Many of our clients have been on the TEDx or TED stage. In fact, four of our former clients are in the Top 15 ALL TIME most popular TED talks. How cool is that!?
If your focus is speaking and innovation, then landing 18 minutes on a TED stage is likely on your bucket list. Luckily, it may be easier than you think.
Sure, it helps if you’re a best selling author, a household name, or a local celebrity; however, we’ve attended talks where our client was not locally known and shared the stage with some people who didn’t have any of those qualifications. You may be intimidated by all of the remarkable people you’ve seen on the TED site, but you don’t have to be anywhere near the level of Ken Robinson to have a shot at making the stage.
The best way to make it to the big TED stage (the annual invite-only event), is by first, speaking at an independently organized TEDx event (and don’t poo poo the TEDx events, as many of the most watched come from those events!).
So, how to land that gig? First, do some research around what events might be happening in your local city. Each TEDx event tends to have a “theme,” so you’ll want to see if your particular message fits within that theme. If not, do a search on the TEDx site for other themes that are a good fit for your subject matter.
Then, someone simply needs to nominate you, or you can even nominate yourself. On the recommendation form, explain why you would be well suited to speak at the event.
Your nomination form needs to be at the pinnacle of clarity. They’re looking for your ability to explain what it is you want to share in a couple of sentences, and it needs to be ON POINT.
A WMG client, Bernie Swain, co-founder of the famed Washington Speakers Bureau and author of What Made Me Who I Am landed a talk at the TEDx NewBedford event where he shared his thoughts about human potential, success, and accomplishment.
His thoughts are that, “Successful and accomplished people do work hard and look to the future but, most importantly, they live in the moment. Successful and accomplished people are aware of what I call ‘turning points’; the opportunities life gives us to reach our full potential. These turning points are forks in the road that give us a choice to go in one direction or another. These choices are presented to us by the people who come into our lives and the moments in time we experience. Success and accomplishment ddepend on our ability to recognize these forks in the road, make good and wise decisions and commit ourselves fully.”
Bernie’s message is very clearly focused on TURNING POINTS. Having this level of clarity when you are pitching your topic–either through your own self-nomination –or in response to a TED representative reaching out to you because you’ve been nominated by someone else, will be extremely important.
Having success at a TEDx talk paves the way for an opportunity on the large TED stage. If your TEDx performance goes well and the video from the event gets significant views and feedback, your chance of being considered for TED increase. So make it a part of your strategy to promote the TEDx event as much as possible when you’re video is available post-event.