMENT - Go on stage, take a deep breath and know in your heart, this is YOUR moment to shine! Enjoy it!
My TEDx Videos:
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