How to Become a TEDx Speaker:

The Ultimate Guide (2022)

This is the most comprehensive online guide on how to become a TEDx speaker in 2022.

In this in-depth guide you’ll learn:

  • How to choose TEDx events where you can be a TEDx speaker
  • How to apply for a TEDx talk
  • How to prepare a TEDx speech

And I'll end up with tips on how to get more views for your TEDx video after it will get published online.

So, if you’re determined to become a TEDx talk speaker this year, this guide is for you.

Let’s dive right in.

How to Become a TEDx Talk Speaker: The Definitive Guide

CHAPTER 1


TED vs TEDx: What’s the Difference?

You probably heard about TED talks - the inspiring speeches 18-minutes long.

At the same time, there are also many TEDx talks. You might hear about TEDxNewYork, TEDxToronto, TEDxLondon, and plenty of other TEDx events.

So, what is the difference between TED and TEDx? They seem very similar.

To find that out, let’s start with the very beginning and look at how both TED and TEDx started and then see how different they are now.

TED vs TEDx: The Difference Between TED and TEDx and Where You Can Become a Speaker

What is TED?

TED is a non-profit media organization founded in 1984 as a conference where speakers have a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas, experiences, and stories. The first event lost money so it took six more years for Richard Saul Wurman and his co-founder Harry Marks to bring a conference back and turn it into an annual event.

At that time, it was an invitation-only event. Still, it attracted a lot of people from a variety of backgrounds.

What is TED? TED is a non-profit media organization that runs conferences where speakers present their ideas within 18 minutes

What does TED stand for in TED talk?

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design with the slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading.” These were the three major topics originally presented at TED events. Today, it covers a variety of topics in over 100 languages allowing new people to bring their points of view.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design with the slogan "Ideas Worth Spreading."

What exactly is a TED talk?

A TED talk is a short speech, demonstration, or performance around a big idea that is meant to educate, shift people's perspectives to encourage positive changes, or provoke conversations that matter.

The purpose of the TED talk events is that people with different experiences and disciplines could come together to share their knowledge, understand each other and transform people's lives around the world.
What is a TED talk? TED talk is a short speech, demonstration, or performance around a big idea

Before, TED events always had been exclusive and expensive.

Until June 27, 2006, when the first six TED Talks were posted online and shared with the world.

What began as a small conference is nowadays two annual events — TED and TEDWomen — as well as occasional deep-dive conferences and events such as TEDSummit, TEDGlobal, and more.

The main TED conference is a 5-day event that is held annually in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

It includes more than 70 speakers from the world's most admired companies as well as emerging artists, scientists, and thinkers.

TED conference is a 5-day event that is held annually in Vancouver, Canada

Reservations for the annual TED event are limited to 1,200 attendees.

TED talk event tickets in 2022 cost $5,000 for first-time TED conference attendees and $10,000 for the regular Standard membership.

Later the speeches are uploaded to the ted.com site and their YouTube channel where you can watch them for free.

Now, you’re probably wondering:

What exactly is a TEDx talk?

TEDx talk is a short presentation with the purpose of sharing ideas that people have never heard or challenging your beliefs and perspectives. Just like TED talks, they have a similar format with a variety of topics. TEDx speakers also have to express their ideas in less than 18 minutes.

TEDx talk is a short presentation with the purpose of sharing ideas that people have never heard or challenging your beliefs and perspectives

However, it’s much easier to become a TEDx speaker than to be a TED speaker because the standards and requirements are not so high.

And here is why:

When the TED organization started publishing TED talks online in 2006, people all around the world began sharing them with their friends and colleagues.

And many of them wanted to have something like the TED conference in their local community.

They desired to feature their local leaders, share ideas relevant to their regions, and let other people attend the event that doesn't cost $10,000.

On June 15th, 2009, the TED organization officially launched the TEDx program.

What is a TEDx event?

TEDx event is a smaller conference that follows the TED standard and practices. However, x means independently organized, allowing smaller local events with the TED spirit. Anyone can apply to become a TEDx speaker and present their ideas with the style of the official TED conference.

TEDx event is a smaller conference that follows the TED standard and practices. However, x means independently organized, allowing smaller local events with the TED spirit

While there are only a few TED events per year TEDx events are hosted regularly.

Besides TEDx events associated with a city (like TEDxSeattle), there are also TEDxYouth, TEDxEducation, TEDxWomen, and TEDx corporate events around the world.

This sometimes creates a misconception and raise a question:

Why is TEDx called TED?

People often call TEDx talks as TED talks because TEDx events are organized in a TED conference style. So, when someone says that they watched a TED talk that could be a TEDx talk as well. Also, many people who plan to become a TED speaker actually mean to apply to a local TEDx event.

It’s easy to get confused with them.

Moreover, many TEDx talks get uploaded to the official ted.com site and get even more exposure.

People often call TEDx talks as TED talks because TEDx events organized in a TED conference style

With the time, viewers don’t remember where the talk was presented on a TED or TEDx event.

If you look at some of the popular talks featured on the TED site, you may be surprised.

Many people search on Google for Simon Sinek’s TED talk Start with Why. However, the talk was given at TEDxPuget Sound and was named How Great Leaders Inspire Action where he presented a concept of the Golden Circle.
Simon Sinek’s TED talk How Great Leaders Inspire Action - Start with Why

Start with Why was the idea of his speech and the same year he published a book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.

His TEDx talk was later uploaded to the TED site, featured by the editors, and still is one of the most popular talks.

Simon Sinek’s TEDx talk was featured by the TED editors and became popular

With all of these, a lot of people consider that Simon Sinek gave a TED talk, which is not.

Another example is Brené Brown and her TEDx talk The Power of Vulnerability.

Brené Brown's TED talk The Power of Vulnerability

She originally presented at TEDxHouston and then her talk was also uploaded to the TED site, featured by TED's editors, and went viral.

As it’s so popular many people think that she presented at a TED event.

Many great TEDx talks are not that popular, still, the TED brand itself gives a lot of credibility to a speaker and such talks are often mentioned as TED talks.

A quick guide to what is a TED talk and what is a TEDx event - Infographic

With all of that, here is the difference between TED and TEDx events.

What’s the difference between TED and TEDx talks?

The main difference between TED and TEDx is that while TED talks are global, TEDx focuses on the local community. Because of that TED events are big, more difficult to become a speaker as the competition is very high, and not everyone can pay $10,000 to attend them.

Although if you’re selected to become a speaker the organizers will pay for your travel, hotel accommodation, provide all five days of TED conference pass. You will also get pre-conference coaching and training, and some other benefits.

Let’s look closer at TED vs TEDx:

TED

TEDx

TED talks are global

TEDx talks are local

TED events are big and expensive

TEDx events are smaller with cheaper tickets

TED is an independent organization

TEDx needs a license from TED

TED event is produced by TED official

Anyone with a license can host a TEDx event

Only a few TED events per year

Many TEDx events all over the world

TED speakers are mostly well-known people and experts

TEDx speakers are not necessary leaders or experts

Difficult to become a TED speaker

Easier to become a TEDx speaker

The regular TEDx events can have only 100 people unless organizers attended a TED conference. Then they can organize TEDx even with more people.

TED is an independent organization that sets all the rules. The main TED event is produced by TED officials.

To host a local TEDx event people need to apply for a free license from TED and follow their standards. There is also a set of requirements for the organizers to keep the TED spirit on their events.

Still, anyone can organize a TEDx event if they get the license.

Because of that, there are more TEDx events and as a result more TEDx talks than TED talks.

As you can imagine, TED organizers get a ton of submissions to become a TED speaker.
TED vs TEDx: What's the Difference Between TED and TEDx? - Infographic

Now, you might be wondering:

Who can be a TED speaker?

Many TED speakers are well-known people and experts. TED event has high expectations of their presenters. The organizers look for those who can inspire, bring new ideas and delight the audience. However, as it's mentioned in the rules, emerging artists, scientists, and thinkers, also have a chance to be featured on a TED stage.

TED speakers are those who can inspire, bring new ideas, and delight the audience

Although everyone can apply and get a chance to speak at TED it's much more difficult.

But what about TEDx?

Who can be a TEDx speaker?

To be a TEDx speaker you need to know what you talk about and have expertise or experience in that area. You don't have to be a leader or well-known professional in the field to share your ideas.

For many people becoming a TEDx speaker was that turning point when they got more exposure and people started looking at them as thought leaders.

It is much easier to get accepted as a speaker if you apply for a TEDx talk rather than TED.

As a result, more people participate in the TEDx event.

CHAPTER 2


How to Apply for a TEDx Talk

If you’ve been thinking about giving a TEDx talk, you already have your idea that you want to share with the world, then just do it.

In this chapter, you’ll get a guide on how to apply for a TEDx talk with the tips that I wish someone told me before I gave my TEDx speech.

Let’s dive right into that.

How to Apply for a TEDx Talk: Step by Step Guide

When you become a TEDx speaker you will have a big authority boost for your personal brand and shows you as an expert in your industry.

Once you’ve done it, you will notice that mentioning it opens up many more new opportunities, and it will be easier to get any publicity.

Tare many TEDx events around the world.

Anybody can apply to host an event, get the license for one year, and organize it with the name they were approved for.

How do you get selected for a TEDx talk?

To get selected for a TEDx talk you can fill the application to become a TEDx speaker on the event's website. If there is no website, then you can write to the organizers and ask how you can be a speaker at their TEDx event.

To get selected for a TEDx talk you can fill the application to become a TEDx speaker on the event website

Or if you know the organizers, then ask them directly if they look for speakers or know about other upcoming TEDx events where they could recommend you as a speaker.

While talking to organizers is an easy option, the reality is that not many people lucky to have such friends and they go with a traditional way.

If you prefer video instruction then I filmed the whole process for you on how to become a TEDx speaker that you can watch here.

And below you’ll find the written guide on it.

How to Apply for a TEDx Talk Step by Step


Step 1. Attend Any Live TEDx Events

Before you apply to a TEDx talk I recommend you to attend any of the TEDx events live to see how it looks like and get the feeling of how it is organized.

Although each event is different, it will give you a better perspective from the inside rather than watching TEDx talks online.

Simply search for the TEDx events in your area.

For example, here are some events in California.

TEDx events in California in 2022

Also, if you have a chance, get to know the organizer.

You may ask about the details of their next event or maybe they can recommend you to another one.

Once in a while, TED hosts regional workshops for event organizers so they could connect and learn from each other.

So, if you know one organizer, he or she may possibly introduce you to others.

Step 2. Plan a Potential Topic for Your TEDx Talk

When you think about a potential topic for your TEDx talk consider it as a long-term investment.

So, when you pick the topic, is that the one area of expertise that you want to be known for years?

Be thoughtful about it.

At this point, decide the main concept so you could start applying for a TEDx talk.

Some TEDx events provide special coaching to help you to polish your speech and rehearse. But many of them won’t do that.

Double-check that with the event and be ready that you might do all the preparation by yourself.

If you need help with getting accepted for a TEDx event and preparing your speech, then feel free to contact me.

Step 3. Search for the Events Where You Could Become a TEDx Speaker

Once you’re ready with your idea find the suitable events where you could be a TEDx speaker.

Here is how to find a TEDx event nearby:

1. Go to ted.com.
2. At the top menu select Attend and then TEDx Events.
How to find a TEDx event nearby

Then, you will see a map and a list below with all scheduled TEDx events around the world.

3. Filter events by your location (city, region, country).
How to find upcoming TEDx events in your city where you can become a TEDx speaker

You can also filter by the name and type of the events, year, month, and those that have available space.

4. Look at the TEDx event nearby that have available space for speakers.
5. Select those types of events that your idea will fit.
TEDx events that have spaces available for TEDx speakers

There are several types of events to apply for a TEDx talk that will benefit you the most if you want to boost your personal brand and public speaking career.

TEDx Standard events are the “main” TEDx events. They are usually named after the location-based community they serve, something like TEDxNewYork or TEDxSeattle. They represent a diverse selection of talks.

TEDx University events are held at universities and organized and attended by students. If your message is relevant to students, you can apply there.

TEDx Youth events are organized by or focused on youth and/or kids or school communities. If your message is good for teenagers or kids you can apply there too.

TEDx Women events are TEDx events focused on women. They mostly have women as speakers or talks on the topics that are related to women. They may only be organized around the official TEDWomen conference which happens at the end of the year.

So, if you have a message for women, then you can look for the TEDx Women events in spring to see if there is already some information online.

You can also check the TEDx Salon events to get to know the community and organizers.

TEDx Salon events are usually small weekly or monthly events that keep a local TEDx community involved between regular TEDx Standard events. During the TEDx salon events, attendees can watch TED Talks, sometimes organizers host a few speakers and have informal discussions about the talks they watched. 

These events are run by the same team as the Standard event.

These talks may not be recorded. Also, TEDx Salon talks aren’t uploaded online.

So, if you are invited to speak at those events make sure that they will record it so you get the video for your own usage.

Still, if you want to become a TEDx speaker with the videos from the stage that are featured on TED YouTube channel and hopefully on ted.com site then apply to TEDx Standard, TEDx University, TEDx Youth, or TEDx Women events.

4 Types of TEDx Events that will Boost Your Personal Brand

When you plan to apply for a TEDx talk, look through the events around your area and check their details.

You’ll have more chances to find the available spot for the events that are planned half of the year ahead or more.

If you apply at the last moment more likely the application will be closed already.

QUICK TIP

The list of the upcoming TEDx events you see on the TED site may be incomplete.

Some organizers could get the license for a TEDx event already, but they didn’t submit the event details yet as they might plan it only in a few months.

Or someone can be in the process of getting the license for the next year.

So, check the event’s page in a month or so again to see if new events will come up.

Step 4. Check if the Selected TEDx Event Meet Your Standards

Before you apply for a TEDx talk watch the recordings of the previous years from the selected event.

Just go to ted.com or their YouTube channel, type the name of the TEDx event and you’ll get all the TEDx talks from there.

See what people shared about, who were the speakers, pay attention to the audio and video quality. More likely you’ll have the same one which is not always good.

Step 5. Know the Theme of the Event

Many TEDx events have a theme. You may find it on the event page like for TEDxSanDiego:

To pick a TEDx topic find the main TEDx event theme like at TEDxSanDiego, California

Some organizers post it on their websites:

To choose a TEDx talk topic find the theme of the TEDx event like at TEDxSantaBarbaraSalon

Or mention in the application form like at TEDxBocaRaton:

TEDx application rules for TEDxBocaRaton

Some TEDx events may be without a theme. For example, TEDxCambridge:

TEDxCambridge application rules for TEDx speakers

When I applied for a TEDx talk I knew nothing about the themes. As I found out later, I submitted my idea related to social media for the event that focused on AI that year.

Pretty awkward, isn’t it?

As you can guess I wasn’t accepted at that time.

The theme of the TEDx event can be anything that the organizer picked and confirmed with the official TED for that year.

They are often very abstract to encourage a variety of ideas. It may be let's say about AI, social media, health, the environment in the country. Anything.

At this stage when you just submit the application the suggested title of your talk represents the idea you want to cover.

More likely, you can rephrase it later a little bit before the official event, but the whole concept should be the same.

If you can’t find the theme of the event, you can email the organizer and ask about it.

What comes up right away is:

How do I Contact TEDx Event Organizers?

Look for the organizer’s information on the TEDx event’s page. To find who organizes the TEDx event scroll down the event page and at the bottom you'll see one or two organizers.

How to find who organize a TEDx event

Click on their photo or name to open the organizer’s profile.

How to contact TEDx event organizers

Some of them mention email, website, or social media.

If you can’t find anything there, Google the event or organizer’s name and see if they have any contact details online.

Step 6. Submit TEDx Talk Application

After you pick the TEDx events where you'd like to speak go to the event's website and look for the submission form.

How to find a TEDx event website to apply for a TEDx talk

If you don’t see a site linked to the event them simply Google the name of the event.

How to find TEDx speaker application

If you can’t find where to apply for a TEDx talk or the event doesn’t have a site at all look for the organizer's info. Then, write to him or her asking about the details and how you can apply.

Some TEDx events have a specific form to fill if you want to apply to give a TEDx talk.

The questions are defined by each event, but many of them will be similar.

Let’s look at the speaker submission form for TEDxDavenport as it has main fields that you may find in other applications as well.

How to fill out a TEDx Talk application step by step:

1. Fill in your name

Each application will start with your name.

Fill in your TEDx speaker information when you apply for a TEDx talk
2. Pick the type of a TEDx talk you will perform

At TEDxDavenport they ask what type of TEDx talk you would like to present. You can deliver your idea in seven ways (we’ll talk about them later), but they can fit in two general categories – the regular speech or performance with the demonstration.

Select a type of talk that you plan to give at a TEDx event
3. Chose the event where you want to give a TEDx talk

There are two kinds of TEDx events are hosted under TEDxDavenport license TEDxDavenport (the Standard event) and TEDxYouth@Davenport that focuses on teenagers and young adults.

If you have this choice in your application then select the one where you’d like to speak.

Pick the event type when you apply for a TEDx talk
4. Write the idea and outline of your talk

Then, they have a list of suggestions and requirements (that come from the official TEDx rules) for you to check followed by the field where you need to describe your idea.

TEDx application requirements and rules to become a TEDx speaker

Some TEDx events put recommendations before you start an application, some add as the required checkboxes that you read and checkmark if you accept them.

Their purpose is to clarify what is expected in your talk.

This application mentions describing your talk using a maximum of 500 characters. Outline your talk with the main idea that you'd like to share.

Some TEDx applications will have an outline section asking to just briefly describe your talk. Keep it within 200-300 words unless they ask for something else.

Make it clear how your idea fits the theme, and specify the major points you are going to talk about.

5. Add a link to a video where you talk about your idea

Next, they ask you to include a link to a 1 to 3-minute video sharing your TEDx Talk idea.

Add a video that explains the idea you mentioned in a TEDx speaker application

Some events won’t mention how long the video should be.

Anyway, if you need to film a video introduction, record your brief 2-3 minutes intro focusing more on the idea you want to talk about and why it is important for others.

Some TEDx events can give you guidance on what they look for in a video.

For example, TEDxBroadway mentions what to consider when you submit your video:

What to have on a video for a TEDx speaker application

You can upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo with a status Unlisted. That means that it will be available only for people who have a link to a video.

This is how the option looks like on YouTube when you will upload your video:

Unlisted video on YouTube
6. Include your credibility

Some applications may ask you to write why you are the right person to give this talk

and your credibility related to your TEDx talk.

That can be your experience, your research, awards, everything that shows why you’re qualified to speak about that topic.

TEDx speaker application: Why are you the right person to give this TEDx talk?

Don’t be afraid of this field. You don’t know what level of experience the organizers look for.

Its purpose is to support your application and show that you know what you talk about, and why the organizers should choose YOU to speak about this idea and not someone else.

7. Share the link(s) where organizers can learn more about you

This part allows you to show more about who you are and why you might be considered as the right speaker for this TEDx event.

Show your credibility when you apply for a TEDx talk

As you’ve noticed each part of the TEDx talk application builds up your profile from the idea for a TEDx talk to why they need to pick you.

8. Mention where you’re located

Some applications will ask you about your location.

Type your city in a TEDx speaker application
9. Share other details required in the TEDx application

Depending on the event, the organizers may ask for some general details about you.

Here they ask you about your age. That’s probably because they have two events one for adults and another one focused on young people.

Some TEDx speaker applications may ask for additional information
10. Double-check your contact information

You’ll also need to include the contact information. Usually, it’s your email.

Include your email in the TEDx speaker application so TEDx organizers could contact you

Double-check the spelling as it's the way the organizers will contact you to inform you about the next steps, ask for more details, etc.

Step 7. Follow the Selected TEDx Event Updates

Once you applied for a TEDx talk, see if they have social media accounts or email subscriptions.

Follow them and subscribe as they may share some useful information and updates about the event.

Also, look for other TEDx events. As you saw, we had the whole list for the New York area.

Apply to those that are also a good match with your idea.

If you applied for a TEDx event and weren't selected, write them an email and ask why and what you can improve next time.

When I applied for a TEDx talk one of the organizers replied that they already selected all the speakers for that year. However, he suggested to follow up the next year. I did that and had an opportunity to speak at a TEDx event.

And if you were selected, then congratulations!

Start preparing to give your TEDx talk.

CHAPTER 3


How to Give a TEDx Talk

Here is a process of how to give a TEDx talk looks like:

  1. Pick the type of talk you want to give
  2. Write a TEDx talk script
  3. Make sure that your talk is up to 18 minutes
  4. Narrow down the main idea that you want to share
  5. Edit your speech so it would sound natural
  6. Present in front of your friends
  7. Correct where it’s necessary
  8. Finalize the slides
  9. Practice a lot, everywhere, out loud
  10. Practice at least once on the stage where you will perform
  11. Give a TEDx talk on the TEDx event

Now, let’s get into more details.

How to give a TEDx talk: Step by Step Guide

Step 1. Pick the type of talk you want to give

Once you got selected start preparing your TEDx talk script.

You probably already have the main idea of what you may talk about or how you’re going to express your idea.

On the ted.com website, they give a list of the types of talks of how you can perform.

It can be a regular speech, demonstration, performance, etc.

What are the seven types of TED talks?

Below are seven types of TED talks with examples from the last few years.

When you see something similar to how you want your talk to be go to TED and TEDx YouTube channels or look at ted.com for other performances with a similar style to get a sense of how people deliver their talk and what you can apply for yours.

The Big Idea

The Big Idea talks reveal one or two important, very strong points. An example is Lori Gottlieb's talk How Changing Your Story Can Change Your Life where she took one situation and showed you versions of the same story from the perspective of two people.

Lori Gottlieb - How Changing Your Story Can Change Your Life TED Talk

The Small Idea

The Small Idea talks bring an engaging opinion on an interesting topic which is not necessarily covers a groundbreaking idea or global problems. Something narrower that brings up a thought-provoking message.

Eva Galperin brilliantly expressed that in her TED talk What You Need to Know About Stalkerware.

Eva Galperin - What You Need to Know About Stalkerware TED Talk

Because of the story that happened with her friend, Eva little by little got involved with research on stalkerware programs.

She explained how they work and set the future goal to educate people about these programs and bring more awareness on how to protect yourself.

The “Issue” talk

The “Issue” talks create awareness about an issue that many people may not know much about.

Jochen Wegner in his talk What Happened When We Paired Up Thousands of Strangers to Talk Politics touched the problem that political discussions amongst people with different opinions had become really difficult.

As a result, families are splitting, friends no longer talk to each other as people stay in their bubbles.

Jochen Wegner - What Happened When We Paired Up Thousands of Strangers to Talk Politics TED Talk

Though a simple way to get a new perspective could be a one-on-one conversation with someone who doesn't have your opinion which allows you to see another perspective through someone else's eyes.

So, he shared about his project called "Europe Talks" and the surprising results they'd got.

The Tech Demo

The Tech Demo talks showcase some clever new innovations that the speaker was a part of creating, as Marc Raibert did in his TED talk Meet Spot, the Robot Dog that Can Run, Hop and Open Doors.

He shared the idea that robots can do what people and animals do and demonstrated his robot right on the stage.

The Performance

The Performances TED talks may include music, dance, magic, puppetry, or some other performance. Those can be a full performance or a combination of performance and a talk.

Steven Sharp Nelson started his TEDx talk How Music Can Help You Find Peace After Loss with a beautiful music performance and then he shared a deep, personal story.

Steven Sharp Nelson - How Music Can Help You Find Peace After Loss TED Talk

He brought the idea that the power of music can act as a guide in the journey to reconnect and to reunite with our loved ones.

And he ended with another incredible music piece encouraging people to reconnect at that moment with someone they love.

The Artist’s Statement

The artist's statement talks feature the artists showing their art, sharing the process of creating the pieces and the meaning behind them. Nirupa Rao, a botanical artist who paints plants with watercolor shared in her TEDx talk how she wanted to show the stories and complexity of the plants.

Nirupa Rao - An Illustrated Kingdom of Real, Fantastical Plants TED Talk

The “Dazzle with Wonder”

The “Dazzle with Wonder” talks are usually about the wonder of science and discovery. For example, David R. Liu shared his lab's development of base editors that can rewrite DNA.

His talk is grounded on his research, discoveries, and the results of years of work.

David R Liu - Can We Cure Genetic Diseases by Rewriting DNA TED Talk

Here is a quick summary of those seven types of TED talks in the infographic.

7 types of TED talks that speakers use to share their idea on a TED or TEDx event (Infographic)

After you decide on the type of your talk start planning your performance.

Step 2. Write a TEDx talk script 

At this point many people wonder if they should write the whole script, just to outline the talk, or, as they have a lot of speaking experience, just go and give a talk on the stage.

You don’t have to write the whole talk, but…

I've heard many stories and seen people who said that they are ready to give a talk and don't need much preparation however their performances weren't good at all compared to other TEDx speakers.

Some of them spoke longer than 18-minutes and the talk wasn’t published online, some were rumbling around without a clear point, some promoted their business too much, some were motivational, but that’s all they’ve got – they missed that IDEA that worth spreading.

TEDx events are not looking for motivational speeches or an elevator pitch about your business.

Even more, it’s actually forbidden to promote anything on the stage. If you do so your speech may not be published online.

Step 3. Make sure that your talk is up to 18 minutes

One of the common question is:

How long does a TED talk last?

The TED talks are required to be up to 18 minutes long to keep people’s attention. The same rule applies if you give a TEDx talk. Tomer Eldor analyzed 2550 ted talks and found out that the most popular talks were between 8–18 minutes.

Furthermore, it's written in the rules that TEDx talks should be less than 18 minutes long.

TED rules: your talk should be less than 18 minutes long

If you go over 18 minutes then your talk may not be published on the TEDx YouTube channel.

There were exceptions usually for well-known people that gave a long talk. Also, you can find a few talks that go over 18 minutes.

But they are just exceptions rather than regular practice.

Don't risk hours or preparation and a lot of effort by trying to fit a lot in your speech and talking for more than 18 minutes.

Instead:

Step 4. Narrow down the main idea that you want to share

Think about what you want people to do, understand, learn, change as a result of your talk. You may think about why do you want to do this talk in the first place.

How do you want your TEDx talk to impact people who will watch it?

Narrow down your idea.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they give a TEDx talk is they try to fit a lot of ideas, techniques, and other information in those 18 minutes.

As a result, listeners get lost and miss the whole point of what you try to say.

You can add some more details to express your idea but the key factor of a great talk is.

Good TED-style talk has one major idea for one talk

Step 5. Edit your speech so it would sound natural

After you wrote your TEDx talk go through it again with a purpose to make it sound natural, easy to listen to, and understand.

Here are eight tricks on how to write and edit a TEDx talk:

1

Write in a conversational style.

Write as you would usually talk. Later, when you will practice your talk out loud correct the parts to sound more natural.

2

Connect with your audience.

Use words and stories that people can relate to so your talk will have a lasting effect on those who will watch it.

3

Use short sentences.

Edit long sentences changing them to short ones. It will be easier to memorize. Also, shorter sentences are often received better by people, rather than long ones which are used in writing.

4

Simplify the context.

Remove all the complicated words and sentences that are difficult to pronounce.

5

Be specific.

Make sure that each story or example you share is there for a purpose to expand the main idea that you want to express.

6

Summarize the point you try to make.

When you share the stories or studies summarize the point you wanted people to notice.

7

Adjust slides and demonstrations to your TEDx talk.

You can use visuals, add performance, or demonstrate something to fully express your idea.

8

End your talk with a key takeaway.

What do you want people to leave with after your talk?

Then, you’re ready to give a TEDx talk in front of your first audience.

Step 6. Give a TEDx talk in front of your friends

One thing to practice alone and another is to perform in front of the people. You don’t need a big crowd. Get together a few friends and share your talk with them.

It's ok if you won't remember all the script yet. Get a feeling of how your talk sound, how it feels to present it or do some demonstrations, see people's reaction.

After that:

Step 7. Correct where it’s necessary

Once you get feedback, finalize a script of your TEDx talk, modify the slides where it's necessary (if you have them), and start memorizing it.

Step 8. Finalize your slides

You can give a TEDx talk with or without the slides. It’s up to you to decide how to present.

If you plan to have them, then complete them along with your scrips so you will rehearse your speech with the slides.

So that you will know after what phrases to click the presentation clicker to switch the slides.

Step 9. Practice a lot, everywhere, out loud

The more you practice the better you will present and the more natural you will sound.

Every time you get a free minute use it to rehearse some part of your talk or even all of it.

Step 10. Practice at least once on the stage where you will perform

If you have a chance practice at least once on the stage where the event will be hosted. You’ll get familiar with the place.

It will be great if organizers turn all the lights and set up the stage as it would be a performance already. Ask someone to film you.

When you give a TEDx talk on stage you will see that:

YOUR PERFORMANCE LOOKS GREAT

YOUR TALK SOUNDS NATURAL

EVERYTHING LOOKS GOOD ON VIDEO

Or you’ll also notice what you might need to change.

For example, if there is a screen behind you then sometimes the light of the screen might be so bright that your face will look dark.

In that case, you might want to change the brightness of the slides, modify the light in the auditorium or add demonstration to your performance instead of the slides.

If you want to leverage your TEDx talk for building your brand later, then you need to have a good video after it.

With all of these:

Step 11. Give a TEDx talk on the TEDx event

When the time comes do your best to give a TEDx talk.

If you prepared before then you have everything you need to deliver a great performance and touch people with your talk.

Enjoy that moment and treat yourself with something after the event as you deserve a reward for the hard work you've done!

Now It’s Your Turn


So that’s how to become a TEDx speaker in 2022.

Now I want to turn it over to you: Which tip from this guide was the most helpful to you?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment below.

How to become a TEDx talk speaker guide

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