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Becoming a TEDx Speaker

You’ve probably seen a TED talk or two, but what about TEDx? The difference is TED Talks are where speakers and audiences attend TED global conferences, while TEDx events are regionally based with topics more attuned to the community in which they take place. If you want to become a TED speaker, a good place to start is at the local level. However, that’s not easy, there are a lot of hoops you need to navigate along the way to getting the credibility being a TED or TEDx speaker will bring you.

Becoming a TEDx speaker can be a rewarding experience and will allow you to share your ideas and insights with a broader audience. It is important to note that it can take many months from your initial approach to a TEDx group to appearing on stage, so this is a long-term strategy not an overnight self-promotion strategy.

Here is a brief overview of how to approach becoming a TEDx speaker:

  1. Develop a compelling idea: TEDx events are centered around "ideas worth spreading." Think about the unique perspective or expertise you have and how it can inspire or inform others. Refine your idea and ensure it aligns with the TEDx theme or topic of the event you are targeting.

  2. Research TEDx events: Explore the TEDx website or search for local TEDx events in your area. Look for events that match your topic or interest. Review their past speakers and themes to understand their focus and audience.

  3. Attend TEDx events: Gain an understanding of the format, style, and atmosphere by being an audience member. This will help you become familiar with the TEDx culture and learn from other speakers.

  4. Create a compelling speaker profile: Highlight your expertise, achievements, and the value you will bring to the TEDx stage. Make sure to emphasize why your idea is unique and compelling.

  5. Network with TEDx organizers: Reach out either through email or social media. Introduce yourself, express your interest in speaking at their event, and briefly outline your idea. Building relationships with organizers can increase your chances of being considered for a speaking opportunity.

  6. Prepare a captivating pitch: TEDx events often require potential speakers to submit a pitch. Write a persuasive and concise pitch that clearly communicates your idea, its significance, and how it relates to the event's theme. Focus on the impact your talk will have on the audience.

  7. Showcase your speaking skills: If you have previous speaking experience, compile a portfolio that demonstrates your ability to engage and captivate an audience. Include videos of your presentations or talks, testimonials, or any relevant media coverage.

  8. Practice your talk: Once you are selected as a speaker, devote ample time to practice your talk. TEDx talks are typically limited to 18 minutes or less, so ensure your content is concise, well-structured, and memorable. Rehearse in front of friends or colleagues to receive feedback and refine your delivery.

  9. Collaborate with TEDx organizers: Work closely with them to align your talk with their expectations. Be open to their guidance and suggestions while maintaining the authenticity of your idea.

  10. Make an impact on stage: On the day of the event, give an engaging and passionate presentation. Connect with the audience, maintain eye contact, and use storytelling techniques to convey your idea effectively. Remember to enjoy the experience and embrace the opportunity to share your insights.

The TEDx speaker selection process varies by region, so it's essential to research and follow the specific guidelines provided by each organizer. Stay persistent, and even if you're not selected initially, keep refining your idea and seek future opportunities to share your message. Good luck!

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