Event organizer

Confessions of a TEDx Event Organizer

If you want to attract high-paying clients, it’s worth talking. One talk that can generate credibility online is a TEDx Talk.

According to Ted.com, a TEDx Talk is a showcase for speakers presenting great, well-formed ideas in less than 18 minutes. The short conversation format requires a speaker to hold the attention of the audience. Discussions can be about a big idea, a tech demo, a problem discussion, and even a small idea discussion.

David W. Riggs has hosted three TEDx events and coached 30 TEDx speakers.

“Contact the conference organizer,” says Riggs. “Each year we share a Google form for speakers to apply and receive around 100 applicants. Most of these applications fall by the wayside.

Riggs says the contestants who get the most attention are those who make an effort to contact the organizer. The best way to do this is to use the TEDx page on the TED website to find the event you want to apply to and see if the organizing team is listed at the bottom of the page.

If they are, find them on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or even contact them through their website, if they have one.

But the real secret is 60 seconds of video.

“Record a one-minute video introducing yourself,” says Riggs. “Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, ‘Do I really have to take video?’ Yes Yes.

The reason you’re making a video isn’t because the organizing team cares about how you look or if you have the right lighting.

“What we want to see is whether or not you’re comfortable in front of the camera,” says Riggs. “A simple one-minute video that introduces you, your speech idea, and why you’d be a good fit for their event does wonders for your chances of being selected.”

If the entry form for the event you are applying to has the option to submit a video, do so. If the form doesn’t have this option, do whatever you can to get this one-minute video from the organizing team.

“Find a conversation that sounds like yours,” Riggs says. “As a TEDx organizer, almost every decision I make comes down to one thing: how a prospective conference will affect the event. The same goes for you as an applicant. Every time we review applications, we discuss how their presentations will fit into the event.”

Here’s a little tip that Riggs shares with his clients to make sure their pitch is interesting for the organizing team. First, go to YouTube and search for a TEDx talk and find one that interests you. This is your example to follow.

Once you find one, analyze this example from top to bottom. You will find that many discussions use storytelling, attention-grabbing one-liners, and humor.

“So whenever you complete your application, explain how you would also include stories, attention-grabbing one-liners, and humor. Bonus points if you share a few examples of what you plan to say,” advises Riggs.

Getting a reservation to give a TEDx talk is difficult, but not impossible. The hard is what makes it good to do.