TEDx Call For Speakers Tool

TEDx speaker application - data sources

The fastest way to land a TEDx talk is to find as many TEDx speaker applications as possible.

But, you may have run into some roadblocks when trying to find TEDx events to contact:

  • Some events don’t seem to have an obvious speaker application process (or they already have speakers booked by the time you hear about the event)
  • You may have seen TEDx stages that look unprofessional (or have heard about events that don’t film talks)
  • And you may just be frustrated at all the time it takes to find TEDx events to speak at

As a coach (who helps people become TEDx speakers), I ran into this problem too. This was BY FAR the most annoying part of the process for my clients.

We’d have to:

  • Find a TEDx event
  • Make sure it wasn’t too soon (speakers likely selected, or the application deadline likely passed)
  • Make sure it’s the right event type (some events don’t have live speakers, they only show pre-recorded videos from TED and have a discussion)
  • Manually search Google/Facebook etc to find the website & social pages (to see what the speaker selection process is)
  • Check past videos on YouTube to make sure it’s filmed and of good quality

All this involved far too much time-consuming research (checks of TED’s website, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube)

And it had to be done over and over again, for every event.

This only caused people who REALLY wanted to do a TEDx talk to delay, and wasted time for those that were ready to speak.

This is a showstopper.

For my clients, and for everyone who wants to become a TEDx speaker.

NOBODY can be a TEDx speaker if they can’t find TEDx speaker applications.

TED has some information

Google has some

YouTube has some.

There was no centralized place with all TEDx event information, and (without a reminder), speakers often missed speaker application deadlines

The Solution

Manual work took too long, virtual assistants were expensive (and still forgot details), but there was one solution that made finding TEDx speaker applications almost instant:

Automation.

We developed an automated tool that:

  • Extracts EVERY (4000+) TEDx event from TED’s directory
  • Searches Google for each one (to find the website, which TED often doesn’t list)
  • Searches Facebook and Twitter (to find social media pages)
  • Searches the social profiles and the website to extract a contact email address
  • Searches YouTube to find sample videos from past years (to make sure the event is filmed, and of good quality)

This way, you can quickly filter out events that don’t have a website at all, are the wrong type, wrong timing etc, so you’re left with JUST the right TEDx speaking opportunities for you.

And, it puts everything in two places:

  • 4000+ TEDx events in a Global TEDx Spreadsheet (for those that want to quickly filter/sort and contact a number of events now)
tedx applications list
  • And, email alerts when a TEDx event in your area announces its next event date (so you don’t forget about deadlines):
tedx application alert example
TEDx event speaker application alert

This way, you never miss a TEDx event in your area (so, you get on bigger stages, easier, because all the opportunities are in a quick-to-access list)

Think of it like your own TEDx virtual assistant/speaker agent, working for you around the clock, sending you TEDx speaking opportunities that are custom-tailored to your message, with a great stage, at just the right time.

This tool WAS just for my coaching clients, but I realized this could be of value to people that didn’t need my help with their approach/topic at all.

So, it’s now available publicly.

You can get FULL access for a month FREE by signing up here ($47/month thereafter)

Or, you can keep reading to see a few cool case studies for how to use these tools, like:

  • How to find the TEDx events with the biggest audiences
  • How to find the most established TEDx events
  • How to find the least competitive TEDx events

Finding All Open TEDx Speaker Applications

High-level, you’d filter the spreadsheet for:

  • TEDx events that are at least 3+ months from today’s date (Column B)
  • Standard, University, and [optional] TEDxWomen event types (Column F)
  • In states/countries you’d like to speak (Columns D & E)
  • With at least 1 past event (Column N)
  • And (for the biggest audiences), target events where the organizer has attended TED (Column G)

Here’s a rundown of each step in more detail.

Step 1: Filter For The Right TEDx Event Types (For Your Message)

There are many TEDx event types, but some just show past videos from TED or TEDx events and discuss them.

Only some event types have live speakers.

Some event types have niche audiences, which may not be suitable for you depending on the list of TED Talks topics you had in mind to share.

This spreadsheet can show you EVERY TEDx event in one place, sure, but as a speaker, you don’t want that. The first step of finding TEDx events looking for speakers is eliminating any event that isn’t the right event type.

  • Youth events are mostly attended by teenagers. They’re sometimes held in high schools and sometimes held in conference halls (in the next steps, I’ll show you how to use this tool to take a look at the stage)
  • University events, as the name implies, are organized by university students and held at universities. Much of the general public will go to these events as well
  • TEDxWomen events, as the name implies, are mostly (though not exclusively) attended by women, and you probably shouldn’t bother targeting these events if you’re not a woman or your message isn’t especially pertinent to women.
  • Standard events are for a general adult audience. These are a great fit for ANY speaker!

There are other event types not listed here, but I don’t recommend them if you want to ensure your talk is filmed, and you don’t want to waste time chasing down an event that may never be looking for speakers.

For instance, Salon or Library events tend to have much smaller stages and often don’t have live speakers or film talks (in fact, only 30% of Salon/Library events are filmed).

BUT in the next steps, I’ll show you how to find the Salon/Library events that DO have live speakers (for instance, if the only events in your region that fit your schedule are Salon/Library events, you may want to speak here, but only if the event is filmed).

For most speakers, the best TEDx event types for speakers are Standard, University, and TEDxWomen event types.

So, while there are 1450 upcoming TEDx events in the list globally, there are only 934 that are the right type. Our list got almost 2x as targeted!

tedx speaker applications - select event type
Standard, University, and TEDxWomen events tend to be best

Step 2: Choose Where You Want To Speak (and SHOULD Speak)

Once you have the right event type(s) for your message, filter for the country/state/regions you want to speak in.

There are two reasons NOT to bother reaching out to locations too far away from you. 

First, you’ll have to finance your own travel/hotel, etc. 

And second, events will ALWAYS prefer local speakers. Your chances are much higher in countries you’ve lived or visit often, and ideally, where you are currently living. Even if you would say yes if an event across the world invited you, your chances of being selected to speak there are next to zero.

As a rule of thumb, target countries you’ve lived in before (and within that, focus on the individual states/regions if you like). When I’m working with a client in the US for example, I’ll apply for events across the country (assuming they are open to paying for travel to get there).

But, you can also filter for specific groups of states. For example, if you wanted to filter for California, Nevada, and New York, you’d do that here:

tedx speaker application locations
Apply to TEDx events in your locations

Step 3: (Optional) Filter For The Best Quality Events

For most speakers, I recommend you only pursue events that have occurred at least once before. You may also want more established events than that (for instance, the largest stages will generally be at the events that have happened 5, 6 or even more times before).

Or, you may want to intentionally target events that have only happened once before, because these tend to be the least competitive. 

It’s up to you!

tedx speaker applications for established events
Apply to TEDx events that are established (have happened 1+ times before)

Step 4: DON’T Try to Apply for The Next TEDx Event (Look a Few Months Out)

Many speakers make the mistake of applying to speak at a TEDx event that is happening too soon. This is somewhat futile, as an event generally selects speakers several months before the event, and adding speakers too soon to the event is a HUGE risk for them.

Even if they don’t have speakers listed on their website, they often have them booked (and just haven’t updated the website yet, because they’re waiting to announce these in conjunction with ticket sales).

My advice — ignore any event happening within the next 3 months. Chances are very VERY high that they no longer have an active call for speakers. Most TEDx events have a staged application process, and this generally starts about 4-6 months before the event date. 

Here’s a screenshot of our list. The top of the list will always be closest to today’s date, so in this case, these TEDx events are far too soon. Chances are, they already have speakers booked. Instead, look a few months out.

tedx call for speakers list
You can only apply to TEDx events for events with open speaker applications (usually 4+ months out)

Step 5: Browse TEDx Event Themes, Websites & Stages To See What You Like

The sheet also has the website, theme, and a link to see past YouTube videos. This makes it easy for you to see if any catch your interest (and quickly find the speaker application process on the website)

tedx event application themes
TEDx event application themes

Step 6: Sit Back, Relax, and Wait for TEDx Event Email Alerts

You’ll also get email alerts when there is a past event that gets renewed. 

This is a little like having a full-time speaker agent combing the internet and sending you only the best TEDx events in the areas you want to speak in, perfectly suited to your message.

In other words, use the spreadsheet if you want a list of TEDx events to apply to NOW, and use the event alerts if you’re busy with life, and only want to apply to a TEDx event if it’s a great location/stage/theme, etc.

Several people just have the event alerts sent to their Virtual Assistants and have them apply too.

tedx call for speakers alerts
Sample TEDx application alert

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Do I Get Email Alerts For TEDx Events Near Me?

After you sign up, you can configure the locations you want to monitor (eg: specific states or countries), and the event types for your message (for instance, some people will want to speak at TEDxWomen events, some people only want Standard/University).

Then, you’ll get an email alert when there is a TEDx event near you that matches your preferences.

Does It Say Which Are Virtual TEDx Events and/or Live Events?

TEDx events will indicate whether it’s a virtual or live event in a variety of inconsistent places (eg: perhaps their website, perhaps social media, perhaps on their email list), so, to keep the cost for this service low, we don’t have full-time staff on hand to research all these places to find that out for you.

This tool CAN be used to see the stage from last year though, and if it was a live event last year, chances are it’ll be a live event this year too.

MOST if not all events now are live.

Does This List Include TED Events Also?

This list only includes TEDx events (TEDxWomen, University, Standard etc). It does not include TEDGlobal, TEDEd, TED, TEDWomen, etc.

Here’s my guide on the difference between TEDx and TED if you’re curious about the differences, and you can read here about how to get a TED Talk.

How Many Email Alerts Will I Get?

That depends on the size of the search region and the event types you’re interested in. You can always adjust your search parameters if you find you’re getting too many or too few alerts. 

How Many TEDx Events Are There?

There are 4500+ TEDx events globally. If you’re curious, here’s the number of TEDx events per state and, the number of TEDx events per country

In the USA, there are almost 1000 events

In the UK, there are about 270

In other words, there are a LOT of events. This tool helps you target events at the right time, that are actually looking for speakers.

How Do I Apply?

Once you found an event you’re interested in, you can either look at their website to find the application form, or, if you don’t see that, use the contact email address field (or their social media pages) to reach out to ask how to send in your info.

I have a separate article that goes over the complete process of how to do a TEDx talk (including what happens throughout the application process, how long things take, etc).

How Do I Use This to Find TEDxWomen Events/Conferences?

You can find TEDxWomen events with this tool in the exact same way you’d use it for any other event type — you can predict when the TEDxWomen events are likely to be in your area (by filtering the “Past” tab for TEDxWomen events).

If you configured TEDxWomen events for the event alerts, you’ll get an email alert the instant there is a TEDxWomen event announced in your area.

This Tool Is Out Of My Budget — How Do I Manually Do This Process?

Here’s my article on how to find the best TEDx events (manually)

What To Do Now:

  1. Sign up to get the full event spreadsheet (updated weekly) and TEDx email alerts here:
Ryan Hildebrandt
Ryan Hildebrandt
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