TEDx Timeline: From Idea to Speaking
Do you have a message, idea or story that the world needs to know about, but you are struggling with how to get it out there? My friend Soness Stevens can help because she has coached hundreds of people to get on TEDx and official TED stages. She's one of the sweetest, funniest, most fun-loving people I know. She is she's also the official English voice for Hello Kitty In Japan!
One surefire business strategy to increase your visibility and attract more opportunities is to give a TED/TEDx talk and it doesn't cost much other than your time and tenacity. Soness anwers questions on getting on that coveted stage in this post:
Yes, there are actually two questions I am often asked:
I usually first explain the ideal preparation time for a TED talk, and then the reality, followed by how far in advance you need to make an idea clear and concise to apply to a TEDx event.
So we Curators are always on the lookout for next year's speaker so here is the ideal timeline for both TED and TEDx. The TED events often know their speakers nine months in advance. You'll be notified six months before the event because your core thesis is due six months before then.
It's the foundation of the heart of your talk. It's what makes your idea unique and worth spreading.
The best TED speakers rehearse over 200 times!
The local TEDx events are put on by local volunteers, so organizing is a lot more challenging day-to-day. So here's the reality:
Most events only confirm speakers three months before the event, which means your preparation time is limited.
Notice that there is just not enough time and space for rehearsals. This is why it is key for you to start preparing your concept thru your core thesis and speaking about it a year in advance.
Oh, it took a year to hone How to Listen so People Will Speak from curiosity to research to presentation, all the way to talk.
Remember how I mentioned the hard-working volunteers? Well, most of them are learning OVT (On the Volunteer Training). Good hearts, but they're rarely professional speaker coaches. My assigned volunteer coach dropped out three months before my TEDx talk. I only said ‘hello” to my new volunteer coach one month before my talk. She was a really nice woman but just two weeks before, she finally took time to listen to my idea. I waited for some insights, but she just didn’t have any. And then, she didn’t even tell me that I did NOT have 18 minutes! I had to hear it from another speaker just three days before the event that all the speakers just had 12 minutes. How do you cut a third of your body of work in three days?
TEDx talks are organized by volunteers independently of TED. So there is no sure model of any of the systems. Your TEDx talk could come out within a few weeks or like my talk, “Miscarriage: What do you say?”, seven to eight months later with zero notice.
You can’t edit it as TED owns the rights to it. So technically, you can’t share clips of it for promotion. The TEDx event can for themselves with consent from TED but as a speaker, you do not own the video. I have seen speakers do it, but I can’t recommend it as it’s against their rules. So what do you do instead? Prepare to get traction.
24-hours. It’s the first 24 hours that make or break how many views you get. And unfortunately for most TEDx events, we don’t know when the talk is going to get released on YouTube. But if you prepare like my speaker Karan Gupta who took my advice you could get over 1 Million views in a few months just like him. So you gotta:
Then again, it’s not all about getting millions of views. It’s not how many people watch your talk, it’s who’s listening. You share your idea worth spreading to reach that one person who wants to make a transformation. Not to push your idea upon the masses. It's credibility worth its weight in gold.
Hiring a coach is the best way to do this TED thing. So let’s aim for eight months beforehand to get your core thesis to apply. And if you start your creation process in January -- finding your core thesis, making your idea clear and concise -- then you can apply to speak for a TEDx event for the following August to December. So if you wanted to speak in January of the next year you need to have started the process in April of this year.
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