How do you find TEDx events?
Simple question right? Kind of. To speak at TEDx, you do need to know when and where TEDx events are. But, you also need to know:
- Whether the theme fits your topic
- Whether the audience is your ideal audience (do you want to reach university students? business leaders? under 18s?)
- When to apply (too late and you miss out, too early and the event isn’t accepting speaker applicants yet)
- Which events have a great stage that’ll make you look like a pro, and which have poor video or stage design and seem like you’re speaking at a small-time event?
Without this, you’ll end up struggling to get accepted to an event that doesn’t even fit your goals.
Let’s look at each of these factors.
Matching the Theme
TEDx event themes are abstract and multifaceted to attract a variety of speakers, but they’re also there for a purpose. For example, in 2015 the TEDxLeamingtonSpa team chose a theme of “Courageous Creations” to celebrate those that had created something and encourage others to do the same. Our speakers included:
- A model who created a new way to think about fitness
- A sex addiction therapist who encouraged us to “create safe spaces” for people to talk about their sex addictions
- A choreographer that had created a dance and gymnastics group (they did a performance)
At the same time, we turned down speakers that didn’t meet our theme, like a data scientist that had done an analysis of social media trends in the US. It didn’t fit our vision (to help people create things).
Matching the theme can drastically improve your chances of getting selected as a speaker.
Is the audience right?
The right message to the wrong audience isn’t effective either.
If you’ve got a great message for business leaders, chances are your application to speak at a University event will be denied. Why? Most of the audience is university students, and this message doesn’t apply to them. The organizers know this, and will quickly turn down your talk. Save your effort for events where the audience suits you.
When should you apply?
6-8 months before the event, start looking for the event theme and how to apply. Any sooner than that and the event probably hasn’t defined their theme (which you’ll need to meet), and later than that, you run the risk of missing any application deadlines.
Is the event a good one?
If your goal is just to speak at TEDx, there’s no need to pay attention to event quality. But, if you want people to think of you as a professional speaker, for your talk to spread more easily, and to get long-term results, make sure you avoid the poorer quality TEDx events.
Want an example? Check out these 2 videos. Notice that they’re the same speaker.
Ready to find TEDx events?